WASHINGTON -- April 29 -- The Washington, D.C. premiere of the eagerly anticipated Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith will be held in the nation's capital May 12 at a charity event benefiting the Children's Defense Fund. The final episode of the six-part saga will be screened at the Loews Cineplex Uptown Theatre. The movie will be released worldwide on May 19.
Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the original Star Wars movie, will walk the red carpet along with CDF founder and chief executive officer Marian Wright Edelman, members of Congress, local elected officials and other distinguished VIPs. Two Star Wars fan groups, the Southwest Elite and the 501st Old Line Garrison, will add excitement to the event by appearing in their impressive Star Wars costumes.
George Lucas has a tradition of arranging charity premieres to raise critical funds and awareness for issues affecting children and families. On the same night that the movie is shown in Northwest Washington, nine other Star Wars charity benefit premieres across the nation also will be held to aid children's health, education and advocacy groups.
"These charitable organizations are the leaders in direct services and advocacy for children and families," said Lucas. "I'm delighted that the screenings can help these amazing organizations, which do such important work."
CDF was launched in 1973 -- the same year Lucas directed his breakthrough film, American Graffiti, and four years before he made Hollywood history with the first Star Wars release. The Star Wars series has grossed an astonishing $3.4 billion at the box office worldwide.
The funds raised at the Washington, D.C. event will go toward advocacy, research and education, with emphasis on the needs of poor and minority children and those with disabilities. CDF fights to ensure that all children will one day have health care, Head Start and a quality education, and to give their parents access to affordable child care.
"We are honored that Lucasfilm has chosen CDF to benefit from the Washington premiere of this highly anticipated Star Wars movie event," said Edelman. "The work we do on behalf of America's most vulnerable children is serious business, but we are glad our supporters will enjoy a memorable evening of exhilarating storytelling at the premiere. The Force will be with us as we work to truly leave no child behind."
The benefit premiere and a VIP pre-screening reception at the Kennedy-Warren are presented by the Freddie Mac Foundation with major support from Cingular Wireless and Discovery Communications. About 125 disadvantaged children have been selected for free admission to this cinema spectacular.
Maxine B. Baker, president and CEO of the Freddie Mac Foundation, said she hopes the foundation's sponsorship strengthens CDF. "The Children's Defense Fund ensures even our nation's tiniest voices are heard -- especially by adults. At the Freddie Mac Foundation, we too care about the plight of our nation's children and are proud supporters of CDF's work," she said. "By sponsoring the Star Wars premiere, we are helping CDF's voice grow stronger, clearer and more effective so that more children face a brighter future."
The premiere screening will begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 12, at the Loews Cineplex Uptown Theatre, 3426 Connecticut Ave. NW. The theatre is located one block south of the Cleveland Park station on the Metro Red Line. General admission tickets are available for $250, VIP tickets are $500, and corporate sponsorship packages are available. To purchase tickets, call 202-662-3514.
The Children's Defense Fund's Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.