NYLine: Episode 7

The Line Awakens

Lining Up for Star Wars?

Serving the greater New York "Star Wars" community since 1999, NYLine celebrated the release of the prequel trilogy as a benefit for the Starlight Children's Foundation. Witness how we fulfilled our destinies with a sidewalk line party like no other in the shadow of New York's Ziegfeld theater and relive the days of counting down to the premieres of Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace in 1999, Star Wars: Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones in 2002 and Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith in 2005!

The stars of Star Wars shine down upon the NYLine for their efforts. Can you name them all?

A long time ago on a sidewalk far, far away...

More than a year before the premiere of "Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace," fans from around the world began planning strategies to buy tickets for this event. "Star Wars" fans from Toronto, Los Angeles and Melbourne created CountingDown.com, a web site that provided a meet-up destination for people who wanted to relive (or experience for the first time) the phenomenon of the "Star Wars" ticket line.

A group of New York volunteers came together under the banner of NYLine Countdown, and arranged to hold a line at Manhattan's historic Ziegfeld Theater. In the late '70s and early '80s, people waited for hours—or even days—to secure opening night tickets at the box office. With the advent of telephone and Internet ticketing services, the notion of ticket lines was fast becoming obsolete. As NYLine staff had already negotiated with the Ziegfeld to get its participants' tickets before they went on sale to the general public, the line was more of a symbolic gesture—a chance to celebrate with fellow "Star Wars" fans and to raise money for the Starlight Children's Foundation.

NYLine participants gathered in shifts on the sidewalks of West 54th Street from May 1 through May 19, 1999. In addition to fans from the tri-state area, people from as far away as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands showed up, just to be a part of the opening night "Star Wars" audience in New York City.

From the moment NYLine members cheered as the words "Star Wars" burst on the Ziegfeld's screen, an Episode II line was inevitable. Many familiar faces returned to that same stretch of sidewalk, and more than a handful of new fans showed up for the Episode II line, which ran from April 29 to May 16, 2002. Despite many more cold, rainy shifts than in 1999, nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the opening night crowd.

In 2005, NYLine members and fans worldwide planned one last sidewalk celebration for the release of "Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith", the final installment of the prequel trilogy. Far surpassing its predecessors, this event brought in over $46,000 in donations, with all three line events helping raise nearly $80,000 in charitable contributions for Starlight.

Not bad for a bunch of scruffy looking nerfherders.

What about Episode 7?

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens opens on December 18th, 2015!

There are currently no plans for a fourth line, but as a 900 year old and wizened Jedi master once said, "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future." If nothing else, we are sure that some old friends will get together for a reunion (Don't forget to bring your tauntaun - it'll be cold this time!) and all of this talk of new Star Wars has at least got us to mop up this site and drop a little Episode 7 love in while we were at it. Speaking of such, enjoy the good old days by visiting our fully armed and operational news archives as well as our photo and video galleries.

May the Force be with you!

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