in Data & Insights

The Fans Behind the Force: A Look at the Demographics and Interests of Star Wars Fans

If you’re a lawyer, you’re probably rooting for the Empire.

We’re just days away from the box office opening of the latest entry in the Star Wars saga. Since the original movie’s 1977 release, this space opera has grown from a far-out fantasy film into a massive part of pop culture. Now, with The Force Awakens opening on December 18, we thought we’d dive into the data and see what the digital habits of its fans might tell us about the individual characters that make Star Wars beloved by so many.

Who We Looked At

A typical Star Wars fan is likely male, aged 18-44, watches science, history and horror TV shows and works in IT or legal. We took that profile as the baseline and compared how each character’s fan base differed from there. For the analysis, we chose a mix of legacy characters that have been there since the beginning and a few making their first appearance in the new trilogy.

Darth Vader: The bad guy to end all bad guys. Also a pretty questionable father figure.

Luke Skywalker: The hero of the original films. Makes a remarkable transformation from whiney kid to complete badass.

Han Solo: Charming rogue who reluctantly joins Skywalker in saving the galaxy. He shot first.

Princess Leia: Leads the rebellion to victory over the Empire. Stands toe to toe with anyone in the badass department.

Kylo Ren: The mysterious new bad guy — and maker enthusiast, judging by his home-built lightsaber.

Finn: Candidate for the new trilogy’s hero. Starts off as a bad guy stormtrooper, but seems to have a change of heart.

Rey: Another likely hero for a new generation. Clearly picks up Leia’s mantle as a force to be reckoned with.

What We Found

Each character has a unique demographic when compared to the average Star Wars fan. For instance, Darth Vader fans are most likely to work in criminal justice, Leia fans skew heavily female and Luke fans have the highest salary. Check out profiles of each character below.

To gauge character popularity, we looked at the number of web page visits related to each character for a week following the trailer release in October. Luke was the most read about character, perhaps due to his mysterious absence from the promotions for The Force Awakens.

Popularity of Star Wars Characters

(Based on Quantcast Measure page views of urls including “Star Wars” and the character name from October 19 to 25th, 2015.)

Using an average Star Wars fan as the baseline (represented as the center point of the charts) we compared age, income and gender of the seven characters. In the Gender vs. Age chart, characters that appear in the top right quadrant tend to have a more female and older demographic than the average fan. Characters in the bottom left tend to have a younger, more male fan base. Toggle between the charts to explore other demographic differences between the characters.

Star Wars: Comparing Fans of Different Characters

(Based on Quantcast Measure page views of urls including “Star Wars” and the character name from October 19 to 25th, 2015.)

  • Age vs. Gender
  • Income vs. Gender
  • Income vs. Age
How We Did It

Using Quantcast Audience Grid, we are able to characterize audiences of publishers’ websites, describing their occupation, TV viewing habits and more. For this study, we looked at how fans of the individual characters (as measured by their visits to Web pages related to those characters) compare to one another across categories such as age, income and gender. Using NetWise professional data, we also layered on the highest-indexing occupation for fans of each character.

Quantcast Audience Grid and Quantcast Measure

The Quantcast Audience Grid is the largest open data platform in digital advertising. It applies Quantcast’s leading data processing and data modeling capabilities to dramatically increase the reach and accuracy of any data applied to online and mobile app audiences. With the new Audience Grid reports in Quantcast Measure, marketers, agencies, and Web and mobile app publishers can find new audience insights, down to the article, blog post or ad placement, across thousands of data points. As a publisher, you can choose to promote your valuable audiences using these insights in your public Quantcast Measure profile. Sign up for free by visiting


NetWise Data has been a leader in the alternative data marketplace for online and offline channels since 2010. NetWise has a digital heritage in B2B marketing; segments include everything about the business and the employee.


Posted by Lauren Young, data insights research manager, Nilkanth Patel, UX designer and Arvind Raghupathy, software engineer.