Matt Benson is someone who likes to scream about pop culture. For a small fee, he will come to your party/place of business/current location and do so at you. To hear him scream quietly (some people call this talking) into a microphone, you can listen to the variety of podcasts he hosts at To see him do this in 140 characters, you can find him @drmattbenson on twitter.

2:57 AM, Films watched – 0: A film in a long running major motion picture franchise is being released today, so that can only mean one thing. I am once again subjecting myself to a fun filled, extra long, sanity challenging movie marathon. This time, I’ll be watching all seven Star Wars movies back to back to back to back to back to back to back. Seven movies is nothing compared to the eleven I saw back in April, but then, three of these are terrible, so we’ll see how that factors into this.

5:35 AM, Films watched – 1: Trying to enjoy The Phantom Menace is like a boxing match. I can prepare myself all I want to and I can even get a rhythm going where I start to get into it and then BAM! Jar Jar Binks. Okay, I can handle that. I knew that’d hit me at some point. Focus on the positive. Ewan McGregor does do an excellent job capturing the voice of Obi-Wan and POW! Midi-chlorians! Never mind that. John Williams is always good. Duel of the Fates, huh, that’s pretty great. I’ve got this movie on the ropes! I can do it! WHOOPAH! Romantic tension between a nine-year-old and a teenager. This movie just doesn’t let up. Only six more to go.

7:55 AM, Films watched – 2: Attack of the Clones is my favorite of the prequels, if you can use a word like favorite to describe one of the prequels. I like the idea of a Star Wars detective story so much, that even the underwhelming one offered in the first half of clones makes it my favorite. Boy does that second half drag, though. And now matter how big a creep I remember Anakin being, he’s always worse.  

These are his bedroom eyes! I mean. Jeez.
These are his bedroom eyes! I mean. Jeez.

I was actually disappointed to miss the crawl for this one. Cinemark plays it fast and loose with the breaks. There are no announced start times and they told me it would be 15 minutes when it was more like 5. This random element has introduced an sense of panic into the marathon as I rush to pee, buy a hot dog, and complete this log, knowing that any second the 20th Century Fox fanfare could start without me.

8:09 AM, Films watched – 2: Cinemark hot dogs look better than you’d think but they taste older than they look.

10:26 AM, Films watched – 3: Man, the lightsaber fights in Revenge of the Sith are terrible. The only one that’s not all cutaways is Yoda vs Sidious and that’s just a big ol’ CGI fest. I think this one broke the audience’s tolerance for the prequels. Up till now they had been laughing at the bad dialogue, but when Vader’s “Noooooo” came, no one laughed. We all just sat there. We had had enough. Good movies start in an hour (I’m told).

This is us watching the prequels. Or doing bedroom eyes, there's not a lot range with this kid.
This is us watching the prequels. Or doing bedroom eyes, there’s not a lot range with this kid.

10:47 AM, Films watched – 3: I’ve decided to use this hour to go to Target to pick up some dramamine. I wasn’t as prepared for this marathon as I usually like to be. It is strange being thrust into the world of normals after nearly 8 hours of spending time with a theater full of people who would look like Star Wars fans even if they weren’t at a 7 movie Star Wars marathon.

11:21 AM, Films watched – 3: Saw a phone charging on the bathroom floor.

1:32 PM, Films watched – 4: I was foolish to try to go into this trying to like the prequels. A more realistic goal would have been to be okay with them existing. I really thought that with the magic of a movie marathon and a willingness to delude myself, I could convince myself that Episode I-III were solid, but five minutes into A New Hope and I’m already angry about how much better C3P0 and R2D2 are in this one. Say what you will about George Lucas’ dialogue, but R2 calling 3P0 a “mindless philosopher” is such a charming insult for one droid to through at another, especially in their first scene. It sets the tone of the relationship perfectly. Prequel R2 is a god-droid that can do anything and 3P0 spends one hundred percent of his screen time trying to justify why he’s there.

I have heard it said that watching all the movies back to back allows you to see connections between the trilogies and appreciate the later of the two for its subtleties. I think the opposite has happened. I think this marathon has finally broken me of my sick compulsion to watch this trio of trite every few years.

1:41 PM, Films watched – 4: I went to get some water. This theater is self serve, so I filled a small cup with water and asked the cashier if we were cool. He said he’d have to charge me for the cup. If I wanted free water, I’d have to wait in a long line at another counter. So I said okay and then I stole the cup.

Pictured: contraband
Pictured: contraband

3:58 PM, Films watched – 5: At this point, I am very tired, but I trust that a second wind will come and when The Force Awakens, so will I.

6:35 PM, Films watched – 6: The Force Awakens starts in 25 minutes. Second wind in full effect. I’ve never been more ready for anything in my life.

6:39 PM, Films watched – 6: There is a man in the concession line who is the perfect synthesis of George Lucas and Stephen King.

6:41 PM, Films watched – 6: Everyone looks familiar. Possible Overlook Hotel situation. Possibly controlled by LucasKing. I’ll keep you posted.

6:43 PM, Films watched – 6: Nevermind, I’ve just been hanging out with them all day.

10:48 PM, Films watched – 7: Listen, I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so that me just say seeing these heroes again after almost 33 years without them will make you emotional when you’ve been up since two in the morning.

We could all use a good Han hug every once in a while.
We could all use a good Han hug every once in a while.

I’m going to say something I’ve never said about a movie before. The 3D looked good. Maybe I was in a Star Wars haze, but the lightsaber fights especially looked pretty amazing in 3D.

It’s hard to process how I feel about the film as a whole. I liked it, but It is very much part one of a trilogy. In the same way that The Empire Strikes Back is a bridge between IV and VI more than its own story, this is definitely a part of something larger.

I eagerly await seeing where this goes at the eight movie marathon in a few years.

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