But as soon as I mentioned his lightsaber collection, Kang’s face lit up. Literally. The lightsabers, created by Star Wars fan and professional engineer Makoto Tsai, are high-quality items made of billet aluminum that can glow, spin, and make the iconic “vawoom” sound. But the sound doesn’t register so well through Kang’s small video screen, so he does his best to mimic the sound for me. “Can you hear it?” He asks, as he brandishes the lightsaber again. Sadly I can’t do that, so Kang put the lightsaber down to talk trembling tremorA blistering rendition of 80s horror films, which also happens to be the actor’s directorial debut.
Best known for his role as the ultra-cool Han in the Fast & Furious franchise, Kang realized that the ’80s supernatural comedy was an odd choice for his first time behind the camera. But he says he immediately connected with writers Aaron Strongoni and Andrew McAllister’s vision for the film.
Kang explains, “We are children of the 80s and the movies we grew up watching In Verse, “Especially like horror movies American Werewolf in London, nightmare on Elm Street, GremlinsAnd goons, He relied on the artistry of practical effects.”
Like many children of the ’80s, Kang naturally grew up on another iconic franchise: Star Wars. As an actor, he managed to play the dark role of the villainous Fifth Brother in the Disney+ series Obi-Wan KenobiBut as a kid, he indulged in his fantasies about that galaxy far, far away just as we all did: dressing up as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker and, uh, burning his Star Wars dolls.
“We’re making up scenarios and we’re like, ‘Okay, the dark side is attacking,’ so we’ll take my mom’s Aqua Net hairspray and a lighter and start burning them,” Kang says. “I was doing special effects at the time, burning people, burning action figures.”
In Verse Talked to Sung Kang about how he went from burning Star Wars action figures to collecting lightsabers to what he stole from the set obi wanAnd his fondest (and possibly most illicit) early Star Wars memory.
geeking Outside One In Verse Series in which celebrities tell us about their silly and peculiar interests, hobbies or collections.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
I hear you have a pretty nice collection of lightsabers. Can you talk to me about that collection? How did it start?
Well, it’s actually very recent. I went to Taiwan for a project and I had no idea there was so much excitement about the Star Wars franchise there. Every day there was a group of people in Star Wars cosplay waiting for me. Every day I received some gift from the Star Wars franchise. And a gentleman, Makoto [Tsai], have mastered the craft of making these lightsabers. He has workshops and he teaches people how to make these lightsabers.
He charges people a fee from this workshop and donates the money to a local children’s hospital. They all get together from time to time to cosplay, and go out to cheer these kids on. Sometimes you think, Maybe the fans are a little crazy sometimesBut for someone to take their love for Star Wars and pursue it like this, what a beautiful person.
Did you steal anything from the set? obi wan, Everyone has those stories, right?
I could get in a lot of trouble for it, but the series came out, and it’s over and stuff… I stole it from the set and very few people in the world have seen it.
So I played the role of Fifth Brother and every day I was in makeup for prosthetics for four hours. They had to make these molds for prosthetics, and they make your body cast. They get your face and then slowly begin to build the prosthesis around the mold. So I asked him on the last day, “What will you do with them?” And they’re like, “Okay, maybe one of them we put in storage, but then the rest of them we’ll throw away.” And I said, “Okay.” And then they turned their backs, and I took one, and I stuck it in my car and drove away.
Oh my god, it’s a mold of your face.
Yes. So, this is my body. It’s actually my shoulders and the top of my head, but then it’s actually the prostheses that they make me wear every day. So it took about four hours every day to put it on my face, and then they had to color it all, do the eyebrows, and all the color and stuff. So this was stolen from the set obi wan.
Even though you started collecting lightsabers after starring in the Star Wars show, would you consider expanding with more lightsabers? Is there a place you’d go looking for lightsabers, or is it just a collection, as it is?
I want to continue the collection. I’ve become good friends with Makoto in Taiwan and he draws everything from Star Wars. So I think next time I go to Taiwan, I’ll take their workshop and learn how to make them myself. I think it would be fun.
These are just the three that you have right now, right?
You said it’s something you can’t use on set, but how would you compare it to the weapons you were using obi wan?
I think these are better. The ones we were using were sometimes made of rubber because they were lights and stuff. And my character didn’t have real big action scenes, so it’s just a piece of rubber stuck on my back. It didn’t light up, it didn’t do anything, it didn’t spin or anything like that. It was made from a rubber mold but it didn’t actually do anything. It didn’t perform like the others.
So you could say, now that you’ve started this lightsaber collection, it’s like living out those dreams that you weren’t able to actually get to live on set obi wan Because you weren’t really given any action scenes?
I know, unfortunately. I kept asking. I kept asking him. Sometimes I ask my wife to hold the other one… and I say, “Let’s pretend.”
Do these always stay in their case and ready to be taken out, or do you have a display for them?
I don’t have any on display yet, because I actually just got them from Taiwan. I just came back a couple of weeks ago. One of the fans created this carrying case. This is very good. Eventually, I’ll have a cabinet and a little stand so people can look at them and touch them and stuff, and they’ll always be charged.
What would you say was your earliest Star Wars memory as a kid?
I used to go to Toys “R” Us and find as many Star Wars action figures as I could. When I was a kid, I got in really big trouble because I snatched some of those from the store and we got caught. I and my friend were busted. This was the first and last time I made a purchase. I couldn’t afford them, but I loved Darth Vader, I loved Luke Skywalker, and I don’t think they had security cameras at that time. We would go to Toys “R” Us every day and touch the action figures, and finally, I said, “Let’s just put them in our pockets.” We got stuck in a big way. The police came, they took us to our house, and my parents attacked me.
So I don’t know if it’s my fondest memory, but it is the most painful Star Wars memory. As a kid, I wanted those Star Wars action figures in my life so badly because that was the thing at the time. Everyone had Millennium Falcon models and accessories, and if families had the money, they had complete collections of every character. And I had Princess Leia, which was the cheapest action figure at the time. At that time no one wanted Princess Leia. And the funny thing is that eventually, when I had a significant collection, I burned them all, because one day I was bored and I found my sister-
You burned them?!
Yeah, because we’re making up scenarios and we’re like, “Okay, the Dark Side is attacking,” and there’s an explosion, so we’ll get my mom’s Aqua Net hairspray and a lighter and start burning them and Then I would get my sister’s Barbies and put them inside and start burning their hair. And in the end, you’ll have a bunch of melted plastic, but in the moment it was fun. I guess that’s how you start to run out of action figure time, but I wish I had them today because these were probably the Series One versions of the action figures. I was doing special effects then, burning people, burning action figures.
Thankfully, this did not lead to a life of crime. Instead, it gave life to films.
Yep, instead I stole the onscreen stereo and stuff.
Well, thanks so much for chatting with me and showing me your lightsaber collection. I hope it expands from here and you have more than just these three. Maybe it will go to 15 or 20.
it. Watch. Next time you talk to me I’ll have an entire wall full of lightsabers.
SAG-AFTRA has approved an interim agreement for Shakey Shivers as the film is being released by Cineverse, an independent, non-AMPTP-affiliated distributor. According to the guild, under the terms, members “can work on these productions without violating the strike order.” The entire Shakey Shivers team expresses their gratitude to SAG-AFTRA for allowing artists to promote Shakey Shivers during this challenging time for the industry.