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Jim Barden won a Star Wars marathon competition after staying awake through 30 hours of Star Wars films.

After waiting for years to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens you’d think there would be no such thing as seeing too much of the movie. Intent on testing that theory, the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain in Austin, Texas decided to test fans’ endurance by hosting a contest to find the “ultimate” Star Wars fan. The terms of the competition? Watch a butt-ton of Star Wars and stay awake.

While that might not sound too difficult, it’s a task that’s easier said than done. Just ask Jim Barden, the contest’s winner who sat through 15 Star War movies (the prequels, original trilogy and 9 screenings of The Force Awakens, to claim victory. The whole process took a grueling 30 hours which Barden conquered with careful advance planning. “I was really careful about what I ate,” he said. “One meal a day, a light chicken wrap, at lunchtime, supplemented by tons of water and little snacks like a sliced apple.” Eschewing common gamer practices for staying awake at length he also avoided high caffeine drinks like Red Bull. “[I] stuck with a cup of black coffee every 6 hours, which is the maintenance dose for getting the benefits of caffeine.” He also employed other small “tricks” like “deep diaphragm breathing,” peppermint gum and sniffing lemon wedges. The contest obviously didn’t allow for other, less legal stimulants. (Though it did give participants bathroom breaks.)

Outlasting eight other competitors after 30 hours of movie viewing, Barden found himself the recipient of free Star Wars movie tickets for life as well as a collection Star Wars merchandise and a seat named after him in the theater where the contest took place. He also won the honor of being proclaimed the ultimate Star Wars fan by the theater, though we’d imagine that might be a less than official title. As for Barden himself, he’s still not done seeing The Force Awakens. “I think it has a bit of a Stockholm Syndrome-like hold on me now,” he said. “I’ve come to love my tormentor. My parents are coming into town for Christmas, and I’ve already gotten us tickets to see the movie while they’re here. And I can’t wait to see it again.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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