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"The End of Star Wars, But Not Its Fans"

Thanks to all of you for your incredibly kind support about my NPR interview today on the "Talk of the Nation" program about the Star Wars phenomenon and the nature of fandom. I'm not particularly good about thinking on my feet -- dammit, Jim, I'm a writer, not an orator! -- but, for what it's worth, it's now available online as streaming audio HERE. The interview came right after my first viewing of Revenge of the Sith... wow.


Warning! My quote for the day includes mild spoilers:

When Obi-Wan moved to follow, Yoda's gimer stick barred his way. "A moment, Master Kenobi. In your solitude on Tatooine, training I have for you. I and my new Master."

Obi-Wan blinked. "Your new Master?"

"Yes." Yoda smiled up at him. "And your old one..."


from the novel Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stowe

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
baylorsr
May. 20th, 2005 01:20 am (UTC)
I've been kind of out of it lately, so I'm just now hearing this news (pun acknowledged, if not intended). Fabulous!
eldritchhobbit
May. 20th, 2005 02:33 am (UTC)
LOL! You are so kind - thanks so much!
semielliptical
May. 20th, 2005 01:45 am (UTC)
I happened to be driving to a meeting at the right time, and caught it live! I thought you were great, it couldn't have been easy trying to answer the questions and say something interesting in those short clips. It's too bad it wasn't the right format for something more in-depth, I would have loved to have heard more from you!
eldritchhobbit
May. 20th, 2005 02:44 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! Keeping it short and general was tough for me -I would've been very happy to spend the entire half hour just talking about the first two questions and getting into specific examples. And of course now I think of millions of things I could've said! In a perfect world... At any rate, your kind words mean a lot. I really appreciate it! :) Thanks!
aelfgifu
May. 20th, 2005 04:25 am (UTC)
I am listening to you now and pimped you an LJ! Great job!
eldritchhobbit
May. 20th, 2005 02:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! It was hard to keep things brief and general, but hey, I was pleased to have the chance to say anything at all! I really appreciate your kind words!
sneezythesquid
May. 20th, 2005 04:26 am (UTC)
Not a bad interview, especially from someone that you could tell didn't "get it" about fandom. General comments:

1) You have a great voice for radio.
2) You came across very well, scholarly yet not "above it all"
3) It was far too short, and he talked over the end of your last comment.

So, what did you think of the movie?
eldritchhobbit
May. 20th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
1) Wow - thanks so much!
2) Again - thanks!
3) It's tough to get any content in at all with such brevity, but once we began, I knew my main goal was to challenge the "cult" interpretation of fandom, so I hope that came through.

The movie? Wow. I'm still digesting. I feel like I was given the closure I wanted, and I was simply overwhelmed (visually and emotionally) by the destruction of the Jedi and the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan. E.M. was brilliant as Obi-Wan. And I feel I understand things far better now. My absolute favorite part was Yoda's promise of communing with Qui-Gon during the years of exile on Tatooine. There were problems with the film, big ones, but overall I was more than satisfied. And I most definitely intend to see it again. You?
sneezythesquid
May. 20th, 2005 05:41 pm (UTC)
The movie? Wow. I'm still digesting.

I think I'm in the same position. There are problems with the film, the acting between Hayden and Portman was still stiff, but they were excellent with other people. I'm not sure whether to blame their personal chemestry, or the fact that Lucas can't write love dialoge to save his life.

R2-D2 kicks ass.

Hayden with Ian...every sceene crackled. Hayden did a great job with the turn to the Dark Side, and I felt for him. The confrontation between him and Obi before their final duel was heart-breaking. The cross-cuts between Obi/Anakin's and Yoda/Emperor's battles was breathtaking.

The execution of Order 66 was heart-wrenching (on a personal note, I'm glad we didn't see Shaak Ti or Luminara, my two favoite background Jedi, die on screen. I can fantasize that they survived somehow.)

There are some things I would like to have seen that we didn't (like Qui-Gon appearing to Yoda) but I think we got just about everything we wanted. I'm going to see it again Monday, to let the crowds thin down a bit, and at least one other time with my friends.

There may be more Star Wars tales in the future, but them main story, the most important story, is complete. I think you described it best with one word. Closure.
fungus_files
May. 20th, 2005 04:45 am (UTC)
the internet rulz. am listening to you right now.

*tries unsuccessfully not to squee*

good job, A! is lovely to hear your voice - accent, cosiness, and all. I feel like a stalker. lol.

AND you managed not to mention John Castle! (:o
eldritchhobbit
May. 20th, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! There wasn't much detail I could give in such a short session, so my main goal was to provide some kind of alternative to the "cult" interpretation of fandom. Of course now I think of a million things I could have said... ah, well.

is lovely to hear your voice - accent, cosiness, and all. I feel like a stalker. lol.

LOL! That's so funny! It's rather weird to put a voice with a name before a three-dimensional face! Ah, well. I hope my accent didn't grate on your nerves. I'm told I've picked up some "Tennessean" since I've been here, whatever that means, but it's hard to tell listening to yourself, you know? If the whole world sounded like Aussies, it would be a much more aesthetically pleasing place!

I'm waiting for an invitation back for the "All John Castle" episode of the program. :) It's only a matter of time, right?

agentxpndble
May. 24th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)
I've re-inserted my IV... Erm... DSL connection. I'm tacking on to this one since it will allow me to say "ditto"!

