Why I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens 42 times in 35 days

22 January 2016 / 9 months 1 week ago

Lisa Twang
The New Paper
21 January 2016

The Force is surely strong with Mr Chris Gomez.

While most fans would have watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens twice or perhaps three times, he has taken his commitment to the next level by watching the movie every day since its release here on Dec 17 last year.

Some days, he even watches it three times if his schedule permits. As of last night, he has watched it 42 times.

He plans to continue his daily screenings until The Force Awakens ends its theatrical run here, which is estimated to be in early February.

The movie has grossed over $9.88 million in Singapore and US$1.86 billion (S$2.67 billion) globally.

Mr Gomez agreed to be interviewed by The New Paper on Monday, sacrificing the day's second screening to do so.

"As a fan, Star Wars has given me so much," said the angel investor, who declined to give his age.

"So I'm taking the film's release as an opportunity to pay tribute to all the individuals who have worked on this amazing movie.

"I see this as a personal spiritual journey. Not in a religious sense, but it's my way of giving back to the franchise."

Although Mr Gomez has watched the first and second Star Wars trilogies at least 20 times in total in the last 20 years and Chinese martial arts flick Ip Man (2008) about five times, it is the first time he is attempting a movie marathon of this scale.

He decided to make a special effort for The Force Awakens because it was a large-scale release and the first Star Wars movie in 10 years.

As Mr Gomez is self-employed, he schedules his work appointments around his daily screenings. So far, he has not missed a single day of screenings.


Mr Gomez admitted it was "a challenge", but one that the freedom of his job allows.

He is surprised by the attention his story is getting ever since he started posting details of his daily screenings, along with a snapshot of all his cinema ticket stubs, on Twitter.

He started the project by posting his first purchased ticket for The Force Awakens on Dec 13.

"Most responses have been from people overseas and they think what I'm doing is fun. They talk to me about Star Wars and encourage me to keep going," he said.

"I didn't start this to gain attention. I did it for myself and I'm having fun."

Mr Gomez said that his love for Star Wars and movies inspired him to pursue a career in the media industry, although he had trained as an engineer, and he continues to invest in media- related companies today.

"I found out who I was because of Star Wars and it's been with me throughout the good times and bad in my life," said Mr Gomez.

He has spent "hundreds" of dollars on Star Wars movie tickets alone and his usual haunts are the Golden Village cinemas at Plaza Singapura and I12 Katong as well as The Cathay because they are convenient locations for him.

"I think the cleaners there recognise me by now, because I stay until the credits have finished rolling," he said.

"They're probably secretly wishing I'd hurry up and leave so they can go home.

"In fact, last night, one of the cleaning aunties saw me and said, 'Star Wars again?'" he said with a laugh.

And no, he is not tired of The Force Awakens yet.

"Each time I watch it, it's like the first time," Mr Gomez insisted.

Although he admitted there are things to nitpick about the film over multiple viewings, including continuity issues with droid BB-8's antenna changing in different scenes, his enjoyment far outweighs any minor gripe.

Mr Gomez loves quoting lines from The Force Awakens in daily life, such as Kylo Ren's deadpan delivery of "you're so right".

He added that his mood on any particular day never affects his enjoyment of each viewing.

"With Star Wars, how can I ever have a bad day?" he said.

See the gallery below for more photos related to the Star Wars fever in Singapore.

This article was first published on January 21, 2016. 
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