Star Wars

It’s Okay to Not Be Excited for the Star Wars VII Trailer

Entertainment Geek Culture Movies
Image in the public domain. From Wikimedia Commons
Image in the public domain. From Wikimedia Commons

Today, I saw some posts on Facebook that saddened me. They were posts about the Star Wars VII trailer, and how certain friends were not “excited enough” about it. One such post read:

Friend who will remain anonymous for their safety – “That trailer is everywhere. Why are people going so crazy about this. It’s just a movie.”
-2 million geek points
May no longer be a friend

I read this and stared at my screen for a minute. I was totally blown back by the feeling of elitism that flowed from my geek friends. I remember feeling that from bullies who didn’t like geeks. Now geeks are handing that to each other? What gives? I thought carefully about my reply, which I share with you now:

I totally understand both sides. My wife is crazy excited, but I was introduced to Star Wars as an adult, in the form of The Phantom Menace. For me, it’s totally just another movie. I get my geek points elsewhere. That’s the best part of being a geek – your passions are your own, and mainstream is great, for the people who fit that mold.

It’s a strange phenomenon when a “geeky,” “nerdy,” or “dorky” topic goes mainstream. It becomes retroactively cool, which means the geeks and such who had passion for that topic become valued experts, and respected members of that fandom, instead of sidelined goobers. Part of being a geek is the passion, and the ability to chase your passion wherever it goes.

If you collect coins, cool. If you watched The Empire Strikes Back 40 times in one month because your cable provider showed it every day, and multiple times on Saturdays, then cool. But not collecting coins doesn’t remove geek cred, and neither should lacking any other passion for a topic. Whether it’s Doctor Who, Power Rangers, Batman, or Star Trek, a lack of passion is generally a symptom of a strong passion somewhere else. We can’t possibly all like the same things, nor should we. Being a geek is about loving the things we love, whether or not it’s popular with other people.

If you don’t care about the Star Wars VII trailer, that’s okay. You can still be happy for your friends, and they can be happy for you when the new Shoe-box-Monster-action-film(trademark nonexistent) comes out. The Force may not flow through you “like a river,” but you are still a Geek, end of story.

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7 thoughts on “It’s Okay to Not Be Excited for the Star Wars VII Trailer

  1. Exactly.

    I think we geeks need to be even more careful about how we make others who don’t share our interests feel. I had a similar post from a FB friend who questioned someone’s less-than-ecstatic reaction to the trailer. Geeks may have inherited the Earth of late, but that doesn’t give us the right to treat others like we were treated when “geek” wasn’t cool.

    1. Well said. I feel the same way when I hear a fellow geek refer to football as “sportball” in a condescending way. Geeks like sports and nothing is as nerdy as the number crunching and analysis in fantasy sports. The number one rule for a geek is to accept whatever others enthuse over.

  2. Hear hear. Whenever this discussion unfolds and people start arguing about wether or not someone is a ‘real’ geek or nerd depending on their interests or knowledge, I like to refer to Wil Wheaton’s perfect little speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_BtmV4JRSc.
    ‘It’s not about what you love, it’s about how you love it. The defining characteristic that ties us all together is that we love things. We all love those things so much that we travel thousands of miles so we can be around people who love those things as much as we do.’
    And I completely agree with James ^; I remember how I threw away my Star Trek Fact Files collection as a teenager because I was embarrassed and afraid someone would see them and make fun of me. So sad. Let’s not go back to the Dark Age, when other people decided for you what was ‘cool’ and what wasn’t. Think about the kids! The kids!! 🙂

  3. There are a few emotions when someone doesn’t “get your thing”.

    First, let’s think…why do we even CARE if someone get’s “your thing”. Well, there is a sense of relief when you get to be honest. If you are hiding a part of you because you are ashamed or worried about ridicule, it hurts. So, when you find a kindred spirit who shares “your thing” you can relax, lower your guard and just be yourself.

    There is sadness that they haven’t been exposed to “your thing”, especially when they share enthusiasm for some of your “other things.” You got joy from it, and it hurts you to know that there is joy that exists that they do not get to experience. In this case…it is perfectly fine to give them a recommendation. I love getting recommendations about movies, TV, books, etc. from kindred spirits. Just remember…recommend and then let it go. Once you’ve brought it up, if they find the time to check it out…they will. If not, you put it out there, and that’s all you can or should do.

    However…

    …there is the shock when friends with shared interests HAVE experienced “your thing” but it is not “their thing”. You THOUGHT you had a kindred spirit…but now, you realize they may not share your values. You now wonder if you can really let down your guard around this person.

    Well, there is good news. If they were real friends…it won’t matter. There are so many different reasons why we are tied emotionally to our “things”. Does a movie remind you of a feeling it gave you? Does a hobby remind you of the person who taught it? Does a recipe remind you of a particular trip you took? Does a book remind you of the awe of finding a new way to look at the world?

    Your experiences are so specific that it is rare to share commonality with anyone. Ever try to share a funny experience with someone not present, only to fall flat and conclude with, “Well, I guess you had to be there.”

    With Star Wars…you had to be there. You had to be a fan or a kid in 1977. Otherwise, the old movies will be just that…old. It was an experience. And for those who were kids in 1999, I can assure you that for them…the lightsaber dual between Anankin and Obi-wan in ROTS was a much better fight than the duel between Vader and Luke in ROTJ. (This is incorrect, by the way…but I digress.). For my son, who is a kid now, Star Wars is The Clone Wars. He loves Anakin, Obi-wan and Ahsoka as much as the kids of the 70’s love Luke, Han and Leia.

    My point is that we can not expect people in our lives to share all elements of ourselves. I have a buddy who loves Lonesome Dove as much as I love Star Wars. He has seen it so many times, he’s got it memorized. It is “his thing”. I seem to remember enjoying it…but it is not “my thing”. And that’s fine. We are still buddies. We don’t see eye to eye on everything, but we know we can be ourselves without fear of ridicule or threat. And that is what it’s all about.

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