I originally wrote this to celebrate the blog hitting 66 posts, which as we all know is a significant Star Wars number. However, I ultimately held off as the flurry of news and reveals from Celebration took centre stage. There was a good vibe around Star Wars in the immediate glow of that weekend, and what I had originally written didn’t seem appropriate.
Sadly, it didn’t take long for the fandom to earn its share of scorn once more.
Since Celebration we’ve had the debacle of Hasbro’s Fan’s Choice Poll for the relaunched Vintage Collection action figure line. Amidst all of the smears, allegations of cheating, and outright bullying that I’ve seen on fan forums and websites (adult-ran websites about action figures, no less), the one common theme was the almost-total lack of civil discourse from either side. It’s yet another example of the fandom taking something potentially positive and using it to express the very worst of itself.
Now you might look at this and say “well they’re adult toy collectors, what do you expect?”; and I’d unfortunately have to concede that sometimes that stereotype rings true. But it’s not something I strive to be part of, or that other collectors that I’ve met actively come across as.
That point of view also ignores the fallout from The Force Awakens, where anyone with a contradictory, negative opinion about the film was condemned by the Twitter sphere as either racist, sexist, or racist and sexist. My complaints with the film have nothing to do with skin colour or gender, at all, yet before Rogue One was released that was how many of my arguments were unilaterally shot down.
For the most part, the fans out there putting their energy into Star Wars – bloggers, podcasters, social account keepers – are doing a great job. But I’ve generally found that the points of view that align most closely with my own have come from people outside the fandom – fellow filmmakers, less hardcore collectors. Casual fans who have never once visited theforce.net. Green Card Back has been more successful (by which I mean interesting to write) since I’ve switched focus to talking about the Star Wars phenomenon as a whole; and that’s because I’ve encountered few other fans of my age, with my experience, out there doing this.
I’m living proof that you can be a hardcore fan without accepting every argument from the hardcore fandom (who I would argue can be more dedicated to the fandom than to the films themselves, given the strangely positive reaction to The Force Awakens). If Green Card Back has even a couple of readers who get where I’m coming from, who love Star Wars but not the baggage that comes with it, then this post is for you.
Star Wars is for everybody, friend. And that is A-OK.