It’s a conversation that I’ve had too many times to recount, but the formula is always the same. Someone finds out that I am a nerd, and then they want to talk about Star Wars with me. Then, they get upset when I inform them that I don’t like Star Wars.
I LOATHE STAR WARS.
No matter what, the person wants me to explain further, so let allow me to break down my blasphemy and then inform you what I’m going to do about it.
Working at a comic book store, the worst group to come in had to be the Star Wars nerds. The main problem with Star Wars nerds is that because they are fans of one particular set of films, they have no real agenda when they come into the store and so they loiter and talk about Star Wars with anyone who will listen.
Compare this to other nerds types and you’ll see that I’m right. Comic book nerds are usually in and out without much fuss. They need their weekly fix, and they head off to whatever else they have planned for the day. Magic: the Gathering nerds loiter to an extent but that’s because they are shuffling through single cards to find what they need to build their decks. Even Yu-Gi-Oh kids weren’t so bad compared to Star Wars nerds because most Yu-Gi-Oh players were either little kids or guys that were old enough that they were a little ashamed of being there, so they didn’t call attention to themselves.
Let’s clarify what I mean by Star Wars nerds though. Do I mean the person who has watched all six movies and enjoyed them? No.
Do I mean the person who has watched all six movies, the Clone Wars cartoon, and played the Star Wars video games? No.
Do I mean the person who has watched all six movies, the Clone Wars cartoon, played the Star Wars video games, read some of the novels, and loves all of the comic books? Still, no.
The Star Wars nerds that I am specifically referring to are the guys who dress up. See, the previous three examples were people who enjoy the universe it is set in and those people are fine. If you are a member of the 501 Legion, you are a loathsome sore on society and I can’t tolerate you because lets face facts; you don’t just wear the costume, you have to live Star Wars. You want to talk about metachlorians, and you want to explain the expanded universe, and you really want to talk about who your favorite Sith Lord is.
When I was working at a comic book store, we had some regulars who were members of the 501st Legion. They would come into the store to loiter and argue about Star Wars. After a couple of hours, they would leave without buying anything and most of the time, our glass counters would be smudged from when they were leaning their greasy hands all over them.
One of the Legion members (a guy I dubbed “Big Fat Matt”) had eight sets of Stormtrooper armor because he kept gaining weight. He was the worst of them all because he was a repeat offender. He didn’t just come in every once in awhile to loiter and dirty my counters; he came in nearly every single day. His worst moment had to have been when he proceeded to flirt with the sixteen year old girl who worked with me. She was wiping down the greasy counters and he said, “Just push me out of the way if you want me to movie.”
“Its okay,” she tried to be polite.
He replied, “I’m always in the way and that makes me naughty. Maybe you oughta give me a spanking.”
Maybe its unfair of me to associate Star Wars with Big Fat Matt, but I can’t separate the two. I just start to hear his nasally voice and I begin to imagine him going into the difference between the different types of TIE Fighters and I just get so enraged.
Now, I know what some of my faithful readers are thinking. There are some of you who probably think I might be a bit hypocritical by criticizing Star Wars nerds when I run a pop culture website, and work for a publisher that produces books about comic books, but there is an important distinction between me and the Star Wars nerds I’m talking about. At the end of the day, I know that there are a lot of people out there who don’t care about comic books, and I don’t care. I don’t go out into the world trying to convert the masses into legions of comic fans. I have the ability to talk about things other than comic books.
The Star Wars fans I’m talking about, aren’t like that. These are the guys who feel as if it is their life’s mission to convert everyone into Star Wars fans. These are the guys who think it is criminal to have not watched the original trilogy.
Take, for example, the television show How I Met Your Mother. I’m not a fan of the show mostly because the first episode I ever watched featured this scene (sorry for the crappy quality, but its the only clip I could find).
Young Bob Saget is dating girl from Scrubs and as it turns out, she has never watched Star Wars. This upsets Young Bob Saget and Jason Segel, so they make her watched the film in order for her to “prove” herself. Its this kind of douchey behavior that characterizes Star Wars nerds to me.
I can hear you screaming at the screen right now, “But that’s a sitcom, that’s not real life!” Oh, but it is, my friend. It absolutely is real life. I’ve seen this situation happen before and each time I think, “yeah, you could really go your whole life without watching Star Wars and be just fine.”
Here are a few positive things I would like to say about Star Wars in order to win back some people:
1) Darth Vader – hands down the most iconic villain in all of film history. I’m a Star Trek fan through and through and I have to admit that there aren’t any Trek villains who even come close to Vader. I mean, Khan? Not even close.
2) Light sabers – Who wouldn’t want a light saber? They are ridiculously awesome and people look cool with them.
3) Technical achievements – The original trilogy still astound me by how beautiful the space scenes look. All of the dogfights in space have certainly aged well.
Now, let’s look at all of the problems with the franchise:
1) the Acting – outside of Harrison Ford, the series is riddled with horrendous acting that grates on my nerves.
2) the Plot – Simplistic, moralistic drek. Honestly, I don’t have to have overly complex plots or anything like that, the real problem is that the fandom acts as if the films are just so thrilling to watch and they try to elevate the plot to being something more than it is.
3) The Prequels – I know that no one really likes the prequels, but those were three whole movies that Star Wars fans have to forget. They have to completely ignore those three piles of trash, but I think thats a bit unfair.
Compare Star Wars to Star Trek for a minute. Star Wars had six movies, but three are supposed to be forgotten because they are so awful. Star Trek has had eleven movies and while some are better than others, none are so bad that they should be completely ignored. Even Star Trek IV (the one about whales) is a good movie compared to the Star Wars prequels.
Now that I have ranted, allow me to take a breath to gather my point.
. . .
. . .
So, why am I so enraged? Well, for one thing, I get tired of people being so shocked by my Star Wars hatred. Simply because I am a nerd doesn’t mean that I automatically like Star Wars. I wish this post had been a bit more focused, but my rage has taken the form of an explosion.
For the record, if you like Star Wars, good for you. I won’t judge because I no longer work at a comic book store and so loitering is no longer a concern of mine. I think we should agree to disagree and we’ll go our separate ways.
But, for the record, in order to prove how much Star Wars sucks, I am undertaking a challenge.
Springfield has a local restaurant called “Grad School” and they feature a menu item known as the “Deathstar” wings. Essentially, they are the hottest wings imaginable and it is my job to eat them in order to show that Star Wars sucks.
Training starts next week. Be prepared.