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Interesting Star Wars Survey From Germany

Star Wars is a global phenomenon. And it has always been quite popular across Western Europe, Japan and Australia. Therefore, it might be interesting for people in the USA to learn what people in other countries such as Germany actually think about Star Wars and who the fans are. The SINUS Institute and YouGov conducted a representative Star Wars survey in Germany and published their results on May 4th. Click through to find out how German Star Wars fans tick and who they are!

Star Wars in Germany

Germany: the land of real life Disney castles and Darth Vader in Lederhosen


2,010 Germans were asked about their Star Wars preferences. The results were weighted and are representative. Not just Star Wars fans were surveyed. So the results show what all Germans think.


How widely known is Star Wars?

  • 93% of all Germans aged from 18-69 know Star Wars
  • 36% are Star Wars fans


What are the most watched Star Wars movies?

  • 50% have seen The Empire Strikes Back.
  • 48% have seen Return of The Jedi
  • 47% have seen The Phantom Menace

It’s curious that the original Star Wars is not among the top three. However, this result aligns perfectly with what Morning Consult found in its representative Star Wars survey in the USA in December 2017, the top three most watched movies were identical, percentages only differ a little, so it seems the fandoms in the USA and Germany are quite similar in what movies they watch the most.


What trilogy is most popular? 

  • 44% like the Original Trilogy movies the most
  • 18% like the Prequels the most
  • 8% think the Sequels are the best Star Wars movies
  • 15% don’t have a clear preference and like all trilogies the same
  • 9% say they can’t distinguish one film from another

So Germany likes the OT the best, I think this is not really a surprise.


How old were people when they first saw Star Wars?

  • 33% were younger than 13
  • 29% were between 13 and 19

It’s certainly no surprise at all that the majority of people were still quite young when they first saw Star Wars.


What kinds of people do like Star Wars?

Next up is an interesting question. What social groups or strata like Star Wars the most in Germany? In other words: who are the fans? What is their background, what social group do they belong to? The SINUS Institute has 10 pre-defined strata or social groups, these have been in use in sociology for more than 30 years and are used in all kinds of research. The following graphic will give you the percentage of Star Wars fans as measured by the total number of Star Wars fans in Germany. A short definition of each group will follow below.

Star Wars Fans by Social Group

Click the image for a larger version!

So what do these social groups or strata stand for? According to the SINUS Institute the definitions are as follows:

  • Hedonists: they want fun and action in their life, they like to consume, among them are also video gamers, higher education. 42% of Hedonists are Star Wars fans.
  • Conservative Establishment: affluent and well educated upper class, conservative, somewhat older people. 36% are Star Wars fans.
  • Performer: they are career-oriented, have a high education, are tech and internet savvy, competitive, a majority of them is male, mostly younger people. Performers are strongly overrepresented among German Star Wars fans. A full 51% of Performers say they are fans of Star Wars.
  • Lower Class: either unemployed or people with low paying jobs and lower education. They like watching tv and entertainment in general, they feel they have been left behind. 40% are Star Wars fans.
  • Middle Class: what the name says, the typical middle class, average Jane and Joe. 27% are Star Wars fans.
  • Creative Avant-Garde: tech savvy non-conformists, mostly young(er) people, what many would call a “hipster”. 43% are Star Wars fans,
  • Traditionalists: they are conservative, many of them are senior citizens, they have a more traditional view of gender roles etc. Only 23% are Star Wars fans, they are the most underrepresented group.
  • Modern Young Middle Class: internet savvy, a more risk averse version of the Performers, they are flexible and open-minded, generally well educated. 31% are Star Wars fans.
  • Liberal Intellectuals: very high education, post-material values, critical, cosmopolitans, interested in art and culture. 32% are Star Wars fans.
  • Social Ecologists: left leaning, they care about social justice and social balance is important to them, they care for the environment and they are critical of capitalism. Interested in culture and generally open-minded. Many of them are middle aged. Germany has a strong Green Party, which addresses many of the topics the Social Ecologists care about. 27% of them are Star Wars fans.

The “Social Ecologists” and “Liberal Intellectuals” account for the fewest number of Star Wars fans in Germany. Around 2.9 million of them are fans. Whereas “Performers”, “Hedonists” and the “Conservative Establishment” account for roughly 11 million Star Wars fans.


Light side or dark side? Which side would you join?

  • Light side wins hands down with 48%
  • only 9% would join the dark side, even if it has all the cookies


And when asked which of 23 Star Wars characters men and women would prefer to spend the night with…

  • 12% of the men prefer Leia, who was the clear favorite
  • women were much less enthusiastic, 57% said they want none of the Star Wars characters, 4% of the women said they would pick Luke Skywalker


And finally…

  • 26% absolutely want to see Solo: A Star Wars Story.

If this is true then Solo would sell more tickets than The Last Jedi, which sold somewhat less than 6 million tickets in Germany. I am curious if that is actually true.

So this is it. I think the survey is quite interesting. Some of the results are in line with what last December’s Star Wars Survey by Morning Consult found (there was a report on JTA about it), which shows that Star Wars fans in the USA and Germany are quite similar in many regards.

What do you think? Are you surprised about some of the German results? Or is it what you expected? Post your opinion in the comments!

Also, Hasbro, please take note: more than 1/3 of all Germans identify as Star Wars fans! Imagine all the merchandise and action figures you could sell here! If only we had good product on shelves and if only prices were actually sensible! And the situation in other traditional Star Wars markets is most certainly very similar. Give us things to buy! Give them a fair price!

YouGov Survey (German Language)
Definitions of the various strata in Germany (German Language)
Background info on the social groups by SINUS (German language, PDF)

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