Monday 19 February 2018

Movie fans in Hollywood queue feel the Force with Star Wars wedding plan

Star Wars fans wait in line at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood (AP)
Star Wars fans wait in line at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood (AP)

Two Star Wars fans hope the force will be with them when they tie the knot on the forecourt of the famous TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood just before they watch the new film.

Caroline Ritter and Andrew Porters flew to Los Angeles from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia, to camp outside the cinema until the movie is released in America next Thursday.

They are part of a group of more than 130 devotees lined up outside the cinema to secure the best seats in the house, but before they sit down to watch Episode VII: The Force Awakens, they will get married surrounded by some of the franchise's biggest fans.

Ms Ritter, 34, will walk down a makeshift aisle in a white dress accompanied by Darth Vader, while Mr Porters, 29, will wear a traditional suit but will sport a Storm Trooper bowtie and braces.

Ms Ritter, who works as a coal miner in Australia, said: "At 2pm on opening day, we will walk down the aisle. We go see the movie as a celebration after so I hope it's good.

"I am cautiously hopeful, having the original cast back in it makes me really hopeful, I think it will be good but we will wait and see."

She camped outside the cinema in 2002 before the release of Attack Of The Clones and said she was excited to return with her fiance 13 years later.

"Because 2002 was such a big event for me and changed the course of my life, it seemed right. We have been engaged for eight years but not successfully planned a wedding so this all just fell into place."

Fans waiting outside the cinema compare the atmosphere to summer camp for Star Wars, and many queued outside cinemas for weeks to watch previous instalments in the franchise together.

They are also aiming to raise a big sum for charity from donations from supporters.

Mr Porters, a fireman, said: "The best wedding present would be smashing our 10,000 dollar target for the Starlight Foundation. To donate you can text Jedi or Sith to 80000 to donate 5 dollars or follow links at"

Hardcore fans started queuing outside the cinema at midday on Saturday and will stay in place until the movie screens next week. Even more people are expected to join them over the weekend.

Organisers of the camp-out have secured almost half the seats in the cinema to sell to people in the queue. Fans must spend at least 24 hours in the queue to be eligible to buy a pair of tickets, and each additional 24 hours gives the option to buy another ticket. The more hours a fan banks in the queue, the sooner they will get to choose their seats.

Nate Chukey, 45, has not left the cinema since he arrived on Saturday but said that seeing the film is only a small part of the experience.

"I was always lining up just to line up, it's a tradition and I would do it even if the movie was bad. However with JJ Abrams (the director), old special effects, our favourite actors, the only thing left is the writing - it could be good, it could not be."

He added: "Waiting for it like this makes me appreciate it even more."

The Force Awakens will have its world premiere in Los Angeles on Monday December 14 and will premiere in London on December 16.

Press Association

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