Stars Wars: Revenge of the Sith Premieres in Iraq
|By Sgt. First Class Heatherann Bozeman, AAFES Public Affairs |
BALAD, Iraq – This week, Star Wars fans around the world filled theaters for the premiere of Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith – even those deployed to Iraq.
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s (AAFES’) Sustainer theater in Balad, Iraq ensured that more than a thousand deployed Stars Wars fans didn’t miss out on the long-anticipated premiere of the newest and final episode in the saga (photos available upon request). All of the air conditioned theater’s 740 seats were filled for all three May 19th screenings of the Revenge of the Sith.
Staff Sergeant William Stearns, who grew up watching the Star Wars Epic unfold and dreaming of being in the Army, didn’t want miss the premier of his favorite story nearly 30 years in the making. “It’s my usual day off and I’ve been here since 11:00 to make sure I have a good seat,” said Stearns. “I thought I might miss it being here in Iraq.”
“I got really lucky because today is my day off and we just came off a two-week mission,” said Sgt. Jason Richardson. “It’s great to get a breather and seeing the movie just tops it off. This movie shows that it’s true what they say, [AAFES] goes where we go and they’re holding it down, too.”
Many, like Stearns and Richardson, were anticipating the Revenge of the Sith opening, others just happened to drive up on mission. “We took a four hour convoy from Ramadi last night and being here is like R&R. [They] have a swimming pool, Star Wars premiering and a 24-hour PX,” said Staff Sergeant Joseph Danielson. “You can’t beat it; it’s good for me and these guys.”
Actor Dean Cain, who is touring Iraq to motivate the troops, was also in the audience for the Operation Iraqi Freedom premiere. “The troops deserve to see it here in Iraq,” said Cain. “Seeing the show with them was a surreal experience especially during the fight scenes when the GIs hoot and holler. I think the troops didn’t seem to like the politics, but Yoda kicked ass.”
Throughout the movie the cheers for Yoda and his incredible light saber tactics proved him the undeniable hero of the film.” The crazy sick fights and Yoda were the best,” said Specialist John Delacruz.
LSA Anaconda Balad Commander Col. David Fitzgerald had the last word on the morale benefit first-run films offer deployed troops. “AAFES bringing this to the troops can be summed up in one word, outstanding.”