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Rebel or Fail? My Star Wars Fandom

Rebel or Fail? My Star Wars Fandom

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So what do you do when your Star Wars fandom is in a lull?

Let me start by saying I will always, always be a huge Star Wars fan. Always. Nothing will ever change that. Embracing my love for this saga changed my life. Literally. No need to rehash how, but I’m talking EPIC change. That’s not an exaggeration. But I’m feeling kind of – blah – right now about the GFFA, and I keep thinking that, with the current Star Wars media bombardment, I can’t possibly be alone…

Back in the days of Hyperspace and its active, very social blogosphere, I wrote so many blog entries as amidalooine in my Emotional Galaxy, that I’m sure I bored people to tears. It didn’t matter what subject struck my fancy at the time or what was happening in my life, Star Wars became THE framework within which I analyzed everything. Everything. It wasn’t just Darth Vader, my favorite mysterious hero-turned-villain-turned-redeemed-dad from way back, who inspired my thoughts. It was everyone, every situation and every character. I saw parenthood through Shmi’s or Padme’s or Owen’s and Beru’s eyes and related sibling issues to Luke and Leia. I measured myself, my shortcoming, triumphs, and failures by the same midichlorian count type yardstick by which Anakin was measured. Whether I admitted it or not, I likened Mace Windu and Yoda to those in my life whose harsh criticisms had discouraged me when what I’d needed was a boost, a kind word. I defined sexy in terms of Padme’s wardrobe. I related many of my other fandoms to Star Wars…Firefly and even my beloved Pittsburgh sports teams. The Force became the written representative for God in my life, and in Hyperspace, Jedi was my religion.

It was so easy to write and “talk” about Star Wars back then because my efforts were so focused. Everyone’s efforts were that focused. Sure the extensive Expanded Universe existed, but it existed to reflect the films in my world, and it was optional.

Now, I feel like a freak, galactically speaking, because I simply can’t keep up with what seems necessary, and so my fandom is in somewhat of a lull. I choose to focus on the films, but is that enough in a time when The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels (which I LOVE but am behind on) animated series have become canon? When novels have become the potential source for key film-related characterizations and plot twists? When Star Wars has reached into our lives so thoroughly and completely that selectively avoiding it, as I do to remain spoiler-free for the films, has become akin to living a media hermit’s existence?

I feel kind of….unworthy of my Star Wars fandom right now.

And then I watch the Rogue One trailers, and tears roll down my face as my heart pounds. The Death Star makes my breath catch and the music swells my emotions. I. Can’t. Wait. I CAN’T WAIT!!!!! Maybe that’s why I can’t conform to mainstream thinking about Star Wars right now. It’s a rebellion, isn’t it? I rebel, too, Jyn!

#irebel

If you’re looking for extensive information and analyses, entertaining reflection and kick butt tips, facts, histories, comics, collectibles, and fashion, PLEASE read the blogs of my Coffee With Kenobi family and friends. They know so much more than I do. Listen to CWK and its sister podcasts. They all do their thing so well in ways I am incapable of at present.

I took an awesome trip to New York City two weeks ago with my dear sister-friend Jay Krebs that I’d love for you to hear about, but she tells it so much better than I ever could. Please read her blog about it! Read all her blogs! Read everyone’s!

And if you’re sitting around some evening thinking about, say… the bridge on Endor scene in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi or why Anakin deserves redemption, the beauty of Rey’s faith and the power it gives her or what the Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith opening crawl line, “There are heroes on both sides,” really means, please hit me up. I’ll be hiding in a corner trying to avoid Rogue One spoilers until December, but I would truly love to talk to you about that which I know. pamb@coffeewithkenobi.com

Coffee With Kenobi 

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16 Comments

  1. Erica
    August 13, 2016 at 08:54 Reply

    Yes, that’s it! I can’t keep up. The EU used to be optional, and I enjoyed it when a book spoke to me. But now if I miss something like a novel (and I really don’t want to read Tarkin–his mind is not one I want to spend any length of time in) I feel like I’m missing something crucial. And yet I just can’t possibly get to everything. It’s leading to a sort of overwhelming exhaustion. I’ve seen all of Clone Wars, but not enough to know ALL of the references. Oy vey.

    I think I just have to figure out how to be a fan in this new era. Hmmm, an interesting question to ponder…

    Thanks for this entry!

  2. pambruchwalski
    August 13, 2016 at 10:08 Reply

    Thank you for “getting it,” Erica! I, too, feel like I’m figuring out how to be a fan in this new era. Mostly, as with everything, I go with my gut. I get all excited about these books, buy them online, then watch them stack up unread, and I let my heart do flip flops every time I see the Rogue One trailers while avoiding the extensive analysis and speculation. I’m just a simple girl trying to make my way in the universe. #truth

    Thank you for your comment!

  3. lovelucas
    August 13, 2016 at 17:00 Reply

    Ringing my bell…..Can there be too much Star Wars? I backed majorly away from everything new since George left. I believe in Dave Filoni but not much more. But Star Wars will always be with me, every day – all day. And especially THIS day when we lost Kenny Baker. I’m just heartbroken. Just the nicest person….always, 100%, first class. I was lucky to meet him several times and every time he was gracious, smiling, just enjoying where he was and the people …well…we adored him.

    1. Pam Bruchwalski
      August 14, 2016 at 21:01 Reply

      Thank you for your comment. I don’t know if I think there’s too much Star Wars, but I definitely think there can be too much expectation about SW. Things certainly seem to have changed since George left. I understand that.

      How wonderful that you had the opportunity to meet Kenny Baker on several occasions. It is a heartbreaking loss, indeed.

