BRUNSWICK | The troop woke up Thursday in southeast Georgia, but have never fallen asleep for a Brunswick man.
Scott Ryfun, known for his radio talk show and blatant Star Wars mania, travels to the World Golf Village near St. Augustine on Thursday afternoon to watch the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 3- D to follow the big Imax screen.
He’s counting down the days to the new movie’s opening since October 30, 2012, the day Disney bought the rights from its creator, George Lucas.
“I bought shares in Disney right after that and was eagerly anticipating this movie,” said Ryfun.
He also bought tickets as soon as they became available.
His 20-year-old wife J’Deane and 18-year-old son Garrison are driving him to St. Augustine.
“It’s fair to say I expect my socks to be blown off,” he said. “We waited three years and were promised a lot. I think we have the right to have our socks blown off.”
“The Force Awakens” is restarting the series that had been “Revenge of the Sith” since 2005. The latest Star Wars film resurrects beloved characters Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker and introduces a new generation of heroes to save the galaxy.
In the decade with no new Star Wars movies, Ryfun has maintained his passion for the world of Jedi, Ewoks and Jabba the Hutt by attending fan events and collecting and reading numerous books and comics.
“I have a crazy collection of books,” he said, “possibly with the comics by the thousands. I have almost all of the American comics and a large number of the British comics.”
He has so many Star Wars paperbacks that he had to stack them three times deep on the shelf.
“I love Star Wars, but I don’t think there are many people as passionate as he is,” said son Garrison. “It’s something he loves … very much.”
And he loved it for a long time.
Ryfun saw the first Star Wars as a 6-year-old at the now closed Lanier Theater in Brunswick.
“That was July 29, 1977,” he said. “Then it didn’t come out, but then it came here. We waited and waited and waited for this fool to come here.”
When he got to the theater early, he had to wait a little longer in the lobby while an earlier performance was over.
“We had to sit outside and listen to the rest of the movie and I’m dying – ‘Oh, please let me in!’ – but my mother wouldn’t let me because she said we didn’t pay to see this movie. We paid to see the next one, “he said.
Two more episodes came out in the 1980s and three more from 1999 to 2005, and J’Deane learned to love them, Ryfun said.
“She’s a bit of a geek, but she doesn’t live or breathe it,” said Ryfun.
Garrison was born to it.
“He kind of had no choice,” said Ryfun, “but when I do something Star Wars he usually asks to go.”
There were many memorable characters on the show – Jar Jar Binks, Lando Calrissian, and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, for example – but one catches the eye of Ryfun.
“I’ve always been a sucker for Darth Vader,” he said of the villain portrayed by James Earl Jones in the early films. “I’ve always been fascinated by his looks, his attitude and that voice.”
He also has memorable characters on the shelves of his office. He’s got a couple of Darth Vader helmets and figurines of obscure Star Wars characters. He has the rare Blue Snaggletooth, a character that only appeared in the background. It was also a toy he received as a childhood gift.
Star Wars is more than just entertainment for its father, Garrison Ryfun said.
“Someone who just moved into our neighborhood likes Star Wars and it made them bond,” he said. “That’s how he makes friends.”
The film also opens on location, but the Ryfuns are heading to St. Augustine because Georgia Theater Co.’s Glynn Place Cinemas are not showing 3D on their large GTX screen.
“I’m sure I’ll be back to see it here,” said Ryfun.
And more than once, he said.