With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the franchise has seen a bigger fan base as a new generation of people enjoy the film, some of whom haven’t seen the previous six films. These new fans took to social media, predominantly Facebook to express their interest.
Sadly, they were met with (for some reason) annoyed older fans, telling them that they couldn’t possibly be a ‘real fan’ as they had only seen one film. Why are these people telling new fans that their interest isn’t genuine? Some users have been met with comments asking them about Star Wars trivia, as an attempt to get a wrong answer to further dismiss their interest as trivial.
I think it’s completely ridiculous. Older Star Wars fans are worried about their fan base being overrun by ‘children’. Surely real fans would want to share what they love. I honestly don’t see the problem with the fan base growing, even if some have only seen The Force Awakens. Most of those who had only seen that one film are likely to eventually see the others. People should be allowed to freely express their enjoyment of the film without the fear of being attacked because maybe they don’t know as much as older fans.
A lot of those older fans criticise the younger ones for ‘not being nerdy enough’, not being interested enough in ‘geek culture’, which used to be seen as a bad thing, and which many people are still protective of. The best example I could probably give of this is the guys from Big Bang Theory, who love their comic books and make fun and dismiss those who don’t know as much as them; rather than accepting and educating them.
To me, this culture is damaging. It further isolates those older fans who once complained that not many people liked what they did. Now they are isolating themselves; complaining that geek culture has lost its intimacy and that people aren’t appreciating ‘their things’ in the same way. If they see newer fans as ignorant, surely the right thing to do would be to introduce them to ways to further inform themselves on the topic.
Obviously it isn’t the entire older Star Wars fan base who are belittling these new fans and making them feel like they are less worthy of enjoying the films, I just wish those who are would stop. If Darth Vader can accept the light side, I’m pretty sure old school Star Wars fans can accept new fans.