Where were you in '99?

Discussion in 'New Hampshire' started by Baron_Soontir_Fel, May 19, 2009.

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  1. Baron_Soontir_Fel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 4
    With the 10th anniversary of The Phantom Menace being released this month, I thought it'd be fun to hear about everyone's memories from back then. What you were doing, where you were, the fun things you did waiting in line.. thoughts, feeling and emotions and all that jazz.

    In 1999, the day that tickets went on sale for TPM, I was taking an aptitude test for a federal job with the Canadian government. The test was scheduled for 7 am with about 10 other people who were also going for this position. We had a two hour time limit, more than enough time for me to write the test and then jet off to the mall to get in line for the tickets. Won't be many there, I thought to myself. After all, how many Star Wars fans were there in Fredericton, New Brunswick?

    So I took the whole two hours to finish the test, being actually part of just a handful that did finish the whole thing. I rushed out to the parking lot and drove my way to the mall, about a 20 minute drive in all including the lights and traffic. Getting at the mall, there wasn't much all that activity outside. but when I got inside, I was surprised at the number of people already in line, about 50 in all. So I sat on the floor and claimed my spot, looking at my watch thinking it was going to be a long day until 3 pm when the tickets went on sale.

    Thankfully, across from the movie theater in the mall was a Toys R Us. When they opened up at 10 am, they put all the new Star Wars toys out on display. JOY!! New Star Wars toys! YES! People started to wander over almost immediately, acknowledging a silent agreement with those around us that no one would lose their spot. Taking my turn looking at the new swag, I immediately got myself the coolest looking action figure that was there: Darth Maul! Man, this dude looked badass and had a double bladed lightsaber to boot. The only other time I saw a double bladed saber was in a Tales of the Jedi comic used by Exar Kun.

    So I go back to my spot in line and rip that sucker out of the package, examining every inch of that figure trying to figure out in my mind just what kind of a role he would play in the movie. That occupied me for a while, but eventually I needed to do something else to pass away the time. Other people in line were playing the Decipher Star Wars card game and I cursed myself for not having the foresight to bring any of my decks. I watched them play for a while, picking up on some play tips and yearning to play. I made another trip to TRU to look for something to help pass away the time, and eventually happened across a cheaper looking card game made by Decipher. What the hell I thought, might as well.

    Buying the card set ($35! Rip off!) I got back in line and proceeded to open the box to inspect the cards. It was a most basic game but I got together with 3 other people and we played for a couple of hours. Over that time we talked about what we liked about Star Wars, when we first saw it, compared collections and all that. It was all really cool to be able to finally talk to people that loved Star Wars as much as me. After we put the card game away, we talked with other people until the box office opened, to a loud cheer. After what seemed like an eternity I finally got to the window to order 4 tickets for myself and my other friends that couldn't make it in line that day. When I had those tickets in my hand I treated them like gold. Finally, FINALLY, I was going to see a Star Wars moving on opening night. But that's a story for another time....
  2. jediscar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2007
    star 3
    Nice idea Baron!

    I was living in Bangor, Maine at the time. The TRU had already done the midnight madness routing for the first time, so I was still recovering from that! Tuesday was a good sport and had come along with me that night. We even hosted a Star Wars party for mostly non-fans at our house, complete with Yoda Soda, Jabba Jiggle, and of course Wookie Cookies! We devised a few games for the kids to play, had a trivia contest, and watched the trailer that I had recorded on VHS when it first aired on Good Morning America a few months earlier. I still have the tape somewhere....

    As for the movie tickets, I had taken the day off from work to wait in line for tickets. They went on sale at noon. I figured the line would be long, given that Bangor is pretty much the end of the line for civilization in northern Main. I got there at about 10:30 and was the 3rd person in line. Shockingly, there ended up being only about 30 people there by the time the window opened. I met a few nice people and we talked star wars, collecting, and rumors about the upcoming movie. I purchased a bunch of tickets, since we had recruited a group to come to the movie at our party...Unfortunately, there was no midnight showing in Bangor, so the local premiere was at like 10:00 in the morning. It wasn't even sold out -- and I went alone! The group came to the showing on the first weekend of the run, so I think we were there on a Friday night. That was a crazy crowd! Lots of "costumes" and lightsabers, a big pep-rally atmosphere given by the staff of the theatre, and finally a crazy and frenzied cheer from the audience when LucasFilm appeared on the screen!
  3. Baron_Soontir_Fel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 4
    The actual night of the movie premiere was a blast. I got to the theatre around 6 pm for the midnight showing and there was a good deal of people there already. I was near the doors but as I was going to the bathroom, I ran into a buddy of mine and he invited me to join him near the front of the line. Sweet! I even remembered my deck of Star Wars cards and he had his as well, so the time went fast. At 11 pm the theatre staff were passing out huge programs for the movie. I got one and still have it to this day. They were only available in Canada and had lots of pics from the movie. Nice!

