Entertainment

May The Force Be With Them: The World’s Scariest Star Wars Fans

Star Wars. For some those two hallowed words stand ablaze in their mind as if a shining beacon with its own gravitational pull – a pull so strong that it traps their entire lives in its orbit.

Not a day goes by that thoughts of The Canon according to St. Lucas don’t flicker through their deeply disturbed and obsessive minds. Barely a night passes without another Princess Leia Organa and/or Queen Padmé Amidala, uh, dream, that leaves them sweaty with emotions of both shame and longing.

For them Star Wars isn’t just the pinnacle of cinematic achievement, a monument of greatness in the leading art form of the 20th century, it is so much more. It’s a way of life, a spiritual path, an answer to the eternal questions of Life, The Universe and Everything (stick that in your cross-referencing pipe and smoke it).

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And holy cow, there are a lot of them, and some are pretty scary. Maybe it is better to detail from afar the depth and breadth of their Star Wars related insanity and the many, many forms it takes.

If you feel you don’t think or talk about Star Wars that much, yet find yourself looking at this list and thinking “How dare some Jar-Jar-brain try and categorize me and my friends! May his dreams be over-run by carnivorous zombie Ewoks! And anyway, I don’t just fit into a category, I’m more complex than that!” – please don’t fret.

First of all, accept that you’re that guy. Second, none of these are mutually exclusive – you can be as many as you like. In fact, see how many you fit into. If you get them all, then you can take pride in the fact that not only are you truly the greatest Star Wars fan ever, you’re also a truly terrifying example of the human condition.

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#1 . Star Wars Kids

Every Star Wars fan started off as one of these. In this fragile, infantile state the insidious seed of obsession is planted. It was watching Star Wars as a kid that messed them up in the first place, germinating obsession to full fruit. They probably forced their moms to take them to see The New Hope like nine times, and with each subsequent movie the numbers crawled upwards.

Every birthday, Christmas, and Hanukah they hounded their parents for yet more Star Wars junk; toys, bed spreads, cards, cereal, an Atari 2600 and a copy of the wire-frame game with the levels that repeated endlessly. They swapped quotes between what few friends they had, passing it off as wit, and having sleepovers where they showed off all the crap they amassed, and reenacted scenes in their Luke Skywalker jammies.

Things only got worse the older they got.

Then, of course, there is the new breed of Star Wars Kid. The ones who know only The Phantom Menace et al. – the ones that own Jar Jar Binks dolls. For the older generation, these brats are like a plague of locusts feeding off the corpse of their beloved trilogy.

They don’t know what it was like in the beginning! How good it was! How those first three films were more than just overlong toy commercials! These little bastards got sloppy seconds and think it’s a red hot piece! They are the ones that deserve the scorn, and one can only hope that as they get a little older that they discover the original trilogy, and realize just how ridiculous they’ve been worshipping false idols.

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#2. The Toy Collectors

After dealing with the Star Wars kids it’s only natural that we go straight into the toy collectors, because kids and toys go together, right? Except, we’re not talking about kids here, we’re talking about fully grown adults. Adults who collect toys. Are you frightened? You will be. (That was a paraphrasing of a Star Wars quote there. Embedding oneself into the Star Wars realm seriously damages the brain.)

Since the 1977 release of the first (uh, fourth) film, the amount of merchandise released has been staggering. It was George Lucas who struck upon the idea of movie related consumer crap in the first place. He’s made millions off the back of figures, vehicles, play sets, LEGOs, lightsabers, lunchboxes, sheets, toothbrushes and everything in between.

It was a stroke of marketing genius, really, which makes it that much more of a shame that this genius couldn’t have been applied to film-making. Over the years enough of this crap has been produced to fill the Atlantic Ocean a dozen times (probably).

And there are people around the globe that have made it their mission in life to collect as much of it as they possibly can. They scour eBay and dedicated websites looking for new acquisitions to add to their collection, flock to toy fares looking for that super rare Boba Fett 12 inch in it’s original packaging (which will set you back a cool $2,499.99 on cloudcity.com), drooling like rabid overweight hyenas over bits of painted plastic shaped like their favorite characters.

Take Rob Foster. Rob works in the Art Department at a visual effects / animation studio. Between his humongous collection of vehicles and Star Wars related LEGO offerings he has nearly 2000 figures, plus an additional 800 which are still in their original packaging. He doesn’t keep them hidden away in boxes either; they’re all on display in his house. Which has only one bedroom. Which is where his display lives. He and his wife sleep in the living room. ‘Nuff said.

If you think that’s scary, think about the guy who, not satisfied with the selection of merchandise LEGO provides, built his own replica of a Separatist Landing Craft (from Attack of the Clones) that not only can hold 100 mini-figurines, but also four other Lego Star Wars vehicles, and still has room to fit his entire self esteem. It truly is amazing how much spare time you have when you don’t have a social life.

