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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

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 ;)