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What makes a Star Wars fan?

Discussion in 'General Sequel Trilogy Discussion' started by metadude, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. metadude

    metadude Rebelscum

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    Obviously if you ask someone what of Star Wars they've liked and the say "I've liked all of it" then, here's a clear fan. If the person replies "I like none of Star Wars", clearly not a fan. But where does the line between, "general fan" and "specific fan" appear? For example, if a person says "I like Empire Strikes Back but nothing else" then it seems this "fan" is specifically and ESB fan, and not really a general Star Wars fan. Analogically if a band has released ten albums and I like one of them and dislike the rest, not really something of a fan of the band, more of a fan of that one album, which happens to be in the band's discography. Certainly there is a difference between an "OT fan" and a "PT fan"? They're specifically fans of different parts of the, filmography of Star Wars.

    The question seems relevant to me, especially now. Because of the phrases I see such as "should listen to the fans" or "disrespecting the fans" and when I see those statements, I think, well, I know I'm a Star Wars fan. I like all the movies. I like the entire filmography. That being the case, the statements I see, look false. Because "the fans" is a group that includes, me. And I don't think I'm being direspected by anyone. Nor does anyone need to listen to me. So those statements start to ring untrue because they are creating the appearance of, treating a part as if it were the whole when it's not the case at all. Clearly the word is being invoked by some as a kind of, mask, behind which to hide while they sow discord with relative impunity. So, is there a way to, separate the proverbial sheep from the goats in such a case?

    So a person who doesn't like TLJ is clearly, not a fan, of TLJ, true? A person who likes nothing Disney has done, is not a fan, of Disney Star Wars, seems clear enough. A person who doesn't like Disney Star Wars, and doesn't like the PT, is clearly not a fan of, that entirety of Star Wars. When does, not a fan of the specfic, become not a fan of the general? And bear in mind that I am in no way saying, if you didn't like TLJ you are not a fan. Not saying that at all. In fact, I would think this topic even more applicable to you since you are more likely to be associated with the, wolves in sheep's clothing, as it were.

    I put this in this part of the forum because, I was going to ask, those who didn't like TLJ, how many of the other films have you liked? And, do you consider yourself a "Star Wars fan"? And for those that did like TLJ, how many of the other nine films have you liked, and, do you consider yourself a "Star Wars fan"?

    Is it possible to explore the issue with reason? Perchance civility? Or, is this something that can never be called into question? If, by way of metaphor, I am walking down a road and come to a branch, with two signs pointing; one road well-traveled, the other overgrown; the one sign reading "Everyone must be considered a fan" the other "Or, must they?" and I walk into the inn at the branch, toss my pack onto a chair and ask, "That road. The untraveled one. What lay in that direction?" Does the common room grow quiet? Do people murmer and cast their glances away. All grows quiet, except the cracking sound of the wood burning in the fireplace. Does the bartender nervously continue cleaning his mugs, and stutter, "Th... that road? N.. no one travels that one. It isn't safe." Do his eyes grow wide as he continues, "Th... there be dark things thata way. Creatures, sir. With fangs the size of daggers they be. No good can come takin that path. No good at all. And if you be a prudent and reasonable man, you'll do well to avoid it like you would a leper colony."

    Because if it were me and I heard something like that? I would have to grin and say, "That's funny." The bartender would look surprised and say, "Ain't no joke intended, sir." I'd reply, "Wasn't meaning your words were the funny thing, fat man." The flustered bartender would question, "Then... what?" And I'd lean forward with a smile and whisper, "That they think they're the monsters in this story." And cue the sound of sudden rolling thunder.

    Oh that would be a great line to close out a movie trailer wouldn't it?

    Then a quick stinger; inn doors come flying open and a man enters breathing heavily. Everyone looks up. Dog by the fireplace looks up. "Storm headed this way! Looks like it could be a ..." The bartender interrupts, saying, "Already passed through" before downing a shot of whiskey. COMING SOON!

    Anyway. What was I talking about? Oh right. Thoughts, comments? Flee the theater in a panic?
     
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  2. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    You're a fan of something as long as you're invested in it. It doesn't really matter how deep you're into it. I may not like TLJ, but I'm still invested in some of the characters of this trilogy, mainly Kylo Ren.

    I don't like the movie, but I like Kylo Ren and I want to see his story. So I'm a fan.
     
