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The New York Star Wars Line

Author Robert Covarrubias

A Fine Ending for a Federation of Fans

The New York Star Wars Line

Since 1999 The NY Line has decorated the sidewalks of Manhattan’s historic Ziegfeld Theater on West 54th Street to see the latest installment of the Star Wars saga. Fans come in droves from as far away as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to be a part of the phenomenon. But this isn’t just about the movie; the NY Line also raises money for the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation. With the final installment of the Star Wars saga in place, I can’t help but feel sorry for these great people because this may be the last time that they all gather together for a common purpose and not only do they show a lot of heart but great courage and support for what they love and believe in. Though they may be mocked by people who walk by or see them on TV, I can only say one thing, anyone who would dress up as their favorite movie character and stand on line for days or weeks at a time just to be the first to get a glimpse of something they love gets ALL of my respect.

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That is why Eternal Collector felt it appropriate to not only be one of the sponsors of the event but to cover it for those who didn’t have the pleasure to attend and boy was it fun! There were people watching Episode I from a UGO video truck and playing Star Wars video games after, there were all kinds of costumes based on the films and some that were inspired by the film, boy, some people have some wacky imaginations!, and lets not forget all the TV crews from all the major networks clawing their way through the crowd to get their exclusive interviews. All in all it was an experience I will never forget, my hat goes off to the people of NY Line who were so great and generous to us.

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Amit Saxena

Organizer of NY Line

EC: Tell me about NY Line?

AS: We organized this line which started on April 30 th and gone until now may 19 th the opening and we’re doing this as a fundraiser for the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, we call it stand-a-thon our line member raise money on their own they have sponsors who sponsor their time on the line we also have corporate sponsors who donate money and then we accept donations out on the street. In 1999-2002 we raised a total of $33,000 for Starlight Starbright this time were trying to do even better than both of those combined if possible, we have 300 members we wait here in shifts so everybody will log in as much time as they can and then we line people up on opening day based on how long they’ve waited and how much money they’ve raised for the charity.

EC: Well, what happens to NY Line now since we’re seeing the end of the Star Wars films?

AS: Well, I mean we kind of only exist to do this but our community is strong everybody has a great time here and so we keep in touch afterwards, we have message boards on our website and everybody keeps in touch, it’s a family now, when you spend 19 days out on a line with someone on the sidewalk you get to know them pretty well.

EC: How do you think this turned out?

AS: It was great it was phenomenal, we’ve never done as well as we have this time as far as just on a grand scale of things we have the Geek Squad and they brought their Death Star bus out here and then the fundraising most importantly we’ve raised more money than we ever have before.

EC: Have you seen the film yet?

AS: No, I have not seen it yet I would not see it without my people

EC: Are you excited?

AS: I’m psyched

EC: Do you collect any Star Wars memorabilia?

AS: I am not a huge collector but I collect things that means something to me usually its stuff related to the line or just stuff that I pick up that remind me of something, or my friends give me something, stuff like that.

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Freddie Cuspo

Brooklyn, NY

Fan

EC: Are you excited about the film?

FC: I’m very excited, I’ve seen it already though but I’m still very, very excited.

EC: A lot of people are really upset that this is the last one what’s your feeling on that?

FC: After I saw the movie for the first time I was very, very sad the next day I woke up, felt like it was all over, this movie was definitely very good. One of the best that was made and it’s just sad to see a saga like this end.

EC: Out of the six would you say this was the best one?

The top two

EC: Are you a collector of Star Wars memorabilia?

FC: I have a few stuff that I have collected but its not the majority

EC: Which is your favorite character?

FC: Luke Skywalker and R2D2

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Steve Lorenzo

Sunnyside, NY

Organizer from NY Line

EC: Tell me a little about the foundation you guys are raising money for?

SL: The Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation is dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously and terminally ill children, they are an international organization with the NY based chapter that serves NY, NJ and CT for all three of the Star wars prequels NY Line has chosen starlight as our beneficiary.

EC: So what’s going to happen now, since this is the last movie?

SL: We’re gonna go in hopefully enjoy the hell out of it and then its back to real life whatever that may be.

EC: So how excited are you?

SL: Can’t even begin to put a gauge on it.

EC: How sad are you being that it’s the last one?

SL: Its gonna be a real bittersweet evening, we’ve been doing this for six years, we have friends here who have come from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, people come up from Brazil its one huge Star Wars family and tonight is the end.

EC: Who’s your favorite character in the movie?

SL: Oh, I don’t play favorites um…I just enjoy the films as a whole and it’s gonna be nice having this final piece of the puzzle put into place.

