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Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 21:46 GMT 22:46 UK
Will you skip work to see Star Wars?
Almost three million Star Wars fans in the US could skip work when the new film comes out because they want to get to the first screenings.

Hundreds of fans are already queuing outside cinemas across the US, with the first line forming in January.

But employment firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, says those who take time off work to see the film could cost US businesses $319m (218m).

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones arrives in the cinema in many countries on the morning of Thursday, 16 May.

Fans are hoping it will improve on the last Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace, which was widely regarded as a disappointment.

Did you take time off for the first Star Wars prequel in 1999? And will you be among those taking time off to watch the film on 16 May?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

I think that anyone who skips work to see the movie Star Wars should be fired.....on the grounds of bad taste.
Mark, USA

I love it when a new Star Wars film comes out. It's just great fun watching all the geeks get excited! If this one is anything like "The Phantom Menace", then there will be a lot of disappointed train-spotter types out there, clutching their P45s. Not that I've seen any Star Wars films you understand......
SS, England

May the Force be With You!

Darth, Cowdenbeath, Macau
I travelled from Scotland to LA for the release of Episode I and it was a tremendous experience. I'm only sorry I couldn't make it this time. The only travelling I'm doing for it this time is to Hong Kong to see it "locally". Yes, it's all rather sad from one perspective but it's an expression of the idea that life is full of wonder. Star Wars, even in its darkest hour, has always brought that hope. May the Force be With You!
Darth, Cowdenbeath, Macau

A friend offered me an advance ticket to see the movie on its opening day. I'll take him up on his generous offer, but I'm more than a little apprehensive. First, of all, the previous movie was terrible. But more significantly, I live in Silicon Valley - "Ground Zero" for Star Wars worship. Lord only knows what kind of freaks I'll encounter at the theatre.
Lawrence, Mountain View, CA

I don't need to take the day off - we've got a company trip to the cinema already booked!

Can't they just book a seat like the rest of us?

Andrew, UK
I love Star Wars, I really want to see Part 2, but I'm not stupid enough to queue for days outside a cinema..... Can't they just book a seat like the rest of us?
Andrew, UK

I won't skip work, nor take time off, nor queue up - I'll just wait until it comes on the telly.
Colin Basham, Germany

For heaven's's a film!
Greg B, UK

I shall be going to see this film, but won't waste my time queuing. What worries me more is priorities, the fact that some people would rather give up the time they spend in a queue for the chance to say that they saw it a couple of hours earlier. How someone can call the chance to see the film 'a dream come true' is scary and maybe an indication of a rather limited set of dreams. If you want to be really purist you'll have to go and see the film abroad. The BBFC have removed a head butt from the British version.
Andrew Lockhart, England

I had the cinema to myself last time

Rob Barrow, UK
I took the day off work for Episode I, I'm off next Thursday for Episode II and if I knew the release date for Episode III then I'd be booking the day off for that too. I don't need to queue round the block - I had the cinema to myself last time - even got my photo in the local paper. I try not to do too many sad things (now that I'm nearly 30 years old) but Star Wars is always an exception.
Rob Barrow, UK

I have VIP tickets to one of the UK premiers at 7:30pm on Wednesday May 15th so queuing doesn't bother me. But I am baffled why people would queue for so long, why don't they just book the tickets on the internet? Seems like attention seeking to me, pure and simple.
Ryan Spooner, England

The reason for the queuing is not for the ticket, but that a lot of cinemas here are general admission. You get a ticket for a certain showing but queue for a good seat. The waiting in line will be fun, lots of buzz, anticipation and comeradery. I have my ticket for 12:01am.
Happy Queuer, Brit in USA

I can't take the day off work as I am a teacher, much as I would like to. I booked my tickets by phone 3 weeks ago very easily for Friday 17th. There were still seats available for the first performance. There is a lot of hype - within a week you'll be able to see it whenever and wherever for the entire summer!
Laura Homer, UK

Let's not get too steamed up about it, just relax, watch the film and smear a King Cone all over your face.

