Monday, July 16, 2012
The Future of the Fandom
Star Wars has been around for thirty-five years. That is a long time. And amazingly, I don't think its popularity has waned all that much. I bet there are a lot more Star Wars fans than will openly admit it. Of course this theory still does not allow me to bring myself to wear my Star Wars t-shirts in public, but anyway...
After this much time, it is hard to imagine it not continuing to stand the test of time. Will others fare similarly? It's hard for me to believe that in twenty years people will still care that much about Twilight or PotC. Harry Potter has a pretty strong chance in my opinion.
That's not really the point of this post, though. Where do you think we go from here as a fandom? Do you think there is ever a saturation point where we will run out of things to say about Han and Leia? Run out of stories to tell? You run into a lot of stories out there that are quite similar, or at least cover similar time periods. How many times can the same story be written? Will there even still be fans around to read them?
I've been involved in reading Han and Leia fanfic for over ten years now. When I discovered fanfic in the first place, of course. I read the books before I knew fanfic existed and from the time the first movie came out there were fanzines and stories. How people found out about these fanzines back then I have no idea! There have always been little ebbs and flows. Sometimes lots of people are talking, and sometimes they aren't. My personal belief is that this isn't so much people not being interested, it's the vocal ones not being vocal, so nobody else says anything, they just lurk and wait for other people to do the talking so they have something to read or maybe something to chime in on. I think the interest is always there even if there isn't always new stuff to read about.
A big part of why we started this blog was so that we could keep the fandom alive and have a place for people to come. The blog posts would ensure that at least someone was talking, and the comments for a long time were pretty slow, but people were obviously reading. I think it's just nice to know that there are others like you out there. And I wish we still had the results to the age poll because the great news is that the fans range from under 13 well beyond middle age. We've even got at least one mother/daughter pair who pop in! That's pretty cool. So the good news is that there are apparently always going to be new fans to go along with me or even those of you who were old enough to have seen the movies in the theater.
But fans or not, there are still hundreds if not thousands of Han and Leia stories that have been written out there. Is it possible to run out? My personal opinion is no. If only because there are currently over 500,000 Harry Potter stories on ff.net and only 28,000 or so for Star Wars. That's without breaking them down to specific couples, but if there are that many stories and lots of people to read them, there must be more to say, right?
And I've said it before but I do think that you can take any situation and write your own personal take on it. You do really have to have something unique to say, but if you think you do, then go for it. I don't think we should be deterred by the number of stories out there. There's always room for more. You know, as long as you spell check and stuff ;)