Most of us saw The Phantom Menace and left adequately entertained, blindly excited that Star Wars was back in our lives. We saw Attack of the Clones and tried our best to convince ourselves it was cool because of chibi Boba Fett and Oh Man When Yoda Did That Thing! Then Revenge of the Sith happened. George Lucas had caused a great disturbance in the Force, as if a million fans suddenly cried “Nooooo!” and were suddenly silenced.
Except they weren’t silenced. For years, Star Wars fans (myself included) have decried the prequels and Lucas’s other perversions of canon. We’ve all gone through – or are still going through – The Five Stages of Star Wars Fandom Grief.
In his article for Slate “A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…I Was a Star Wars Fan,” Will Carlough outlines the five stages, as well as his journey through them. His description for Stage Four is my favorite:
“The fourth stage, depression, is pretty easy to picture when you think of a 30-year-old man watching 150 episodes of Pokémon.”
You can track the evolution of Carlough’s fandom by looking at its start and end points. He went from making his own award-winning fan film about Grand Moff Tarkin (just knowing who that is requires an above-average nerd quotient) to basically ignoring the 2008 animated feature The Clone Wars.
Such is the story for many a Star Wars fan. If Lucas keeps making movies, we’re going to need support groups.