Star Wars geekdom thrives in Fredericton

Wyatt Navikevicius made a choice when he was five years old, and “the force” led him down the right avenue.

Navikevicius gets his Star Wars fix in the city (Cara Smith/AQ)
Navikevicius gets his Star Wars fix in the city (Cara Smith/AQ)

His grandmother told him to stop complaining about his boredom and go look in his uncle’s cabinet for a movie to watch. Wyatt found two box sets of trilogies.

One was Star Wars and the other Star Trek.

Navikevicius put in the first VHS and never looked back.

“It’s a story that really captured me, and the books and comics let me go farther,” said Navikevicius. “It’s been in a sense growing up with me and the new movies and TV show came out when I was younger. It’s always been with me even though I wasn’t born in the ‘70s.”

With a new Star Wars movie in the works for 2015, there’s little sign that interest in George Lucas’s epic space adventure is waning. Here in Fredericton, a group, the East Coast Sabers, now gathers at the George Street Middle School to choreograph light saber battles. As for Star Wars entertainment, the Playhouse is welcoming Star Wars enthusiast, Charles Ross, in his show One Man Star Wars Trilogy on Friday.

Navikevicius, a third-year student at St. Thomas University, said Star Wars endures because there’s much to be learned from the story.

“They’ve had a huge influence on my life. They all kind of boil down to morality with the good side dark side and finding your place within it,” he says, “Everyone has a different perception of the light side and dark side.”

Navikevicius’s bedroom is still Star Wars themed as it has been since he was young. It’s filled with everything from posters to Lego, and even a knee-high voice controlled R2D2.

Navikevicius said Fredericton has enough stores to satisfy his geek addiction, but the city lacks opportunity for collector’s items. He’s even flown to Los Angeles for a comic convention. But further additions to his collection will have to come later, he said, because of the cost.

His dream collector’s item is a set of storm trooper armour that’s molded to a person’s body and costs on average $1,000.

Fans are encouraged to wear costumes to Friday’s Playhouse show. Ross plays all characters himself. He also sings the score and plays both sides of the light saber battles. He’s performed the tribute to Star Wars over 1,200 times across the world.

Star Wars, created by George Lucas, is an epic space drama. The first trilogy was released in 1977 with Episode IV: A New Hope. Two more followed and a prequel began 16 years later with Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

The story of the Jedi and its conflict with the Sith inspired books, computer games, comic books and television series, such as 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

A new film was announced for Star Wars after Lucasfilm was bought by Disney last October. They’ll be attempting to please both faithful Star Wars lovers and capture a new generation with Episode XII in 2015.

Many Star Wars fans were relieved to hear that J.J. Abrams, of Lost fame, will direct the Disney offering.
Still, Navikevicius isn’t yet convinced the force will be with the new episode.

“The future is cloudy for the future of Star Wars.”

Or as Yoda might say: “The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is.”

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