PETALUMA (CBS NEWS) - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens at midnight in theaters nationwide.
For some rabid fans, "Star Wars" is not just a couple of hours in a fantasy world -- it's part of their everyday reality.
In Petaluma, 70-year-old Steve Sansweet runs Rancho Obi-Wan: a non-profit museum that, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, holds the world's largest "Star Wars" collection, with 500,000 items that date back to the first movie in 1977.
"The politics were so dark in America, the Vietnam War, the impeachment of Richard Nixon, the movies were dark," Sansweet said. "And here came something really fresh."
Every year until 2020, a new "Star Wars" movie is set to be released -- keeping fans like Sansweet collecting, creating and longing for more.
"I think it is safe to say that Star Wars is forever," Sansweet said.
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