'Star Wars' celebration in London
LONDON, England -- Jedi knights and other die-hard fans stormed into London for celebrations ahead of the British premiere of the final "Star Wars" movie.
Dozens of fans turned up more than 12 hours early for Monday night's premiere, which director George Lucas and star Ewan McGregor were attending.
"Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith" is the last episode of Lucas' prequel trilogy.
Some of those seeking a prime star-spotting position outside the Odeon cinema in London's Leicester Square dressed up for the occasion as characters from the sci-fi classic.
"Revenge Of The Sith" sees the fall from grace of Anakin Skywalker, an idealistic young Jedi knight who is seduced by the Dark Side of the Force and becomes Darth Vader.
"Episode III is what it's all about, the fall of Anakin Skywalker. It's the main part of Star Wars. That's why we are here, to be part of the day," said Yvonne Horrocks, who arrived at Leicester Square at 7:30 a.m.
Horrocks was dressed as Princess Leia and her husband, Matt, as a Jedi knight in costumes Yvonne Horrocks spent 18 months making.
"It's just fun. It will never happen again so this is a big thing. It's once in a lifetime," Matt Horrocks said.
The day of "Star Wars" celebrations began at 6 a.m. with a dawn parade of the 501st UK Garrison of Storm Troopers.
They were there to open the doors to the world's first showing of the entire six-film "Star Wars" saga at the nearby UCI Empire cinema.
Die-hard fans paid up to £250 ($450) per seat to attend the all-day showing of the series after tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale.
Meanwhile, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was giving two free public performances of the "Star Wars" score in Leicester Square Gardens.
Actors Christopher Lee (Count Dooku) and Anthony Daniels (C3PO) were taking part in public interviews on the stage.
Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine) are also expected at Monday night's premiere. McGregor plays Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi.
As well as the movie marathon, cinemas around Leicester Square were showing individual episodes, with capacity for 10,000 people.
Huge screens were erected to show clips from "Sith," which cost $115 million to make.
The film, one of the most eagerly awaited and widely hyped releases in years, had its red carpet premiere in Cannes on Sunday. (Full story)
Early reviews have been generally positive, arguing that Lucas has redeemed himself after the two previous episodes which were critical, although not commercial, flops.
"Sith" goes on general release in the UK on May 19.