May the Fourth Be With You: A Musing on Star Wars and Hipsters

As regular readers know, I have a Kansas Bucket List consisting of things I want to do before Daniel and I move to Connecticut. The first item I have crossed off this list is to have a Star Wars marathon with two of our friends. Why? Well, at 23 years of age, I had never seen Star Wars.

I’ll wait while you gasp and mutter your preferred expressions of horror.

may the 4thDone? Okay. Anyway, thanks to Daniel’s insistence, Caleb’s grilling skills, and Devin’s resourcefulness, we had a wonderful food- and wine-filled evening, and I have now seen the original Star Wars movies (Episodes 4, 5, and 6 for other noobs). I still have not seen the prequels, but my friends tell me viewing them will require significantly more wine than we had during the first marathon. So that task is for another day.

To be honest, I was not overwhelmed with passionate enthusiasm for Star Wars. I’m told that this is because I did not see them as a child, when the true magic happens. That said, I really enjoyed the movies, and I see why they are beloved. They have everything audiences want: action, love, creative costumes, a dash of dystopia, revenge, betrayal, jaw-dropping reveals (again, if you’re a sheltered kid and haven’t had parodies ruin all the surprises), and kick ass special effects (you know, for their time).

In the post-movie discussion analysis with Daniel (who is a huge movie buff), he dipped into my brain and tried to figure out exactly what I liked about the movie. We concluded that, for me, Star Wars’s crowning glory is the characters. At first, I was disappointed with how few female characters were featured, but Leia’s strength, intelligence, and sass (as well as the minor female characters in leadership roles) made up for the lack of lady representation. Leia was my favorite. However, I appreciated the whole motley crew. Luke’s growth and journey was commendable, Han’s attitude and good-guy/bad-guy balance was refreshing, and the non-human characters were funny, expressive, and lovable. You guys know (better than me, I’m sure).

We also concluded I’m a “Han girl” — which Daniel says is the right answer.

Beyond the movie, the cultural aspect of Star Wars has fascinated me. Obviously, it’s one of the (if not the) largest cinematic phenomena in history. And your having seen or not seen the movies, as well as your opinions on them, matter to those in the culture.

grootWhen I had not seen Star Wars, I was a bit of a “hipster.” I had avoided the mainstream, made myself rare and exotic. Others wanted to take me in, share the experience with me, initiate me. Now that I have seen the movies (and not elevated to fan level), I am just one of the educated, yet un-impassioned, masses. As far as Star Wars is concerned, my hipster, counter-culture status is revoked. To be honest, I liked my hipster status. I mean, don’t all hipsters like fancying themselves special and unique by being exactly as counter-culture and different as all the other hipsters?

In contrast, Daniel remains a bit of a Star Wars hipster. Of course, he is a fan boy. However, much of his appreciation for Star Wars comes from the inspiration it drew from 2001: Space Odyssey. This love of predecessors (ie: everything sounds better on vinyl — which it does, for the record), is one of the hallmark signs of a hipster. I’m sure Daniel could think of a better example. However, by making that connection and noticing those nods to the past, Daniel stays a teensy bit special in his Star Wars culture status and is the slightest bit hipster still.

The point is — sometimes, with these near-galactic phenomena, it’s just as fun to be excluded from the culture as it is to be included. There is a certain status that both sides offer. Today, we have the hipsters. Ten years ago we had emo kids. There will always be a version.

My years as a Star Wars hipster have come to a close. Now what will I do with myself? I guess I’ll keep ranting about how Taylor Swift’s and Katy Perry’s first albums are their only good ones and mooning over the 1964 barely-working record player in our study.

Until next time,

May the fourth be with you

(just because I can say that now)


What is your Star Wars status? Are you a “hipster” about anything in particular? Share your fandoms, pet peeves, and abstentions below!

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Kate M. Colby is an author of science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. When she is not writing or working, Kate enjoys playing video games, antiquing, and wine tasting. She lives in the United States with her husband and furry children.

