Matthew has been hooked on Star Wars since he was four years old. He has an enormous collection of memorabilia, can recite each scene verbatim and claims that he thinks of the movies as his Bible. Matthew invites us into his world.
Matthew O'Brien has been counting down to Thursday 17th December 2015 for over a year now. That's the day when the new movie in the epic Star Wars saga - The Force Awakens - opens in cinemas worldwide.
Star Wars. That movie about space that came out in 1977 with Harrison Ford, Luke Skywalker, light sabers, the Princess with the Danish pastry hair-do and the villainous Darth Vader. Even if you've no interest in science fiction you'll know the classic lines, "I am your father" spoken in Vader's breathy wheeze. It's an iconic movie series with an extraordinary appeal and for Star Wars' fans the prospect of a brand new movie in the series is thrilling.
Matthew is a huge Star Wars fan. He's been hooked since he was four years old and saw the original movie on video tape on his cousin's 12" black and white television. "It blew my mind. I thought it was real. I thought someone took a camera and went out and filmed space!" He's watched the original trilogy - Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi - thousands of times. He's an actor and can recite whole scenes and do the sound effects at the drop of a hat.
At home his girlfriend has allowed him an entire room for his Star Wars' stuff. He has an enormous collection of miniatures, figurines, board games, models, costumes, posters, comic books - and an attic full of boxes of memorabilia, all ordered and labelled. He says that he views the movies as his Bible, his Book of Calm, his place of Zen.
And there's a community of fans who feel the same. From the guys who meet every Friday night in Gamers' World to play elaborate Star Wars board games; to the Emerald Garrison who dress in full, movie-ready costume and 'troop' at charity events; to the seriously talented prop makers and the collectors who queued for hours outside the Disney Store at midnight on Force Friday, waiting for the new movie's merchandise to be revealed.
In this documentary we find out something about what makes a fan tick. Matthew draws us into his world; the passionate, committed and curious world of a serious Star Wars fan.
Narrated and Produced by Emer Horgan
Production Supervision by Sarah Blake
Sound Supervision by Mark Dwyer
First broadcast: Saturday November 21st 2015 @2pm on RTÉ Radio 1.
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries