The Star Wars fandom thrived before Twitter, and will survive its downfall
Where will you go if Twitter implodes?
Currently, these are the words coming across my social media feed — which I’m only checking, in all honesty, because it’s human nature to want to watch something crash and burn that you’ve secretly despised since you begrudgingly discovered it.
I would not miss Twitter itself if it were suddenly to disappear. I truly miss the days when I could create things, have thoughts, and express my feelings without wondering how other people might perceive any of it.
What’s much more difficult to swallow is the reality that, even if nothing actually happens and Twitter stays relatively the same for the majority of the Star Wars fandom, many of us would not be where we are without the platform. There are a lot of “what if”s, and those never feel comforting.
Twitter does not make us creative or capable of making friends. It does not suddenly grant us the power to be something we weren’t before it existed. It does, however, give us access to more people. More ideas. More opportunities to connect; converse; exist.
I’ve found job opportunities because of Twitter. I’ve found podcast guests, potential clients, friends. I met a person accidentally on Twitter one day whom is now married to me, whom I would never have otherwise crossed paths with if it weren’t for this digital space.
The thought of all the things I have now as the result of being on Twitter not existing is scary. My brain can’t comprehend it.
But I also remember what fandom was like before Twitter. Many Star Wars fans on Twitter do not — and their fears are wholly justified.
How does one find podcasts? Articles? Hot takes? How do you connect with your favorite authors and editors and fellow book/TV show/movie lovers?
What will the Star Wars fandom become if Twitter is no longer a central place where fans can find each other and feel like they’re part of something bigger?
The answer is simple in theory: People who liked Star Wars found each other before Twitter. Fandom after Twitter will not die; it will simply function differently than many of us are used to.
Where do Star Wars fans who aren’t on Twitter go? If anywhere, perhaps they’re on Reddit, or Tumblr, or TikTok. Maybe they don’t rely on social media to decide what they like and don’t like about Star Wars at all.
For the Star Wars fandom, moving forward means accepting that even if things will never be the same, that doesn’t mean they’ll be worse, or that the people you’ve met, the art you love, the stories that hold you together will cease to exist.
It’s very possible many of us will look back on Twitter years from now as a short, meaningful era of fandom that shaped who we were only so that we could be better on whatever platform (or lack thereof) might come next.
Being on Twitter does not make you a Star Wars fan. Loving Star Wars is the only checkbox that matters.
Whatever happens, the fandom will live on. What it will look like for many of us from here on out will only become clear with time.
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