Occupation: Graphic designer
1.When did you become a fan?
I was only 4 when I saw this massive poster for The Empire Strikes Back, and I was begging my parents to see the movie. They said "you're too young". I remember being really upset. It wasn't until Return of the Jedi came out that I was able to see a Star Wars movie in the cinema and that just blew my little mind away.
2.How do you show your love for the franchise?
I'm involved with the New Zealand Star Wars community, like the Star Wars New Zealand website. I'm also involved in the 501st Legion [an international fan organisation dedicated to the construction of screen-accurate replicas of Imperial Stormtrooper armour and other villains]. Our local club is called Outpost 42. We attend a lot of charity-based events. We'll go out in costume and people will come up to us for photos. It's really cool to inspire kids to get into Star Wars. You get to meet a lot of people who are passionate and maybe as crazy as you.
3. What's your favourite Star Wars memory?
Going to the States to attend Star Wars Celebration events. My first time was in 2015 in Anaheim. I flew over with my stormtrooper armour, which is crazy, because it's a massive crate. I got to meet Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher was there.
4.What are your favourite Star Wars possessions?
One is my original Obi-Wan Kenobi figure [from 1977]. Once my Dad was digging in the garden. He said, 'Oh son, I just found an old figure of yours'. It was my original figure, he found it. It means the most because it's got the most memories attached. The other thing is my Legend Series Darth Vader helmet, which is almost a perfect replica of the original. To me, Darth Vader is the epitome of Star Wars. Every time you saw a poster, he would be looming ominously in the background.
5.Why is Star Wars so special to you?
I think it's that whole thing about the Force. People always say, I'm a light-sided person, I'm a dark-sided person. So the Force sort of summarises how people live their lives, and because of that there is some kind of emotional attachment. You kind of want to believe in it.
Occupation: Grocery industry worker
1. When did you become a fan?
Forty years ago I guess when I saw the first movie. I think it was just so different from anything we'd seen before. Ultimately it was probably the droids that were pretty interesting. I think I went and saw the original movie at least four or five times as a kid. It's probably no different now because I still go and see every movie four or five times!
2. What was your first piece of merchandise?
It was a little R2 unit. I had a lot of the original figures and when I finally left home in my late teens, I gave everything away except the R2 unit. I've had it for 42 years now.
3. How do you show your love for the franchise?
I've made a lot of friends through meetings at people's houses or at events like Armageddon. I live in Hamilton and I moved across the city three or four years ago. I'd never had my Star Wars collection all out at once, so I hired a local hall and we did a bit of an event. Some of the guys from Auckland came down in costume. I think we had about 600 or 700 people come through just to check out everything I had.
4. What's your favourite Star Wars memory?
A couple of years ago I went to Florida for the 40th anniversary and seeing people like George Lucas and Harrison Ford, Jon Boyega … Being surrounded by tens of thousands of fans was pretty cool as well.
5. What makes it so special?
It's cowboys and indians, good versus evil in space right? When it first started it took you to a whole different world. The character arcs make them so relatable and you just end up caring for them.
Occupation: Medical researcher, also runs the Star Wars NZ website with his wife Kristy.
1.What drew you to the franchise?
It's got staying power, it's quality entertainment. A lot of us remember it because of the big role that it played in our childhood.
2. How long have you been involved with the website?
It's coming up on 20 years. It's grown a lot and, more recently, social media has played a big role in that, so it has a Facebook group. People consume information in different ways so we try to make it accessible to all fans.
3. How did you meet your wife?
Communicating through the SWNZ community. We got engaged in Italy at the location for the wedding [between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala] from Episode II.
4. What's your favourite Star Wars memory?
Kristy and I both travel to the Celebration conventions in the US as often as we can. We've both given presentations there. At those conventions we met a number of the actors including Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.
5. What pieces of memorabilia mean a lot to you?
We collect autographs and mementos of meeting actors. We're both passionate costumers, so we make costumes of characters that appeal to us. We also make props. In one of the spare rooms in my house we have a life-sized R2D2, and stormtroopers and robots and so forth.