First Annual Line Reunion Party

There wasn’t a Big Mac in sight, but food, folks and fun ruled the day on Saturday, April 29, at the first annual Chicago Force Line Reunion gathering.

We knew we were in solid at Philosofur’s (2833 N. Sheffield, visit often) when we discovered that our bartender Matt was himself a Star Wars fanatic, and could often be spotted drooling over the pile of Star Wars toys we’d brought along to raffle off as prizes for the guests. He and the staff of the bar were hugely supportive and did a great job at keeping us liquidated with soda and beer. (Note to self: $3 Sam Adams are as close to a recipe for happiness as has yet been uncovered).

The crowd was a nice mix of old faces and new. Bob and Chris–#1 and #2 in the McClurg line, respectively–seemed to have survived the year since TPM unscathed. Should you visit the Field Museum, you might run into Bob–he’s currently employed there as a lighting designer. Chris plans to conquer the evil corporate monolith of Starbucks from the inside, one store at a time. Best of luck to him in Boston.

The Dueling Andys engaged an electrifying debate over whether TPM indeed ruled, or sucked. Chad and Amanda represented the Jedi Knights Scooter Club with flying colors, and Katherine represented the whole of Indiana, where we’ve heard there’s more than corn but we won’t believe it until we see it. Big Thom arrived unsure if we were really as insane as we seemed at Capricon–he discovered that yep, we are. All of the usual suspects were also in attendance–former Line Letter scribe Matt Springer, Heather Ast the Darth Jurist herself, Dave Gray (who is simply the MAN), Roman Segal (who is also a MAN) and new recruit Amy Nothelfer, who did stellar work in helping to organize the event and keeping the pizzas fresh and tasty. Even our Fearless Leader and her Even More Fearless Husband, Stephanie and Aaron McCullough, made it to the celebration after spending a long afternoon moving out of their apartment.

Once the party wrapped up at 8 p.m. a smaller crowd moved to the front of Philosofur’s for commiseration, Elvis Costello songs and more beer until around 1 a.m., when visits to Club Foot and Exit rounded out the evening. We closed both bars and the last Chicago Forcers staggered home at 5 a.m., totally partied out and ready to slip into their Jedi jammies for bed.

A BIG thanks to everyone who attended and made our Line Reunion gathering such a big success!

The Phantom Menace video release party

A great time was had by everyone who showed up to the Chicago Force Video Release Party hosted by James (FantmMes). There was an unholy feast of pizza and junk-food spread out for everyone. Long-standing donor (Joe) brought 4 cases of assorted chips. Big Tom provided a VAT of homemade chili-cheese dip. I took 8 pizza’s and a couple cases of ‘DEW.

The Party was almost postponed as, the night before in a terrible mishap, a telephone was accidentally dropped onto the 3rd Laser Disk in the set….cracking it and rendering it unplayable. But who needs to see the last 20 minutes of The Phantom Menace anyway…..right? Well, the person who accidentally broke the disk was immediately banished from the kingdom and told never to return. Next, our resourceful host went out early in the morning and found another (hard to find) copy of The Phantom Menace on Laser Disk. Disaster averted, party saved….The Force Was With Us.

By 4:30 everyone had shown up, we settled in front of James’ massive 64″ Super-Wide-Screen-High-Definition Television and watched the movie in Window-Shattering Earth-Pounding THX theater Surround Sound. Admittedly, a lot less actual watching was done and a whole lot of commentary and speculation was heard. It was virtualy “STAR WARS THEATER 2000″. Everyone on hand seemed to be a hard-core fan…and we all had some very interesting commentary and theories to share. I think every hidden-scene and “Easter-egg.” was revealed. I know I had about 20 missed things pointed out to me…from Ratts Tyerell being hauled away on a stretcher to Obi-Wan casually flipping his lightsaber (like the bad-ass he is) while approaching Darth Maul. I haven’t heard such involved dialogue on the movies since the conversations heard at the front of the line last May.

After the movie was over, we checked out James’ impressive Star Wars collection. I say “impressive” meaning that I haven’t seen a more impressive one since visiting the Star Wars exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute last year in DC.

Well, if this little get-together is any indication of how much fun our Reunion Party is going to be in 2 weeks…then we have a lot to look forward too. Sorry if you missed this one…but I’ll see you in two weeks.