On fandom and The Force Awakens

I’m way more excited about the new Fantastic Beasts trailer than I am about The Force Awakens.

My dad took me to see the original Star Wars trilogy in the cinema (not all in one sitting, thank goodness), when I was about seven. This was probably a bit too young for me to be seeing Star Wars. I have never been a massive genre fan, and me not liking (probably due to not understanding) Star Wars has been a factor in my resistance to genre fiction. I do remember “I am your father,” but I was far too young to understand what it meant. By the time I did understand it, I knew that it had now become a trope with diminishing returns every time someone tried to copy The Empire Strikes Back. When it was announced that there was going to be a prequel trilogy, I had zero interest.

I saw A New Hope again a couple of years ago when my sister brought her copy of the DVD home, and I liked it! I didn’t like it enough to immediately watch the other two films, because I have a pretty good memory, and also because Star Wars is such as significant part of the pop culture landscape. I started to get excited at the beginning of the year, when I heard that Felicity Jones was going to be the lead in a standalone film, and that Rian Johnson, director of three of the best episodes of Breaking Bad, would be directing Episode XIII. In my mind, I had conflated these two films, so I thought Johnson would be directing Jones, but it didn’t matter – my interest in pop culture means that I will see The Force Awakens in the next month or so, but I’m not desperate to see it.

This afternoon I was watching my Twitter feed with bemusement, as it was half Force Awakens hints/jealousy of screener privilege, and half Republican debates (seriously, why do they need so many?) Then as I hopped on Twitter, this evening, I realised: this is going to be me in a year when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is released. Harry Potter is where my fandom has always been strongest. I have a Ravenclaw banner hanging up in my room. When I went to Florida in January 2014, I’m fairly sure I spent at least $200 on Harry Potter merchandise. I got a full cloth-bound set of the books for my 21st birthday, and the illustrated edition of The Philosopher’s Stone is the first thing I asked for for Christmas. The Harry Potter films will never be as good as the books, but I have hopes for Fantastic Beasts because Jo Rowling wrote it. I just want to tell the internet that I get it – my disappointment with the adaptation is probably not equal to the Star Wars fandom’s disappointment with the prequel trilogy. However, I get why you’re excited, and I’ll probably be reacting the same way when all my favourite film critics get to go to screenings of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.*

* I just remembered that I saw someone buy a copy of the book the other day. I also

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