Standing in line for the late night premieres of Star Wars films is a tradition for the fanbase — one that was probably a lot more comfortable when the movies weren’t released in winter.
The original trilogy and three prequel films were all released in May, according to the Internet Movie Database. The movies in the now-concluding trilogy have mid-December release dates.
“The first time I did this, I didn’t have a chair, I didn’t have a blanket,” said Rebekah Garcia, cosplaying as Princess Leia disguised as Boussh, from “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.” “Be sure you have a chair and a blanket. Be sure your feet are warm.”
Fans lined up outside the 20th Century Theatre downtown and throughout Thursday endured falling temperatures. The earliest arrival had been there since as early as 7 a.m. for the 10 p.m. premiere of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the ninth film in the main series and the 11th Star Wars film overall.
“This is my first time, but my uncle has been here everytime,” said Dylan Wilcox, who got in line before noon. “There’s always someone here.”
Fans of the series have not been known for their moderation, expressing their adoration for the franchise with clothing, tattoos and elaborate costumes, like Garcia’s.
“My tattoo artist turned me on to the person who makes the kits,” Garcia said. “I made this whole thing.”
Garcia said it usually takes six to seven months of research before she even begins putting together the costumes. In the past, she’s dressed as Boba Fett and Darth Vader to attend midnight premieres. Her next project is to dress as Ashoka Tano, the protagonist of the TV series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
While fewer than half a dozen people were in line at 3 p.m., Garcia said more would be coming.
“They don’t usually show up till they get off work,” Garcia said. “There’s actually a lot of cosplay up here. We’re all a little hidden all around.”
Even noncostumed fans like Wilcox were excited for the release.
“I love it. My uncle, he’s the biggest fan,” Wilcox said. “I’m kind of interested to see how it all comes together.”