On Dec. 5, two days shy of two weeks until the Dec. 18 release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, folks started lining up at Los Angeles’ TCL Chinese Theater. Not just because they’re fiends for the galaxy far, far away, though. The Hollywood Reporter writes that LiningUp.net orchestrated the marathon as a fundraiser in partnership with Starlight Children's Foundation, “a charity that works towards improving the life and health of hospitalized or terminally ill kids and families around the world.”
The site explains that the Star Wars franchise’s history of queueing—block-busting, if you will—stretches back to the original trilogy and has since become a tradition, one avidly recreated for the prequels in 1999, 2002 and ’05. (LiningUp.net rallied for those last three.) The ritualism extends to the location, as the Chinese Theater was the spot the first Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, debuted in 1977.
One liner-upper who flew from Australia told THR, "I am a hiker, so I had all of the gear, but the chance to sleep out on the ground in front of the TCL theater, you do not get that very often.” She went on to say, "I don't think I have ever met a bad Star Wars fan. Everyone wants to help, everyone wants to give back, everyone is accepting."