Sith Hits Benefit Screenings Circuit on May 12

If you’re dying to see George Lucas’ final installment of the Star Wars series and don’t want to be one of super-geeks who have already lined up in front of the theaters weeks before the film’s May 19, LucasFilm and 20th Century Fox are offering you another option. Special screenings have been scheduled for May 12 (yup, that’s a whole week before all your other friends can see it in theaters!) in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., to benefit an assortment of charities.

For example, the L.A. screening at the Mann Village in Westwood will benefit Artists for a new South Africa. Keep in mind that the tickets go for $500 and $1,000. It’s for charity, after all. And sorry, the prices don’t include a night on the town with Natalie Portman! For L.A. ticket info., call (818) 817-2310 or email [email protected].

In other Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith news, it’s official: The movie will have a PG-13 rating. Meanwhile, lucky attendees of this year’s Celebration III on April 23 at the Indiana Convention Center will be able to enjoy a live appearance by the Jedi master himself, George Lucas. The man behind the epic saga will be on hand at 8:45 a.m. for three half-hour Q & A sessions about the making of the Star Wars movies. Rick McCallum, producer of the Star Wars prequels, will also be on hand to answer those tricky fan questions.

Finally, we’re sure you realize that come this summer, you won’t be able to walk into any grocery story or toy ship without running into a slew of Sith-related tie-in toys and merchandising items. We hear Kellogg’s has already started its "Good Morning Goodies" promo push, offering selection of Star Wars cereals, breakfast treats, fruit snacks, cookies and mail-in premiums. That’s right, you can brighten up your Jedi breakfast with items such as the Light-Up Saberspoons, R2-D2 cereal bowls, Star Wars FX Plate and Jedi Mind Game cards. Make sure you check out the special Star Wars-themed Corn Flakes boxes, which contain marshmallows in the shapes of the movie’s popular characters and vehicles. For a fun article about the making of the cool digital characters in the new movie, make sure you check out the June issue of Animation Magazine, which will be out at Barnes and Nobles bookstores the first week in May.