    We started filing in to the theatre around 11:30pm and I grabbed my seat right away while others were more concerned about getting snacks. I ended up with a sweet seat near the back and struck up a conversation with people around me to pass the time. With about 10 minutes before the show started, an usher came down to the front of the theatre and made an announcement that tonight was special since it was the first time since 1983 that a new Star Wars movie was released. We whooped it up as the usher seemed to start choking and gasping for breath, finally collapsing to the floor. We were looking at each other, not sure what was going on when from behind us someone yelled "Silence fool!" and a dude in a kick ass Darth Maul costume marched down the aisle to the stage in front of the screen. Across the theatre we heard "I sense the dark side" and another dude dressed up as Obi Wan emerged. After some verbal sparring these two guys whipped out a couple of prop lightsabers and put on an amazing display. They both disarmed each other and then proceeded to go into an awesome martial arts display with kicks, blocks and flips until they both retrieved their lightsabers and Obi Wan cut down Darth Maul. The whole theatre erupted in applause and jumped to our feet. Turns out the two guys were members of a local martial arts club that happened to be Star Wars fans. We were pumped, primed and stoked for the movie. 5 minutes later, the theatre went dark... there were no trailers and the 20th Century Fox fanfare began, blasting through the theatre as the place exploded in cheers. Then "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." appeared on the screen and the place went so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and held it until John Williams' Star Wars theme erupted. I opened my eyes and all I could see was STAR WARS on the screen and I was 9 years old again...
  4. Capt_Brandon_Berry Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2008
    star 2
    Can't believed its been 10 years! I saw it opening night with my family. then 12 more times with my friends. back then I did not know lot of STAR WARS fans like me...till I moved to NH 6 years ago. AND MET ALL YOU DORKS OMG!!!
  5. Baron_Soontir_Fel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 4
    And New Hampshire will never be the same again... lol
  6. Capt_Brandon_Berry Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2008
    star 2
    How come every where I go they say that. Way do they?
    BRANDON
  7. Rotag21 FanForce CR, New Hampshire

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2003
    star 4
    Maybe they are tring to tell you something Brandon... in a nice way!! YOU FREAK!!

    I was here in NH for the Toy release before the movie. I remember going to walmart here by the house and standing in line there for like 2 1/2 hours. I got there a little after 9pm. They did not put anything on sales floor till 12am. The store was open and you could shop. But at around 11:45 they emptied the store and you could see them bring out all the stuff up the center isles. They made everyone that was there for Star Wars to wait to one side in line. I'd say in the first hour standing in line they had about 5 people hanging out talking. Around 10 it was up to maybe 15+. It was very cool to keep seeing people showing up. lol Around 11:30 I'd say they had over 35+?

    I was the 3/4th person in line at the time. But you know me... I was the first one in the door. lol I remember going in and the first thing I grabed were 2 shopping carts. I had my list all set go. What a waste that was at tfirst. lol I sadi "F" this. lol and just starting fill my cart. They had everything set up in the front of the store in that big middle isle. It was the BEST midnight shopping spree EVERY!!!

    It took me like 30 min to go thought the first time and find everything I wanted .... which by the way was EVERYTHING they had. I kid you not. I put up one of EVERY figure, puzzal, game, ship, card pack. EVERYTHING !! Remeber this was back then Walmart still had lay away. (Boy, do I miss that). lol I ended up pushing 4 shopping carts PACKED over the top to the back of the store and put over $1100 on layaway! and took home that night about $150 dollors in stuff that I had to have!! I had been saving for months to go and do this by the way. lol

    I had the whole first run of figures. I remember setting up all night and playing with the Com.Chips. I thought those things were just the coolest. I still have that first store rec. somewhere? I even posted on line at one point to show it off. It was just sad! I can say that I spent the most money that night out of anyone there. Even Big John. Which was cool. (Not you John)

    For those of you that do not know him. Big John is a local guy that does everything Star Wars, that is if it is a toy. I know I have pointed him out to a couple of you before. Anyhow it was the first time I had ever meet him. I bet him by just around $100 of so. The next guy was just under a $1000. I know because after wards some ofus hang out in the parking lot talking more Star wars and wripping out packages right there.

    What a great night. I had so much fun. But that was back in the day when I first moved here and we only had Sam. She most have walked around this place for weeks playing with all those toys. She loved the com chips as well. It only took a few day for her to figure out they they worked. We drove Shell mad!! I loved it !!

    Well thats my toy part of the storie. lol I'll cover the movie night in my next posting.

    SeeYa,
    TK

    Seeya,
    TK
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