Dom, UK
Ah, the summer of '77. I remember the queue at my local Odeon the week Star Wars was released. I remember joining it with my parents and waiting what seemed like hours before we got to our seats. And the anticipation didn't end there. There were the ads, the trailers, the B-feature, the break for the ice-cream girls, and strangely, the glitterball that appeared from the ceiling spreading a mosaic of light around the cavernous room. Eventually the film started. I was hooked from the minute "A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away..." hit the screen. It was a magical, enthralling and thoroughly enjoyable yarn. And it's one of the fondest memories I have of my childhood. I can't be bothered queuing to see it these days, but I can understand why many people out there want to relive that experience. It isn't something we should take all that seriously. It should be enjoyed, it's a chance for us all to return to our childhood, to live as an innocent little kiddy for a few hours! I can't see that being anything but a healthy, fun and intelligent thing to do. Let's not get too steamed up about it, just relax, watch the film and smear a King Cone all over your face.
Dom, UK

For many, any new Star Wars experience is as profound a ceremony as is found in some religions. It is something that takes you out of your everyday environment and nurtures your imagination as well as your soul. I will be skipping work, I will be checking out from reality, clothing myself in hooded cloak, brandishing my toy light sabre and meeting with others who need no words from me to describe the feeling shared. May the force be with you. All of you.
Gavin Cunningham, UK

Wait in line we shall
Yoda, The Force

Every Star Wars fan in this country is very aware of their ticket purchasing and movie viewing options. Why judge how others choose to spend their time and money? What's wrong with standing in line with some other folks that share your interests? I didn't take time off in 1999. I got to the office. Sat there for 10 minutes, then went straight to my VP's office and said "I'm going to see Star Wars, I'll be back in 3 hours". This time around, I already have the day off. I'm 30, and the chance to see The Clone Wars is in fact a life long dream come true. Judge all you want.
Terri, USA

I have got better things to do, like revision for my exams later this month. The film will be around in cinemas for at least 8 weeks and that is plenty of time for everyone to see it.
Helen, UK

There are far worse things people could be spending their time and money on.

Ian, UK
What a load of very rude people post on to this website. Why shouldn't people queue up to be first to see a much anticipated film if they want to? The Star Wars films are great fun and there are far worse things people could be spending their time and money on. If you don't like them, go and do something else instead and stop whinging! Read a book maybe?
Ian, UK

People need an excuse to skip work ?
Alex Keenleyside, England

I'm a huge fan of the Star Wars films. I have to say that queuing up to see a film that will be shown several times a day in cinemas all over the world in most countries for a number of months is a ridiculous idea. You could still be the first in the door if you book your ticket off the Internet. I'm planning to see the film on the Friday after its release and will be taking the day off work to see it with some friends - should round the week off really well! The only thing worth queuing outside for would be a Van Halen re-union concert with David Lee Roth returning to the band. But again, tickets would be available on the Internet.
Richard Allen, UK

Star Wars has moved from being a labour of love to being a corporate driven saccharine lump of boring eye candy. I won't be seeing the next one.
Leon, Ireland

Why not book over the phone and turn up ten minutes before the film?

KM Orton, UK
Queuing for anything is rather dated. Why not book over the phone and turn up ten minutes before the film instead of 10 days? The attraction to seeing any performance on the first night is not to be the first to see it, but to avoid weeks of people telling you how bad it actually was before you see it and make up your own mind.
KM Orton, UK

To say you're not going to see episode 2 because episode 1 wasn't what you thought it would be seems somewhat dumb to me. LOTR was an excellent film - what if it's the other way round and the next one isn't that good?
Bob, UK

Why not? If people are taking time off to watch football, then other anoraks can take time off to watch Star Wars.
Ian, UK

Brian, UK

Anything that is so popular will generate its critics

Michael, UK
I can understand why some people hate Star Wars. Anything that is so popular will generate its critics. I have been a fan all my life and cannot wait for May 16. I have already booked tickets for it and am looking forward to it. It is just pure escapism with no real political agenda. It's a great way to relax that doesn't involve anyone being harmed. I think the critics need to chill and admit that they actually enjoy it. We all know it will be better than Episode 1
Michael, UK

I did not take off time from work in 1999 to see this film but I did see it pretty quickly. I was quite disappointed and despite the positive feedback so far, I think I'm going to wait a while until I see AOTC. I can't help but feel this is being hyped yet again.
Martha, USA

