In one of my lives, I work in a large corporate reseller of media. The hook is books. Lots of them. But we have CDs and DVDs, periodical literature, and some sundry merchandise which we gather under the catch-all category of "Gifts and Stationery."
One such "gift" is a replica of a light saber. Lots of people (children especially) are amused by them. Fans of Star Wars know immediately what they are and play with the demo model in the store. Other people seem peripherally aware of them without knowing specifics.
One such customer played with the demo model for a few minutes before joining her companion at the register. She like so many others is shocked that such a thing might cost more than a hundred dollars. Shocked even though it lights in a way that mimics the special effects of the late-70s Science Fiction movie, and sounds like the foley effects--in response to an embedded motion sensor. It's a very cool toy, and a very accurate replica.
Yep. I own one. Specifically, it's the model Anakin Skywalker used while he was a Jedi. The one Obi Wan gave to Luke in the first theatrical release (Episode 4). You know... with the blue blade. There's also Darth Vader's, Luke's own (that he made during his Jedi training), and there is a Darth Maul model. If you buy two of the Darth Maul models, you can lock them together to make a double-ended saber just like the one in Episode 2 (I think it was that movie).
There are groups that have come in to buy out our entire stock in order to use them to stage mock fights.
To be sure, those 'saber replicas have a certain allure for the geekiest among us.
It was that geek in me that was really disheartened to hear that customer tell her friend about the light saber from Star Trek.
I gave a light-hearted whisper to her saying simply "Star Wars..."
To which she responded by correcting herself, then announcing to me that "I'm not much of a Trekkie."
I had nothing more to say to her. I knew explaining the multitude of ways that her response was oh-so-wrong would just fall on deaf ears.
I think I just blinked.
"Trekkie," echoed through my brain. I felt wounded.