I’ve been a fan of Star Wars for years and since the inception of CWK my personal growth in fandom has ballooned to new heights in the last year. Thanks to incredible fans, new friendships, SW celebrities, and Lucasfilm themselves working to bring us brand new content, I’ve had some unimaginable dreams come true being a co-host of a Star Wars podcast. I’ve never dipped my toe too deep into the well that is fandom. Never really got into the Hyperspace message boards, didn’t attend any conventions, and my collection is a drop in the ocean compared to some so I didn’t run in those circles. My fandom was very inward and not many people knew how big of a Star Wars fan I was. Then I met my co-host Dan Z, he happened to be wearing a Black Lantern t-shirt at that encounter, so instantly I knew this guy meant business! It was a few months later he and I plotted and planned the podcast that would become Coffee With Kenobi and it’s been wild ride since.
I had never listened to a Star Wars podcast before. I quickly remedied this and my commute back and forth to work was drenched in the Force. Upon setting up our podcast we plugged into all the social media outlets, this coupled with my daily dose of fans broadcasting their passions so fervently I slowly, but surely stepped foot into a larger world. It was strange and funny, and alive! As time went on my resurgence in Star Wars grew still as I began to pick up EU novels and devour them, I got excited when the new 6” black series figures hit selves and the flood gates opened as our own podcast discussions with guests expanded my knowledge and openness to opinions and ideas set in a galaxy far, far away.
Now, May 2014, I am a little less than a year away from my very first attendance to a Celebration convention and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! I can finally meet all these wonderful people I’ve grown to friendship and fandom with! And now we finally have official news straight from Lucasfilm about canon and casting of Episode VII! A topic it seems my kids ask me about almost everyday!
Wading through social media and all this news in the last two weeks I’ve made some sad realizations about Star Wars fandom. It’s dark. Now, I’ve been a fan of comic books, movies, TV shows, and books my entire life. I know everybody…oh sorry, let me turn this up…EVERYBODY is entitled to their opinion. Bring them on, let’s hear them and I’ve got an infinite amount of my own. I also realize not everybody is willing to agree and that makes for some great debates, although, in the last couple of days, it’s like a giant hate wave has destroyed my happy little sand castle called fandom. Real news breaks and something breaks. Why do fans forsake their own intelligence and good nature and putting out pure, white, hot hate? I say again, opinions in fandom are completely relevant and welcome, and make us who we are, but do we have to be so fervent? What does that say to folks who are just jumping on the Star Wars train? What does that say about your personal human character or even your personal opinion?
Have your rants, but can we develop those into cohesive sentences or words that start a fascinating discussion on your stance?
Maybe this just boils down to disappointment. Are these folks not happy there will be new Star Wars films? One more time, YES, you can have your opinion and you can have your voice heard, but you are calling yourself a fan and then breath fire about it when you do it! Someone, somewhere is getting burned.
On the flip side, say you’ve said your peace and back it with all the power of a yellow sun. Thank you for that. And in response someone disagrees in fire breathing back to you, foul on them. They should understand enough that your opinion counts. Hold fast to your thoughts and beliefs and don’t be quiet. Just do it in a way that is cohesive and well intentioned. You’re not limited to 140 characters. Be smart and take pause to conduct yourself as a professional especially if folks do listen to you. And if you don’t have anything nice to say, then just don’t say it. You can be angry or upset, I know I have many times in the past over choices that are out of my control, but I don’t let that fuel my actions or words.
In the coming days, months, years we as Star Wars fans will get some earth shattering news that may turn us into the Incredible Hulk, but don’t forget, deep down you are Bruce Banner inside. You are human and there are other humans out there that listen to you and call you friend. Be your best, be bold, and let’s not mar our fandom.
It’s a great time to be a Star Wars fan!