...Lovely to hear your voice - accent, cosiness, and all. I feel like a stalker. lol.
AND you managed not to mention John Castle! (:o


LOL! I must say, your voice is so unexpectedly "sweet". :::snicker:::

I was able to see the movie on Saturday night - I was a bit distracted as we swooshed off two car loads of family to the theater after the BIG PARTY and we were all a bit tired. I was not expecting to be brought so completely back around to our first moments with SW at the end and it actually brought me to tears. A "Richard and the Penny" moment - flew back in time to some of the few good moments of my youth.

I thought of you during *all* the light sabre fights. ;-)

I like what you said in the interview about the loss of oral storytelling and the need for community/culture in the fan realm.

You sounded great! I guess you had to earn that title, didn't you...?
eldritchhobbit
May. 25th, 2005 02:23 pm (UTC)
So glad you're back!

LOL! I must say, your voice is so unexpectedly "sweet". :::snicker:::

*grimaces* then *blows raspberry* :)

I like what you said in the interview about the loss of oral storytelling and the need for community/culture in the fan realm.

Thank you SO much! That was the main idea I was really hoping would come across. I really appreciate it.

was not expecting to be brought so completely back around to our first moments with SW at the end and it actually brought me to tears.

I know exactly what you mean! Me, too.

Your kind words really have made my day! Thanks for listening...
galadhir
May. 20th, 2005 08:56 am (UTC)
Big happy dance about the quote. Rather a sad dance about the fact that I can't get the blasted sound file to open.

Suspects dedicated Qui/Obi shippers will be having a celebratory party at this news :) I'm inclined to join them!
eldritchhobbit
May. 20th, 2005 02:22 pm (UTC)
Suspects dedicated Qui/Obi shippers will be having a celebratory party at this news :) I'm inclined to join them!

I know exactly what you mean! I'm so pleased that he's brought into the story again at this stage and shown to have made such a connection with the Force that he can retain his individuality. Now we know who taught Yoda and Obi-Wan to become the blue ghosties! And the idea that Obi-Wan is not all alone in his desert exile is such a comfort.

I'm doing the happy dance, too. I'm so sorry about the audio file, but many thanks for being interested! I really appreciate it.
altariel
May. 20th, 2005 11:01 am (UTC)
Listening to you as I type. How cool is that?! You're doing a great job!
eldritchhobbit
May. 20th, 2005 02:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! It was hard sticking to the brief and general comments, but I figured my main job was to offer an alternative perspective to the "fans as cult" interpretation, and maybe put things in a more familiar context (like sports fandom). Ah, well. At any rate, your kind words mean a lot. Many thanks!
magicwondershow
May. 20th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
1. the leaky cauldron also linked this same interview, so YAY! you've been pimped on TLC. (/complete dorkiness)

2. I really thought you did as good of a job as any could have in the position you were put. while it wasn't as long or in-depth as i'm sure the discussion could be (and i'd love to have or be part of that conversation sometime - i lost track of the number of times i had to defend the HP fandom in my grad level cultural deviance class at ND), i think you did an excellent job given the limited time span and questionings.

3. i loved the tailgating references, as well as the connection to nostalgia and connection to like-minded people and philosophies. i think that's a discussion that doesn't get touched on enough, in my mind. while it may seem completely normal for grown men to become fixated on a sports team and follow them almost religiously, it still seems (at least in my experience) taboo or silly or even immature to become as connected with the HP world and others within it. i think you explained it perfectly, and i almost wish that could reach a wider audience. it's such an important point, and one that gets lost in the negative views of the special effects and costuming and the social mores about the pageantry of science-fiction fandom.
eldritchhobbit
May. 21st, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you for your lovely post! I really appreciate your kindness and the heads-up re: TLC!

>While it may seem completely normal for grown men to become fixated on a sports team and follow them almost religiously, it still seems (at least in my experience) taboo or silly or even immature to become as connected with the HP world and others within it.

I couldn't agree more! It seems very arbitrary, what kinds of fannish activities are sanctioned by our culture today and which seem to be taboo. Entire sitcom episodes are built around the humorous toleration of and even loving tribute to those who go to great lengths to follow a team or even a musician, but the same shows portray someone who attends a science fiction convention for only five-minute glimpses, as the butt of rather insensitive jokes. Its fascinating to contrast the different receptions of those who are a part of, say, the Harley Davidson subculture, Elvis fandom, and Jane Austen enthusiast groups -- especially when it seems to me that all of these things spring from a rather similar foundation. At any rate, I'm so grateful to know you recognize similar issues bound up in all of this. I'd love to talk with you more about them!

And thanks again for your kind post! :)
magicwondershow
May. 21st, 2005 02:35 am (UTC)
exactly! it's as if there's some social judgment stick out there that decides these particular fandoms are desirable and worthy and important to our world, while others are defamed and labeled because they don't seem to uphold desired characteristics. it's so frustrating. i remember being in grad school being insulted by classmates because i read JK rowling and could disseminate on the social consequences of the books on american culture, but i didn't get season tickets for the fighting irish football season. what made watching a bunch of grown men beating themselves over a small ball so much more mature, dignified, and desirable than reading a novel that brought myself and my siblings closer together?

grr.

and you're very welcome for the kind post and the linkage in my LJ. like i said earlier - i love discussing these topics and i think more intellectual conversations about a fandom near and dear to us all needs to take place. one post at a time ;)
ccino
May. 21st, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
The movie was sad, but I like the ending. The Hopes:Twins and a new Master "Qui".
I don't know whether you've seen it---"a new Master" Parody
http://echigoya.oops.jp/qui_gon.mov
eldritchhobbit
May. 21st, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love this parody! Perfect! Now I can't wait to see Batman Begins....

And great point about the hopes that the film leaves for us. I'm especially grateful to know that Obi-Wan wasn't completely alone during all those years of exile. Sad, yet inspirational.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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