Whether it's TV,magazines or internet chatter, the renewed interest and active energy of fans is one power source that just about all media loves feeding on as well as feeding to us. Considering the increasing bad news that the real world offers more and more often these days, it's no wonder that folks would find a galaxy far,far away to be a safer place.
I do think that having a new yet familiar cultural phenomenon like this could be the best thing for all of us right about now. Star Wars has the cache of being a franchise that people of all ages and backgrounds know so well that getting back into the realm of the Jedi and the ways of the Force is not daunting, even if you haven't seen the much despised prequels:
Speaking of the prequels, there are still a good number of fans out there that feel betrayed by them and are reluctant to join in with the frenzy surrounding The Force Awakens.
I really can't blame them, especially since I found those movies to be complete and utter cinematic messes too, yet that doesn't mean that we should give up on the whole series there. Look, any long running film franchise is bound to have a couple of clunkers there(ask any horror fan) and Star Wars is no exception to that rule.
Yes, Jar Jar Binks is the worst(second only to Hayden Christensen's balsa wood level of acting) but on the other hand, not everyone liked the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi either. At the very least, those unnecessary prequels do give us a chance to take some joy in hate-watching them:
Much like The Force Awakens, the first set of films were a blend of old and new, combining classic story telling tropes with new technology that created a modern mythology into which audiences eagerly tapped into.
I was one of those early fans and I admit that at first, I had no interest in this Star Wars movie that everyone was talking about. However, when my parents took me and my brother to see the first film, we were all enchanted by this amazing world and it's cluster of characters such as the timidly intelligent C-3PO, Han Solo and his Wookie co-pilot Chewbacca, the brave and bold Princess Leia and the ultimate Big Bad, Darth Vader.
Vader was a favorite of my father's and to this day, I still have one of the Star Wars themed gifts that I gave, him a ceramic mug shaped like the Sith Lord's helmet that I came upon in a thrift store. Part of my love for villains comes from my dad, who also enjoyed Jabba the Hutt as well, and I'm sure that we were not the only ones that made the Star Wars saga a family affair:
Why should it matter when you got interested in Star Wars or how, the important thing is that you like and/or love the series and want to share that joy with others. To those geek gatekeepers out there ready to pounce, you are so not the fans that this or any other series are looking for.
Being overly particular about who you deem to be "worthy' of sharing your fan space with is not what any hero you admire would do. Unless your goal is to be an out and out minion of small mindedness, I think you know what side of the Force is the right one to be on.
A new Star Wars should be a time of celebration and I truly believe that it will be, yet it would be a true achievement for pop culture if all fans were accepted without question. May the Force be with us, with popcorn and light sabers at the ready: