The Force: Star Wars Fandom

Veronica Mars made her way to television in the fall of 2004. The detective series follows a young girl with a knack for investigation. Viewers got the chance to know and identify the protagonist and TV show’s namesake through the steady revelations of her past and present. She’s battling the issues of her best friend’s death, her mother’s neglect, and judgmental peers from high school to college. We see the strong backing of the hit TV show, cancelled in 2007, with the involvement of the Veronica Mars fan base. The show’s creator, Rob Thomas, started heavy fundraising for the Veronica Mars movie after Warner Brothers decided not to fund the project. The VM Kickstarter project reached its $2 million dollar goal in less than 12 hours, catapulting production of the Veronica Mars on the silver screen, set to release in early 2014. How conducive can a community of fanatics be to the success of a particular content source that brings them all together? Fandom derives from common interest. We see that through extreme fandom with Star Wars, for example. Fans usually organize via the cyber world in fan forums or connect on a more personal level by gathering at conventions.

Star Wars

The beauty of a movement is the mass following. Star Wars has generated an impenetrable fandom over the years. The creativity of Star Wars fans (Jedis? Star Warshipers? Star Warriors? Whatever.) have continuously reared its intergalactic head. Fan fiction is arguably one of the main facets keeping the entire Star Wars culture alive. They provide different sub-narratives for characters, revealing qualities and secrets that aren’t told in its original storyline. While this may create a problem for other authors, it seems as though Star Wars fans get satisfaction out of contributing to the story. What serious fan wouldn’t?

So what does a book or movie need in order to create the kind of fan base like Star Wars or even Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? For starters, something about the plot has to resonate with an audience. There needs to be an item(s) of appeal to draw people in. Darth Vader is undoubtedly the most iconic villain ever. Lightsabers became one of the most innovative and coolest upgrade from the sword. There is even a census movement that urges people to record their religion as “Jedi” or “Jedi Knight”. Also, Star Wars brought Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) to another level with its special effects, considering how remarkable they were around the time of the film’s debut back in 1977. Not to mention, as a blockbuster, it did exceptionally well and became a pop culture phenomenon. It has now been thirty-six years since we’ve first been introduced to the household characters of Yoda or Luke Skywalker. Still, the Star Wars fandom stands strong–maybe stronger than ever.

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