Star Wars superfan from Kettering: “I will continue to spend on the series until I’m as old as Yoda”

Karl Pethers with some of his Star Wars collection
Karl Pethers with some of his Star Wars collection

A Star Wars superfan from Kettering has spent more than £1,500 on lego sets for the films and said he’ll continue spending until he’s as old as Yoda.

Figures show Star Wars fans are spending an average of £800 in their lifetime on their beloved movie franchise, with self-confessed ‘superfans’ spending more than double that – £2,235 – on watching the films and buying memorabilia.

Some of the Lego sets

Some of the Lego sets

Research from Barclaycard has been undertaken to coincide with International Star Wars Day, which took place yesterday (May 4) and the franchise’s 40th anniversary this year.

Such is the dedication of Star Wars followers that everyday fans of the Force will spend up to £212 a year on everything from Star Wars games, to lightsabers and homeware, DVDs and cinema tickets.

‘Superfans’ – those who see themselves as the most dedicated – admit to spending more in a lifetime on the famed space opera than they spend on their child’s education (£1,928), football season tickets (£1,506) and even an engagement ring (£1,342).

On top of ensuring they have the latest merchandise, 21 per cent of fans would go so far as spending on a Star Wars themed wedding, while 17 per cent said they would be willing to change their name by deed poll to that of a Star Wars character.

Superfan Karl

Superfan Karl

21 per cent would even name their child after a character from the franchise.

Star Wars fans do not tend to make solo purchases either - more than three quarters of superfans (76 per cent) buy a Star Wars experience or merchandise at least once a month, totalling up to £526 in any one year.

Karl Pethers, a Star Wars superfan from Kettering, said: “I watched the original Star Wars film when I was three-years-old and have been obsessed ever since.

“For my 40th birthday, I decided that I wanted to treat myself to the Millennium Falcon Lego set as I have kept the original Millennium Falcon toy since I was seven.

“I have since spent over £1,500 on Star Wars Lego sets and even used my collection to help fund my wedding in 2015.

“For me, buying merchandise to commemorate the franchise is a throwback to my childhood.

“I’m a self-confessed Star Wars ‘superfan’ and will continue to spend on the series until I’m as old as Yoda.”

The research from Barclaycard also shows that almost a fifth of superfans (19 per cent) would be happy to push their spending into hyperdrive, splashing out more than £2,000 on an original prop from the films.

The original R2-D2 is the most coveted piece of Star Wars memorabilia (12 per cent) followed by one of the Millennium Falcon models (nine per cent).

Paul Lockstone, managing director of Barclaycard, said: “As one of the best-known movie franchises of all time, the commitment that some fans are prepared to make to get their hands on the latest Star Wars cinema tickets, memorabilia and experiences should come as no surprise.

“That some superfans are even prepared to splash out more on Luke and Leia than on engagement rings, child’s education and sports tickets is, however, enlightening.

“Our data reveals that it would be a mistake to think that it’s just the superfans who like the Jedi lifestyle.

“With our data showing big increases in cinema spending each time a new film is released, it’s clear that the Force is awakening for a new generation.”