Star Wars 1999

Cedric Chuigo, right, talks about the new 'Star Wars' movie while waiting in line to see it for the second time Wednesday afternoon. About 1,000 Corvallis residents have seen the movie so far.

Karl Maasdam, Gazette-Times (File)

The following article ran in the Thursday, May 20, 1999, edition of the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

When the Force calls, you just go.

Or, in this case, Matthew Anderson came calling on Cedric Chuigo, his roommate at Oregon State University, to go see "Stars Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace."

Anderson, a junior biology major, woke Chuigo up Wednesday morning, itching to go see the much-hyped prequel to the biggest trilogy ever.

Less than 24 hours ago, Chuigo had seen the first showing of the movie in Albany.

But he had no problem going again.

"I enjoyed it," said Chuigo, a junior who's studying civil engineering. "I wasn't disappointed at all."

Like Darth Vader choking one of the bumbling officers, some critics have dismissed the movie as kiddie fare and lacking in character development.

Chuigo and other local fans felt otherwise Wednesday.

Chuigo said it helps to have seen the trilogy in order to follow the new movie.

"If you don't know the story, you're going to get lost," he said.

So far, an estimated 1,000 Corvallis residents have seen George Lucas' latest concoction, which is in its second day of release.

Chuigo and Anderson were among a crowd of "Star Wars" devotees who stood in line at the Whiteside Theatre Wednesday for the noon showing of the space saga.

No one in the crowd was dressed as Wookies or Yodas or Skywalkers or even Darth Maul, the new "Phantom" villain who wields a double-bladed lightsaber.

Several Mauls have been spotted at movie theaters across the country, including one Chuigo said he saw lurking in Albany Tuesday night.

But Sam Kenyon, a 14-year-old student at Cheldelin Middle School, did wear a "Star Wars" T-shirt in honor of the movie he adores.

He saw "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" when he was 7 years old.

He owns both the original trilogy and copies of the films that were touched up with new special effects for their re-release in 1997.

He's been waiting for a new "Star Wars" entry ever since.

"I was just waiting for this a long time," he said, standing outside the Whiteside.

Chuigo wasn't the only one who was ready to see the movie more than once.

"I just think it was an all-around good movie," said 17-year-old Jordon Eaton, who saw the movie in Albany last night and was first in line to see it again at 7 p.m. in Corvallis.

At about 5 p.m., the line of people that wrapped around the Whiteside Theater was growing. A couple youngsters dueled playfully with plastic lightsabers.

Eaton, a student at Crescent Valley High School, said the movie has many plot twists and the cinematography is fantastic.

"It was true to the story," he said.

Michael Mann, a Corvallis police officer, and his 6-year-old nephew, Marcus Dodsworth, sat on the sidewalk and soaked up the sun as they waited for the movie's 7 p.m. showing.

Mann brought Dodsworth to see "The Phantom Menace" as a birthday treat.

Mann, 30, has already seen the movie.

"It's fantastic," he said. "It's in the same spirit of the trilogy."

His favorite scenes?

"The light saber duels are incredible," he said.


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