I am a Star Wars Fan: Implications of Long Lasting Franchises

I am a Star Wars fan.

I am not an original trilogy, a prequel, a Clone Wars, a sequel fan. I am a Star Wars fan. Does this mean I like everything that was ever created and produced in this long term media franchise? No. I don’t have this luck and I am fine with it.

There are specific Star Wars projects and stories I don’t like, even when I gave them a try. I can’t bring myself to be on board with the Legacy era, thus my timeline stops at the end of the New Jedi Order book series. It was a difficult time for me when I realized that I didn’t like the stories that came after, because I wanted to.

For a few years, I didn’t read any new Star Wars books. Then I realized that there were still so many stories I didn’t experience yet, and I went back to it, just pretending that the Legacy era doesn’t exist.

The same way, I tried several of Karen Traviss books, but I admittedly can’t stand her way of writing Star Wars, and thus didn’t pick her Clone Wars era novels.

Other than these two examples, I love all eras, from the Old Republic to the end of the New Jedi Order and that of course includes the prequels. I recently rewatched Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for the first time since I finished Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Let me tell you how gut wrenching this was, even more than the previous times I watched the movie.

Concept art for Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Star Wars Identities Exhibition (Lyon, France, 2014)

Concept art for Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Star Wars Identities Exhibition (Lyon, France, 2014)

So, I have things I like and others I don’t in the Star Wars universe. And I can’t stand the haters and all the bashing that takes place. I know this isn’t specific to Star Wars fandom, but it is still a pet peeve of mine.

It isn’t because you dislike something that you have to spread your hate and throw it down people’ throats. This is a huge no-no for me. Among my friends who are Star Wars fans, we don’t all like the same parts of the universe, but we can agree to disagree. This is call healthy discussion.

I am not so familiar with comics, except for the recent DC and Marvel movies, but when I see how many decades these universe have existed, I am pretty sure that many people don’t like everything ever made about them, or even a given character. This is natural to me with such long lasting franchises.

I find it encouraging. Even if you don’t like certain things, it doesn’t mean that the universe or franchise falls down. You can only choose to acknowledge what works for you and this is the beauty of it.

This is why I was so happy to hear how Disney is going to make more Star Wars after purchasing the Lucasfilm. I don’t expect to love everything they will make and I do still have issues with certain things, such as the whole Legend labeling of most of the Expanded Universe.

I still am waiting with an open mind to what will come next. And I was alsoamong people pointing out concerns about the first cast announcement for Episode VII, with only two women and one person of color. Since then I was relieved to see new additions to this cast and elated to see how our main new trio has once again a woman among them, and one person of color among the two men. I am looking forward to see Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, as well as their fellow cast members bring more Star Wars to life.

C-3PO and R2-D2. Star Wars Identities Exhibition (Lyon, France, 2014)

C-3PO and R2-D2.
Star Wars Identities Exhibition (Lyon, France, 2014)

Keeping a benevolent eye upon the Star Wars universe doesn’t make me blind. I was distressed to see how we needed the #WeWantLeia campaign and how #WeWantHera and #WeWantSabine was needed as well in terms of Star Wars toys, including with the new lines for the Star Wars Rebels show. My feminist bone easily gets loud when I see such representation issues, but this is also why I love Star Wars so much. We have had inspiring female characters since the first movie, Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977.

Another reason why I dislike bashing is because it is disrespectful of the fans who like them. I don’t believe in faction wars in fan communities. I know they take place, but I find it sad that we can’t all agree to disagree respectfully when it is only a matter of personal preference.

While on the subject, one thing that highly annoys me in the bashing department is George Lucas bashing. Once again, I don’t agree with all of his choices, but without him, we would have Star Wars in the first place and in the end, this is his baby. As aspiring writers and authors, we are often reminded that we can’t please everybody so why should Lucas have to do it?

I’ll always say how Han shot first, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that Lucas has been a strong inspiration to me for many years, and was the reason I chose my path as a researcher and writer who specializes in Science Fiction, Transmedia and Gender Studies.

