I’ll make this brief, or at least try too.
Like everyone else I was hella excited to watch the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer last night. Maybe not excited enough to stay up past my bedtime or watch a football game I didn’t care about, but excited enough to wake up at my normal time of 4:30am and jump on YouTube before I even wiped the sleep from my eyes.
I liked the trailer. Hell, I loved the trailer. Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it or you want to bask in the awesomeness again.
My liking or loving the trailer isn’t why I question my fandom, which is over 40 years strong now.
When the first Star Wars movie arrived in theaters (before a New Hope was added to the title) in 1977, I was just shy of being one year old. My parents saw the film (without me of course) and were instantly in love with the universe George Lucas created. Through their love of the movie, I was surrounded by what merchandise there was. Before I even knew what Star Wars was (or much else for that fact) I had some clothes, story books, and a Sand Speeder and Greedo figure given to me from my aunt.
Surprisingly I can remember the day I got those toys when I couldn’t have been any older than two or three. But that is a testament to the strength of Star Wars and the mythos it created within its own universe and my life.
Anyway, this is NOT the part of the post where I say Disney killed it, or I’m just not into it anymore, or any of that bullshit…NO, this is the time when I say I LOVE STAR WARS ENOUGH TO TAKE IT AT FACE VALUE AND TRUST IT.
I love Star Wars enough to trust it. Yes, I trust that it will be there for me when I need it, just like it has for 40 years. It has always been a part of my life and always will be.
I know I’ll be entertained and mystified so I don’t feel a need to explore the deepest, darkest parts of the trailer for meaning or clues, and I don’t feel a need to display my intelligence in the subject matter by pontificating. Does that mean I don’t questions that I hope will be answered? No, I have plenty of questions and I’m pretty damn excited to see how everything plays out. Does this mean I’m not a super fan? I sure hope not, but on the “day after” when everyone is whipped up into a rabid frenzy and spouting theories left and right I look like the odd man out by simply stating “boy, I’m excited, I can’t wait”. All morning at work I’ve been asked by people “What do you think this means” or “what do you think will happen”. I hate to say it but I feel like saying “I don’t care”.
Its not a fact of not caring, it’s a fact of wanting to let the story unfold without any preconceived ideas.
Whenever I see a Star Wars movie, or anything Star Wars related really, I am instantly transported back to being a kid again. So much so that I retain a bit of naivety and wonderment.I think that a lot of the issues that face us as fans is that our imaginations run wild (which is a good thing) and when the moment comes when we are faced with the reality of the finished product, we get angry. We get angry enough to turn on each other and say someone else’s imagination isn’t as good as our imagination and they suck. WTF? Imagination is a blessing we all share. We should embrace EVERYONE’S imagination because the use of it is powerful and should be applauded. It is a stepping stone to conversation and when shared should be the exploration and expansion of greater ideas and dreams. Does this kind of behavior make someone a better fan for belittling others?
I am not criticizing anyone with a theory. I’m happy you have one but please respect everyone else’s imagination. I am criticizing myself and wondering if I’m as much of a fan as others because I’m not sweating the details and just along for the ride. So I guess I’m questioning my fandom only because I am willing to not have a theory. As weird as that may sound, we live in an even weirder time but I’m happy to trust in Lucasfilm, Disney, and Star Wars itself to transport me to universe that is a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, where I’m still a little kid.