When you think of the classics, only a certain type of person would place Star Wars in that canon without some qualifiers. That type of person used to be overwhelming male, white and a genius (maybe in disguise). Yet now that type of person is no longer necessarily the Chosen One. People in general are falling in line with the seers of the past. The times are most certainly changing.
From increasing diversity to getting to use great new technology, the fan demographic of Star Wars is changing, growing and creating a strong output of great fan content that only keeps getting better.
It Reaches New Demographics
For the latest installment of Star Wars, there’s no doubt that Finn is one of the most dynamic new characters on screen, but the presence of Rey as the series protagonist overshadows even his bubbly personality, and it’s shown in an upcrop of female-made fan content. Blogs like FANgirl Blog are taking the Star Wars ideas with a touch of estrogen, and more female writers like Sarah Dempster are flying their Star Wars flag high. While Star Wars “girl power” is not totally new (Princess Leia), it is now geared for delivering the fan take on a new audience.
It’s also reaching a more international crowd. When Star Wars first premiered back in the 70s, it was banned in China. Now it’s one of the most popular movie franchises of all time. That’s due to the globalized economy and international share tactics. Additionally, streaming services and digital distribution, sometimes combined with clever technology such as Virtual Private Networks, have allowed content to pass international boundaries.
How is that turning into new fan content? For one German director, Shawn Bu, the global outreach of the films led his imagination to run wild and to create Darth Maul: Apprentice, which is one of the best fan films ever made.
It means the story is reaching new minds across the globe, and they’re using the foundation work of the films to create great new projects to show off their fan-made skills.
There Are New Gamechangers.
Star Wars fan content has always been amazingly advanced—check out the characterization, impressive visual effects, and invested story of KARA as an example—and that was helped in many ways by Lucas’s frank openness with the idea of fan fiction and fan films. Given the number of great pieces of art being created, be it the major key remake of the Imperial March, or a huge compilation film of the complete The Empire Strikes Back made entirely by fans, it’s safe to say that this is one prolific genre.
Star Wars Help Desk is a clever behind-the-scenes look at inner Empire workings through a help desk clone, but it’s really things like Sea Wars, a film created by the United States Air Force, that show how fans were not just inspired by the release of the full movie, but the initial trailers. It also illustrates the fact that big names are honing in.
While some say these films were even better than Lucas, we won’t weigh in on that count yet. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Disney doesn’t decide to reverse the creative flow, and keep on reading the more than 45,000 Star Wars titles on Fanfiction.net.
For Star Wars fans, those dreams are already becoming a reality. From speeder bikes to laser cannons, the world of Star Wars is encroaching on our current world because fans have taken their skill to turn fantasy into reality.
My personal favorite is the life size AT ST Walker that looks just too good to be true, but amazingly isn’t.
Fans with expendable time and income are in the workshop building replicas, participating in the Star Wars Fan Film Awards, and getting inspired to create by gadgets from the new movies. We have new bots, lightsabers, and hovercraft, and it all comes down to creating this realized universe in its entirety.
Progressive ideas, technology and new voices have taken Star Wars from something of the past and catapulted it into the future, which for diehard devotees and new fans alike is something of a dream come true.
About the Author: Cassie Phillips is a culture writer and entertainment junkie. Her Star Wars love knows no bounds and is followed closely by her obsessions with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
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