It's Not Too Late To Go All Out For 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
By Joel Wicklund in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 16, 2015 4:31PM
Photo: © 2015 Lucasfilm
Finally, the long wait for loyal fans is almost over.
Tomorrow night, NBC will rerun the 2013 holiday special, Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Tale.
Oh ... and a new Star Wars movie is opening.
Yes, it seems the whole world is wondering whether the beloved franchise can recover from four bad movies in a row and deliver its first quality entry since The Empire Strikes Back 35 years ago. (Sorry, Return of the Jedi fans! No apologies, prequel fans.)
Whether you are a Lucas loyalist or a Star Wars cynic, there's no doubt interest is sky-high and box office showings will be equally astronomic as J.J. Abrams' reboot, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, arrives.
So for Chicagoans and suburbanites not inclined to skip it and huddle up at home with their Battle Beyond the Stars Blu-ray instead (hey, it's an option), here are a few last-minute ways to fully indulge your inner geek...I mean, your inner Jedi.
Watch Every Damn Star Wars Movie, All In A Row
Time is running out, but if your ass can stand the numbing, you can still see all seven movies in one marathon session. That's approximately 21 hours in a theater, with very limited breaks, and no outside food. So enjoy your breakfast of popcorn and soda! Earlier it looked like most of these endurance tests were sold out, but it appears additional screens and/or larger auditoriums were put into play. As of this writing, tickets could be found online for some participating theaters, including AMC's River East 21 and Regal's City North 14 in the city, Cinemark's Century 12 in Evanston, and Carmike's Rosemont 18. All marathons technically begin Thursday morning (between 1 and 4 a.m!), but AMC, Regal and Cinemark list them online as Wednesday shows, while Carmike lists it for Thursday.
Drink Like a Wookiee
Wednesday night, The Whistler transforms into the famed cantina from the original 1977 film (or Episode IV for you temporal purists) with musicians from Silent Reading playing that wacky, big-headed band for two shows. But you can also explore your drinking Dark Side with themed cocktails at SpritzBurger, including the Emperor, the Leia, the Luke, the Han, and the Darth. They even have posted a couple of cute videos (see below) to promote the beverages.
Eat Like Jabba the Hutt
The menu looks freakin' fantastic, but you will want to call to see if there is even waiting list availability at this late hour for the six-course Star Wars-inspired meal tonight at Table, Donkey and Stick.
Is That a Lightsaber in Your Pants, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
Gorilla Tango Theatre continues to present its popular show, A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque, with playfully naughty spins on all the classic characters. It might be hard to get tickets for this Saturday night, but this long running hit is currently scheduled to continue through February.
Strike a Pose
Friday night at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park you can take part in what is billed as Chicago's first ever Lightsaber Freeze Mob. And really, if it isn't the first, hasn't society taken a serious wrong turn somewhere? Arrive at 7 p.m. with your toy lightsaber (we assume real ones would be too dangerous) and choose your side—Sith or Jedi. Then strike your best action pose and hold it. That's it...we think. Costumes are encouraged but not required.
Make the Movie a Mini Convention
Both venues are a bit of a haul from the city, but the similarly themed (though now separately managed) Hollywood Blvd. in Woodridge and Hollywood Palms in Naperville are promising attractions like merch tables, costumed characters to pose for photos, trivia contests, drink specials and more in advance of Thursday night's early showings of the new film.