When you first buy a ticket for the Star Wars marathon that leads up to The Force Awakens, you’re probably on an adrenaline high and thinking how incredibly awesome it will be and how you can’t wait for December. And then you realize that you’ve just agreed to sit in a movie theatre with a hundred other nerds for 21 hours. Twenty. One. Hours.
12:20 AM: Your alarm goes off and you roll out of bed, somehow putting on the clothes you laid out the night before. You’ve had about 3.5 hours of sleep but it’s going to have to do.
12:50 AM: You arrive at the theatre, armed with your supplies for the day. The pillow is useful. The blanket remains shoved in the bag and your ‘I Survived the Battle of Jakku’ sweatshirt is quickly ditched because it is hot as hell already.
1:00 AM: The Phantom Menace starts! You roll your eyes as people start mocking trade negotiations.
1:02 AM: You down your first frappachino of the day.
Somewhere between 1:10 and 3:10 AM: You’re stupidly happy because you forgot how much you love TPM. People make Jar Jar jokes but that’s nothing new because you’ve been on the Internet. Padmé Amidala is the Queen of the Galaxy and holy crap, that freaking Duel of the Fates! You also roll your eyes and glare at the people who laugh when Anakin is sad as he leaves his mom and contemplate punching the guy next to you for being a dick. It’s okay though. They won’t drag you down!
3:12 AM: The credits roll and you make a desperate dash for the bathroom but then realize that there was no need because for once, the line for the ladies room is the short one. This is going to be good.
3:18 AM: You try and offer the folks running this thing a smile and a kind word and let them know that you appreciate that they are doing everything they can to fix the air issue since you’ve just witnessed them have the same conversation 10 times in a row with everyone complaining,
3:20 AM: You make friends with the people around you because this is going to be a loooooong day so you might as well get to know your neighbors. The one on your right is the one who really does not like the Prequels. The one on your left is way more reasonable and is actually doing some fundraiser for Cancer during this whole process. He probably told you the details but this was very early and you don’t quite remember now. It was a process though and you helped with the picture taking process by using your phone as a flashlight. Technology!
3:30 AM: Attack of the Clones starts!
3:42 AM: Hey where did that second frappachino go… oh wait that’s right. You drank it.
4:12 AM: Someone starts snoring and you find it rude.
4:40 AM: You roll your eyes more as the PT haters dig in to the love dialogue. Seriously though. It’s been 13 years. MOVE ALONG.
5:30 AM: AWWW YEAH YODA KICK DOOKU’S ASS, YOU GOT THIS!
5:47 AM: You take advantage of the break between films and start tweeting furiously. No one else is awake except for those on the other side of the world. You desperately want to sleep because the day is starting to catch up with you but NO YOU SHALL REMAIN STRONG.
6:12 AM: You decide to start doing some stretches in the hallway to help out your legs, back, and hips. Some of these involve swinging your legs back and forth. People stare. A lot.
6:15 AM: Revenge of the Sith starts and you drink water in preparation of crying in about an hour for an hour.
6:50 AM: Someone is snoring again and you wonder why they’re here.
7:30 AM: Order 66. You’re crying.
7:55 AM: The projector which has been momentarily freezing up the entire film finally freezes completely just as Obi-Wan is discovering that Anakin MURDERED A BUNCH OF KIDS. The theatre people are apologetic and there’s a five minute break while they reset it.
8:20 AM: YOU WERE MY BROTHER ANAKIN I LOVED YOU
8:40 AM: Padmé’s funeral makes you burst into tears for the first time ever and this is your first inkling that this marathon is going to be more emotionally taxing than you thought.
8:42 AM: You run outside, jump in your car, and speed home so you can collapse into your bed for a few minutes during this 90 minute break between films. You set an alarm but have no idea how much of those 20 minutes you actually sleep. Somehow, you manage to chug a cup of coffee, eat a few bites of some super gross oatmeal, and make yourself look presentable.
9:55 AM: You get back to the theatre and people are super impressed and compliment your Imperial Officer dress! You are relieved that they got what it was up until the moment when a guy up in the nosebleeds asks if you know what the rank bars on your chest actually are. You calmly reply that they are a Captain’s rank and call him out on Fake Geek Girl Quizzing you. He denies it but the girl sitting in front of him locks eyes with you and yeah, you both know that’s what was up. Because obviously all the ladies were only there to find a man. Why else would you sit in a theatre for 21 hours?
10:15 AM: A New Hope starts and you start to have a lot of feelings about Alderaan. Tarkin sux, pass it on.
12:00 PM: Our heroes have escaped the Death Star (Luke cares!) but you don’t get to see the destruction or the Battle of Yavin because you have to leave to go take part in a Star Wars special for the local NPR Station!
1:00 PM: The radio show starts and you have the time of your life while the Battle of Hoth happens. Alas poor Dak!
2:45 PM: Thanks to the horridness of DC traffic, you make it back to the theatre just as Empire Strikes Back is finishing. It’s okay. Totally worth it. You already know that Vader is Luke’s father.
2:50 PM: You eat real food for the first time that day and wow was that giant piece of mediocre pizza the best thing you’ve seen in days. Food is so great, guys! More caffeine gets downed.
3:15 PM: Return of the Jedi starts and you’re not sure if the opening crawl gets huge cheers because they love it so much or because you’re all relieved that TFA is SO CLOSE
3:20 PM: You realize how freaking weird it is to go from seeing Death Star I to Death Star II almost immediately.
4:00 PM: You really don’t remember much of this time frame because oh god you are so tired but so close and yes okay time to chug another coffee… hey biker scouts and AT-STs!
5:00 PM: You hear the added in Vader dialogue for the first time and cringe. It was so much better with nothing there, ugh.
5:20 PM: You cry during the ewok celebration party and can’t even snarkily comment about how ewoks eat people. This is massive warning sign #2 that you have been emotionally compromised already.
5:23 PM: You roll your eyes as 80% of your theatre boos the edit to put Hayden into the last scene as Force Ghost!Anakin. Aggressive Prequel Trilogy Haters are THE WORST.
5:30 PM: You grab dinner with another person who’s on their own for the marathon and amicably chat about Star Wars stuff.
6:30 PM: Lying down in your car for ten minutes seems like a great plan. You can ditch some of the stuff that’s helped get you through the last 18 hours. You keep the pillow. You don’t know how to sit in this seat anymore without one.
6:55 PM: Oh god. It’s happening. IT’S HAPPENING. You take a selfie to commemorate the moment.
7:00 PM: Showtime!
7:15 PM: Okay it was showtime for a zillion trailers. NOW it’s movie time oh god where is the Fox fanfare this is weird oh whew the Lucasfilm one and… A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY
9:30 PM: You are dead. You have been totally emotionally compromised. That was Episode VII. That was The Force Awakens. You regret not seeing this film with your friends because you need to hug someone. Somehow, you make it to your car and drive home and— HOLY HELL THE FORCE AWAKENS BLESS YOU SWEET UNIVERSE FOR THIS WONDERFUL GIFT
10:47 PM: After a phone call with one of your best friends and a lot of texts and DMs with other Star Wars folks, you get impatient for it to be 8:30 the next night so you can go see it again. Who needs emotions anyways?