People have pointed to the latter half of 2019 as a golden era for Star Wars, proof if it were needed, that far from being in a death spiral, the franchise is in better health than it has ever been. That’s all well and good, and while I’m excited, I can’t help but look at the list of things to come and wonder – are Star Wars fans being priced out of fandom?
From now until December, we’ve got the first series of The Mandalorian, the release of Jedi: Fallen Order and The Rise of Skywalker hitting theatres. And that’s on top of this year’s release of Vader Immortal, the opening of Galaxy’s Edge and myriad merchandise, comics and books – including this month’s forthcoming Thrawn: Treason. We’ve also got the slew of new merch and collectables for the forthcoming movie and TV shows. Yeah… it’s a lot. Being a Star Wars fan these days is like a lifestyle choice and with it comes a hefty price tag.
It’s only since having a kid that this has really been an issue for me. I’ve had to scale back my Star Wars spending and already I feel like I’m missing out. As life goes on, I’m finding myself having to spend more on the necessities without any extra income. So I can’t justify even forking out for Disney+ (that is if it ever launches in England) whilst also paying for Netflix. When The Mandalorian drops, I’ll have to cancel one for the other or else be driven to more, ahem, questionable means.
For securing a copy of Jedi: Fallen Order I’m saving up store loyalty points so that when it releases in November, I can buy a copy for a third of the price. But something like Vader Immortal is just prohibitively expensive and a story that I’ll never be able to experience outside of YouTube. The games are reasonably priced, sure, but the hardware is so far out of my price range I may as well be stuck on Tatooine.
At least with books and graphic novels there’s the library. For one pound, I can order in almost any book. It’s a lot more affordable and helps keep a valuable service going and I’d encourage you to support your local library whatever your budget. I don’t even need to mention Galaxy’s Edge and Celebration here. Suffice it to say that the ticket prices are too expensive, not to mention travel costs, accommodation and the inevitable spending on site. At $100 a lightsaber (that’s around £80 to those of us in England) I don’t think I’ll be visiting for a long, long time.
When I was planning this post, I imagined totalling the cost of everything up, but I think you get the point. Star Wars has become a very expensive fandom. I’m not saying it hasn’t always been, but there’s no denying the sheer amount of content already available and the deluge of delights to come. I don’t imagine I’m alone in this. What do you think? Let me know in the comments and I’ll write a follow-up post.
If you’d like some tips on how to collect on a budget, check out my useful guide.