May The Fourth: A day firmly marked in the calendar of super fans the world over as an excuse to celebrate the Star Wars trilogy and an excellent pun.
In 2011, the first organized celebration of May the Fourth (or Star Wars Day) took place in Toronto, Canada. The event was held at a cinema in the city, and celebrations included trivia games, costume contests and big screen tributes. Ever since, Star Wars fans the world over have taken this day as an excuse to party and get together with other super fans to celebrate The Force and all the delight it brings.
To honour this day, Voucherbox has searched far and wide for the ultimate Star Wars superfans, delving into how their obsessions grew and how many of them are sitting on a gold mine of collectors items.
Steve Sansweet, Petaluma, California
Steve’s collection of Star Wars memorabilia tops the Guinness World Record. The super fan has launched his own non-profit museum in Petaluma to house his collection of an estimated 300,000 unique merchandise. The museum is called Rancho Obi-Wan and is estimated to be worth millions of dollars.
Omar Al-Bahiti, Dubai, UAE
Omar has the largest Star Wars collection outside the US and Europe. The 45-year-old marketing consultant has been collecting Star Wars merchandise from a very young age and has well over 200 pieces of memorabilia. He puts the total value at more than $300,000. He only has around 30% of his collection on display, with the remaining in storage spread around the Middle East.
Bob Iannacone, US
Bob has made a full-time living from his passion for Star Wars. He sees the lightsaber as the ultimate weapon, and now creates custom lightsabers that sell for $800 each. The 49-year-old uses premium materials for his merchandise, with each saber being unique and custom made for the buyer.
Flynn Michael, New York
Another superfan who has turned his passion into a full-time job. Flynn Michael first saw Star Wars when he was 7 years old, and has been an obsessive ever since. In 2005 Michael turned his love of Jedi choreography into a business. New York Jedi teaches people how to use a lightsaber safely and teaches students the warrior code, vital to a samurai or jedi. Flynn is also gearing up to break the Guinness World Record for the largest lightsaber battle ever recorded.
Melody Deel, Denver, Colorado
For Melody, the love story between Han and Leia captured her imagination and her heart, and as soon as she saw the films when she was 6 she was hooked. However, Deel says that being female in a male-dominated superfandom was tough. Her parents didn’t encourage her new-found obsession. Now, she is a leader among the Rocky Mountain Fan Force in Denver Colorado. She also organizes charity Star Wars events.