Visit the TCL Chinese Theatre on most any day of the week and you're apt to see tourists milling about the forecourt as they try to fit their feet inside the cement-based shoe prints of their favorite movie star.
You'll also see maps for sale, and busy tour guides, and the occasional Charlie Chaplin (or three) waddling by. And if it is the week ahead of the most anticipated film of the year — nay, decade — you'll see fans already lined up and passing the hours, and days, before the opening credits on the film roll.
That movie is "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" -- no need to be coy about it, everyone and their favorite Wookiee knows the deal here — and the Hollywood landmark reports that several fans began to camp out nearly two weeks ahead of the next installment's Dec. 17 premiere.
The true-blue space rangers are from LiningUp.net, an organization of "Star Wars" buffs that considers an early-started queue to be "a hallmark of the Star Wars experience."
You may remember that several fans broke out the tents and light sabers at the Hollywood Boulevard cinema ahead of 1999's "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" in much the same spot they currently occupy. (The "Phantom" queue is depicted in the documentary "Starwoids," a work by filmmaker Dennis Przywara, who is, full disclosure, a friend to the writer.)
The passionate people behind LiningUp.net explain, in full FAQ-ly detail, why they do what they do, how one becomes involved in an epic queue, and that one does not have to remain in line for the full duration (though there are rules that govern one's comings and goings, and logging in and out is part of the deal).
Update: A big part, and heart, of the whole queue-up for LiningUp.net? Raising funds for the Starlight Children's Foundation. "These passionate Star Wars fans have joined the army of Starlight Children's Foundation, a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world -- particularly those who are hospitalized or dealing with terminal illness," shares a representative.
Big of heart, indeed. Want to help the queue people raise that cash? This video is a fine starting point.
Interested to know more behind this ultimate show of galactic-big fandom? Read all at Lining Up. Want to see the ever-growing scene of Star-Wars-y high jinks and super-fun blooming outside of the TCL Chinese Theatre ahead of "The Force Awakens"? Get there ahead of Thursday, Dec. 17.