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Star Wars Fanatic

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away -- George Lucas created Star Wars. A mini-mania followed. Fans collected everything that had to do with Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia and Darth Vader.

The mini-mania that launched in the late '70s and early '80s, when the trilogies came out, continues today. And the newest release, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, means that there is very little chance of the Star Wars mania slowing down for many years to come, which gives collectors something to cheer about.

Amy Pronovost, self-proclaimed Star Wars fanatic, hams it up with some stormtroopers.
Courtesy of: Amy Pronovost

Star Wars fans of all shapes, sizes and ages collect mountains of action figures, videotapes, movie discs, and movie posters. Some run their own Web pages dedicated to the characters in the movie. All you need to join these troops is a love for the saga and an Internet connection.

When you ask Tony Case if he collects a lot of action figures, he wants you to define "a lot." He owns "at least 250" action figures.

Case also collects Star Wars comic books, video games, posters, videotapes, laser disks, novels, soundtracks, apparel, and shampoo. He also managed to make the 7 a.m. showing of Phantom Menace on opening day.

Amy Pronovost, a professional artist, has an affinity for Ewoks. In particular, she likes to draw them.

"I have all of the Ewoks with their weapons, including the two from the Ewoks cartoon. I have all four large stuffed Ewoks, two Disneyland Ewoks and an Ewok village," says Pronovost.

She is attracted to them because they are the little guys in the big guys versus little guys theme. "They have a family oriented culture, and they're warriors, so I like them," she explains.

Whether you like the good or the evil characters, the best places to find other fans are on the Internet and at conventions. Many Star Wars fanatics also like to play role-playing games, known as RPGs.

Case runs his own RPG from his website. He explains an RPG as a structured cops and robbers game with a Star Wars theme. Each player acts a character. The game master comes up with a scenario, which always changes as the game progresses.

No one can predict how many Star Wars fans there are. After all, the phenomena started decades ago. But the number of Web pages indicates that the number may be in the tens of thousands.

Case believes that there is an even number of men and women interested in the saga. This he gleans from standing in line and from mailing lists.

It takes money to collect Star Wars items. Some of the fans are scared to tally up what they have spent. Pronovost estimates that she's spent well over $700 (Cdn) over the past four years, but she can't say for sure. Her spending habits have slowed since she bought a house.

Case says he's spent enough that "[George] Lucas should dedicate a wing of Skywalker Ranch in my name." That amount would be more than a couple thousand, says Case.

But the hobby doesn't have to be expensive, says Pronovost. "I don't recommend buying things online that you can get in Wal-Mart cheaper. Patience is a virtue," she says.

When shopping at an online auction site, she advises, "Don't pay more than you think the item's worth. If someone overbids you, you'll find the same thing listed within the next couple of days."

Getting Started

For those looking to nurture their interest in Star Wars, Pronovost recommends drawing and writing within the Star Wars galaxy. "Don't just use the Lucas characters, but use your imagination and create your own."

Case suggests "finding a Star Wars niche and filling it -- kind of what I did with the RPG. Pick the area and just become proficient and knowledgeable."

Case also recommends mailing lists. "There is a regular group of people who interact all the time, but the group is small enough that, unlike a newsgroup, everyone eventually gets to know each other."

The Star Wars hobby can lead to more than an overcrowded bedroom. For example, someone who runs his or her own website may become a pro at designing Web pages. Filmmaking, creating games for software companies and illustrating characters are some other directions that fans have taken.


Star Wars Official website
Find out all there is to know about the movies past, present and future, officially

The Force.Net
Good all around Star Wars site

Lucasfilm Home Page
See what types of jobs are available at the company

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