A lot of people have been preparing for The Force Awakens by watching the other Star Wars movies. For some reason I haven’t felt compelled to watch any of the previous episodes. I don’t need a refresher on what happens in Episodes I-VI; I’ve pretty much got them figured out. Others don’t need that refresher either; I think they’re just expressing their excitement.
I’ve found, though, that I’ve got this weird attitude. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it, but it feels like I’m judging how others are expressing their excitement for Star Wars. I feel like I want to prove that I’m a bigger Star Wars fan than others and the only way to do that is by judging them.
I understand Star Wars so well that I don’t need to watch any of the other movies to get ready for The Force Awakens.
I love Star Wars so much that I don’t want to know too much going in.
My passion for Star Wars is so deep that I’ve really thought through its impact on modern culture.
Those three statements are true and, independently, they’re not entirely offensive. However, when I add pride or a competitive edge to them, they sound a little pretentious.
There’s this small part of me that feels like Star Wars is mine. I’m like a hipster who doesn’t want anyone else to hear his or her favorite band. It’s not my Star Wars, though; if anything it was George Lucas’s, but it’s not even his anymore. Star Wars belongs to every fan all over the world. But when something is so important to us, we want to feel like we have some small claim to it.
That’s why Star Wars is our enduring mythology. It means so much to so many people because it has been a constant presence throughout all of our lives. I never knew a world without Star Wars. By the time I was born, it had already been revealed that Darth Vader was Luke’s father. And for anyone born in this millennium, they’ve grown up with six movies, hundreds of television episode and an almost infinite number of toys.
The Force Awakens is going to make a lot of money because even nominally interested fans are going to see it. In fact, I had a former coworker ask me for a Cliff’s Notes summary of Episodes I-VI so that she can be ready for The Force Awakens. But it’s going to make a lot more money and get even further entrenched in our cultural conscious because of all the passionately committed fans like you and me.
Star Wars fans express their excitement differently and that’s OK. Mine is a slow burning, white hot excitement, but that doesn’t make me better than someone standing in line dressed as Sy Snootles. Star Wars doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to us. And I can’t believe that tomorrow we finally get to go back to that galaxy far, far away.
How would you describe your excitement for Star Wars?