The Problem With Fandom


I think it’s pretty obvious but I’ll say it anyway, creating a beloved franchise isn’t easy. You have to come up with an idea, build an entire universe to support it, and invest years and years into bringing that universe to life. Now imagine some jackass that you’ve never met getting mad at you for expanding that story in a way he doesn’t agree with. In what fucking universe does that random jackass have any authority over your idea? The Star Wars universe, apparently.

Star Wars has been around longer than I have. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be Han Solo and hang out with Lando Calrissian. I played with my brother’s Star Wars toys until the cheap paint Kenner opted for wore off the faces of the action figures. I dreamed of flying my own Tie Fighter (way cooler than anything the rebels had). I even had a Darth Vader shaped shampoo bottle. I was, and still am, a huge fan.

As I got older, roughly high school age, the next wave of Star Wars films came out. I couldn’t wait to see them. I was there on release day for Episode One. If I am being honest, I did not enjoy it or the next two episodes. Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker a whining, over-emotional ninny, Christopher Lee was wildly under-utilized, and Yoda doing backflips was just an annoyingly absurd spectacle that caused my eyes to roll so hard I could see my own disappointment materialized as faint electrical impulses arching across my gray matter.


I could tell you how I chose not to show those terrible movies to my impressionable young children lest their brains be ruined by that obnoxious lizard bunny. I could tell you that when I saw an adult male cosplaying as a clone trooper, I immediately think less of them. I could even tell you about the time a family member bought me a huge lego set from the prequels and I immediately gave it away to get that cursed mess out of my home. However, what I will tell you is the one thing I didn’t do. I didn’t harass any of the actors who performed in the prequels because I am a rational adult who knows that the people who make and star in movies do not care what some pudgy dickhead from Boston thinks about the thing that made them millions of dollars.

Herein lies the problem with fandom. We identify with characters, we get sucked into stories, and most importantly we invest our money into buying bits and pieces of these creations so we can take parts of those worlds home with us. Without question, franchises need fans who are committed. Without a dedicated fan-base, they wouldn’t make money and the stories wouldn’t carry forward. However, being a fan of a franchise does not indicate ownership. We, as fans, are not entitled to dictate how those stories evolve. If we were, I doubt anyone would have signed off on Luke kissing his sister. 

As the machine of Star Wars churns forward under the soulless yet watchful eye of their Disney overlords, there have been hits and misses and they differ depending on who you ask. If you ask me, for instance, I am going to tell you that Rogue One is the best Star Wars property aside from The Empire Strikes Back. Am I wrong, probably, do I care? Nope.

There are all types of hot, cold, and luke-warm takes. You can feel whatever type of way you want to feel about Star Wars. You can say The Force Awakens was just A New Hope with a slightly different sound track. You can say that killing Luke Skywalker was pointless and really did nothing to advance the plot. You can even complain about the diverse cast… because you’re a backwards moron who is scared of any culture that doesn’t put raisins in potato salad. No matter what camp you’re in, the important thing to remember here is that no one cares what you think, especially not the actors being paid millions of dollars to play space samurai. 

The reason that no one cares about the gripes of some fans is that pretty much all art is made for semi-specific audience. There is a reason they don’t make movies that cater to the Amish. Those people don’t go to movies (citation needed). Similarly, Star Wars doesn’t belong to us anymore, nor should it. The original Star Wars audience is getting old.

The first movie came out 45 years ago. It’s just a matter of time before we’re all going to be too concerned with what flavor pudding they’re serving in the assisted living facility to even go to a movie. The new films are clearly aimed at the children and grandchildren of the original fans. Complaining about the direction of a franchise you’ve been invested in since you were a child is basically the fandom equivalent of old people getting mad nightclubs are too loud. That shit’s not meant for you anymore, you fucking dinosaur. If the music is too loud, you’re too old.


I know it may be hard to come to grips with the progress of time. No one wants to admit they are no longer part of a demographic that Disney cares about but it’s true. That doesn’t mean we have to give up on the movies we loved. We just have to accept that a new generation is in the driver’s seat. So they control the radio. 

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


C.W. “Sarge” Kennedy is a weird, portly war veteran living in southeastern Massachusetts. He has some kind of degree from an accredited university but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his gaping maw as he tries to operate simple technological devices. Room temperature IQ aside, Sarge is a cohost of The Citizen’s Guide to the Supernormal podcast, collaborator on the YouTube Channel Sarge the Destroyer, obnoxious Tweeter known as @bastardprophet, and part-time Instagram train-wreck. If you like short stories with questionable grammar, you can buy two of them at Amazon. He has no other valuable qualities according to people who know him.

Sarge’s contributions