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#3. The Gamers

If there’s one thing that goes hand in hand with being the type of person that obsesses over Star Wars, it’s being the type of person who loves to play table top Role Playing Games. I mean, who wouldn’t want to get together with some friends on a Saturday night and pretend to be a character in Star Wars? Fighting the Dark Side (or the… light side?) of the force in missions that span whole solar systems using only the power of one’s imagination, a rule book and a dice with too many sides?

Pretty much the entire normal planet, that’s who. Most guys would rather get together with a bunch of friends, pre-party, go out to a bar, consume a gallon of wild turkey and then try to hook up with a member of the opposite sex. Maybe that’s just us. Nope, it’s pretty much everybody.

Basically, there’s the version that was made between the late 80s and mid 90s that used a normal 6 sided die produced by one company, and then there’s the 2000-onwards version produced by another company that used a 20 sided die.

(Listen, are you sure you’re prepared for this? Are you sure you’re really ready to go along on this twisted journey through the collective psyche of the Star Wars junkie? You sure you wouldn’t rather stop reading right now and go try the night out suggested above? Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

Did you know there have been over 100 Star Wars related video games across a whole bunch of formats and genres? Yup. 100+. And most are lame. But that doesn’t matter, right, it’s Star Wars!

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#4. In the Name of the Obi-Wan, the Skywalker, and the Holy Yoda

One of the big selling points of Star Wars is the underlying spirituality that runs throughout its fictional universe. It’s basically a rip off of Taoism and Buddhism, along with the comparative mythology research of Joseph Campbell, whose ‘monomyth’ is the basis for the structure of the films and whose book “the hero of a thousand faces” was turned into a highly successful screenwriting manual called “The Writers Journey”.

I mean, what is The Force if not a convoluted reference to many people’s favorite ethereal friend and power, God? And if you’re already shooting the tangled web of Star Wars directly into your mainline, why not take the big dive and worship it as some kind of religion?

Then again, if you were serious about following a spiritual path, why the hell take some diluted, ripped off philosophy picked up from no less a spiritual resource than pop culture and use that? Why wouldn’t you go to the source? Delusion? Lack of guidance? Couldn’t get enough love and nurturing as a child, so the only choice left was turning to a trilogy of films and it’s accompanying miasma?

Maybe all the money spent on Star Wars figures would be put to better use with a world class psychiatrist. Still, that would involve actually examining the root of one’s problems instead of letting Obi Wan Kenobi make it better.

So here is the punch line. In 2001 roughly half a million people from the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia recorded their religion as Jedi on their national census – seriously – under the delusion that if they did so that Jedi would become an official religion. Fortunately, this turned out to be a hoax spread by email, and when the governments saw what had happened to the census they just laughed their asses off.

Then again, maybe it was a Scientologist conspiracy. Maybe they just didn’t want the competition in the “Bullshit Religions based on science fiction” stakes.

Jediism, as it is called, basically involves a whole lot of meditation and self-delusion, so maybe it has more in common with other religions after all. Their members are all whacked, though – just check out their forums.

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#5 The Readers

If you’ve only seen the films, apparently you don’t know jack. There’s a whole other side of the story. Star Wars: The Expanded Universe is a whole heap of stuff seemingly developed to fuel the rabid appetite of the Scary Star Wars Fan while continuing to line the pockets of George Lucas. It starts between a Marvel Star Wars comic and an Alan Dean Foster spinoff novel from 1978, gains momentum with the original tabletop RPG and then explodes in the 90s with Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy.

Every possible unexplored and underdeveloped nook and cranny has been exploited to continue the original story off in a hundred different directions, its tentacles penetrating deep into the minds of the pale, culturally-malnourished Star Wars fanboys and squirting it’s narrative ink all over their medulla oblongatas to be soaked up by frazzled neurons.

Wanna know what Han Solo was like as a youngster? There’s a novel for that. Want to see more of Darth Maul and how he mastered his doubled-edged drum major baton? There are books for him. Boba Fett? You bet your ass. Every single character from the original films has a book. No less, stuff from these books was used by George Lucas in the prequels!

There are a whole slew of characters never committed to celluloid appearing in these monstrosities. There’s a gigantic history spanning thousands upon thousands of years, taking in something like 4 different eras! It just goes on and on. You wanna know why the Scariest Star Wars Fans really plumb the depths of weird? It’s because the Star Wars universe is like a labyrinth. Once you’ve stumbled inside, you can’t get out. It crawl’s inside you like a virus and infects your entire being.

