Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

I’m really one of the least judgmental Star Wars fans out there.  Or, at least, I try to be because there’s nothing worse than turning someone off of Star Wars.  NOTHING WORSE.  (Ok, maybe starvation, world poverty, terrorist attacks…)

But I realized the other day that I do have a “test”, for lack of a better word, that I use in order to see how big of a Star Wars fan I’m talking to.  Not as a form of judgment or to prove that I’m a bigger/smaller fan, not at all.

This all started when my husband texted me one day while hanging out with his buddy, “Hey Andy’s new girlfriend claims to be a really big fan of Startesting Wars.”  Cool.  I guess.  (Sometimes I feel these sentences are like saying, “Hey, Andy’s new girlfriend claims to love listening to music.”  Yeah, okay, but so does 90% of the world.)

Next text: “What’s a good question to see how big of a fan she is?”

Anyone can claim they are a huge fan of Star Wars, but I want to know how in depth I should go about Star Wars if we chat.

I made the mistake once of talking to a colleague at my old work about Star Wars quite a bit when I first joined because everyone said she was a huge fan.  She was a fan, yes, but “huge” fan? After a few high-level conversations (or I thought they were high level), she threw me off completely by saying, “Well, I like Star Wars, but I’m not an obsessed seven year old child like you are.”

Ouch.  Burn, baby, burn.  Actually, that insult was mild compared to what I had to put up with in middle school.

My point being is that you have to be careful when navigating these waters.  You spend too much time talking to someone who claims to be a huge Star Wars fan and said person could actually begin to look down on you and start the subtle bullying that makes you actually feel bad about your love.

It’s self-preservation, really.

So I’ve set up this one question test to figure out if I’m wasting my time or not when talking about Star Wars with you.

Ready?

“What kind of alien species are the pig-like guards at Jabba’s Palace?”

BAM!  So easy, right?  But it really helps narrow down what kind of fan they are.  From there you can lead into some discussions about EU, costuming, etc.  Okay, so it’s not foolproof but it does create a good starting point.

Do you guys have anything like this in place?  Maybe it’s something you don’t realize but it helps you gauge what kind of fan you’re talking to?  Or am I the only crazy one?  It doesn’t even have to do with Star Wars – it can really be about anything.  Let me know (read: reassure me that I’m not crazy)!

star_wars_fail

P.S. By the way, Andy’s girlfriend thought the answer was Jabwa’s.  Yes, that’s how she spelled it so I’m guessing she meant Jawa’s, but maybe she really thought guards at Jabba’s palace would combine his name into their species.  I’m trying not to laugh or be judgmental. 😉

P.P.S. My goal was to do a blog post in fewer than 600 words (a massive challenge for me).  Win!

 

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18 thoughts on “Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

    • Think about it next time someone says they are a huge fan. Maybe you don’t even bring it up with them. Or maybe you talk about some conventions or signings you’ve gone to and if they start backing away…you have an answer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a question, but I think it’s human nature to see if we can relate to others who like the same things we do. And you do that by simply inquiry.

    • Ha. That’s a good one. I remember knowing some before I read EU books because I had the visual dictionary when I was younger (which I read obsessively). That’s like my Gamorrean guard question. Simple enough because it does have to do with the movies, but not super in depth.

      • Bossk is one of my obscure favorites – Lobot’s a close second. Probably because I ended up receiving those action figures as gifts instead of the ones I really wanted – like Boba Fett.

  1. Breckin Meyer, who is demonstratively a huge Star Wars fan, doesn’t know the names of any bounty hunters besides Boba Fett (cf. the special features on the first Robot Chicken Star Wars DVD). Even my sister, who is an antithesis of a geek in every way, knew that “the Emperor is a Sith, isn’t he?” So these kinds of questions are tricky where Star Wars has become so mainstream.

    I ask a person where they think the timeline ends. If they say “What timeline?”, they probably aren’t that enthusiastic. (And if they name a date that I think is indefensible, I know they don’t love it as much as I do O:) I’m emphatic and opinionated when it comes to timeline . . . which I think is pretty clear from my blog, lol.)

    • Wow, see timeline to me is not that important. So you really do have to think about different fans and the importance they place on certain things. It doesn’t bother me that you think timeline is important, I just am indifferent to it, I guess. As a woman I once knew said, “It takes all sorts of people to make this world go round.”

