By now, I’m sure that most of you know of the merger between LFL and Disney. By now, I’m sure that many of you are getting equally tired of hearing the sheer panic from many Star Wars fans over this announcement. I’m also certain that some among you take umbrage at my categorization of this as an overreaction. Yet, regardless of whether you agree with me, we can all seem to acknowledge that the internet is finally starting to fall silent on the issue. My guess is that this is mostly because those being histrionic about the whole ordeal have cried themselves to sleep so that those of us who are still awake can discuss this rationally.
Now, don’t get me wrong, here. Before I explain my position in more detail, let me first clear the air a bit by telling you some things that I am not arguing. I am not arguing that an emotional reaction to this news was completely unwarranted. I am not arguing that I do not (and that you should not) have some trepidation about the future of a franchise that has meant something to us at different parts of our lives. However, during the rest of this short essay, I absolutely mean to argue that we should temper our emotional reactions, and that I personally feel that some people should question how reasonable some of their trepidations about what is (at the end of the day) a world of complete fiction might be.
The underlying question beneath this brief investigation is: “Exactly what would make Star Wars fans happy at this point?” If (as I suspect) the answer to this question is: “nothing”, then we need to collectively reevaluate why we love Star Wars in the first place, and to what are we responding so negatively. Part of the problem in answering this question is that Star Wars fans are not a singular group of people with a single set of emotions about the franchise, or a single set of wishes for its future. However, for the purposes of this evaluation, I am going to set aside the fact that we each have individual feelings, and that some people are bigger fans of the books, comics, and television shows that comprise the Expanded Universe, and make an oversimplification (as all “good” social scientists are prone to do) and assume that we are a homogenous group.