Star Wars Movie News
Star Wars Salute
Hundreds of thousands of spectators bundled up in jackets and blankets lined the streets for the 118th Rose Parade that featured a salute to Star Wars.
The festivities began with a flyover by an Air Force B-2 Stealth bomber, bringing cheers from the fans, and actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth and a dancing troupe rang in the new year with a tribute to this year's parade theme, Our Good Nature.
Among the few first floats, a 13.5-metre-tall Mother Nature was surrounded by animals and scores of live doves were released as it rolled down Colorado Boulevard. Itd was soon followed by Jewels of Nature, a colourful display of butterflies adorned with tulips, daffodils and lilies.
Some fans came to see Grand Marshal George Lucas, the film director, and a three-piece entry called Star Wars Spectacular, including 200 Star Wars stormtroopers led by Darth Vader and two floats depicting the movies' moon of Endor and the garden planet Naboo.
"We've lived here all our lives and never been to the parade. But this year we just gotta see Mr Lucas," said 51-year-old Robin Romero of Hacienda Heights, California, who frequents Star Wars conventions across the country with her husband, Dennis. "This is the 10th time I'll see him (Lucas) in person. It's going to be so cool to see the stormtroopers march."
The parade precedes the Rose Bowl college football game, which this year featured Michigan and Southern California.
The parade featured 45 floats, 22 marching bands and 23 equestrian units. Actor James Garner, Miss America Jennifer Berry and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also made appearances.
It was also the first parade appearance by a group of llamas.
Many parade-goers had spent the night along the route to stake out prime seats as temperatures dipped to five degrees celsius. Afternoon highs were expected to reach 16 to 20 degrees.
Hundreds of volunteers scrambled late yesterday to put the finishing touches on the floats, which must be completely covered by organic material.
"It's about 100 hours of work for about 20 seconds on television," said Diane Garlock, a 59, of Northridge, as she placed roses on a float. "But it's worth it ... the floats just transform before your eyes."
Police said the crowd was generally peaceful, although 18 people were arrested on suspicion of various crimes, including public drunkenness.
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