I am not asking all of us to have the same opinion – this would be boring – but I can still hope that we talk about what we love instead of spreading hate, right?

-ed. You can find more of Natacha’s work at natachaguyot.org.

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31 thoughts on “I am a Star Wars Fan: Implications of Long Lasting Franchises

  1. I completely agree, Natacha. People can be quick to judge and in doing so tarnish the experience for others. I think you have an excellent outlook and respect for the creators of this franchise because, as you said, it’s not possible to like everything. We will never please everybody, it’s a fact. George Lucas did a stellar job bringing Star Wars to life, and he deserves the credit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you kindly! I have seen fandom wars in many places, but certain haters have particularly shocked me about Star Wars (certain aspects of the franchise). And yes, yes, yes, about Lucas deserving credit!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What killed STAR WARS for me wasn’t STAR WARS, it was STAR WARS fandom. I haven’t watched the movies in a very long time, although I’ve kept up with the books and the new comic series started off very promisingly. I wasn’t too into the idea of the new trilogy until it hit me that my son would be right about the right age to start taking to movie theaters when it came out, and then I was suddenly all for it.

    And, not for nothing, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES wouldn’t exist without STAR WARS, and I’m rather fond of that, so…

    Liked by 3 people

    • I was pleasantly surprised when meeting lots of wonderful people in the Star Wars fandom since I joined WordPress and got more active on Twitter. It was a pleasant surprise, after certain bad experiences from earlier on.

      And for sure, some of us have strong Star Wars influences in what we create!

      Like

  3. Some of the business theorizing that people have around the Disney purchase of both Star Wars AND Marvel is that they were going for the boy audience. The idea is that they had the girl-audience locked in with all their princess movies etc. and that with the addition of Marvel and Star Wars, they could pick up the boys too. All of which is problematic, since it seems to imply boys don’t like Disney’s other movies, or that some or all are gendered. It also seems to gender both Marvel and Star Wars.

    And yet… it also seems like it could at least be partially true, as we think about Star Wars toys like you mentioned (and things like #WeWantLeia) and how long it took with people wanting a female-led superhero movie (finally coming from Marvel with Captain Marvel). It really makes it seem like there are some people who are just amazed by the thought that any and all of these things might be liked by both boys AND girls. Oh, and men and women. By limiting who they seem to be targeting with these things, just from a business standpoint, it seems like they are missing out on SO MUCH MONEY. Just saying πŸ™‚

    Meanwhile, I feel like I could drop a lot of links here, supporting a lot of what you said from Comparative Geeks… and so I will πŸ™‚

    -Star Trek vs. Star Wars: https://comparativegeeks.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/star-trek-vs-star-wars/
    -Lifetime of a Meme or Cultural Relic: https://comparativegeeks.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/lifetime-of-a-meme-or-cultural-relic/
    -Discrimination against Science Fiction and Fantasy: https://comparativegeeks.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/3107/

    You’ve probably seen these before, but your post just really got me thinking. Fandoms are great! But there’s no reason that one has to dislike or hate another. Especially when there’s enough dislike and hate coming from those outside of Fandoms!

    And oh yes, Han Shot First πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, the whole boy/girl marketing just makes me want to bang my head against the wall. I still want a Black Widow movie and more female character merchandise for Star Wars! I am crossing fingers that the most recent rumors about the first Star Wars stand alone movie has a female lead, are true (especially if it’s really Tatiana Maslany who landed said role!)

      Thank you for sharing these great links again! I remember them all (and it reminds me that all the Star Trek shows are on my to watch list as 2015 will be the year I (start to) catch up with the sci-fi shows I didn’t see before!

      Oh yes, Han shot first! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t watched any Next Generation in a while… I have been working my way through rewatching. In the early parts of Season 6 I think. I want to watch Deep Space Nine after that I think! Then maybe Voyager? Okay yeah I think you’re right, watching lots of Star Trek is an easy thing to plan to do!

