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As somebody who personally attended one of the full seven movie marathons as part of my first viewing of The Force Awakens, I know exactly what an undertaking that can be. Between the movies, and the line that I stood in to see them, I spent about 24 hours at a movie theater. I can’t really imagine having done any more than that. Somebody did, however. After 46 hours, one man has seen every movie, the Star Wars Holiday Special and The Force Awakens nine times and has emerged as the Ultimate Star Wars Fan.
Jim Braden of Austin, Texas has achieved the title after winning the Alamo Drafthouse’s Star Wars: The Marathon Awakens contest. The contest consisted of five people who attempted to watch the entire Star Wars franchise as a continuous marathon without talking, texting, or sleeping. Braden has now earned a seven-year movie pass to the theater and will have a seat named in his honor. Braden says he still loves the series even after being subjected to it continuously for so long. That is certainly a super fan.
After watching both complete trilogies and the holiday special, the contestants were then shown The Force Awakens on a continuous loop until a winner was crowned. That’s nearly a full day of simply watching that movie. While we expect several people have seen the new film more than once over the past weekend (guilty), nine times is really more than any human should have to deal with. At some point, the luster must come off the new movie. He says he’s still a fan of the franchise. It’s not clear what he thinks of the new movie, or if that opinion is different now than it was after the first viewing.
And we can’t decide if it was a stroke of genius, or sadism, that led the Alamo Drafthouse to include the Holiday Special in that mix. Depending on where in the marathon that was located, it may have driven more than a few from the theater. After already being sleep deprived it was, probably, even more surreal than it would normally be. The Star Wars Holiday Special is about the most 1970’s thing to ever exist in the history of the 1970’s. Watching three wookiees have a non-subtitled conversation without a human in the room to translate is like watching a mime having a drunken argument with a member of Mummenschanz. Even fully rested you can find yourself wondering if you’re actually watching it, or having some sort of waking nightmare, trust me.
As much as we love Star Wars, we can’t imagine going through an ordeal that epic. Congratulations to Jim Braden. We are in awe of your fandom and your iron will.