They’ve already started lining up in Los Angeles.

On April 2, “Star Wars” fans started queuing at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in LA for the May 19 midnight premiere of “Revenge of the Sith.” As with past prequel premieres, fans sit in shifts, swapping out with their fellows for matters of work, family, and personal hygiene. Such lines can be expected to pop up in cities around the world in the coming weeks, but the folks from have gotten the ball rolling. They’re also raising money for the Starlight-Starbright Children’s Foundation, which makes it difficult to mock their actions.

Not that many haven’t tried. Ever since “The Phantom Menace” trailers hit, causing fanboys like yours truly to buy tickets to a separate feature solely to catch a glimpse of Darth Maul lighting his double-sided lightsaber, comedians of all stripes have piled on. Of these, the most famous fan-basher was Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. His jabs at “Episode I” campers have become the stuff of legend, and were – admittedly – pretty goddamn funny. The fans themselves seemed to take it all in stride, too, which isn’t difficult to believe, as “Star Wars” fans have been subjected to ridicule for years.

Now, I’m not going to cry about the way fans are portrayed in the media, even though I am one. Face it, a 300-pound guy in a brown robe solemnly describing the Jedi Code (poorly, I might add) is pretty hilarious. Some of us invite this mockery, inadvertently or no, while some of us are so deliberately eccentric we don’t really care. If the opinions of Jay Leno and his ilk bother you, you’d be better off watching Adam Sandler movies, the better to avoid the slings and arrows hurled by the “mundanes.”

But I always wondered: how many of those who enjoy taking easy potshots at the “Star Wars” geeks are sports fans?

Bear with me for a second. Why is it that those of us who might own the odd Han Solo stand-up are lumped into an easily ridiculed category, while those who, say, paint their faces to go to a Buffalo Bills game don’t warrant a second glance?

“Wait a minute, here,” comes the retort, “Those ‘Star Wars’ guys were in line for weeks, if not months, don’t they have jobs?” Well, some probably don’t (at least, not in the 9-to-5 sense), sure, but is that to imply that sports fans never camp out for days to get tickets to games? Moreover, aren’t there those who actually follow their teams throughout the season or travel across the country on a mission to visit every ballpark? Didn’t they make a Visa commercial out of that, in fact?

I’m not talking about the sports fans who play Strat-O-Matic baseball or sign up for four or five rotisserie leagues at a time, for they are of a kind with us. I’m talking about the sports fans that follow the box scores of their favorite teams in much the same way a “Star Wars” fan might wait for the next Republic comic book to come out. I’m talking about the guys who have to watch or tape every one of their favorite team’s ballgames during a season, which is eerily similar to those who behaved identically with regards to “Clone Wars.”

The report continues in part two of THE STAR WARS REPORT: LINE ‘EM UP>>>

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