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Star Wars: A nexus of pop culture that excites fans of all ages. More than just a movie series, George Lucas's creation has spawned a universe of books, video games, and knick-knacks galore. If you're looking for something to get as a gift for your favorite Star Wars fan—or just for yourself—it's easy to get lost in the sea of products filling the retail galaxy.
As a Star Wars fanatic myself, I let the Force guide me across the internet to track down some ideas that I think are pretty amazing, and should fit a variety of budgets and personal tastes. Even Jedi knights and Sith lords can agree: You'll find something here to bring that galaxy far, far away just a little bit closer to home.
BB-8 with Force Band
Ever wanted your own droid buddy rolling around the house with you? This pint-sized BB-8 robot lets you live out that dream, and is deceptively fun to play with. You can set him to patrol on his own, or take control of him. BB-8 responds to voice commands, a smart device app, or—if you want to feel like a real Jedi—the special Force Band.
Buy the BB-8 Sphero with Force Band for $199.99 at ThinkGeek
The band itself also lets you engage in "weapons training" for lightsabers, blasters, or even the Force itself. I tried it out on my own, and while the app controls take some getting used to, it was surprisingly addictive. At the end of the day, BB-8 is both incredibly cute and just plain fun to play with. If you want to save a little money, consider getting BB-8 on his own—Amazon has priced him at $128 without the Force Band.
Death Star Waffle Maker
There's absolutely no shortage of Star Wars-themed kitchen utensils, ranging from toasters to popcorn makers to herb grinders, and even lightsaber immersion blenders. But we picked this particular item for one key reason: Who doesn't love waffles? Even the Empire can't say no to a golden disk of sweet breakfasty goodness, and the customer reviews on Amazon tend to agree. It's not just a cheap novelty product, either: A stainless steel exterior with nonstick plates make it practical and durable, too.
Want to make the Death Star II instead—and mess with your kids a little? Take a bite out of each waffle before you serve it. And if the Death Star isn't your thing, try one in the shape of everyone's favorite Sith lord, make an army of stormtrooper heads, or see how droids taste with BB-8.
Star Wars movies tend to debut around the holidays, which means you'll probably be cold after you get back from the midnight screening. What better place to warm up than on your own Wampa-skin rug? It could be a great fit for a kid's room or a bachelor pad, depending on how whimsical your tastes run.
Buy the Wampa Rug for $129.99 at ThinkGeek
If a rug with a face is too much for you, a Chewbacca rug could serve as a viable alternative. Don't start freaking out, now: It's basically a conventional fluffy brown rectangle with a bandolier pattern across it—subtle enough to look like a regular rug, while still serving as a shoutout to your favorite walking carpet.
Darth Vader Humidifier
True, this one is more on the practical side, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Humidifiers tend to look clunky and unattractive, but this Darth Vader head makes you want to hunt down a dry room just for an excuse to use it.
User reviews praise it for its sizable reservoir, which is large enough to run overnight without fear of the tank going dry. The solid-looking design makes it an attractive ornament when not in use, meaning you can leave it out year-round even when your baseboard heater isn't drying out the bedroom.
TIE Fighter Cufflinks
Don't want a gadget or knick-knack? Consider sending your wardrobe into space with these classy cufflinks. We like Darth Vader's special TIE fighter, but you can find everything from sterling stormtrooper heads to steampunk Rebel Alliance symbol to a stern-faced Yoda. There are also options for every budget, running the gamut from $12 to $125.
Not a fan of French cuffs? Never fear: Amazon has a bevy of other clothing options, including bow ties, novelty socks, tie clips, and even shirt studs. And to our surprise, most of them look quite understated—we'd even be comfortable wearing most of these accessories into meetings. Then again... we work in a weird office.
Millennium Falcon Haynes Manual
If you're into cars and motorcycles, or just engineering in general, you've probably heard of the Haynes manual series. If that's the case, you may be interested in the official manual for the Millennium Falcon. Told from the same objective engineering viewpoint as other Haynes manuals, this book—packed full with colorful images and detailed performance breakdowns—will scratch a sci-fi and engineering itch that you never knew you had.
And if you're concerned about enthusiastic authors making things up that aren't consistent with the Star Wars universe, don't fret: This came out of a partnership with Haynes and Lucasfilm, so you know it's done right. If you want to tackle something a bit grander than a spaceship, consider the Death Star manual as a companion piece.
Millennium Falcon Drone
Despite some misconceptions, not all Star Wars fans are shut-ins. If you want to take your love of that distant galaxy out into the sunshine, consider the Millennium Falcon drone by Air Hogs. (Though to be clear, you can use it inside, too.)
In principal, this works the same as any other remote control quadcopter drone... but it's the Millennium Falcon! Amazon consumer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and who could say "no" to the chance of making your very own Kessel Run? Just make sure you get a pack of batteries to go with it; the controls needs six AA's to operate.
Death Star Ice Mold
This tiny little stocking stuffer could be a charming addition to your freezer. Novelty ice can be a fun way to add some zest to any drink, whether it's soda or Scotch... or both? The ball is both heat and cold resistant, and it's dishwasher safe.
Buy the Death Star Ice Mold for $12.99 at ThinkGeek
ThinkGeek's description indicates that you can also use this silicone ball to mold soap or chocolate, making it an interesting gift for crafters as well as folks who just like a nice cold drink. At $13 a pop, it may be a touch expensive, but we think it's worth a little splurge.
Chewbacca Can Cooler
Another fun stocking stuffer is this fluffy can cooler reminiscent of your favorite Wookiee complete with bandolier. On the inside, you've got a rubber sleeve that will keep your drink cold; on the outside, a polyester Wookiee "pelt" keeps your hand warm. Whether you like to have a can of soda on your desk at work, or just want to show off at the next football game, this is sure to be a hit.
Buy the Chewbacca Can Cooler for $12.99 at ThinkGeek
Take note: It may be difficult to get a Wookiee to take a bath, but that's the only way to keep it clean. This can cooler should only be washed by hand, so may sure you don't toss it in with the rest of your laundry if it starts to get matted.
William Shakespeare's Star Wars
A personal favorite that I received as a Christmas present, Ian Doescher's literary take on both the original and new trilogies combines the best of Star Wars and Shakespeare. It's a winning combination, especially if you're into both sci-fi and theatre.
The cover drawings are clever, especially if you're familiar with some of Shakespeare's iconic images: Jabba the Hutt appears to be wearing Shylock's famous red hat, while General Grievous's hunch evokes Richard III. And you don't have to get very far to pick up on the humor with titles like Verily, A New Hope or The Jedi Doth Return.
Whether you love Star Wars, Shakespeare, or just good books, this set is a surefire winner for any personal library. Each hardcover volume costs between $10 and $13, while the original trilogy is available as a boxed set for $30. Most also softcover, Kindle, Audible, or CD editions.