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  3. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Force Sensitive

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    There's no single definition of what classes someone as a fan (of Star Wars or anything), but I think the difference between the principles of 'half full' and 'half empty' might play a part. You don't like two-thirds of a thing? Well then - the cup is one-third full in the eyes of a fan.

    Oh... and obsession! I'd say obsession about a thing is important. Or let's call it passion shall we?
     
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  4. Ruralfarmboy

    Ruralfarmboy Jedi General

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    So, I can only speak fer my own self ... what makes me a Star Wars fan ?
    How's 'bout I start with what made me one first off...
    Imagination.
    Straight up simple.
    Still the same So Very many years later.
    Turns out, it been 'coz of that one thing the whole time.
     
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  5. Rogues1138

    Rogues1138 Jedi General

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    I created a thread similar to this one awhile ago because I didn’t believe that certain so-called StAr Wars fans who bashed certain films in this universe were actually TRUE Star Wars fans. After much discussion about what a fan really is I’ve learned that even if someone complains about a Franchise to no end, it is because they love it, and want change. It’s similar to a die hard sports fan who wants the best for their team even if the team has lost every game year after year. However, this new toxic hate mongering part of fandom I personal don’t consider fans. To go so far and have an actress remove herself from social media is a bit too far. Anyone involved with that to me is not a fan.
     
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  6. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Force Sensitive

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    Of course 'obsession' and 'passion' can have a dark side. Those feelings may blind us to imperfections at times, but like in a relationship, if we feel like the object of our obsession has rejected us and doesn't love us any more, then that's going to hurt.

    It might make some feel angry and want to lash out and post revenge porn on the internet and that sort of thing.
     
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  7. HuskyRunner

    HuskyRunner Rebel Official

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    I think anybody who puts any kind of support into something can be considered a fan of that thing. I have friends that are fans of the prequel trilogy and don't like the OT. I have friends that like the ST but could care less about the PT and OT. I have friends that like the OT and hate everything else. The great thing about Star Wars is that because it is such a large story, it can appeal to a large audience and, in turn, create an even larger fan base. I think the level at which somebody commits to the franchise varies, but at the end of the day everybody wants the franchise to succeed if they are a fan, even the very vocal minority that have hated everything since the Disney acquisition. Star Wars has impacted multiple generations of people and I think there will always be some level of tension in the fan base over the direction the films and story goes due to how it impacted a person at that time in their life.
     
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  8. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    I hate to put a label on something like fanhood, but I think this definition is fair:

    "Someone who enjoys at least one aspect of Star Wars and holds a general good will toward the franchise's success."



    So basically, I see it like this- Let's say someone really enjoys the original trilogy, but doesn't like the sequel trilogy so far:

    As long as they hope that the content improves in their eyes, they're absolutely still a fan. More power to 'em.

    If they root for the Disney films to fail out of spite- I don't really see them as being a fan of Star Wars in general. Doesn't mean they're not a fan of the Original Trilogy, but you can't really root against a franchise and still be a fan of it, in my opinion. And to be honest, I've seen a lot of that lately. Not necessarily here (but sometimes) but Twitter is full of this cringey behavior.


    It gets a little hazy, though. For instance, what if someone roots for Kathleen Kennedy to be removed from her position? Ideally, they'd be doing this out of some misguided attempt at improving the franchise in their eyes, but at the same time they're helping add to the toxicity of the community. I don't have a great answer for that.
     
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  9. srg

    srg Force Attuned

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    Yeah, I think it's a pretty good definition. It's definitely not a matter of how much you know about the lore or how much merchandise you buy.

    Perhaps it all depends on how they go about it. If somebody likes TESB or OT only and dislikes everything else, then well... I guess that's fine as long as they're not angry about this.

    This is one of the reasons why I think fans should not be listened to... As controversial as it sounds. Or maybe I should put it in a different way: what fans think should not influence the creative process. As you pointed out, Lucasfilm can't please everybody, because the voice of fans is not uniform. Are they supposed to pick and choose? Listen to the "majority"? There's no fair way to do this. The key is to hire top-class creators who understand Star Wars and let them do their thing. We, as fans, can either buy the end product or not.
     
