I wanted to take a moment to talk about Star Wars fatigue. It’s something I’ve suffered of late and, I’m sure, an issue you’ve also contended with at some point or another.
But first, let me clarify by what I mean by fatigue. I don’t mean that there’s too much content out there, or I’ve simply had enough of the fandom. Rather, I’ve put Star Wars on the backburner for the last few months. I’m taking a holiday because, while I love and adore this franchise, it’s hard to maintain that affection 24/7.
Part of the issue boils down to personality. I’m the first to admit that I border on the obsessive side of the spectrum. When I like something, I really like it. I’m compelled to own as much of any given interest and know as much about it as possible. Star Wars is well suited to this with its forty-year-plus pedigree and vast offering of merchandise, documentaries and story content. We really are spoiled for choice. Yet obsession can be fickle, and while I can be happy filling my days with nothing but Star Wars for weeks, sometimes months on end, it’s difficult to sustain. Such is my psychology, then, that I inevitably drift far, far away from that galaxy in pursuit of different interests.
It’s not an explicit choice so much as a subtle move away, but suddenly I find I’ve hardly interacted with any Star Wars media for weeks. Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been largely absent on Twitter these past few months. It’s not as though I’ve forgotten, but mustering the will to Star Wars (if I can be so bold as to use it as a verb) can be difficult. And so time ticks by. In fact, my guest article for Team Ahsoka is the only related activity I’ve indulged in all summer.
I try and keep an ear to the ground, check in with everyone on Twitter and make sure I don’t miss anything. It would have been a shame, after all, to have not see the Resistance trailer (at last!) and Kelly Marie Tran’s heartfelt and stirring New York Times op-ed. But my focus has been elsewhere, occupied with reading fantasy, and indulging my fascination with history. I’ve even been working on my own novel.
Getting some time and space away from Star Wars (or any franchise you adore, for that matter) can be a positive experience. It allows you to find some perspective, make sense of your loves and loathes and, perhaps most importantly, allows you to take a break from the frankly exhausting battles waged in fandom. If I see one more person call Rey a Mary Sue, I think I’ll explode!
But I’m a lifer. I’ve loved Star Wars as long as I can remember and my day to day is still spent surrounded by tokens and images from the franchise. Many of my figures and LEGO models are organised in my mini-museum on the landing, which I pass multiple times a day. I’ll make tea and coffee from my awesome Original Trilogy tins and my car perpetually has Clone Wars sun visors on the back windows.
Eventually I always dive head first back into my obsession. I’ll wager that the Blu-ray release of Solo will spark the next wave and so the cycle begins again. But enough about me, what are your experiences of fandom fatigue and your reasons why? I’d love to do a follow-up post collating all your responses.