January, Jedi, and Justifications

According to Hugh Howey’s advice, aspiring writers should blog every day. I’m not one to argue with successful authors. The reasons I haven’t blogged more in the past fall into two camps: I don’t have any successful-author advice of my own to share (yet); and the rest of what I have is just strong opinions. But I’m trying to embrace the idea that maybe there’s nothing wrong with a strong opinion or two. So, here goes.

I’ve been baffled – baffled, I say – by Star Wars fans for years now. I grew up with the original trilogy (you know, the one that it’s okay to like). I read a lot of the books that came out in the 1990s and stood in line for all the movies in the new trilogy when they came out. And here’s the thing. I liked those movies. That’s right. I said it. I liked them. I don’t think they were perfect films. Like most movies, they all had room for improvement. But, unlike the vocal majority of sci-fi movie-goers, I didn’t hate the prequels and I don’t think George Lucas deserves the endless criticism that’s been flooding his way ever since. I can’t even say that the criticism comes from fair-weather fans because those aren’t fans. I don’t know what else to call them…but when all someone does is gripe a about a thing and denigrate its creator, that’s not a fan.

Years ago, I loved the band Queensryche. I thought Operation Mindcrime was brilliant. I wore out both the Empire cassette tape and the t-shirt from that tour. Then, as bands are wont to do, they changed, and their music changed. I didn’t like their new sound so I stopped buying their albums and didn’t bother attending any more concerts. I didn’t hate them. I didn’t tell everyone how disappointed I was in the band. I just found other music. I became a fan of something else.

I realize that people can feel a sense of ownership for something they’ve cared about for a long time but I think there’s been more than enough vitriol from people purporting to be Star Wars fans. If you like a thing, you enjoy it and support its creator. That’s what makes you a fan. And if you can’t find anything good to say about a thing or the person who made it, then you’re not a fan. And that means it’s time to find something else to like.

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