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  10. Darth Qaidous

    Darth Qaidous Rebel Official

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    I like all 10 films. Which is not to say that I fail to recognize valid criticisms of each of them. What counts as valid criticisms likely varies from fan to fan.

    As a child of the 80s/90s I had 16 years to imagine what the PT would be and 32 years for the ST. Neither of them, as expected, met with my prior visions of what they would have been. I quickly disposed of any expectations therein and accepted the films for what they were. This was easier for me for the PT due to the fact that George Lucas made them and I feel like those films add immensely to the saga. The ST as well to a lesser extent as I feel like George Lucas had a better handle on the Star Wars universe than JJA or RJ. I would like to see what JJA does with Episode IX before making my final assessment on the ST.

    As for the anthology films I love both of them. TPTB have done a great job with them, box office not withstanding. I don't care about box office even if I recognize that the better box office success they have the more of these films that will be made. I hope they do make more of them.
     
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  11. KesselRunner

    KesselRunner Rebel General

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    If you like even one part of it, and it becomes a part of you in the process, you're a Star Wars fan. No ifs, ands or buts. :)
     
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  12. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    Oxford Dictionary:
    fan 2:
    n.
    A person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular person or thing.

    Origin
    Late 19th century (originally US): abbreviation of fanatic.

    fanatic
    n.
    1. A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.

    1.1 informal A person with an obsessive interest in and enthusiasm for a particular activity.​

    There's the English.

    A person who has a strong interest in, admiration for, is filled with an excessive single-minded zeal for, or has an obsessive and enthusiastic interest in Star Wars.

    It's not about content quantity.
    It's about an idea; a mental icon.

    A person can be a Christian fanatic and yet have only a passing familiarity with more than 4 books of the Christian Bible, not because it has anything to do with quantity, but because it has to do with a zeal for an idea that reflects a portion of their self-identity iconically.

    Similarly, a violent and bigoted Christian fanatic who sees their view as the only right view and wishes ill upon all other heretical forms of Christianity that are not their view is still yet a fan as well. Again, because the identification of a fan by label is done by relation of that person to their vested interest in their idea of the icon as part of their self-identity.

    It's not about liking, disliking, loving, hating, or quantity.
    It's about whether or not the person has a personal emotional relationship with the idea of something that is now an icon in their mind.

    This is why emotions run hot, opinions of group identity sweeping, and arguments over heresy or orthodoxy so adamant in fan groups, and why it climbs in scale the more broad and generally symbolic something is.

    The more that people can put in what they connect with out of their own thinking into the icons and images of something, the more it becomes personal. The longer it exists, the more a narrative relationship can be formed around it that coincides with the individual's own personal values.

    If an experience comes along which contains all of the visages of their iconified familiar identity, but does not adhere to perceived familiarities of conduct of those images and forms, then it can rapidly be emotionally rejected because of the nature of human neurology which routes a process from the temporal lobe to the amygdala and correlates a passing wave to the fusiform gyrus (primarily facial recognition, but familiarity in general).

    In other words, imagine waking up and looking in the mirror and you see that the image is your image, but it doesn't feel like you. The way it is experienced is somehow different and not how you know yourself to be experienced when you see yourself in the mirror.
    When this happens, people reject their own image and make rationalities as to how that cannot be them. It's called subjective capgras.

    That is how we tick.
    When we become fans of something, we let the icon of something enter into our mind as part of our self-identity, and a large part of that familiarity is how the experience feels emotionally - even if we cannot name it.

    If it doesn't feel like a sympathetic experience to our familiarity, then it can be rejected.

    It all depends on the person and how they form the relationship with the identity of the icon internally as an experience.
    If part of that experience allows for further flexibility in the identity of the experience, then the fan will have a wider availability to form permutations of the icon.
    If part of the identity of the experience is more narrow and requires a more specific experience of emotional familiarity, then the fan will have a more narrow range of availability to form permutations of the icon with.

    A lover and hater of TLJ could each be the latter form, and it is possible - though less likely - that both can exist as the former mode as well.

    The definition, however, is just simply that a part of their own identity includes some iconified form of Star Wars which lights up little paths of excitation in their temporal lobe's alotment of meaning when they think of it.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  13. ZDTemplar

    ZDTemplar Rebel Trooper

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    No offence, but does it actually matter? What's the point of trying to delineate the precise line a person becomes a fan? What point in your life is this useful?