With the advantage of time zone, finally we get to see a major movie before everyone else can ruin it for us. I will be seeing the 12:00am showing on May 16th.
Kristian, Australia

I am always fond of Star Wars; it was one of my first movies @ the cinemas; I was with my father waiting in queue; the long queue, the wasted valuable time we have lost that day; my father died in 1996; I will wait in queue to see Episode II: I am trying to relive what was a defining moment of my life. I was with may father.
Giao Pham, USA

People will skive off work and take days off to watch the world cup. You have football - we have Star Wars - each to their own! I feel ours is a hell of a lot more entertaining!
Bruce Elrick, Scotland

If I go to work as normal on May 16th can I instead take time off in December when Star Trek: Nemesis is released?
Paul, UK

Stop all the grumbling. Just go and see the film

Hannibal Smith, United Kingdom
Stop all the grumbling. Just go and see the film. Don't judge it by its predecessor, don't compare it with whatever else is about at the moment, just try and appreciate the immense amount of work that goes into a project like Star Wars Episode 2.
Hannibal Smith, United Kingdom

I rather wait for it to come on DVD.
George Nipah, England

I don't understand why people are queuing for tickets! I bought mine the other night at the box office when I went to see another film.
Dean Longley, UK

It's funny to read the comments, people telling other to grow up... come on it's only a bit of fun, if that's what they are into let them be, it could be a lot worse they could be soccer hooligans...
De Venture, UK

What is the rush for?

Kent Whiteside, Canada
I really want to see this movie but I can wait a week or two. What is the big deal to see it on the opening night anyways? Do they cut scenes out the longer the film is in theatres? Come on, it will be the same film from the first day to the time it comes out on DVD. What is the rush for? Enjoy it anyways.
Kent Whiteside, Canada

I've already got my ticket for Episode II. I am keeping an open mind about the quality of this instalment. Whatever the outcome, it will have been a wonderful day out. There is nothing better than sitting in a full cinema surrounded by like-minded people. Popcorn, friends and a visual delight. It is escapism at its most pure!! It puts everything in perspective.
Emma Jones, UK

People are just taking Star Wars too seriously. Don't get me wrong, they are good films except the last one, but no need to go crazy over them is there?
Abas, UK

It's therefore doubtful that I'll see it at all

Daniel J. Hamlow, USA
I grew up with the original trilogy, and seeing the racist Phantom Menace was like a kick in the stomach. My enthusiasm for Attack of the Clones, coupled with the cameos by members of N-Sync in the movie, has therefore been diminished. It's therefore doubtful that I'll see it at all, let alone on opening day. Skip work for it? Never. Now if it was a Doctor Who or Red Dwarf movie, that would be different.
Daniel J. Hamlow, USA

I remember the great Alec Guiness telling Michael Parkinson that although Star Wars made him famous and rich he thought it was trivial rubbish.
Brian Clowes, Wales, UK

Hey, there are worse things you could be addicted to. And no matter what people say, Star Wars is Star Wars.

Looking around the online reviews consensus seems to be that this may well be the best Star Wars yet. Queuing to see a movie is part of the fun for a fan. It's no different than queuing to see a football match.
Dave T, UK

Forget about Episode 2 after Episode 1 - why bother, just wait for Spiderman to swing into the cinemas and then episode 2 will be nothing but a distant memory. And this is from a guy who watched Episode 1 3 times the day it came out.
Dave, England

What's Star Wars?
Richard, UK

People in the United States are easily herded like sheep by the entertainment industry

S. Donnelly, USA
People in the United States are easily herded like sheep by the entertainment industry. They are told what to listen to, what to watch, what to wear, etc. It is sad...I do not support this behaviour...It is all for the almighty dollar...Who cares if you saw it first or if you saw it at all for that matter? All the movies like Star wars are concentrating on the special effects (which are not so special) and not on the story. I probably won't see it until it is on video and even then I may not see it.
S. Donnelly, USA

I already know the outcome!
Darth Sidious, Corusant

Queuing for Star Wars? Sad people.
Tony, UK

I have booked my tickets for opening night at Odeon Leicester Square, like many others. Can't they pre-book tickets in the states? Why queue in this country?
Simon, UK

I never go to see any film the day it's released for the simple reason I hate being overcharged to squash into an undersized seat in a packed cinema trying to watch the movie over the usual rabble of chattering kids and the inconsiderate goons who don't turn off their mobile phones. Anyone seriously considering doing a sickie to see it needs to grow it and get a grip.
John B, UK

I begin lining up for Episode 3 on June 5 if anyone would like to join me.
Fred, Lichtenstein

A 90-minute advert for toys aimed at 10-year-olds.

