Many people across fandoms use their favorite stories as escape hatches into faraway times and places. Fiction, while based in reality, is often a great way to forget, for a little while, about all the real things we’re carrying as people in a non-fictional world.
But not everyone treats fiction that way, and even those who often do use fiction as an escape don’t do so all the time.
Star Wars is and can be many things to many different people. It can be a simple form of entertainment — something you turn to when you want to sit on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and your favorite person. It can be a distraction, something you throw on in the background while completing other, less desirable tasks. It can be a lens through which you view certain aspects of your world. It can be something you study. Something you identify with. Something you vow to know more about than anything else.
If you want to escape the real world to live in a galaxy far, far away for a while, that’s valid. But if you want to use Star Wars to better understand something, as a gateway into learning something new or meeting new people or coping with something difficult — what’s the harm in doing that when you need to as well?
Everyone is different. Everyone comes to Star Wars with different experiences seeking something specific. It is not all one common reason for everyone you’ll meet.
There is no right or wrong way to experience the universes that comfort and fascinate you — as long as you’re doing so in a healthy way, and you’re not using it as a front to treat other people badly. We all take from Star Wars what we need in any given moment. If today you want to escape into a comic, but tomorrow you want to pull apart each panel to analyze its greater meaning in the Skywalker saga, that’s both your call and your right.
To be a fan of Star Wars, of anything, is to know what you want and need from it at any given time, take what you need for now, and leave what you may or may not come back to later.
Star Wars will always be here for you in whatever way you need it to be.
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