    The only time I'll be talking to somebody about a fandom is if they are self-described fans of it (or if I'm talking to them about my fandom), and want to talk about it. That's all that matters. Do they want to talk about a thing? Then talk about that thing with them. Why would it matter if you believe they are "true fans" or not?
     
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  14. Rogues1138

    Rogues1138 Jedi General

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    --- Double Post Merged, Jun 30, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 30, 2018 ---
    https://thecantina.starwarsnewsnet....y-consider-yourself-a-fan-of-star-wars.52113/
     
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  15. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Guest

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    I think trying to figure out who's a fan, a real fan, is a question that is loaded with some hubris. What I think many people fail to realize is that not all SW fans like SW for the same thing.

    Some fans like the Sith, some the Jedi, the Force in general (trying to figure out how it works, or loving that it has no rules or structure ect..), some like the space ships, the new planets, the moral dilemma's (with or without the Force), the family, the camaraderie, the romance, the world building, the aliens, the different occupations, exploration of the galaxy without the techno babble of star trek, the droids, duels, space battles, land battles, bounty hunters ect... I'm sure there are many more that I'm missing. The point is, anyone can like any combination of those and some I've not thought about, but if those interests in aspects differ from yours, or if they are not interested in what interests you, by asking questions like "what makes a SW fan" you're judging them on your standards.

    There is no set rule why you should like about SW. There is no wrong answer. I think TLJ delivered on some of those and missed on many others. For those of us where TLJ didn't focus on what we want out of SW, it ends up being a bad movie, because we didn't get what we wanted. It doesn't mean we lose our SW fan title, or that if they make a SW that is missing elements that you want to see and thus you wind up disliking that you lose your SW fan title.

    We're obviously all SW fans here, and I believe there are many more out there too. We just don't all like the same things from the franchise, and even when we like the same thing, we like it to different degrees. I think there may even be some elements we dislike. I don't believe that disliking parts of SW (expansion on canon ect) removes us from the fandom either. I think what it comes down to is that there may be huge fans out there who simply don't have the same likes and dislikes than you do. You may not have a whole lot to talk about SW, or it may be more argumentative in nature since you both value things differently, then again, it may make you look at SW differently. Sometimes a different take on something can expose a whole new layer to the story that you were oblivious to. Other times it cements your opinion.

    I think it's a dangerous thing to try and determine who's "good" and who's "bad". It leads to ignoring or diminishing others opinions, because I find it hard to think of any other reason why one would try to define what's a fan.
     
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  16. Cunir

    Cunir Rebel Trooper

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    i think there are a few things that only true fans would do:
    buying star wars novels about characters who only appeared on screen for two minutes, because you want to learn a bit more about them
    buying all the dark horse comics, then the dark horse omnibus books with exactly the same comics in, then all marvel legends books with the same ones in again, plus all the new marvel comics and all their collections, and their collections of all the old marvel comics...
     
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  17. Bandini

    Bandini Force Sensitive

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    I used to love everything Star Wars until december ...
     
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  18. NOT JEDI MATERIAL

    NOT JEDI MATERIAL Rebel Trooper

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    Like life itself, judging others degree of fandom is never going to go well, because each person has a threshold of disagreement. We see this with those who are angry about the ST and want to jump off the train now. The same was true years ago before people really understood the PT and its role in things. What really makes this unique is the fact that most people in the US for example have seen SW films without really calling themselves fans of the franchise. If those people don't show up to see a film that will be noticed in the box office result just like if we fans don't support a film. It doesn't require a SW I.D. card to buy a ticket so we never really know this answer.To me the issue is more to the point " will you support the effort even when it doesn't go your way"? Perhaps that is the line in the sand we can use to measure with?
     
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  19. Kylocity

    Kylocity Rebel Official

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    For me, to be a SW fan is to love the universe George Lucas created. The characters or stories may change and we may like some more than others, but what all fans have in common is our great attachment to this wotld and it’s essence. It is an important part of our lives and it matters to us. That’s why we have such passionate reactions to these movies.
     
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  20. TheAlphaChimp

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    Someone who lives and breathes the universe. Characters and themes that have helped to shape their lives and who have a raw passion for the series.

    MOD EDITED
     
    #20 TheAlphaChimp, Jul 13, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2018
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