Saturday, November 14, 2015

Star Wars and me

One of the questions I get asked the most when talking about pop culture is: "Are you a Star Wars fan?" It's often said in this way that suggests that everybody expects you to answer in the affirmative, because Star Wars is still the one franchise that everybody knows and accepts somehow over which you can be a geek or fan. They're usually surprised when I answer "No, not really." I'm not a fan. That doesn't mean that I hate or dislike the franchise. I watch the original trilogy as everyone does, I'm just not over-excited about it. Of course, it hadn't always be thus. 

When I was a child, and even as a teen, I loves Star Wars. I mean, how can't you? I used my Legos to build crude X-Wing-models (yeah, kids, Lego didn't do licencing back then!) and started collecting the action figures when they came out. Good times. As a teen, I read some novels of the expanded universe, but without any particular order or grasp for the bigger thing (for example, I never read Shadows of the Empire). I played Rebel Assault, which was da thing back then, and everything was fine. 

I wasn't even turned down by the prequels, although this would be the classical tale. I never went uber-fan with them, but I don't remember thinking them bad back then. But in the 2000s, I started to drift away from Star Wars. There were simply better things around to geek over, starting with the Lord of the Rings and fantasy roleplaying (The Dark Eye). And, of course, starting in 2005, I read "A Song of Ice and Fire". Accustomed to well written and detailled fictional universes and deep characters that way, Star Wars simply couldn't deliver. In 2011, I wrote a (German) article about how a deeper political analysis of Star Wars was basically impossible because it lacks the depth. 

That being said, I still don't not like it. I use Star Wars in school to teach basic storytelling techniques and especially the Hero's Journey, and I will certainly watch the new one come December and hopefully be entertained, but I can't really get in on the hype. I simply don't have the investment in the world necessary for that. And that, in short, is the relationship of Star Wars and me.


  1. Definitely understandable Stefan. I was somehow into SW when I was a kid too but mostly because everybody was into the hype of the movie theater re-released edition of the original trilogy that went around in my country, however I was never much into the series afterward; not the prequels, novels, toys, comics or games. I enjoyed the battlefront games for a while and I will probably buy the new one once I save enough to buy a better computer though.

    ASOIAF has probably been the biggest pop culture thing I have been into since pokemon and Harry Potter in my childhood. Star Wars is great...just not much for me. I still will go see the new movie when it comes out, I'm sure that it will be good. Who knows? Maybe it will actually make me start loving the franchise.