Darth Maul has probably made you a coffee — at least if you’ve been to Mexico City. This is one conclusion you can draw from photographer Marcel Rius’s Fanatic Wars. He’s spent years documenting Star Wars cosplayers and collectors in Mexico, visiting their homes and putting together a visual answer to the question: how do you live with Star Wars?
In Rius’s photographs, lawyers and taxi drivers, graphic designers and window cleaners reveal themselves as stormtroopers and rebels, and other villains and heroes of the Star Wars universe.
The project is now a bilingual English and Spanish book, Fanatic Wars.
Rius calls his work an “anthropological documentary” and the book contains over 200 photographs and many stories from his visits to fans and collectors to see how they live with — and sometimes, within — their passion for the films.
The project began because Rius is a collector of Star Wars memorabilia, and many of the photographs show fans with serious means and serious amounts of loot amassed over decades. Others pose with costumes from scratch. “With a pastry box and a garbage can you can make an R2-D2, or with a broom, a lightsaber,” writes one.
Who are these people?
Like fans around the world, they represent a cross section of society. Their real lives have some things in common — jobs, homes, kids — while their alter egos share something else: an international family of moral clarity.
The dark and the light. The force.
The urge to reveal yourself through disguise is deep, ancient, and cathartic.
All photographs by Marcel Rius