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Posted in Fiction Blog, Musings & Bookish Things, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Geeky Things
16 comments on “May the Fourth Be With You: A Musing on Star Wars and Hipsters
  1. Reblogged this on Daniel N. Gullotta and commented:
    My wife’s reflections on her recent and first ever Star Wars marathon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Galit Balli says:

    I am a huge Star Wars fan (both hubby and I). I saw the first as a child (I was 3,lol) and omg, I fell in love ❤
    May the fourth be with you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As a huge sci-fi geek I have seen all the Star Wars (yes, much wine and significantly more suspension of disbelief will be needed for episodes 1-3…in fact I don’t know that you really need to watch them at all) and am stoked for the newest Star Wars film. However, I am fan only in so far as I love all sci-fi. I’m not sure you know (but I’m sure Daniel could tell you) there is a bit of a rivalry between Star Wars and Star Trek fan bases. I am firmly a Trekkie, so while I can appreciate Star Wars for the great story, characters, and universe, I too have never been overwhelmed by the franchise.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nice! Yeah, part of my does not want to see episodes 1-3, so that I can remain unspoiled. But, at the same time, I want to understand my poor husband’s disappointment and suffering. I did not know there was a stark rivalry vs. Star Wars and Star Trek fans, but I knew that both fan bases get extremely offended when you mix up the franchises. So, that does make sense. Thanks for sharing your love of sci-fi! Always cool to learn something new about you!

      Like

  4. Yeah, there is a rivalry but I think most honest fanboys and fangirls know they are two dramatically different to compare. Star Wars is about mythology whereas Star Trek is about philosophy. Star Wars is very dualistic, the rebels vs the empire, the light side vs the dark side. The good guys are good guys and the bad guys are bad guys. Star Wars, with its symbolism and motifs has a legendary quality to it, and as it was inspired by Campbell’s “Hero With A Thousand Faces,” with can see its heroic sage unfold. Star Trek on the other hand deals with issues of morality, justice, power, and philosophy. Where as Star Wars is an unfolding drama, an epic saga, Star Trek is a series of morality plays with familiar characters facing deep issues about the nature of the world and what it means to live in it. Not only that, but Star Trek is based in TV whereas Star Wars is based in cinema. The formats translate differently. One of the reasons why people dislike the rebooted Star Trek films is that they don’t deal with “the big issues” like the TV series and other films did, and one of the reasons why people don’t like the prequels is because there is no sense of heroic adventure or legendary quality to them. Having said all this, I enjoy them both but prefer Star Wars.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic! I’m still convincing my wife to watch Star Wars. I’m glad you were able to experience these films of cosmic and universal significance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Honestly, I am surprised it took me so long to see them, as I am normally up-to-speed with sci-fi/fantasy movies. If your wife needs any convincing, just send her my way!

      Like

  6. amo says:

    I can go you one better – I didn’t watch episodes 4 & 5 all the way through until age 47 (this past New Year’s Eve, to be precise). I’d seen bits and pieces of it lots of times, as my kids were huge fans when they were younger, and I’d keep seeing sections of it while wandering through the living room when they watched it. I knew all about the story, but had never actually got the full effect of it (except for episode 6, which I watched in its entirety some 18 years ago very late one night in a vain attempt to convince my third and overdue child to be born). And I still haven’t seen episodes 1-3, except in that same piecemeal fashion.
    One of my big shocks on one of those incidental viewings was Yoda. I’d always heard of him as this big guru, the wise one, the ultimate guide, person to be revered. Then I saw him on screen for the first time, and out of his body comes – Grover’s voice. GROVER!! Silly blue muppet monster! Down the tube, all my respect for Yoda went.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha this is great, Amo! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and backing me up as another “late in life” Star Wars viewer. I never realized that Yoda and Grover have the same voice. It’s going to be hard to view him in the same way now.

      Like

      • amo says:

        Yup. It’s Frank Oz doing the voice, and he did the Grover voice (I guess it’s better than the Miss Piggy voice. Maybe? 😛 ). Certain of this I am not.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. camillevt says:

    I’m 24, and I haven’t watched the movies. I did watch Episode II in the theatre, and obviously understood and remembered nothing. I’m going to try to watch all 6 before the new one comes out this year!

    Liked by 1 person

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