EC: Are you a collector?

SL: I collect mostly the paper materials, books, magazines…although over the years I’ve accumulated a few toys here and there from people who’ve known about my obsession.

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Dave Creighton

Lindon, N.J.

Organizer from NY Line

EC: Tell me a little about your involvement with The Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation?

DC: We’re involved with their fun center program which is for hospitals it’s a facility with video games and movies that can wheel into the beds.

EC: How long have you guys been involved with them?

DC: Actually that was our charity in 1999, 2002 and it’s our charity again this year.

EC: How excited are you to see the midnight screening?

DC: Um…I would say pretty damn excited…you know we’ve been working so hard for this, we’ve been working for over a year and a half to put this all together, I’m gonna break into tears now just thinking about what we’ve done. I’m pretty sure we’ve surpassed our goal for money for Starlight um…with the auction just with what we’ve organized here on the line and the people, we have people from nine different countries here, from all over the United States…

EC: So what happens with NY Line now that Star Wars is over?

DC: Um…our website will be up for a while indefinitely…I mean we’re still all friends likely we may not want to see each other for a couple of weeks…cause we’re sick of each other (laughs).

EC: Now how long has everyone been standing out here?

DC: Today or just for the line?...for the line we’ve been here since April 30 th…

EC: April 30th?

DC: Yep, for two weeks we’ve been 24hours round the clock.

EC: Are you a collector?

DC: I have a lot of stuff from…I can’t even say my childhood, I was a teenager when Star Wars came out…but yeah everybody I think has some stuff that’s near and dear to them.

EC: Who’s your favorite character?

DC: I like Yoda pretty much I think he’s pretty cool, I always thought he was pretty cool, I got this hat in 1980 or 1983 I found it and ever since I saw his moves in “Attack of Clones” I realized I’m backing the right person.

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Tom O’Connell

DeerPark, LI

NY Line Member

EC: What are you feelings on the last Star Wars film?

TO: I’m really excited and really sad…sad because you have like nothing more to look forward to in between, when they were making the new movies you were like “Oh, can’t wait for the next one, can’t wait for the next one,” now it’s the last one and there’s nothing really out there…I know he’s making two tv series but its not the same as this whole line experience waiting for the movie to come out.

EC: How long have you been a member of NY Line?

TO: I’m a new member this year. My first shift was May 6 th and I was here like five times, six times already waiting for like almost 10 hours…almost 10 hours a day.

EC: Who is your favorite character?

TO: I would have to say Anakin, the whole Anakin, Darth Vader like being that he’s one and the same I love the transition and then him finally redeeming himself in the end.

EC: Are you a collector?

TO: Yes I am, I collect mainly the action figures, I have almost every light saber from the recent movies that have come out…um…like I was always a fan but I never truly started until I actually got a job but now that I have money I can actually start buying stuff.

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Lauren Kent

Manhattan, NY

NY Line Staff/Member

EC: Are you a member of NY Line?

LK: Yep, I was a member of the last line and I joined Staff for this line, so I’ve been busy.

EC: Did you see the film already?

LK: Yeah, I saw it two weeks ago at the exhibitors screening.

EC: How was it?

LK: It was fantastic, I loved it.

EC: Since you’ve seen it I have to ask, which one of the six is better?

LK: Out of all six still Empire for me but this may be second if it’s not second it’s definitely third.

EC:  would imagine there’s a bittersweet feeling about this being the last film?

LK: Yeah, all good things have to come to an end and I’m glad that we could end on a high note rather than having it go on and on like other franchises…it’s alright, we’ll manage.

EC: Are you a collector?

LK: Not a whole lot, no.

EC: So you’re just a big Star Wars fan

LK: Yeah, totally.

EC: Who’s your favorite character?

LK: Leia

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Nova Darklighter

New York, NY

NY Line Member

EC: How do you feel about this being the last film?

ND: Its not like its gonna go away cause I’ll keep watching them anyway and they’ll re-do them and its ok he can change them a little here and there I don’t mind and he can add more footage that’ll make me happy, then I can wait for the DVD and they’ll be more on it.

EC: How long have you been a member?

ND: I did the last line and now this one, the first one I didn’t have internet access so I didn’t know about it and I’ve been here since April 30 th off and on.

EC: Are you a collector?

ND: Some, I mean it’s not a huge, huge collection I’m kind of a magpie collector if it catches my eye I buy it. I generally will buy anything that’s Jedi.

EC: Favorite character?

ND: Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan, Darth Vader

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