      By the way, I saw Berckin Meyer at NYCC and he is just SO funny in person. Way funnier than Seth Green, IMHO. Everything he said had me laughing.

      • Well put. I really am joking when I say I think other people don’t love it 😉 I do expect a self-declared serious fan to know their own canon (comics? novels? radio? TV? these all contradict each other and can’t all be equal canon). However, as long as we can agree that we each love the Star Wars we each love, I don’t care much. I’m getting better about the being disinterested (i.e. not invested) as I get older. After all, at the most basic level, we all agree the OT are the best movies ever, and that ought to be enough to “bind us together.”

        Breckin Meyer is a wonderful man (and so hot… lol!). I think one reason he’s funnier than Seth Green is I really just feel like Seth Green doesn’t know when to let a joke go. If you haven’t watched them on the Robot Chicken special features — it is the most hilarious thing!

  2. I’m a fan but I’m not a huge fan. However, I don’t see why people have to make someone feel bad about it with an insult like the one you reference. It works both ways. I hope that I can come here, read your posts, make an occasional comment and not be treated like a cross bred between a Jawa and a Tuskian Raider by true fans.

    • If you comment on my blog, you are a pretty big fan. For someone to follow my blog AND comment, you have to sincerely enjoy reading about Star Wars all the time because it’s all I post about. I think we see people who are such larger fans than us that we think we are not “huge” or “big” fans. But if you put it in perspective and think about the average person, I’d say we are pretty big fans.

      I have corrected people on my blog regarding Star Wars (rarely), but I have also been very much corrected. Just look at the post a few weeks ago about the lack of human in stormtroopers. I was clearly out of my depth in knowledge and just made an observation with the post. An interesting dialogue with two points of views opened up between Megan (above) and Null. They both had differing views and stood their ground firmly.

      The thing is, I hope that I don’t treat anyone harshly on my blog if they don’t have too much in depth knowledge, because I know I certainly am out my league a lot of times. But I also want to encourage healthy debate, as long as it’s professional and doesn’t get rude.

  3. I’m not sure I’ve ever been introduced to someone described as a “huge Star Wars fan.” I would generally assume that meant they own a Star Wars t-shirt and therefore not mention any EU stuff until they do. I think I would be more likely to ask a very open-ended question like “How do you feel about Ep VII?” and see what they say and take my cue from that. I love talking any “level” of Star Wars with anyone who wants to.

    • You are much more indifferent than I am! I just get so excited when someone says they are a huge fan and I immediately want to talk as much as possible about Star Wars.
      But it’s interesting because when I first met my sister’s husband, he had heard I was a huge Star Wars fan so immediately he started talking all about the comics and gaming of Star Wars. And that’s one area of Star Wars fandom that I have little knowledge on. Yet I still consider him to be a really big fan, so I guess it depends on what you focus on.

  4. I don’t really have a specific question that I use to measure another person’s interest in a particular fandom, but I do find myself constantly try to gauge how in depth I can take a conversation. For instance, if someone says something about Robin I may ask which Robin was there favorite. That gives me a chance to know if there knowledge is only “movie-deep” or more extensive.

    That being said if someone can answer that they… “would prefer another target? A military target? Then name the system!” Then I know that person is a “huge” fan. 🙂

  5. I hate when people are derisive of people for being a fan of anything, including Star Wars. As for your question, I think knowing the level of fandom is helpful to knowing how much you can geek out.
    This is why I host nerd nights about once a month. It’s nice to know there are other people there unashamed to declare their love of geekdom.
    By the way, my initial thought was that your question is too easy. After considering it, I think it’s a good entry level question. Though, my two older sisters who are not Star Wars fans know random facts about Star Wars via growing up with my brother and myself.

    • I agree, I do think it’s a good entry level question. It’s a good launch pad into further discussion.

      Your nerd nights sound awesome. Did you form them yourself with friends or did you create it on meetup.com or something?

      • I have a good amount of friends through the young single adult group through church, plus people my siblings and I know through other things. I invite pretty much everyone I know in the area via Facebook, and we have between 5 and 30 people show up.
        I also have a large family, so we alone make up a full party by ourselves.

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