Star Wars Saturday: Preparing for a Movie Marathon

October 19, 2015. I am sitting in my living room trying to secure tickets for the first screenings of The Force Awakens. The websites keep sending me error messages. I'm starting to mildly panic. Earlier that afternoon, I finally figured out which movie theaters in my area were showing the seven-movie Star Wars marathon, and I figured that if I got a ticket, that would be cool, but I wouldn't be distraught if I didn't.

The first showing I secure is a 3D showing at a theater I can't stand - one of those theaters that has dining and makes you choose your seat (the seat of which I chose isn't that great). I make sure I can get a refund if I get a different ticket.

And then it happens. I finally find the website for the movie marathon nearby, and I'm getting through. I put in all my information, wait impatiently, and then boom. They confirm my ticket for December 17!

I'm gleeful. I had already adjusted my work schedule for that day, and now I would be taking advantage of this day off.

So, when do I need to be at the theater?




2:25 am?!?!?!?!

Okay, so this throws off my entire sleep schedule for that day. The confirmation e-mail suggests I arrive 30-45 minutes before showtime. Ha. That's for normal movies. This is Star Wars! I'll probably have to be there a good hour beforehand to ensure a good seat.

My normal movie viewing experience isn't going to work in this instance. I'm going to have to prepare a bit more.

So now I'm training for two Star Wars marathons. The one in January is an actual running half-marathon, but the one in December is a movie marathon. And it's going to take a lot of prep.

1. Clothing

Jeans and a t-shirt aren't going to work when I'm in one theater for 18 hours. I am going to need comfort, especially if I plan on getting any sleep during Attack of the Clones.

I have a really nice pair of sweatpants with a thick liner that will work perfectly. There's elastic, and they fit great. For the night portion of my marathon, I plan on also wearing my stormtrooper pajama pants. I got them for Christmas last year, and they are wonderfully comfortable. This is the perfect time to wear them out in public. (Don't let my sister see that I wrote that.)

I have two Star Wars shirts that are perfect for this occasion. The first is a Rebel Alliance logo shirt, but it's one size too big. This will be great for the night portion. During the hours when I actually should be awake anyway, I can change into my "RUN MORE" shirt that's written in the Star Wars font. Not only is it comfortable and show appreciation for my fandom in a subdued way (the best way, in my opinion), it also implies that, on normal days, I do more than just sit on my butt and watch movies.

Since it's December and it gets pretty cold around here at night, I'll wear good
socks and my comfy winter boots to the theater. However, I will have a backup pair of socks, as well as flip flops to wear in the theater. The worst part of this marathon would be to suffer because I'm overheated.

2. Sustenance

I have a pretty great Contigo plastic water bottle that I will bring into the theater with me. It's important to stay hydrated, even while doing nothing.

I do plan on splurging for movie theater food - something which I never do (just ask my family) - because it's a special occasion. But hopefully the theater will allow me to bring in some healthy food, too, like carrots or apples (in between movies, due to crunchiness) or bananas.

And if a giant bag of my favorite theater candy of all time - Buncha Crunch - gets inside, too, then I'll be one happy camper.

3. Communication

I have already decided that the week The Force Awakens opens, I will be going on a no-technology exile. Considering that a few overseas markets will be seeing the movie before the United States, I can't risk seeing spoilers, even if by mistake.

However, I do plan on tweeting between movie showings (even if I don't check everyone else's updates). I'll be taking notes on pad and paper, too, for a fantastic Star Wars Saturday follow-up article.

I read somewhere they'd be having 1/2 hour breaks in between each movie, which is perfect for bathroom breaks, exercise of some sort, and jotting down some notes about what's happening at the theater. I checked a few days ago - my theater sold out of marathon tickets. It's bound to be quite the experience. (Follow me @CeePipes on Twitter that day!)

4. Seating 

I'm guessing that my early arrival will ensure that I'll get a decent seat. I probably won't get my prime seating location (upper section, front row, right in front of the railing), but my hope is to get an aisle seat, or a seat in the middle. I'm not one of those people who like being in the far back, and I also don't like the idea of craning my neck upwards while in the very front row. I had to do that for The Fellowship of the Ring, and that was enough.

I will definitely be doing some scouting of people waiting for seats. People loudly arguing why the prequels suck? Not sitting by them. Crazy fangirls with which to share my glee? More likely to sit by them. Hipster couple with toddler? Nope. Nope nope nope. Nope times infinity.

5. Sleep

My Christmas break officially starts on Friday, December 18 at noon. My Wednesdays in December are insanely hectic from 8:00 am till 9:00 pm. With both of these things in mind, I am going to try to get a few hours sleep once I get home from my crazy Wednesday, if I can quiet my mind. I'll try to get a few more winks during Attack of the Clones (as previously mentioned) as well as during any break times. I can't fill up too much on pop, since that will increase my bathroom breaks.

I'm sure that I'll be awake enough to watch all of The Force Awakens. I'm not sure, however, how long I'll be up after seeing it. Luckily, I only have a 1/2 day of work the next day (a Christmas party, thank goodness), and then it's the weekend. I'll find ways to get my sleep where I can, but I'm someone who has pulled all-nighters to study and drive and fly (not at the same time), so I'm about 80% sure I can do this with minimal nap breaks.

6. Experience

I find it incredibly neat that I will be watching The Phantom Menace at almost the exact same time of night that I saw it the first time in the theaters. What's even more exciting is the fact that I will be able to watch The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi for the first time on the big screen! I only saw A New Hope when it was re-released in theaters back in 1997, but didn't feel the need to see the other two. Now I can watch it all unfold on a giant screen with surround sound and the musical soundtrack blasting in my face.

Plus, by watching all these movies in such a short amount of time, I hope that I'll be able to pick up a few small details that are carried over into The Force Awakens. Because at the end of the day, that's the movie I'm there to see.

...And I'll be there to see it the next day at 3:00 pm, as well. Because I already got my ticket. Mild panic makes you do crazy things!

I am Claire Nat! I am a teacher and write for I write about anything that interests me - mostly music, Olympics, and fandoms! Follow me @CeePipes or 

More Star Wars articles by Claire Nat:
Fears and Star Wars
Why Star Wars is the Best Trilogy Ever


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