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#6. Cosplayers and Conventions

You know those people who, every Halloween, spend absolute fortunes on their costumes? The ones who really go the extra mile to make it especially authentic and cool looking? The ones who, at a Halloween party, stand out like a feverish liberal crashing a Republican Party convention? Don’t you see them and think to yourself, “Jesus Howard Christ on a pogo stick, with all the time and money you spent on your costume, couldn’t you have bought an extra keg for everyone, or done something productive like spent some quality time with your poor attention-starved girlfriend?”

Well, evidently, that’s just a repressed cosplayer. And cosplayers don’t need Halloween as an excuse, all they need is some form of a sci-fi or comic book convention.

There is a whole industry whose sole cash cow is churning out Star Wars costumes for the convention market. But to the truly scary Star Wars fan that’s a cop out. If you’re truly beyond hope dedicated, you make your own. You pour money, hours, and lashings of love into it. Wrong love. Damaged love. Love that’s been chewed on by Satan, spit out, mixed with lemonade, and served to you by your Mom in your parent’s basement as you sweat away building your own storm trooper costume.

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#7. Fan Fiction and Film

This category is a whole other ballgame. For this one, let’s try to get a little inside look into his mind…

He’s always had that urge, bubbling inside him. That artistic urge. That creative urge. The urge to write, to direct, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the world’s greatest scribes and creators. If only he had that chance, that big shot, he could shoot into the stratosphere and explode in unparalleled genius.

But unfortunately for him, he’s infected with Star Wars. Any creative or ambitious spark inside him was long ago devoured by the ravenous Star Wars beast. He want to write, to make films. He want to break away but can’t – the cycle of addiction is too strong. Everything must be Star Wars. EVERYTHING.

One day he decides to try anyway. He stomps back down into his parent’s basement, sits down in front of a computer, and fires up the word processor. But he can feel their eyes. Up on the shelves. Legions of mint condition Star Wars figures looking disdainfully down upon him, their plastic gaze digging at his soul. Yoda is not happy.

“The right way this is not, hmmm? Strong with the force those words are not. Give in you must not to the dark side.”

He steps away to get a break, to get out from under their mocking gaze, to get some fresh air. Fresh air? It’s not like he plays sports. Or talks to girls. His only choice is to go back.

He returns to the basement. The soothing waves of The Force wash over him. Yoda’s gaze is comforting now. What was he thinking? How could he give all this up? All those hours watching and re-watching (and re-watching) the sacred trilogy?

All the time spent scouring toy fares? Those blissful Saturdays wandering around science fiction conventions in his hand-made storm trooper costume, stoned off the fumes of geekdom? It took serious dedication to build up the depth of knowledge and understanding, to build this blissful cocoon of everything great about that galaxy far, far away.

He pulls his worn Star Wars blanket around his shoulders and, taking down his Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi figures for inspiration, returns to the computer. He begins his task – hammering out sentence after sentence of over-wrought and clunky Star Wars prose.

Finally, the creative desire is fulfilled! He uploads it to a website dedicated to such outpourings and begins to plan his next piece of Fan Fiction.

Phew. This is the life of the guy that wants to be the next Timothy Zahn. Or at least get some recognition from his like-minded maniac brethren out there.

And rest assured, there are a lot of them out there.

Some super fans take it to the next level. They band together. They write scripts. They build sets. They learn lines. Welcome, dear reader, to the next level, to the world of the Star Wars fan films!

Not all of them are serious. Some poke fun at beloved characters, like Chad Vader,  a series which details the day to day life of Darth Vader’s younger brother as he works his job as day shift manager at a supermarket. Funny.

A lot of them include light saber battles. A LOT. Of course. There are even groups of fans out there that have created feature length fan films, an annual award held by LucasArts…and did you know that a Star Wars fan film has even been shown at Cannes. Yeesh.

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#8. May the Ink be with You

Sometimes dressing up as a Star Wars character just isn’t enough. Unfortunately, at some point they have to take the costume off. I mean, assuming at this point in their Star Wars super-nerd career they haven’t given up on personal hygiene altogether.

Plus, no matter how much they fluff their pillow, no one over eight can sleep with their head encased in a black plastic helmet. They need something else to show their obscene dedication, something permanent. Something that will impress the ladies. Something so insanely cool it will make all their fellow Star Wars freakazoids gasp in envy.

Then why not get a tattoo? I mean, sure it will hurt like hell, and physical pain isn’t exactly their strong suit (unlike the psychological pain that has haunted them since they were small children), but in the end it’ll be worth it. Although, to be honest, it probably won’t impress the ladies unless they’re equally cursed with Star Wars addiction.

And – here’s the rub – they wouldn’t be alone, hell no. Hundred of their fellow lunatics have had the same idea. There’s even a coffee table book of Star Wars inspired body art featuring some 400 photographs of tattoos from around the world. Still, it would be something to show the grandkids (assuming they ever get the opportunity to reproduce and that their offspring are blessed with the same slim possibility).

