FANDOM. The Cultural Practice of being a Star Wars Fan. What is Star Wars?. What makes it so great?. Why is there such a huge following?. If the link does not work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWzf0IESrcU&feature=related.
The Cultural Practice of being a Star Wars Fan
What is Star Wars?
What makes it so great?
Why is there such a huge following?
If the link does not work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWzf0IESrcU&feature=related
As shown in the video above, I believe the birth and success of Star Wars was an encapsulation of the theories of Consumption within the Circuit of Culture. Du Gay et al. (59) states:
“the processes of production only provide a series of possibilities that have to be realized in and through consumption”
This means that although objects are encoded with meaning during their production,the process of production is never fully realized until the moment of consumption. Thus, the unforseen success of the film and the birth of Fan Culture for Star Wars
How did production play a role in fan culture?
Star Wars was considered more fiction than science.- Political struggle between an oppressive empire against a group of ‘rebels’ standing up to them.
- Elements of fantasy scenarios where ‘Knights’ rescue a Princess
- Element of drama of fight between Father and Son
- Weapons like ‘lightsabers’ and ‘rayguns’ were simply a alternative version of pistols and swords These factors played an important role in making the Star Wars world a simple yet different world for fans to reproduce themselves on a daily basis.
How did representations play a role in fan culture?
To some, Star Wars and its extraordinary characters represented something significant. Fans began to look at representation within the film to that of a religion. Terms like, “May the Force be with you” seemed to urge the fans to believe the existence of a ‘higher power’. One article states: “Star wars method of storytelling continues to exert significant impact on western culture… The films represent an example of not only the shift in preferred medium from story to film, but also a shift in how individuals derive meaning from their existence” (Goldberg, 2010)
This theory echoes Du Gay et al. (1997) theories where he finds subordinated groups select and invent materials through ideas of dominant cultures, in this case, religion.
Works cited:Goldberg, Daniel. "Jung and "Star Wars": The Impact of Jungian Archetypes within the "Star Wars Trilogy" on Moviegoers." The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2011. United States -- Illinois: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT). Web. 1 June 2012.
How did design play a role in fan culture?
Design played an important roles in the promotion of fan culture within Star Wars. Due to the variation of fictional designs with multiple elements looking like existing things e.g. Ray gun look like pistols, Lightsabers look like swords, Stormtroopers look like future soldiers.
It is with these reasons fans were able to replicate costumes to look like characters from the movies easily using everyday materials. The design of the Star Wars world was so relatable it spawned a multi million dollar toy and merchandise industry George Lucas. Generating revenues of $2.8 billion dollar and a personal profit of $625 million dollars (Curtis, 1999).
How did regulation play a role in fan culture?
The massive spawning of multiple fan group across the world was not look upon favourably by production house Lucas Films. Lucas Films believed fandom communities should undergo formal authorizations and regulations to protect their intellectual property. Some fans obviously rejected the idea while media producers identified groups willing to abide by the code of conduct on how to conduct themselves within a public sphere.Du Gay et al. mentioned the need to frame organization of social life between public and private spheres (113-114). I would like to research further if this oppression actually help the fandom community stronger.
Work Cited:Curtis, James. "Star Wars: The Movie Turned Brand Empire." Marketing Jul 08 1999: 22-3. ABI/INFORM Complete; ProQuest Research Library. Web. 1 June 2012 .
Other Areas of Research (questions for myself)
Inspiration as part of Representation:US Army Officers who planning military strategies calledthemselves “Jedi Knights”. This was ten years after therelease of the last film The Return of the Jedi (1983).This was seen as a culturally resonating factor of inspiration by then President Ronald Reagan.Could inspiration be part of the factor in Fans subscription to the franchise 30 years on?
The Star Wars Prequel(1999 – 2005)
Lucas Films, filmed and screened the prequel to the Star Wars saga between1999 and 2005. What kind of impact did
this have on the Star wars community? Was there an increased interest at all?
I would like to further research the role some characters might have played in the development of a huge an successful fan culture within the world of Star Wars as well.
Works Cited:Meyer, David S. "Star Wars, Star Wars, and American Political Culture." Journal of Popular Culture 26.2 (1992): 99-. ProQuest Research Library; ProQuest Social Science Journals. Web. 1 June 2012.
Some of the ‘Forces’ I will use to guide me:
Meyer, David S. "Star Wars, Star Wars, and American Political Culture." Journal of Popular Culture 26.2 (1992): 99-. ProQuest Research Library; ProQuest Social Science Journals. Web. 1 June 2012. Du Gay, Paul, et al. Doing Cultural Studies: The story of the Sony Walkman. London: SAGE, 1997. Print.
John, Shelton Lawrence. "The Gospel According to Superheroes: Religion and Popular Culture/Star Wars and Philosophy: More Powerful than You can Possibly Imagine." The Journal of American Culture 29.1 (2006): 101-3. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 1 June 2012.
Smoot, Frank. "Why Star Wars has Stayed with Us." The World & I 14.5 (1999): 321-7. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 1 June 2012.
www.youtube.comCurtis, James. "Star Wars: The Movie Turned Brand Empire." Marketing Jul 08 1999: 22-3. ABI/INFORM Complete; ProQuest Research Library. Web. 1 June 2012 .
THANK YOU!AND MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!