Star Wars: The Force Awakens has broken a number of box-office records, reaffirming the draw of the franchise and renewing the faith of fans everywhere. And as we all know, where there’s interest, there’s money. To further encourage their fans to dream, Disney and Lucasfilm produce an impressive array of merchandise, some of which winds up at conventions or meet and greets, becoming memorabilia.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous dealers lurk in the shadows, trying to exploit the wallets of hungry fans. Whether through a shady shop or an eBay auction, some Star Wars fanatics wind up with little more than ink stains on their collectibles. But that was before Luke Skywalker swooped in to save the day.
Ok, maybe not Luke Skywalker himself. Actor Mark Hamill, frustrated with the sea of fake Star Wars autographs swirling around the films, decided to help his loyal fan base with their purchases. Over the last few days, he started a campaign to #BeatTheDealers and #FightFraud by identifying genuine signatures from counterfeits via his Twitter account.
Aside from providing fans with the verification service, Hamill also chose to display some of his favorite card captions written over the years (as submitted by fans). He does warn Twitter followers, though, that “my humor is not for everyone. Kids want sincerity, so that's what I give them.” Here are a few samples of Hamill’s quirky comments:
— Lívia Isabel Meinert (@liviameinert) December 28, 2015
— happy v & jisoo day! (@hqnsols) December 28, 2015
— kyra skywalker (@romanoffsx) December 28, 2015
Since the film memorabilia business is such a major industry, it’s great to see fan favorites like Hamill – who rarely shies away from autographs or fan interaction – taking an active role in discouraging fakes. Forged autographs and collectibles only serve to dishearten fans of the Star Wars saga and movie buffs in general. His #FansRule tag is also an encouraging reminder that not all celebrities are too big for their britches.
Of course, there are still thousands of fakes waiting to be scooped up by devotees hungry for any link to their favorite films. As fans and consumers, we have to watch out for deals that seem too good to be true, because they usually are. It’s also vitally important to check for authenticity before buying any autographed or "genuine" treasures. A reputable dealer should be more than willing to provide certification or have their merchandise verified by a third party.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters, and will be followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Mark Hamill