What Star Wars Nerds Taught Me About Being a Good Fan

I got stuck at the boring end of the staff Christmas dinner table. No one knew what to talk about, so of course the conversation eventually led to, “Have you seen the Fantastic Beasts trailer yet? Are you excited?!” Tired of only being seen as That Harry Potter Girl, I curtly acknowledged the film and killed the topic. So they moved on to the Star Wars nerds and The Force Awakens. And shit. The geeks’ eyes lit up and they talked about nerdy shit and everyone loved it and loved them for loving something like Star Wars so passionately. Later, one of the nerds asked me how many times I had watched the Fantastic Beasts trailer, and I could only say, “Once.”

BFF and I went to watch Sisters last night and got to observe all the insanity around Episode VII, including the local news crew ordering a pint of Hop Solo just to film the bartender pouring it and placing on the counter next to me (I believe my elbow was featured in the 10 o’clock news!). The lobby had a 6’5″ Darth Vader, a full-sized R2D2, a lady selling customized storm trooper helmets, and a dad walking purchasing an action figure while his red-headed eight-year-old son clutched a plush Ewok.

When I saw a flock of middle-aged Jedi wielding plastic light sabres and waiting for the announcement that Star Wars will begin, I realized that I’d unfortunately let myself forget an essential truth of fandom: geeks have more fun. Yeah, it’s satisfying to complain about only being identified as one thing and asked about one facet of your life, but making smalltalk at the quiet end of the table is boring. And yes, it’s maddening when you get used to one vision of your geeky universe, and then the creator edits everything after the fact via Twitter and new movies. But Star Wars nerds, who have bitched for years about Han shooting first but still show up in their finest Jedi robes at midnight, have shown me that it is possible to be both irritated at the creator and love the creation. So although I have ranted about JK Rowling and all her tweaks to the Wizarding World, although I hate the term “No-Mag,” although I absolutely love complaining about everything and feeling far more superior than all the other mindless fans, I’ll rekindle the magic. Because getting stupidly excited about something is a lot more fun than being angry about it. Thanks, Star Wars geeks.

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