Mexican ‘Star Wars’ fans dive into the fantasy in ‘Fanatic Wars’

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If you’ve ever been curious what dinner with Darth Vader might be like, imagine a lime-green room with color-coordinated tablecloth (calla lily motif) and sweet baby photos on the wall.

Wondering what a thirsty Stormtrooper would drink? The answer is milk. (Probably nonfat?)

Chewbacca keeps a tidy kitchen, judging from the washed dishes and glasses drying on his counter. As for Leia: Who would have guessed that the blaster-shooting princess is a baby-doll and stuffed-animal kind of gal?

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These are among the revelations of “Fanatic Wars,” Oaxaca-based photographer Marcel Rius’ book depicting “Star Wars” fans at home in Mexico.

Rius conceived his project as diptychs, each photo of someone in costumed glory presented next to a mirror image of that person in earthling street clothes. The concept, Rius said in an interview, was “to know who is behind the mask.”

But the domestic settings also are what give the images their humor and an endearing sweetness. “The idea was to make it very Mexican,” Rius said, and the result is the surprising collision of space-traveling fantasy and earthbound reality.

“There are fans of all social strata, all kinds of mentalities, different ages, different professions,” he said, adding that subjects include a bank manager, a lawyer and a graphic designer.

But look at the Yoda child in green face paint, the homemade R2D2 crafted from what looks like a garbage can and aluminum foil, or the blue-faced Jedi holding her light saber by the spatula caddy on her kitchen counter, and one has to wonder: Does “Star Wars” make fans just a little mad?

“I think, ‘Who is not a little crazy?’” Rius said. If some people have their football or soccer, and teenagers have their video games, he asked, why can’t others go nuts over “Star Wars”?


Rius, 44, a Barcelona native who left Spain for Mexico about 10 years ago, has a gallery in Oaxaca called Tingladography ( The publisher of “Fanatic Wars” is Trilce; in the U.S. the book is distributed by ACC. More work:

Twitter: @cnakano