San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Episode III Opening Delights Star Wars Fans

QUE la Fuerza esté contigo. May theForce be with you. Whatever the language,the magic of Star Wars does not get lost intranslation.The movie’s widespread internationalappeal was apparent as San José’s StarWars fan base flocked to TerraMall’sCinépolis multiplex May 17 for the premiereof “Star Wars: Episode III, Revengeof the Sith.”Fanatics donned capes, swords, Tshirtsand Darth Vader masks as they filledall 15 of Cinépolis’ theaters.VIP tickets, which went for ¢7,000($15) apiece, sold out the day they went onsale. For the remaining tickets to the preview,dedicated fans emptied their pocketsof ¢4,000 ($8.50).Feeding their obsession with a dose ofStar Wars on the big screen wasn’t the onlything on fans’ agendas. With video games,promotions, T-shirts, dolls, games and collector’sitems abounding, the theater hadthe air of a Star Wars carnival.“Of course,” said Ana Valenciana,when asked if she is a Star Wars fanatic.“When it came out, in my time, it wasamazing and innovative. Now my son isalso a fanatic. Today is his 15th birthday,and this is what he wanted: to come see‘Star Wars.’”DARTH Vader, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and other Star Wars personalitieswere representedby their fans in a costumecontest.Ricardo Vargaswon third prize in hisDarth Vader costumecomplete with mask,cape and black boots –articles he’s carefullyacquired through theyears, he said.“I’ve loved StarWars since I was six orseven years old,”Vargas said. “It startedwith the spaceships,and then I grew up andthe idea behind themovie was what fascinatedme… the ideathat just by being ahuman being, one canalways have the hopeof redemption.”REDEMPTION is indeed a centraltheme of the third installment in a series ofsix episodes. In “Episode III, Revenge ofthe Sith,” we find Anakin Skywalker, playedby Hayden Christensen, in a dilemma ashe reunites with his wife Amidala/Padmé(Natalie Portman) and learns she is pregnant.Both entangledin galaxy politics,Anakin and Padméhave kept their marriagesecret.After suffering horrificvisions of Padmédying in childbirth,Anakin sets out on aquest to keep her alive.Director GeorgeLucas keeps aficionadoshappy by bringingback the familiarcharacters who havekept Star Wars famousfor almost 40years. Along his journey,Anakin encounterssuch Star Warslegends as Obi-Wan,Yoda, R2-D2, C-3POand Chewbacca.Solid performances come from SamuelL. Jackson, who plays a somber MaceWindu, leader of clone armies againstdroid forces, and Natalie Portman, a bravePadmé whose steadfast devotion to Anakineventually destroys her.Hayden Christensen, however, leavessomething to be desired in his portrayal ofAnakin. His cliché dialogue and starry-eyedconfusion smack more of a lostteenager than a brave and powerful galaxywarrior.ANY true Star Wars fan knows how themovie ends before they walk into the theater.The last of six episodes to be released,Episode III is the missing link between“Episode II, Attack of the Clones,” and“Episode IV, A New Hope” (the originalmovie released in 1977).Nonetheless, Anakin’s transformationinto Darth Vader is packed with emotion.Lucas creates a true tragedy in leadingAnakin to his fate. Ironically, his quest tosave his beloved Padmé not only destroysher, it also leads him to cross over to thedark side forever. Thus, one of the mostlegendary villains in cinematography,Darth Vader, is born.Lucas’s signature special effects comeout in full force during light-saber fightingscenes and space wars. The imaginativeaction combined with a compelling storyline make “Star Wars: Episode III,Revenge of the Sith” solid entertainmentfor Star Wars fanatics and newbies alike.

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