AMHERST, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – A long time ago on a campus far, far away, Frank Catalano showed up for his freshman year with two plastic lightsabers, challenging anyone brave enough to a duel.
Catalano has become UMass Amherst's resident jedi master, boasting an impressive record with the lightsabers. "I've done about a thousand duels and only lost about fifteen," he told WBZ's Matt Shearer. Some students started calling him Obi Wan, and the action on campus got more and more attention.
Turns out, there's a lot of students interested in combining geekery and combat, and now an unofficial lightsaber club holds weekly duels.
"It's nice to be able to be able to hang out and socialize with the people that really enjoy to do what you do," said founder Rebekah Panaro.
The so-called Dragalagos Jedi Academy is now over 70 members strong, with a goal of spreading to other nearby schools for an intercollegiate league.
Some members, like Alex Qi, aren't even hardcore Star Wars fans.
"I actually had only seen, like two Star Wars films, so I was just mainly interested this because dueling seemed really cool."
Qi says the group gets some strange looks, but it doesn't matter—they've found their people.
WBZ's Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) has more: