Every time a new “Star Wars” movie comes out, they send me to the theaters to talk to fans. And every time I get to the theater, I meet Matt Lalemand, usually dressed as some exotic “Star Wars” character and almost always at the front of the line.
It was no different in mid-December when “The Last Jedi” blazed into town. I headed to Flagship Cinema and there was Matt, radiant in a full beard and Princess Leia wig, and absolutely owning the front of the line.
For the newest movie, Lalemand showed up at 10 a.m. for a 7 p.m. movie. He spent most of the hours between in solitude and he did it without complaint.
Can we just go ahead and start calling the man a “‘Star Wars’ Super Fan?” Who could possibly argue with that.
Days after “The Last Jedi,” I caught up with Lalemand – outside a theater for once – and tried to find out what makes him so dedicated to the “Star Wars” culture.
What is it about “Star Wars” that seduces so many fans? It’s a classic good vs. evil story with lots of very memorable characters. It also doesn’t hurt that it is a story that can be enjoyed by a very wide range of ages.
Do you remember the moment you became hooked? I have been a fan for as long as I can remember, but it was seeing the original trilogy on the big screen when they re-released them in the theater in the mid-’90s that turned me into a super fan.
If you had to be one “Star Wars” character for a millennium or so, which would it be? This one is tough. I might have to go with Lando Calrissian. He is roguish and fun like Han, but has none of the responsibilities.
What else in the entertainment world has captured your attention? I’m obviously a pretty big geek, so pretty much anything that is superhero, sci-fi or fantasy related catches my eye.
What’s the longest you’ve waited in line for a movie or event? Ten hours is my record. Anything longer than that is just silly.
Apart from “Star Wars,” what else is going on in your life? When I’m not working or hanging out with my kids, my time is usually consumed with pen-and-paper role-playing games.
Matt Lalemand of Auburn, wearing a Princess Leia wig, got in line at 10 a.m. for the 7 p.m. sold-out showing of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” at Flagship Cinemas in Auburn recently. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)