Despite what it may seem like from the toxic echo chambers of social media, fandom is by far the best part of Star Wars. When you find those people you gel with that get the franchise with you and can share that experience together, there’s nothing else like it in the world. Part of this experience is when you get to watch someone dive in for the first time. Sharing a piece of Star Wars with a friend or family member and seeing their response can be so rewarding and, at times, hilarious.
I’ve felt this before as the nerdy aunt watching my little nephews get excited about new Star Wars content. One kiddo adored Ahsoka Tano and actually stopped watching The Clone Wars at the end of season five. He thought his favorite character had left, so he refused to continue the series until I coaxed him to keep watching. A couple of years later, his younger brother became obsessed with Grogu, a new Yoda-like character for his generation. My sister sent me a photo of his big smile when he got “Baby Yoda” sheets for Christmas. They’re growing up with the franchise I love, which makes me a delighted aunt.
It’s the same sensation when sharing our piece of fandom with a friend too. I recently wrote how playing a Star Wars tabletop role-playing game for the first time has changed my view of the franchise. A fellow player sprang headfirst into one of my favorite series of this franchise, Star Wars Rebels.
The delight that they experienced with the show filled me with excitement as every few days, they would write out their live reactions to certain moments on our Discord channel. Some of the responses were little fun acknowledgments like, “Ap-5: Best depressed Disney princess,” “Jacen looks like a Keebler elf,” and “Ahsoka is fulcrum????? JK, I knew that, but it’s a great reveal.” Moments like the Ahsoka mention always interest me to see how much a new fan knows about spoilers when they start a show and how it affects their viewing.
Then, the excitement is waiting for a new fan to get to the big episodes. The delight that comes from seeing my friend suddenly drop in our Discord channel, “Maul??? MAUL!!!!!” and knowing they’re at “Twilight of the Apprentice” when everything changes in the show.
Though, my favorite response was worth the wait with my friend getting to “Jedi Night,” Kanan’s death episode, and they sent us, “Oh no. oh no. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! sobbing screaming crying!” Then immediately followed up with, “Did he have to die with that haircut?” And I felt that, my friend.
No one likes Kanan’s haircut.
It’s moments like this that make fandom fun. When my friend was watching Rebels, we all gathered around a metaphoric fire to come together and watch their experience unfold. It brought our group closer together as we shared the joy of someone loving Star Wars more.
Moments like this are the best feeling, and exactly why, no matter how toxic social media can get, is why I still stay a Star Wars fan.