Steven Roelofs, Chicago
One look at the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi and I realized that the Star Wars "franchise" had turned into nothing more than a 90-minute advert for toys aimed at 10-year-olds. I didn't bother with Phantom Menace and I won't bother with this one either. A real shame considering that the first movie was one that both adults and children could enjoy. I'll save my money (and time) for the follow-up to Lord of the Rings, thank you. A far, far more interesting film.
Steven Roelofs, Chicago, USA

The last Star Wars movie was so disappointing that I can't imagine taking a day off work to go see Episode II. However, I will seriously consider doing so for the other "episode 2" due for release in December...the Force may not be with me, but Frodo lives!
Cory N., Oregon, USA

As the Star wars release is a worldwide release on the 16th May, I am flying to Australia to see it as they will be the first ones to see it.
Ean McMinnis, England

Being a big Star Wars fan, I am keen to see it over the first weekend of release, before everyone starts talking about it. I agree that the last one wasn't as great, but hey, it's all good clean fun! How many movies have captured the imagination of so many and spanned 25 years - but still don't appear dated? For those who think it's rubbish - here's the answer - don't go and see it and leave plenty space for the real fans!
Susan Thomson, Scotland

We are giving our staff the day off on May 16th

Stewart Gilray, UK
As the boss of a Video games developer, I'd like to say that since most of our staff are in that early thirty somethings bracket that love Star Wars, we are giving our staff the day off on May 16th to go and see the film, we've even bought some of them tickets for the 00:05 showing.
Stewart Gilray, UK

I for one will not be queuing to see a film that cost more to make than the majority of third world countries make in an entire year. What kind of sense is there when we waste money on something for 'entertainment' when there are millions starving in this world! Don't get me wrong I don't disagree in having a bit of entertainment in life but when so much money could be used for much better things, that's when you have to question the morals of society or more to the point Hollywood.
Mike Silver, UK

I'll go and see it, but I'll wait until the weekend. I saw Episode 1 barely two days after it opened, without queuing, and in a cinema less than two thirds full. It'll probably be the same this time around. And people complaining that Star Wars fans should grow up: to you I ask - why? What's wrong with a little escapism? The real world's not exactly peachy at the moment, so why not spend a couple of hours in a galaxy far, far away?
Anthony M, UK

I would only take the day off to see England play in the world cup.
kc, UK

The last time I queued or bought tickets well in advance for a huge film like Star Wars (I was 6), it was a "free-seating" showing and I got the last seat in the front row about an inch away from the emergency exit sitting next to a large man with a very obvious body-odour problem. On balance, it's not worth the hassle - I'll go watch when all nerds have gone back home again.
James Tandy, UK

Why are those Americans even queuing? Don't they have advance bookings? I booked the day tickets went on sale, for the first UK showing at Leicester Square. I'm open-minded about how good it'll be, but some people are just far too pessimistic. The Phantom Menace was no worse that most action films. Also, the titles are intentionally cheesy, so get over it.
Alan, UK

Anyone who phones in sick just to get to the cinema needs to grow up.

SDH, England
No, I shan't be queuing to see it. I'll wait a few days until they've died down and after I've had a chance to read some reviews. I'm certainly not going to be taking time off work to see it, and anyone who phones in sick just to get to the cinema needs to grow up. It's only a film.
SDH, England

It was a remarkable formula: infantile storyline, fantastic special effects, and a sprinkling of good actors to carry the enthusiastic amateurs. It's looking very tired and self-indulgent now and I don't understand how anyone takes it so seriously. Passable entertainment for a very wet and sleepy Monday, but pre-booked - life's too short!
Andrew, UK

I totally agree with Simon Dunsby, I couldn't even get a third the way through the last one, they've totally spoiled the magic that the first three held for me, sorry I have absolutely no interest in seeing this one, I'm over it.
J Chamberlain, England

