I’ve mentioned this in a past post, and it’s interesting to me to see how people react to it.
When I was in high school and college, and met a fellow Star Wars fan, I would get excited to talk about Star Wars with them. When I told others I was a big Star Wars fan as well, they’d kind of smile and nod (these were mostly boys) but almost in a patronizing way. It got to be so common that I realized many of the fellow fans I was approaching conversation with did not think I was as obsessed as I am. I interpreted their reactions to think that since I was a girl, I probably didn’t LOVE Star Wars.
My frustration was often two-fold. First, I could tell that 90% of the people didn’t think I was a “real” fan, and second, inwardly, I realized that I may be an even “bigger” fan than they were. This was all based on a lot of assumptions and immaturity.
So, I used to have a theory where I tested people to weed out how much they knew about Star Wars. My one question was, “What species were the pig-like guards in Jabba’s Palace?”
If they could answer correctly, I would invest in a longer conversation with them. If they did not answer correctly, I would say, “Oh, close,” or, “Nah, it’s Gamorrean, but no biggy”, but inwardly realize it wasn’t worth my time. It’s a bit embarrassing to look back on it, but since I was being patronized, I had a need for revenge where I wanted to turn the tables on them and whoop their butt. I think my feelings were only natural, but my trivia question was completely unnecessary. I probably could have found a way to talk to ANY Star Wars fan, whether it was someone who only watches the movies occasionally or someone who devours the books and videogames. It was a little narrow-minded of me to base someone’s depth of love of Star Wars on how much they knew about species within the universe.
I dropped this question and attitude when Disney bought Lucasfilm. It’s become so much easier to talk to people about Star Wars. There were speculations to discuss, plot lines to think about, and so much more. Also, I think it helps that I’ve grown up a bit and I’m not as defensive when people ask me if I like Star Wars. I’m much more aware of how much I DON’T know, whereas before I thought I knew everything (the arrogance of youth or the need to prove a girl could be a big Star Wars fan – you choose).
If you’re a male – how did you react when you were younger, and a girl told you they were a Star Wars fan? Did you believe them? Were you open-minded or think there was no way they could be as big a fan as you?