Tips to beat Star Wars fans at their own game

Tips to beat Star Wars fans at their own game
PHOTO: BH

OUTBUILD

If you have the engineering know-how like Mr Woo, try building your own custom lightsaber.

There are many steps involved, but the basic set-up is that it is an LED torchlight with a blade made out of a plastic tube.

You can source for parts from sites such as The Custom Saber Shop (www.thecustomsabershop.com) or Ultra Sabers (www.ultrasabers.com).

Or, you can commission Mr Woo (www.sabermach.com) to fashion one for you.

At $90, a standard lightsaber won't break your bank. Customised designs will cost more.

OUTDRESS

Now that you have your own lightsaber, why not dress the part too?

A do-it-yourself costume is not difficult to create, especially if you want to look like a Jedi or a Sith Lord (evil counterparts of the Jedi, in case you didn't know).

Gather some polyester fabric, follow the step-by-step instructions at www.degraeve.com/jedirobe and you have your very own Jedi threads.

Unless you are hopeless with a sewing machine and scissors, you will not stray too far off the mark as there are many variations of Jedi or Sith outfits in the movies.

Online resources to other costumes can be found at 501st Legion (www.501st.com). There is a Singapore garrison too.

OUTFIGHT

For adrenaline seekers, Mr Woo can attest that FightSaber Singapore (www.fightsaber.com) will meet their needs.

The group meets on Sunday and Thursday evenings at *Scape and Henderson Community Club respectively, to battle with lightsabers.

Lightsabers and costumes are not provided, but if you've been reading our tips above, you've got your kit.

You do not even need to be schooled in Star Wars mythology - each member gets to choose his own character and back story.

No Star Wars fan will dare question your faith in the Force once they see your moves, guarantees Mr Woo.

OUTWATCH

Watching all six of the previous Star Wars episodes requires quite a bit of stamina.

Thankfully, you can view the movies in a more efficient way.

Watch them in this order: Episode IV, V, II, III and then VI. We've intentionally left Episode I out.

This is known as the "Machete" order and is touted by fans as the most enjoyable way to watch the films.

Another trick: Watch The Star Wars Holiday Special. Created in 1978 as a TV special, it belongs in the "so bad that it's good" territory. Few fans know of its existence as George Lucas sought to destroy every last copy of it.

Unfortunately for Lucas, the full two-hour flick, featuring the trilogy's original cast, is available on YouTube.

Singaporean Kit Woo is a member of the Jedi Council - the highest authority of the lightsaber-toting order.

No, not in the movies, but in a duelling group called FightSaber Singapore.

That makes him a leader in one of the nerdiest Star Wars groups here.

But quiz him on Star Wars trivia and fans will find that Mr Woo actually knows little about the franchise.

"I know only the iconic characters, but I don't really know the rest. The universe of Star Wars is pretty big," he says, almost apologetically.

"Some people quote me lines from the movies and are surprised when I don't get the reference. They generally try to explain everything to me, but I don't remember any of it."

That did not stop his meteoric rise into the upper echelon of his band of 30 members. The group is officially endorsed by Lucasfilm. So how did he do it?

Mr Woo is solely responsible for designing and building the authentic-looking lightsabers - each costs upwards of $400 - that the group uses.

Says Mr Woo, 37: "I guess I am a Jedi Master because I have the skills to build lightsabers. But I am actually one of the more bochap (Hokkien for nonchalant) ones."

The group's founder, Mr Mohammad Azmi Danuri, 29, says Mr Woo is highly respected and is one of the group's first members.

Says Mr Azmi: "Sometimes when we talk about Star Wars, he will ask questions about it. He is in charge of evaluating our members' costumes, so that means he has to read up on the lore.

"I think it would be ridiculous for us to exclude people like him from our group."

AWAKENING

Being seen as a megafan has its benefits.

Thanks to the new movie and his connection to a devoted group of Star Wars fans, Mr Woo has seen his lightsaber business, Sabermach, surge in popularity - an increase of nearly 50 per cent since the movie's trailer was first released late last year.

"There has been an awakening... of interested buyers," says Mr Woo - the only time during this interview that he uses a line from the movie.

You might have your own reasons for becoming a megafan - to gain the approval of your Star Wars buddies, to impress boyfriends (or girlfriends) or to be culturally relevant during this time.

The general rule (and the good news): You can infiltrate that inner circle of Star Wars nerds by using a skill that you probably already have.

It is in this spirit that we have assembled this foolproof insider guide.


This article was first published on Dec 20, 2015.
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