The themes in Star Wars are universal. It doesn’t matter where you live, what religion you are, what political ideals you subscribe to, or what language you speak, everyone can understand and relate to the themes in Star Wars. It’s amazing to me how broad the appeal of Star Wars is. Mark Hamill recently joked in his panel at Star Wars Celebration that he could probably go into the deep, dark jungle somewhere, and come upon some secluded, indigenous tribe, and they would still recognize him as Luke Skywalker. It’s funny, but it isn’t far from the truth. Star Wars fandom is truly world-wide.
As a member of the 501st Legion, it continues to amaze me how widespread the Legion is. As of today, there are 7,588 ACTIVE members of the 501st. Overall, over 10,000 people have been members. The 501st has members on every continent except Antarctica (and there used to be a member there). It never fully clicked for me until a couple years ago when I saw photos of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion members from Russia in costume at an event. Russia! I’ve been on conference calls with 501st members from Brazil, Germany, Japan, Australia, and the UK to name a few. At Star Wars Celebration V, I was standing in line at the convenience store to buy a Pepsi, and met a young woman and fellow 501st member who was from Paris (yes, France). We also met a super-nice guy and fellow 501st member from Bolivia!
People around the world love Star Wars. They can put aside all religious and political differences and celebrate their passion for that galaxy far, far away. How great is that?