Star Wars fans are some of the most dedicated and intense out of any pop culture juggernaut, and are an important part of its lasting influence. Here at Official Star Wars Costumes we salute the fans today, by splitting them into conveniently-numbered groups. So, here are the six kinds of Star Wars fans!
What they know: The movies, the clone wars television show.
What they are: Up to the ages of ten, very possibly the children of fans.
These are the fans that could grow up into any kind of older fan, but all fans, if introduced to Star Wars young enough, will start with this. They’ll love the sounds and sights of the original trilogy, the spectacle of the prequels, and may even find Jar-Jar funny (Don’t worry, never for long). They’ll think the lovey-dovey stuff between Anakin and Padme is gross, but will love to watch them fight alongside each other in the movies and the Clone Wars show.
Reaction: These learners should be treated kindly, and not with disrespect. They love it as we might have once, and if pointed in the right direction, they will continue to love it, as we might still.
What they think about Episode VII: It’s like a year away, they aren’t thinking about it yet.
What they know: The movies, the Clone Wars, some of the expanded universe.
What they are: Older than ten, but still in their teens.
These fans have taken in the canon universe and yearn for more. They might have picked up the Thrawn trilogy, tearfully paged through Chewbacca’s demise in R.A. Salvatore’s book Vector Prime, or looked at the alternate universes of the “What If?” series. If unhindered, they will learn everything they can about the Star Wars EU, and why not? It’s a universe full of space wizards and laser swords!
They will realize the truth about Jar-Jar.
Reaction: It is tempting to dismiss such fans as too young to appreciate the humble beginnings of the series – have they even seen the original versions of the movies? – but their knowledge is to be encouraged. Correct their canon mistakes, tell them of how it was in the past the way a grandfather will pass down stories to the children sitting around his chair, and they will go on to inspire those under them.
What they think about Episode VII: Excitement.
What they know: Movies, deeper knowledge of the EU.
What they are: Anywhere from teenage to college-aged and beyond.
The biggest group of the fans will be in this category. They’ve seen the movies, maybe even the original versions. They’ve watched the Clone Wars (though may consider it too much of a kid’s show) and have enjoyed the EU to a greater extent. More importantly, they remember the dark times, the period between the original trilogy and the prequels, when Star Wars was not the instant money-maker it is today. Books were published, both in the prose and comic variety, but more movies were a dream yet unrealized.
Reaction: They will tell you Han shot first. They will tell you that Jar-Jar and Podracing is a travesty. They will tell you George Lucas has ruined things! They may be right! And, yet, they will line up to see the new versions put in theaters and, yes, they will remember the first time they saw Episode I with wide eyes and bright smiles. It’s important to remember this. Even if they don’t.
What they think of Episode VII: Cautious optimism.
What they know: Movies, EU, Christmas Special, more than you ever will, kid!
What they are: They could be going gray, but still have the love of Star Wars at heart.
We’ve run into the first group that has the chance of remembering the movies when they came out. Did they see it on opening day? Perhaps. Did they see it twice on opening day? We know a few; maybe you do too. The prequels may disgust them – too much noise and light, too many special effects, etc – and changes made to the original trilogy may anger them.
Reaction: Don’t ask them about the Christmas Special.
What they think of Episode VII: If they liked the EU, they’re probably annoyed. Otherwise, we’ll have to wait and see.
“Always in motion is the future,” Yoda said during Episode V, and no truer is that than here. There are many ways for a fan to end up. They could delve deep into Wookiepedia, skim the top of the Expanded Universe, or leave it to the movies.
However, they can be more or less separated into two camps:
The Old Council:
Like the Jedi Order before the rise of the Galactic Empire, they are afraid of change. Why not just leave the story the way it is? This can manifest in some different ways: Maybe they don’t like how the EU has removed ambiguity from the space between the movies, or maybe they appreciate the EU but don’t agree with Disney that it should be dropped in favor of the new movies.
The New Council:
After the Jedi Order is restored by Luke Skywalker following the Emperor’s demise, he makes several changes to the Jedi code, including allowing them to marry. Some fans will always see more Star Wars as a better thing, including the long history of the EU and the decision to make the movies separate from the EU.
There you have it, several of the kinds of Star Wars fans that have grown to love it. Do you think there are more? Let us know!