Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens is nearly upon us, as evidenced by the glut of television spots, merchandising, and junk-food-cross promotions. Even independent auteur George Lucas was permitted to attend a preview screening. Channelling our collective near-violent giddiness at the proximity to opening day, Texas-based movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse is celebrating the countdown with a Star Wars marathon. Entertainment Weekly reports that, starting at 4:45 AM on December 17, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar in Austin, Texas will play all six episodes, concluding with the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens.

Some A.V. Club readers may scoff at this challenge. After all, what’s 18 hours or so of viewing? Here’s the catch: Upon conclusion of The Force Awakens, the newest entry will be screened on repeat, for as long as necessary, until only one contestant remains conscious (and possibly hating The Force Awakens). The sweepstakes is loosely based the “Hands on a Hard Body” competition, immortalized in a 1997 cult documentary, where contestants at a Texas car dealership competed by keeping one hand on a pickup truck for days on end until the last person standing won the truck.


The winner will be crowned the ultimate fan, awarded tickets to any Alamo Drafthouse theater for seven years, and have a seat named in their honor. The official rules on the Alamo’s website also state the winner will earn lifetime tickets to Star Wars movies, and will be reimbursed for food consumed during the contest. The rules prohibit texting, sleeping, illegal drugs, and other unfair advantages for powering through Anakin-Padme love scenes; bottomless sodas and violently slapping oneself across the face is presumably fair game.

As only seven entrants will be chosen to compete, the theater chain is inviting self-identifying superfans to apply through social media for consideration. To enter, use Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to post your Wedge Antilles cosplay outfit, poorly considered Salacious B. Crumb tattoo, Star Wars-themed wedding reception photos, or other proof of supreme fandom, along with the #AlamoJedi hashtag.