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Interview with Josh Cottingham, 'Star Wars' Fan

Aired May 16, 2002 - 13:44   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Camping out to see the "Attack of the Clones" -- not all that uncommon. We have been seeing guys do it all across the country. But what about waiting in line for 700 hours straight? That's right. Josh Cottingham did just that. He joins us now from Los Angeles to tell us whether or not it was all worth it.

Josh, how is it going?

JOSH COTTINGHAM, "STAR WARS" FAN: It's all right.

HARRIS: OK. Is that what you have to say about the movie too?

COTTINGHAM: Oh, no -- actually, the movie is better than all right.

HARRIS: Oh yes?

COTTINGHAM: Yes. It is phenomenal.

HARRIS: Was it worth waiting in line for 700 hours?

COTTINGHAM: You know, the line itself was worth waiting in line for 700 hours, because we had so much fun out there, and the sense of camaraderie was so just thick, it was really, really cool. The movie...

HARRIS: Now you say -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

COTTINGHAM: The movie itself was just the icing on the cake. It was absolutely awesome.

HARRIS: No kidding. You see, I have been hearing mixed reviews in the few short hours after the movie has actually been out and been seen by some people. Now, you said "we," first of all. How many people we with you waiting in line for 700 hours?

COTTINGHAM: There were 130 of us logging hours, clocking in and out, coming and going. At any given time, there could be between a dozen and 50 people out there. Obviously, on the last couple of nights, there were nearing a hundred, couple hundred. Towards the end, there were almost a thousand of us out there. It was really, really fun, just a fun time, like summer camp for adults.

HARRIS: You were supposed to be in school, weren't you? As I understand it, you we supposed to be graduating, right.

COTTINGHAM: Yes, I'm a college student. I took the semester off. I am five units away from my degree. But, I did this back in '99, and I had so much fun when we did it, I had to come back. There was no way I could miss it again.

HARRIS: And your folks didn't try to talk you out of this?

COTTINGHAM: They were so into it. They -- I think they would have disowned me had I not come, because they know how much -- fun I had last time, how much it meant.

HARRIS: That's got to be the biggest news flash I think I have heard today. Your parents were actually into the idea of you sitting out there for 700 hours and passing up graduation?

COTTINGHAM: They visited me seven times, they brought me bottles of water and supplies all the time.

HARRIS: I think I have heard everything now. What's this I'm hearing about you getting a phone call from George Lucas? Don't tell me he called you while you were in line.

Yes, two weeks ago he called the pay phone in line, and we sat and we talked about five minutes. It was really cool.

HARRIS: Wait a second, how did he get the pay phone number?

COTTINGHAM: "Access Hollywood," they set up an interview between the two of us. So he called in, and they had a camera at Skywalker Ranch and camera on us, and split screened it, and we talked. It was really neat.

HARRIS: What did you guys talk about?

COTTINGHAM: Just lines in general, and he compared ours to like waiting in line for rock concert tickets in the 50's, and he wanted to know if we were having fun, and that kind of stuff. It was neat. Very cool.

HARRIS: Yes? I'm assuming you talked about the last "Star Wars" movie. Did you tell him about your standing out there in line for the other one too?

COTTINGHAM: I told him I was in line, but we actually -- I asked him if he thought people who -- the reaction of one guy, it was kind of negative. And I asked him if that affected any decisions he made this time. He was straight forward and said, no, they are pretty much his movies. But after having seen this movie, it was a really good answer, because the movie is really, really good.

HARRIS: All right. Well, give us your critique and your comparison, because I have heard from a lot of folks who are hard core "Star Wars" fans, the last one was sort of a disappointment, what about this one? How would you compare the two? COTTINGHAM: I didn't like "Episode I." I felt it was too much apart from the original trilogy. But after having seen this one, I can tell you, it is back towards that original feeling that the first three movies really gave you, and that sense of adventure. And these movies had -- this movie has it. This movies is everything it is cracked up to be, and more.

HARRIS: Really?

COTTINGHAM: And see it quick, because when word of mouth spreads, you're not going to be able to get in.

HARRIS: All right. Without giving away anything, what was the best part for you?

COTTINGHAM: There is a big battle, and it is really, really cool looking, and it is just really tense, and really fun.

HARRIS: Now, I know the effects are great. What about the story itself, though?

COTTINGHAM: See, the story itself is what hurt "Episode I," I thought. "Episode I" had no real story to me. This is a just -- it is a deep, complex story, and it goes back and forth between characters and there is always something else going on somewhere, and it is just -- it is entertaining. There is no other way to describe it, it is just really entertaining and totally worth your money.

HARRIS: Now, after having spent 700 hours with some of these other nut balls with you in line, did you guys all go in together, or did you finally get a chance to get away from each other?

COTTINGHAM: We all went together. Actually, there were a couple guys filming a documentary about us, starwait.com (ph), and they actually ended up becoming part of our group and camping with us as well. It was just -- once you come down there and hang out with us, you get sucked right in, you are one of us.

HARRIS: You know what, Josh, I will have to take your word for that one. Don't know if I will join you on the next one. Would you do it again?

COTTINGHAM: In a heart beat.

HARRIS: No kidding. Last question here, are you going to graduate or what?

COTTINGHAM: Oh, yes, I'm going back to school this semester. Well, obviously, the summer, and next semester I will finish up.

HARRIS: OK. Josh Cottingham, thank you for your time. May the Force be with you buddy.

COTTINGHAM: You too.

HARRIS: Good grief. Have fun. Take care. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


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