Extreme Fandom: Star Wars


The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has revived latent feelings of love within fans the world over. And leading into and throughout release weekend, some of the most passionate went well above the call to demonstrate feats of that fandom. You think you’re a Star Wars fan? You can’t hold a lightsaber to these guys.

Fans Try Setting Lightsaber Battle World Record

Star Wars lightsaber duel LA
Friday night and all day Saturday, thousands of fans came out to celebrate the movie’s release with a massive multi-city lightsaber battle that aimed to break the world’s record for the largest battle ever. Duelers signed up online and could either purchase lightsabers or bring their own to the events held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle. The existing record is 7,000 lightsabers, set at San Diego Comic-Con. As of Friday, organizers had 10,100 lightsabers reserved in advance. We’ll find out early this week if they made it!

Even Celebs Got Into It

Star Wars - Joseph Gordon Levitt
You think it’s just us common folk who went gaga over Star Wars? Spend a little time on celebrity Instagram, and you’ll see that even the stars got caught up in Force Fever. Some of our favorites: Neil Patrick Harris’ family went full Jedi on Halloween, Cara Delevingne attended her screening dressed as Jabba, Ronda Rousey went as a stormtrooper with a few friends, and Mark Zuckerberg dressed both his newborn baby and dog in Jedi gear. Meanwhile, the red carpet at Thursday’s L.A. premiere was filled with extra effort from rich and famous attendees. Sofia Vergara donned the Leia buns and Rainn Wilson sported Jedi robes. But the gold Death Star goes to Joseph Gordon-Levitt who went as Yoda, green face paint and all.

Holochess, Anyone?

holochess table
One of my favorite scenes from A New Hope was the Chewbacca-R2D2 “holochess” scene aboard the Millennium Falcon. Web developer Ian Martin has taken his love for that scene to a whole new level by building his very own Dejarik table (the actual name of the “holochess” game) complete with working knobs, functional buttons and hand-sculpted creature pieces. He even worked with a friend to create an augmented reality experience that lets you see the pieces as holograms through a cell phone application. Pretty badass. Let the Wookiee win, indeed.

That’s No Moon!

Death Star rooftop
Just before Halloween this year, Colby Powell and his kids decided to get into The Force Awakens spirit a bit early by constructing and mounting a 23-foot-tall Death Star (which is apparently roughly as tall as a two-story house) on top of the family home in Lafayette, CA. They recreated the battle station by first building a massive geodesic sphere using 2,000 feet of PVC pipe covered with two grey-green military surplus parachutes. With help from his contractor employer, the superweapon was mounted carefully on the roof. Of course, it’s strung with quite a flashy light display for maximum effect.

What Star Wars Has Joined Together

We’ve seen Star Wars-themed weddings before, featuring everything from stormtrooper groomsmen to droid cake toppers to elaborate photoshopped portraits. But these two recent weddings are the perfect fan reaction to Episode VII. Let’s start with Robert and Rebecca, who swapped a first dance for a first lightsaber duel. That’s what we call dedication, guys.

Going even bigger, Caroline Ritter and Andrew Porter waited in line at the TCL Chinese theater in Hollywood starting Dec. 5, and ultimately tied the knot at the premiere of The Force Awakens. The bride wore a traditional gown with “handmade crystal X-wing starfighters” and was escorted down the aisle by Darth Vader. The ring bearer? R2-D2, of course.

Become a
Pop culture fans! Write what you love and have your work seen by millions.