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Star Wars Experience – Star Wars and the City - Paris, France
by Joris De Smet

May 18, 2005
     Paris … it’s one of the most impressive European cities all around and certainly worth visiting if you happen to be in the neighborhood. It’s a good place to go, even if you're not in the neighborhood, actually … It has been called the City of Light and the City of Love and those knowing what I'm talking about will acknowledge Paris lives up to its reputation.

     May 18th 2005, Paris was also the City of Star Wars for one day. The long wait for the final Episode finally came to an end …

What? Oh! … Yes, indeed, Episode 3 was released May 18th in France and not May 19th; the French would be pretty much the first ones on the globe to see it in the theatres.

     I was lucky enough to be in Paris at the time and I certainly wouldn't want to keep from sharing the experience with you. In the end, it’s probably not going to happen ever again that Paris “dresses up” for the Revenge of the Sith … or another Star Wars movie if we can believe the Maker, for that matter.

     The day before, the Maker, George Lucas and the cast of Episode 3 had made their attendance at the Cannes festival. It was obvious that the Lord of the Films felt content being there to present the last chapter in the Prequel Trilogy. Star Wars was finally finished and canned. Of course, there was the necessary ado about George’s visit to Cannes on the French television; the item even made it to the news.

     The day after my wife and I hit the streets and … Star Wars was really literally everywhere! Every second billboard throughout the entire city would advertise the new Star Wars Episode! And believe me, that’s a whole lot of billboards! It was impossible not to think of Star Wars that day.

     If that wasn't catching your attention, public transportation had turned a number of the busses into real “Sith Mobiles” … I'm pretty sure they put the most violent drivers behind the steering wheels of those busses.

     As if it had to happen this way, the ads Force-guided me to the Gaumont theatre on the famous Avenue de Champs Elysées … of course, we bought tickets for the next screening and watched the final chapter still that same day, well before most other fans elsewhere in the world.

     Around that time, the city hosted the first ever official Star Wars Convention in France as well, but you can read all about that event in another Star Wars Experience hosted here at Jedi Temple Archives …

     I went to bed a happy fan that night.

     The next day, it all went away as smoothly as it had come … most of the billboards seemed to have changed posters overnight, already pointing the moviegoer to the next theatre event … ah, Paris! Still all about excitement, memories and melancholy; in time, just the pace has quickened.

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