Certified Geek: Singapore’s Biggest D.I.Y. Star Wars Superfan

How do you tell a real Star Wars fan from a casual one? Actually, you can’t as there are fans of different types and degrees, and the community embraces all of them, from the ones who can quote the films, to those who read the comics, books and watch the animated shows, to the ones who can actually tell you how many organic limbs, including heads, have been lobbed off in all nine Star Wars films.

Then there is Jasper Tan – what do you call an individual who creates his own set of uniquely crafted Star Wars memorabilia, sprouting from his passion for the franchise? 

That’s right. While most fans are happy to indulge in Star Wars games, toys, video games and even costumes from a galaxy far, far away, Jasper, who is an HR Director of an agri-food firm, has allowed his love for Star Wars to evolve into ways where the mere moniker of “collector” simply does not cut it – he makes replicas of his own.

A helmet from a pilot? He has dozens. The weapons of a Stormtroopers or bounty hunter? They are hanging from a weapons display in his three-storey home. A life-size Darth Vader costume? It’s standing tall among his other Star Wars collection in his living room. Oh, that R2-D2 replica? It was hand-made, not store-bought.

Since owning his first set of Star Wars merchandise back when he was six years old, the 47-year-old has since journeyed to an ever-growing devotion to the franchise. Like many of the folks who we have profiled for Certified Geek, he taps on to his talents and skills to showcase his passion.

Instead of buying items that cost hundreds of dollars and have the possibility of being a disappointment, Jasper has literally taken matters into his own hands. With the use of technology, such as 3D printing, and his crafting skills, his house in the northeastern part of Singapore is testimony to the meticulous hard work that he has laboured with since day one.

Part of loving Star Wars is the process of creating the final product, which is his primary motivation to continue what he does.

The endless need to create does not come without cost. Over the years, Jasper reckons he has made over 100 pieces of his own Star Wars items and has had to curate his collection throughout the years to make room for his newer projects. Despite that, his collection of over 200 items is still a spectacle to behold, even after streamlining it and choosing to focus on crafting 1:1 scale items. 

Stepping into his house, guests are greeted by a glass wall that displays a 1:1 scale of the helmets and masks found in various movies and series in the Star Wars franchise. Taking a closer look, the details that the superfan has included in the items are immaculate and they are so realistic, friends and fans have offered to buy over his pieces, though it’s never about the money.

According to the father of one, the value of his crafts is beyond monetary seeing as each item is made with his very own blood, sweat and tears. The measure for which item is up for grabs depends on what the propmaker went through making it and with whom, although, there might be some exceptions to that. 

Tan recently sold off an item that meant quite a lot to him – a 3D printed bust of villain, General Grievous. Due to its complex design nature, Tan has had a tough time acquiring resources that would help him build the head of the feared Jedi hunter, and when he finally did, after 2 months of labour, it became a build that he cherished deeply. However, the collector decided to give it up after someone from the United States contacted him about purchasing the bust for his son’s birthday. It was a tough decision to make but as a father himself, he understands the buyer’s intent and gladly sold the item for an undisclosed sum.

While preferring to create his collection from scratch, Jasper does not shy away from displaying posters up around his house as well, specifically on the third floor, and up the walls to the fourth. Upon reaching the third landing of the house, guests are faced with a wall filled with Star Wars movie posters arranged according to its release. The surrounding walls are poster-filled as well, some even having signatures from the actors of the franchise written on them.

Jasper’s love for Star Wars not only shows through the items he has created but even with how highly he speaks of it. Just mention Star Wars and his crafts could easily light up Jasper’s eyes. This is probably one of the driving factors as to how he has managed to win his wife and son to share his interest.

With such a supportive family to back him up and impressive skillsets to develop masterpieces, the force truly is with Jasper.

About Certified Geek

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