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How One Star Wars Fan Left the Corporate World to Start Her Own Company

How One Star Wars Fan Left the Corporate World to Start Her Own Company

Betty Nguyen was ready for a change. After more than 15 years in the corporate legal world she’d grown tired of dealing with the endless piles of paperwork.

So she decided to travel.

“I’ve learned that money isn’t everything. Happiness is,” she said. “Traveling experiences shaped my thoughts and beliefs as I compared and analyzed what was really important to me.”

It was this love of travel that inspired her to quit her job and launch her company Nomoon two years ago. Dedicated to sustainable tourism, Nomoon offers tours to destinations around the world. It’s since evolved to include travel-related products and advice.

“Learning about different cultures, trying new cuisines, and visiting locals can help travelers with their authentic experiences,” she said. “It’s much deeper than just visiting landmarks. I’m an advocate of helping small local businesses and encouraging others to support and protect the destinations we visit.”

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Besides travel, Nguyen has another passion from a galaxy far, far away: Star Wars. It’s the thing that inspired her company’s name. Observant fans will recognize Obi-Wan Kenobi’s famous line in it: “That’s no moon. It’s a space station.”

A lifelong fan, she remembers standing in long lines to watch the original trilogy in theaters before she and her brothers received the movies on VHS tapes.  “We watched the original trilogy more than 100 times. We were a bit obsessed, to say the least.” That obsession lasted well past childhood and was part of a special day in 2014. “I was married near Munich, Germany,” she recalled. “We had John Williams’ music play during the processional and recessional and the 501st Legion surprised me with a church visit. Darth Vader and several Stormtroopers led the wedding party (and a Bavarian polk band) around the village to the wedding reception venue. It was quite a sight to see.”

Nguyen’s enthusiasm for the space opera hasn’t waned over the years. After the surprise appearance of the 501st at her wedding, she decided to become part of the international organization dedicated to the construction of replica Star Wars costumes. “I’ve always wanted to be a Stormtrooper,” she recalled. “The Jes Gistang character was approved by the 501st and I bought the armor in 2016. Due to my travel work, I wasn’t able to finish the armor until a year later, but it was completed in time for a July 4th parade troop.”

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She enjoys being an active member of the 501st and points to the group’s charity events and community visits as highlights.

“It’s a wonderful and welcoming community of Star Wars fans who enjoy giving back to their communities. On the forums, they are extremely helpful with armor advice, equipment, etc.” As she continues to cross time zones and work on her armor, Nguyen’s current obsession may take her to even more places.

“I’m obsessed with aviation,” she said, “and planning to get my pilot license next year.”

Thankfully, you won’t need a plane to check out Nomoon’s website.

Where has your Star Wars fandom led you? Tell us in the comments! 

Image Credits: Betty Nguyen, Nomoon

Ruel Gaviola is a writer and educator based in Southern California. He loves board games, books, cooking, traveling, date nights with his wife, and Star Wars. He reviews games and reports news for iSlaytheDragon.com and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. Follow him on Twitter.

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