I'm not going to see it at all. Episode 1 was appalling, and ruined the mysticism surrounding The Force, thereby spoiling enjoyment of the Star Wars, Empire and Return of the Jedi.
Simon Dunsby, UK

You either love Star Wars or you hate it

Mick Ayling, UK
I've booked my tickets and will be there in Leicester Square on the first night. This is one of the Marmite discussions - you either love Star Wars or you hate it, there is seldom a middle ground. A lot of people say they are disappointed by The Phantom Menace and Return of the Jedi, but I think we have to keep one things in perspective: these are kids films, what do their target audience think of them. If you want depth in your movies, maybe Star Wars never was for you.
Mick Ayling, UK

Sure, I'll go and see it. But I'll just wait until the queues have died down, and laugh at everyone who got mauled in the crush.
Chris Turner, UK

There are enough wars in this world without queuing for days to witness even more wars outside this planet!
Briah Hodgkins, Spain

I queued for four hours outside Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, to see Episode 1 even though I had a ticket for the opening day! If it was not for my commitments I would do just the same this time. Roll on 16 May.
Phil 'Star Wars' Harrison, England

They will just depress everyone for weeks, pointing out plot errors and technical mistakes

Paul Steven, Scotland
Attack of the Drones - the constant harping on about this movie release by sad anoraks who think anyone else gives a damn. If they call in sick, I say sack 'em! They will just see it and then depress the hell out of everyone else for weeks, pointing out plot errors, historical inconsistencies and technical mistakes, while carping that it isn't as good as the originals!
Paul Steven, Scotland

Why waste your time on this infantile gibberish? I have long since learned that any film costing more than $20 million is just a criminal theft of two hours of my life. Lucas and Spielberg have dumbed down cinema so much that any film director in touch with their inner adult should hailed as a saint.
Mark, UK

He's got us hooked, simple as that

Joseph, England
I'm fairly sure that the new film will be better than the last one, but still a pale imitation of the original trilogy, but Star Wars is far too big a part of my childhood for me not to go and see it. He's got us hooked, simple as that.
Joseph, England

The title: Attack of The Clones, has an unimaginative and dated 1950s ring to it, which doesn't bode well for the content. I hope the Star Wars fans aren't in for another disappointment. I shan't be bothering to watch it, but I'll read the reviews with interest.
Chris B, England

Already have taken the day off. By coincidence, seeing it twice on the opening day!
Mat Allen, UK

The Star Wars series took itself far too seriously during its original incarnation, and it seems to be doing just the same now. I just hope Mel Brookes is going to write a Spaceballs sequel, to put things firmly back in perspective.
David Hazel, UK

Queue? I've booked the tickets over the phone for 16 May. I'll turn up, insert my card, collect my tickets and take a seat. Simple.
Rob, England

I have booked my ticket already, but I'm not getting too excited, the last Star Wars movie was a huge disappointment.
Christian McGettigan, Bristol, England

It's every Jedi knight's duty to skip work

David LJ,
Isle of Man, UK
It's every Jedi knight's duty to skip work and praise the latest testament of the Star Wars saga - may the force be with you!
David LJ, Isle of Man, UK

I have two words for anybody over 12 who queues to watch the movie: GROW UP. As for people who say "May the force be with you," they should be locked up in a mental institution forever for being so abnormally stupid.
Toni, UK

I wouldn't spend five minutes queuing for it. The last two Star Wars films have been rubbish.
Dougal McKinnon, UK

Thank you Andy from the Netherlands, who is the only one on here who seems to recognise what Star Wars is actually about. Why is it that everyone feels they have to be a complete Star Wars nerd or else be immensely critical of the whole concept? People are becoming too cynical for their own good. Like Andy says, Stars Wars is of a particular generation - for those in that generation it is a story, a concept, an escape from reality that means a lot. Critics will never be happy.
Alan, UK

We'll love it anyway, simply because it's Star Wars

Andy, Netherlands
Of course, of course. This is Star Wars we're talking about. I know a great many people of around my age, for whom the Star Wars movies have been a defining theme throughout their lives. Whatever any critics may have thought about Phantom Menace, we won't care - we'll love it anyway, simply because it's Star Wars.
Andy, Netherlands

See also:

02 May 02 | Film
Firms fear Star Wars 'virus'
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