Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, May 04, 2015

Standing in Line for Episode I

Well, it's Star Wars Day.  I've blogged in the past that I'm not a big fan of Star Wars Day.  I mean, I'm all for setting aside a day to celebrate your fandom, but I don't like the way the day was decided by a lame pun.  But, this year, I'm getting caught up in it a little bit.  It probably has a lot to do with the residual good vibes from the phenomenal The Force Awakens trailer from a few weeks ago.  But this time, I decided to act on those good vibes.

I decided to finally try and get a copy of the Camrose Canadian that interviewed me about standing in line for Episode I

A couple days after standing in line for my tickets, a few of my Camrose compatriots sent me an e-mail saying, "Dude!  They interview you on the front page of the Camrose Canadian!"  And I was like, "Dude!  Send me a copy!"  But they never did.  16 years on, I knew my chances of getting a copy were pretty slim, but I figured I should try.  I sent an e-mail to the Camrose Canadian explaining the situation, and they were very kind enough to dip into their archives, find a copy, and send me a scan. 

So here I am on the front page of the Camrose Canadian!

The pertinent text: ""Augustana student Mark Cappis made the journey from Entwistle to secure some seats.  'When it opens, I want to see it with all my friends.  I just wanted to make sure I got my tickets,' he said."

"Augustana student Mark Cappis made the journey from Entwistle to secure some seats.  'When it opens, I want to see it with all my friends.  I just wanted to make sure I got my tickets,' he said." 

That may seem a little corny in retrospect, but it was true.  Episode I came out as my college career came to an end.  Graduation was just the week before.  For the final year, all me and my friends were talking about and analyzing were all the rumorus and trailer for Episode IWhere else were we going to see The Phantom Menace other than Camrose? 

For those who don't know the history, Episode I was one of the first major Hollywood blockbusters where they sold advance tickets.  The film came out on May 19, but tickets went on sale one week earlier, May 12, at 1PM Alberta time.  So, with that in mind, and me having already moved home with the end of the school year, I got it in my head that I'd be heading down to Camrose on May 12 to wait in line for tickets. 

On May 12, I was up at the crack of dawn.  I hopped into my (parents') car and made the 2-hour drive down to Camrose.  I arrived at the Duggan Mall at 9AM....

...and I was already third in line.  Damn it!  But still, I settled in, and started waiting for 1PM.

The article mentions "another fan, with a boom box, [who] began playing the Star Wars soundtrack just as ticket sales began."  That was my friend Arlo.  He had just bought the Episode I soundtrack a few weeks before, so we were cranking that up.  It was pure coincidence that the CD came back around to the beginning and started playing Duel of the Fates just as the clerk announced, "The box office is open!  Tickets are now on sale!"

My biggest memory is how woefully ill-prepared we were for sitting in line.  We brought, like, nothing to do.  I think someone eventually ran down to the dollar store and got a deck of cards.  My biggest regret was that I forgot my copy of Star Wars Trivia Pursuit, which I had just gotten for Christmas.  I had planned to bring it so we could play while we waited, but I didn't realize until I was coming through Nisku that I'd forgotten it at home. 

1PM came, the tickets went on sale, and there I was, third in line, and got my tickets.  I vaguely remember talking to the reporter.  Word got through the line that I'd come all the way from the exotic land of Entwistle, and they wanted to know, "Why?"  I don't remember the rest of the day...I probably had lunch and went home.

"But Mark," you may be saying, "I've heard you tell this story before, and you always told me you stood in line for 8 hours.  9AM to 1PM is just 4 hours!"  The 8 hours standing in line came the next week...the day the film actually came out.  We'd all decided we'd be going to the 7PM show, and we arrived at the Duggan Mall at 11AM to get in line.  But, the movie theatre wouldn't let people line up from 7PM show until 4PM, so it was more, "5 hours hanging out in the mall, and then three hours standing in line."  When they started letting us line up for the 7PM show, then was first in line, and when the theatre opened, I remember sprinting in just so I could say I was first.

Coming out was a different story.  I remember thorougly loving it at the time.  But the horrified looks on my friends' faces told a different story.  "Was that awesome or what?" I remember exclaiming.  "Yeah...that was certainly...something," they said.  My revulsion to Episode I wasn't as instant as most.  I still don't think it's that bad.  However, I'm not as gushing as my original movie review that I blogged that night.

But what I'll always remember are those days leading up to the film.  The standing in line.  As I said, we had all just graduated.  This was pretty much our grad party...our last hurrah.  And those memories will always outshine Episode I

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