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#9. Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith is probably the most famous Star Wars junkie in the world. Not only is he just as hung up on the whole thing as the rest of them, he’s a respected film maker! His films are just crammed with Star Wars references, from the innocent contractor skit in his debut feature Clerks, through the purely-for-the-fans movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. There were even rumors that he was to be involved with a forthcoming Star Wars TV show, but whether or not that is true is anyone’s guess.

If you happen to fit into any of these categories, then may God, ahem, I mean, the Force, save your soul.

Leave a Comment

  1. Brittany says:

    crappy list dude. Instead of reminiscing about your latent childhood fears of people who may or may not exist it would have been nice to find some actual examples of people…with names…and embarrassing photographs. I only recently discovered the *cough wonderful world of star wars…my beau inoculated me surreptitiously over the course of our courtship. Apparently before puberty he fell under the category of the dreaded reader. After puberty he fell under the category of 18 year old college graduate (engineering). Courting this man has taught me a few things…1. There are some wierd-ass people out there who like star-wars; including a 39 year-old former physics professor at Davis. He had two sons named Luke and Hans, his physics problems were based entirely around the Star Wars Universe, and he is a 300 pound man who shoehorns himself into his home-made stormtrooper outfit atleast twice a year. 2. Don't talk shit about star wars in public…the rank and file of fans are as likely to be the mouth-breathing asperger's kid as the princess-jasmine look-alike at your local abercrombie and fitch (my former college roomate…who never mentions her dark and secret passion but upon meeting my significant other i witnessed a four hour conversation on the cauterizing capabilities of the light saber). 3. I have dated many non-SW guys (see Turkey drinking, bar/party-prowling, 40 dollar costume guy with the attentive girlfriend you keep mentioning…yeah the last thing that guy heard out of my mouth was 'it's not you it's me'…he didnt believe it either) and one SW guy. The SW guy won.

  2. Mr-K says:

    That there is Kevin Smith with a BSG viper not an X-Wing.

    DUH

  3. Durp says:

    This list of the scariest fans is lacking in any actually people. Only one item, Kevin Smith, is a person the rest are stereo types. Try again next time. Jesus.

  4. Conan says:

    Lame list. Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, you are not.

  5. getreal says:

    If you can write all this about how obsessed you are with Star Wars fans, you need to get laid. Like, soon.

  6. thatryanguy says:

    Wow, there sure are a lot of wasted words there. Could've gotten your point across a lot more effectively by posting a picture of Ogre screaming "NEEERRRRRRRDS!!!!!!!" since every inch of this article screams drunken frat boy who found spellcheck.

  7. jerkazoid says:

    Oh this is AWESOME!!

    thats me as the deathstar from 2002 at comic con (#6) i made it with a little some help from my girlfriend at the time.

    its from about 50cents of newspaper and glue i watered down in spray bottle.
    black and white cheap acrylic paint, a paper plate cut up to make the laser eye.. and some poster hanging pins. maybe about $20.00 and 8 hour of work.
    Oh wait i did use a giant beach ball as the template.. that was maybe 40.00 online but the beach ball is alot of fun in pools so i dont consider it an expense.

    it was fun! i wondered if the hardcore people would think it lame. instead they all thought it was hilarious as intended, i should make it again someday.. PS a friend from college was Han solo in carbonite, very funny as well.

  8. Victor says:

    Dude you Suck.
    I Love the movies, I named my son Anakin, and my dog Jedi. I've read all the books, and played all the games.
    I'm not a scary Star Wars Fan. I am just a Star Wars Fan, and a proud nerd. Get a life.

  9. Biz says:

    They are true SW fans, to the core. I just missed Darth Vader.

  10. Just wanted to say thanks for the great contents. Discovered you guys on the search engines and I’m subscribing to your feed,

  11. Cameron Kenobi says:

    Being 38 years old, scouring online stores for action figures that are waaay more detailed than the wood carving looking, token like figures of 30 years ago, will never get a mention in my list of "interests", but it's there..in a BIG way! Of course I do it entirely in the closet, lest I commit social Hari Kari. If I haven't already. No one can or will ever see the collection of figures and vehicles I have amassed just over the past year alone, that is growing at an alarming rate. I was so relieved that guy that was selling a "Saga" line Dengar figure, refunded my money because of a duplicate advertisement error, because no sooner had I paid for it, the next site I visit shows an all new 3 3/4" Dengar figure that is fully articulated, coming out this year!! Anyhow, I guessed it's a replacement for something in my life and intially I thought it was maybe recreational "substance", be it booze, weed, sport, or any other mind altering avenue that leads to "escapism". Though since I haven't had sex for basically that whole time either, I'm narrowing it down. It IS scary and I want it to stop! I do….