The web feels the force (and wallet) of fandom

By Gillian Flynn
Updated May 07, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

How best to pay respect to Star Wars? Buy stuff, of course: Online auction sites are brimming with Lucas-spawned detritus. For the action-figure obsessed, there are hundreds of tiny people at Yahoo! (, from a mint Han Solo with carbonite freezing chamber (high bid: $24) to Emperor Palpatine (no takers). Serious Rebel rousers flock to eBay (, whose Star Wars section saw 129,255 items on the block between January and March. Enthusiasts can stockpile Star Wars Atari cartridges, Mark Hamill head shots, Pez dispensers, and stickers galore. Then there was Larry Kelley’s ”Star Wars treadmill.” Actually, it’s just a standard treadmill, but Kelley liked the catchy moniker — and got almost a thousand hits (but no sale). ”I didn’t feel guilty about it,” he says. ”I mean, it really is a cool-looking treadmill.” Talk about extreme use of Force.