Local fans of ‘Star Wars’ franchise stoked at premiere of ‘Rogue One’

By Melanie Mizenko - [email protected] | December 15th, 2016 10:21 pm

WILKES-BARRE — Families, friends and other fans of “The Force” came out Thursday evening to Wilkes-Barre Movies 14 to see the newest installment in the “Star Wars” franchise.

“Rogue One” was shown at 7 p.m. to an almost packed theater.

Chris O’Neal, of Wilkes-Barre, brought his daughter, Caroline, 3, to the movie. “I like Luke Skywalker,” Caroline said before going into the auditorium.

O’Neal brought his daughter because he is “a huge Star Wars fan,” and he wanted to see what happens between episodes three and four. “Think of it as ‘Star Wars Episode 3.5,’” O’Neal stressed.

Although promoters say the movie can be appreciated on its own, without having seen any of the other “Star Wars” movies, Luzerne resident Hailey McAdams said she was “amped” for another “Star Wars” film.

Hailey McAdams, 23, and her brother, Robbie, 19, were among the last to be seated before the movie began. The Luzerne siblings had on Christmas sweaters with a Star Wars theme. “We bought our tickets online,” Robbie McAdams said, noting his sister’s work schedule kept her from arriving earlier. “If I had my way, I would have been here hours ago.”

Richard Kraus stood out in his group of friends, as the 16-year-old wore a Chewbacca costume to the premiere.

“I wore this to the premiere last year,” the Shavertown resident said, acknowledging that the tall, furry Wookiee character did not appear not in the new movie. “Who doesn’t love a Wookiee?”

Kraus was in class during the day, he said, but was able to catch 30 minutes of a previous “Star Wars” movie before coming out in the cold. “It’s actually pretty warm (in this costume),” he said, laughing.

The Wookiee-wannabe was out with friends, Riley Green and Dani Mitz. The three of them are self-described “huge fans” of the franchise and were “excited” for the earlier showing of the movie.

“It’s definitely an obsession,” said Green, a Kingston resident.

Mitz, of Bear Creek Township, noted her family is more of a “Star Trek” group of people, but she does “love the ‘Star Wars’ franchise anyway.”

As for keeping all the plot lines correct, O’Neal said, “diehards forget the sequels.”

“Rogue One” arrived in theaters almost a year to the day of the last “Star Wars” franchise movie: “The Force Awakens.”

“The more content, the better,” Green said, offering a plea that writers, producers and directors keep the sci-fi flicks coming “as long as they don’t make sub-par movies.”

O’Neal said “this is set before the one everyone likes.” The movie is billed as a sequel to “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” which came out in 2005, and a prequel to the original “Star Wars” film “Star Wars: A New Hope,” from 1977. “Rogue One” ends as “A New Hope” begins.

Zachary Coy, 10, and his sister, Abby Coy, 8, of Dallas, hold up their tickets to see ‘Rouge One: A Star Wars Story’ before the local premiere Thursday in Wilkes-Barre.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_starwars-2.jpgZachary Coy, 10, and his sister, Abby Coy, 8, of Dallas, hold up their tickets to see ‘Rouge One: A Star Wars Story’ before the local premiere Thursday in Wilkes-Barre. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Chris O’Neal and his daughter, Caroline, 3, of Wilkes-Barre, head to the theater for the first showing of ‘Rouge One’ after making a stop at the snack bar.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_starwars-3.jpgChris O’Neal and his daughter, Caroline, 3, of Wilkes-Barre, head to the theater for the first showing of ‘Rouge One’ after making a stop at the snack bar. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Levi Sunday-Lefkowitz, 16, of Shavertown, talks with his friends before they head into the theater.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_starwars-4.jpgLevi Sunday-Lefkowitz, 16, of Shavertown, talks with his friends before they head into the theater. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Dressed in his Chewbacca attire, Richard Kraus, 16, of Shavertown, hands his ticket to Wilkes-Barre Movies 14 employee Corey Hardick, of Wilkes-Barre.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_starwars-5.jpgDressed in his Chewbacca attire, Richard Kraus, 16, of Shavertown, hands his ticket to Wilkes-Barre Movies 14 employee Corey Hardick, of Wilkes-Barre. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Zachary 10 and his sister Abby Coy, 8 of Dallas hold up their tickets to see Rouge One: A Star Wars Story. Amanda Hrycyna|For Times Leader
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_starwars-6.jpgZachary 10 and his sister Abby Coy, 8 of Dallas hold up their tickets to see Rouge One: A Star Wars Story. Amanda Hrycyna|For Times LeaderAmanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Caroline O’Neal takes a sip from her ‘Rouge One’ cup before the movie.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_starwars-1.jpgCaroline O’Neal takes a sip from her ‘Rouge One’ cup before the movie. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

By Melanie Mizenko

[email protected]

Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko.


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