Local fan watches Star Wars 57 times, but for him, the journey is not over
Only illness stopped Star Wars fan's The Force Awakens viewing marathon
Local Star Wars superfan Chris Gomez was so dedicated in his quest to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens in cinemas here every day until it ended its theatrical run, that only a serious bout of illness derailed his plans.
Mr Gomez, an angel investor who declined to give his age, made headlines last month when he started posting pictures of his growing collection of cinema ticket stubs on Twitter since the popular sci-fi film's release here on Dec 17 last year.
He had kept up his daily Star Wars ritual - 57 times over 50 days - before he grew too sick to continue.
"I had a bad allergic reaction to grain flour and was sick for about two weeks," he told The New Paper.
"I had a fever, broke out in rashes and was so fatigued I was bedridden."
When this reporter met Mr Gomez, he was still recovering and looked a little tired.
END OF RUN
He stopped watching Star Wars after Feb 5, partly due to his health and also because cinemas stopped screening it temporarily to accommodate new movies for the Chinese New Year festive period.
The film returned on the big screen on Feb 12, and ended its run on Wednesday.
Asked if he was disappointed he did not get to attend the official final screening, Mr Gomez said he was actually more surprised at finding out the run was over.
"But I'm happy because I went further than I thought," he said. "I surpassed my original goal (to watch the movie 30 times)."
He "didn't do this for the numbers", he added. "The point was to keep watching the film as a tribute to the people who have made it, and to go on a journey for myself."
Mr Gomez said he did not experience any withdrawal symptoms from not watching the movie, but it remained on his mind even when he was unwell.
He had expected his quest to be a lonely one, but was surprised to encounter many supportive Star Wars fans along the way.
"Many people tweeted me and encouraged me to keep going," he said.
"One asked if I would go for a Guinness World Record, which was quite funny since that wasn't the reason I did this."
He said he was not bothered by negative reactions from netizens who called him crazy, preferring to focus on his fellow fans who have become "like family".
And while screenings of The Force Awakens may have ended, the journey is not over for Mr Gomez as he intends to ride on the energy and momentum gained.
He has already pre-ordered the movie on iTunes, and is also looking forward to spin-off movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will open here on Dec 15 this year and Dec 17, 2017, respectively.
He is also planning a charity-related project related to these two movies and The Force Awakens, though details have not been finalised.
Holding his collection of ticket stubs and receipts, Mr Gomez said: "I'm keeping these so I can show them to my (future) children some day as evidence.
"They can tell people their daddy was really crazy about this old space movie... I want to encourage them to do what they want in terms of being a fan, and inspire them to be who they are."