The Force is strong with Brazilian Star Wars fans, as I wrote in an article last week for Fusion. Along with being photogenic, not even Brazil’s worst recession in a nearly a century could thwart their Jedi-like powers to crowdfund a Star Wars convention that brought together 10,000 lightsaber-waving rebels for two days of film talks and costume contests.
Faced with the event’s certain demise from lack of sponsorship, JediCon launched a crowdfunding campaign that quickly raised $10,375 from people like 23-year-old Felipe Lucas Rodrigues, who donated $130—a quarter of his monthly salary. As a top crowdfunder, he was recognized in a ceremony modeled after the closing scene of the original 1977 film.
“Every cent counted,” Rodrigues told me, proudly holding up his medal. “It was totally worth it and I’d do it all over again.”
In a romantic twist, this year’s JediCon included Brazil’s first-ever official Jedi wedding, officiated by Darth Vader and with R2D2 rolling in as ring-bearer.
“I always wanted to be married in this way,” said the 32-year-old groom, who wore a brown Jedi cape while his bride was dressed in a white Princess Leia-style gown. “I’m living the movie!”