  4. Jason
    August 13, 2016 at 19:50 Reply

    Hey, don’t be such a killjoy. This is the BEST time to be into Star Wars with all the cool new content coming and of course the toys are still doing gangbusters. And yet there are people like you who complain and moan and say that things were better in the bad old days when there was no new Star Wars anything. I know this is America and here we have freedom to like what we want and say what we want, but don’t ruin things for the fans who are looking forward to this brave new era of Star Wars. After years of repetitive superhero junk and fake looking robots who turn into cars and other vehicles, this is like a dream come true to have more Star Wars and I am totally looking forward to what comes next.

    1. lovelucas
      August 14, 2016 at 10:37 Reply

      Dude… float your own boat. This is my opinion. You have yours.

      1. Pam Bruchwalski
        August 14, 2016 at 21:03 Reply

        Thank you for this comment, too, lovelucas 🙂

    2. Pam Bruchwalski
      August 14, 2016 at 21:23 Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Jason. I admire your enthusiasm about Star Wars. This is a great time to be a fan, I agree, and I, too, am looking forward…to Rogue One, to Episode Vlll, to hopefully snagging one of those awesome Rogue One posters, to writing a lot more about the things I know and love so well about Star Wars.

      I love lots of things…superheroes and Transformers included.

      One of the best things about fandoms like ours is the camaraderie between us. Keep that in mind, please.

  5. Jay Krebs
    August 13, 2016 at 20:09 Reply

    So much greatness here!
    I think there IS a lot of pressure out there right now, more than ever, to “keep up” in order to be a “real fan.” But you just proved that Star Wars speaks to the soul and from the soul, not to be judged by how many books you read, shows you watch, or how many toys you collect…all of the above-mentioned is great, IF someone chooses to do it, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Besides, when did fandom need a measuring stick? If you lover it, you love it. Period.
    You know how I feel about “gatekeepers” of the fandom (ANY fandom), so I won’t even go into it lol!!
    Awesome, inspiring piece. Truly.
    ~Jay

  6. Jay Krebs
    August 13, 2016 at 20:11 Reply

    P.S.
    Thanks for the shout-out

    1. Pam Bruchwalski
      August 14, 2016 at 21:29 Reply

      You are so welcome for the shout out. Thank YOU for writing such a great entry about the costume exhibit.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I do know how you feel about “gatekeepers.”

      Fandoms, ALL fandoms, are about investing our time and hearts in something outside ourselves, and we all have that in common. There is no, one, right way to be a fan except when it involves belittling others.

  7. Mark Newbold
    August 14, 2016 at 12:19 Reply

    I had no idea you were amidalaooine, used to read all your stuff. I was Jan Lomona, Smugglers Rants (http://web.archive.org/web/20100115051420/http://blogs.starwars.com/galantesdiary). Small galaxy! Great article, just shared on Jedi News.

    1. Pam Bruchwalski
      August 14, 2016 at 21:42 Reply

      I remember you and your Smugglers Rants well, Jan Lomona! Thank you so much for your kind words, and thank you so much for sharing my article. I just bookmarked your Jedi News site and shared it on my Twitter feed as well.

  8. Pierce
    August 14, 2016 at 15:42 Reply

    Wow, this post hit home for me at just the right time. I divorced myself from all things “Disney Canon” shortly after seeing The Force Awakens. Not because I disliked TFA, it’s actually my 2nd favorite Star Wars film, but because I too felt completely overwhelmed.

    At the time of my decision my life was beginning to shatter around me due to a personal event that I’m still battling. Sadly, said event literally occured on Force Friday. Trying to stay “on top” of all the new canon became more stress than I already had and I began to associate the new canon with dark events in my life.

    However, this year I came to the realization that actually Star Wars has been one of my only comforts. On FF I had bought Lost Stars and the other 3 YA novels that was part of The Journey to the Force Awakens and those novels literally kept me sane. That being said I had to jump back in and give it another shot and so far I’m enjoying the ride and have been reminded why Star Wars is a big part of my life. Plus, thinking about my 1 year old and the canon he’s going to grow up with helped too and I want to be able to keep up with him if I’m lucky enough for him to be a Star Wars fan.

    I guess my point to all if this is first to say thanks for this post and second to urge any fans that have “dropped out” of the new canon books and shows to maybe guve it another go sometime. After all, it may just not be an appropriate time in your life to devote your all into it, but try not to write it off for good. It may just come back into your life when you need it.

    1. Erica
      August 14, 2016 at 20:59 Reply

      I think the “time of life” point is a good one. For instance, I’m able to watch Rebels so easily partly because I have an 8 year old at home who loves it too. It’s something that we can share. However, a couple of years ago when the Clone Wars got really dark and scary with the night sisters and Savage Opress, my daughter was only four. It was too scary, and we couldn’t watch it together. So, I lost touch with that story arc as it happened in real time, because it was too hard to fit it into my family life. I’ve gone back and watched all of those episodes, but I don’t think I’ll ever know the Clone Wars series the way I know Rebels because one fit seamlessly into my life and the other didn’t. It’s okay though, it’s just how it goes, and like you said, it will all be there later when the time is right.

      Great discussion!

    2. Pam Bruchwalski
      August 14, 2016 at 21:54 Reply

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your experience, Pierce. Star Wars has been part of some of the brightest – and darkest – times of my life as well. I would never pretend to know what you are going through, but please know that Star Wars has helped me, too….

      …and it’s certainly not gone from my life at all and never has been. Not since May 25, 1977! I just have a lot more to occupy my time now than I did, then!

      All my best to you, and May the Force Be With You.

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Pam is a writer, editor, mother, fangirl, and self-proclaimed geek from Pittsburgh, PA.

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