How does one tell, by the mystical signs and mysterious foretellings, that a new "Star Wars" film is approaching as fast as a souped-up U-wing fighter?
One only need look around. Are Yoda-themed memes on the rise? Are cereals, t-shirts, and other product tie-ins appearing in stores? And are devoted fans camping out in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre?
If "yes, yes, and yes" are the answers, then glance in the direction of the Hollywood landmark, where "Star Wars" mavens, many in costume, shall soon begin to line up a few days ahead of the debut of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."
What to do, where to go and what to see
This is the very same good-of-heart group that queued early for all of the past modern-era "Star Wars" films, beginning with "Phantom Menace" in 1999. You've seen them out there, on Hollywood Boulevard, awaiting that first screening? That waiting has an important purpose, beyond being first to catch the fresh flicks.
But it isn't all about sitting around ahead of those first screenings, however. You just might see a light saber showdown near the star-laden sidewalk in front of the world-famous cinema, or a person rocking a full Chewbacca get-up, or a coterie of Storm Troopers.
A costume contest is on the schedule for Thursday, Dec. 15, just hours before the first "Rogue One" screening at 7 o'clock that night.
Yep, that first screening in the IMAX theater is sold out. Or, as Yoda might say, sold out it is. Yoda might also advise buying tickets for such a major cinema extravaganza way in advance, but then again, Yoda truly is wise.
Will there be a wedding this time, as there was in the TCL Chinese Theatre forecourt ahead of 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"? No nuptials are scheduled for this go-around, but one cannot say with 100% confidence that love, or at least friendship, won't bloom in the queue.
After all, helping out the Starlight Children's Foundation while participating in a passionate fandom does have a way of bringing people together.
Want to join in this community-bonding just steps from Hollywood Boulevard? Swing by to thank those camping out for LiningUp.net or donate now, online, and lend your own show of magical, giveback Force.