        And for now, Lucy might be the closest we get to a Black Widow movie… Good thing Lucy was so good πŸ™‚

        Like

  4. Star Wars fan here too … I never got on board with all the picking of nits.
    I wonder if finally, FINALLY, studio execs are finally getting the concept that $1 from a male consumer is just as valuable as $1 from a woman consumer, finally!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope that the studios executives are getting at last. There is still a lot of ground to go but I hope that the rumors about the first Star Wars stand alone movie having a female lead are true!

      Like

  5. It is hard to run a “Star Wars” business when the vitriol of the “truth by consensus” or “channer logic” people attack your social media existence. We’ve started inviting them to our fan table at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 to see them, meet with them and have enough security to handle the psychopathy we have suffered. It’s as if their mouths get jealous of the behinds for as much poodoo that comes out of it.

    To these individual haters: If you like a faction in Star Wars, support it. Stay on your page and spew as much as you want. But it is unfair to come onto other accounts and harass us who do enjoy ALL OF STAR WARS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sorry for the trouble you encountered. I agree that people shouldn’t come spill their hatred. This is just not the way to go. And thank you for the reblog! πŸ™‚

      Like

    • I am very happy with the reactions this post got! As you see, I am finally catching up on replies! I am also certain I could be tempted to write more Star Wars posts for this awesome blog. Just saying, you know? πŸ˜‰

      Like

  6. Great stuff that I can echo support for. I don’t have any reason to get into a nerd rage on the typical Star Wars arguments. Fact is, I like Star Wars. I liked it just as much today as I did when I was eight-years-old. Sure, there are some things I cringe at, but that is not going to stop me from enjoying each film they come up with – much like I have with LOTR – and I will with Marvel – and I will with anything that takes a little glimmer of something I love and is willing to give me more of it in any fashion. We live in a world where these types of things can be produced and shared across the world. I don’t have to watch a bunch of men on stage dancing and singing and speaking in poetry, while another guy makes sound effects off stage for increased dramatization (not that there is anything inherently wrong with any of that). But – I am saying that we living in an amazing era, where creative minds can expand in amazing ways. I mean, dude – movies! comics! books! video games! – it goes forever. We forget how cool this stuff is, and we get to experience it together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said! Thank you very much for your comment. πŸ™‚ We should indeed be able to continue to marvel (no pun intended) at all the creativity around us. Even when we don’t like everything about a given universe, we can still enjoy it and be inspired!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the message about acceptance of different thoughts in your post, Natacha! I particularly liked the last line: “I am not asking all of us to have the same opinion – this would be boring – but I can still hope that we talk about what we love instead of spreading hate, right?” I couldn’t have said it better. Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “The People vs. George Lucas” is an interesting movie, if your into the different reactions folks have to SW, new and old. Toward the end, the nerds interviewed give some ideas for how the prequels and original movies should have been made or changed. And almost all of them are as bad, if not worse, than the movies and changes actually made. It was kinda eye-opening, as most fans who really HATE some part of SW seem to believe they could do much better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe I saw this once. I might have to check it again. I do remember reading how some people would do things differently. Maybe to them, it was better, but I didn’t necessarily agreed at all!

      Like

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  11. “Even if you don’t like certain things, it doesn’t mean that the universe or franchise falls down. You can only choose to acknowledge what works for you and this is the beauty of it.”

    A lesson I learned from liking comics, and a lesson that’s been valuable in all my other fandoms. Hear, hear!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am not as familiar with comics, but I always found similarities between their universes and other long lasting franchises like Star Wars. When you also consider Star Trek (which I only saw tiny bits and pieces from though I plan to fix that) which has run for almost 50 years, it’s normal that most of us don’t like everything. It is also why franchises not disappearing (even when they had parts that you dislike a lot) is a good thing. New creations are possible new things you like!

      Like

      • Yep! I’m a lifelong Trekkie and Whovian… the Whovians especially are known for extreme divisiveness in some corners of the fandom. I’d just stopped engaging with the fandom for a long time, but I was missing out, and partly because I couldn’t fathom other people liking the parts I hated. With comics, you either learn to accept not liking everything, or you become a bitter shell of a human being. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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