On Lucasfilm and Disney and Fandom
November 4, 2012
But that’s the thing–Star Wars has become something different since then. It won’t be an extension of the original trilogy. It can’t be, no more than we could expect the mythos of Tron Legacy to ignore decades of technological advancement.
That thought hurts. Episode 7 is finally getting made, but for one reason or another, it’s not going to be the Episode 7 many of us have always imagined. The possibility of that Episode 7 is gone.
When you think about it like that, doesn’t it make fandom seem a little ludicrous?
Call it art, epic storytelling, or classic cinema. Call it childhood nostalgia. All of those terms apply to Star Wars, and if that’s what drives us to fandom, then we do well to enjoy them. But we still have to remember that when we love a property and make a part of our life, it can still be taken away by something as mundane as a corporate merger.
That, in turn, reminds me that I’ve been taking these things too seriously.
If you’ll forgive me for reappropriating the quote, I often come back to this idea that fandom is a thing that slips through our fingers the more we tighten our grasp.
It’s an idea I encountered in C.S. Lewis’s autobiographical Surprised by Joy, where Lewis first encounters this sense of "joy" in Norse mythology. There is something about the imagery of "Northerness" in these epics that is unattainable and indescribable, but desirable. But the more he immerses himself in these stories and music, the more he realizes it’s impossible to recapture that sensation. Joy is not the object of desire so much as it is the desire itself.
In that sense, perhaps it’s just best to take what we’ve gotten from Star Wars–whatever era we enjoyed the most–and not expect anything more. If we are pleasantly surprised by the new movies, then so be it.
But there’s so much more out there to explore. There are more worlds–literary, musical, and cinematic. We should enjoy these too, but perhaps not set up camp for too long in any given world. (After all, there’s a lot out there to explore.) And there’s so much beyond the realm of media that we can explore–and these things aren’t as easily taken away by a business deal. It’s cliche, but perhaps there is a time to turn off the TV and go outside. If Star Wars makes us angry then maybe we’re choosing to limit ourselves to a box where Star Wars matters much more than it should. (Insert your favorite fandom for Star Wars.)