As Star Wars fans, we all love to talk about the Star Wars media we’ve watched, read, played, listened to, and more. There are entire sub-communities within the fandom dedicated to discussing the best comics, music, TV shows, and everything in between. It’s part of the culture — part of why many of us became fans in the first place.
But fandom — being a Star Wars fan — is not a competition.
There are no prerequisites, no criteria you have to meet before joining the Star Wars fandom. At least, there shouldn’t be. The term “gatekeeping” has lost a lot of weight in the online space over the past few years, but it’s a real problem in Star Wars community spaces. The classic “you weren’t alive when the first movie came out so you can’t sit with us” trope is a prime example that has, yes, actually happened to me. (Honestly, I didn’t choose when I was born — I would have loved to see Star Wars (before it was called A New Hope) 11 times in theaters when it came out like my dad did.)
What else have I been asked over the years? To name five Legends characters when I mention the Expanded Universe (you shouldn’t have to pass a test to be considered a fan of something). How many Star Wars books I’ve read (probably not as many as you, and that’s OK). The list goes on.
Fandom is not something you have to be better at than someone else. It’s exhausting just hearing fans try to one-up each other whenever Star Wars comes up in casual conversation. For one thing, it takes all the fun out of liking something — Star Wars is supposed to be entertaining! For another … I’m much more interested in hearing why the original early 2000s Clone Wars micro-series is your favorite piece of Star Wars media than listening to you quiz me about minor characters from it. I haven’t watched it in over a decade, okay? I don’t remember details, no matter how much I enjoyed it.
The only circumstance I will ever compete in anything related to Star Wars is during trivia night, and that’s only if there are snacks.
Star Wars should be for everyone. Anyone who comes to the virtual table because they like Star Wars and want to be part of the fan community should be welcome without question. If you’re not a nice person, you’re not going to make many friends. But there should never be any question about who belongs in fandom and who doesn’t.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a fan. What your favorite book or show or movie is. How many times you have or haven’t watched the prequels. There are so many more important things in this world than trying to be a “better” Star Wars fan than everyone else.
If you’re here to celebrate a galaxy far, far away, you automatically belong. No membership, qualifying exam, or monthly fees required.
Follow Dork Side of the Force for all your Star Wars news, reviews, and more!