With Star Wars’ Return, Fans Flock to Tattoo Parlors Nationwide

Realistic, blue, disabled lightsaberFor Star Wars superfan Matt Savage, seeing the newest installment of the sci-fi franchise in theaters wasn’t enough.

The night before the premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Savage, 27, sat down in a Saginaw Township, MI tattoo shop to have the film’s villain, Kylo Ren, tattooed on his arm.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in Wellington, New Zealand, Sophia Stace was one of seven lucky fans to win a free Star Wars tattoo from Sinatras Custom Tattoos ahead of the premiere. At the city’s celebration of the franchise, she wore a Boba Fett dress while getting Darth Vader tattooed on her thigh.

“Star Wars is quite sentimental to me,” she told the Waikato Times. “It opened this whole world to me. I’ve met so many people, I’ve developed all these bonds with these people, just geeking out over stuff.”

These fans join the more than 20% of U.S. adults who have one or more tattoos. Across the world, countless Star Wars aficionados are choosing to get some of their favorite characters tattooed in tribute to the beloved film series.

But the “force” of Star Wars tattoos is just as strong in the people who do the tattooing.

Nick Hartung, who gave Savage his Kylo Ren tattoo, has helped clients design a number of Star Wars-themed tattoos over his eight years at Lunar Eclipse Studios. In the past, he’s inked his clients with lightsabers, as well as portraits of Darth Vader and Boba Fett. A fan of the franchise himself, Hartung told MLive.com that he was eager to create a Kylo Ren tattoo.

“I always want to do Star Wars tattoos,” said Hartung. “It’s a fantasy…it takes you to a place where anything is possible.”

Josh Bodwell, another tattoo artist known for inking clients with Star Wars characters and designs, echoed this sentiment in an interview with TechCrunch. Over the years, his clients have commissioned around 200 Star Wars-themed tattoos from him.

“[Being a Star Wars fan] is an absolute joy these days. I get to connect on a nerd level with clients,” he said.

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