[SW40] Mark Newbold: Star Wars was never broken

British Star Wars journalist Mark Newbold thinks the past few years have been very strange for the fandom.

Read all the English language op-eds for the anniversary by clicking on the picture

What does Star Wars mean to me and my country

Star Wars means a huge amount to me, and to the UK. To me, it’s the first fictional setting that I became fully invested in as a kid, a place I can escape to and spend time in that’s been with me for over 40 years.  To the UK, it brought the blockbuster epics to our shores in the mid 70’s, where they still reside to this day.  As a kid, it was cool to see familiar faces from UK TV on the big screen and

while George Lucas is 100% American and the saga was created in the States back in 1973, UK fans have a great sense of ownership on the saga, as British craftsmen and crew made Lucas’s dreams a physical reality.

Where the fandom is heading

The past few years have been very strange for the fandom. As the new era continues to grow – we’re now 5 years past the start of Rebels, where the new Disney product began – a whole new injection of interest and involvement came into the fandom, bringing fresh ideas and views on the saga with it.

Some have embraced Star Wars as it was, others are keen to change it and make it into something new, others are engaged by the long history of Star Wars while some are purely focused on the present – and all of that is fine!

It’s a two-edged sword.  There’s nothing worse than gatekeeping  – who are older fans to tell newer fans they can’t be a part of this, but by the same token why become a fan of something if your only wish is to change it?

Star Wars was never broken.

Of course, diversity is an absolute must in all of entertainment and life, and Star Wars is a hugely diverse galaxy, so to see that on the big and small screen is a top priority. Rey and Jyn are compelling lead characters, and with great stories behind them the fandom will become even more invested.

A message to the Hungarian readers

 I’m very privileged to have been asked to contribute to this site and it’s great to see that Star Wars is alive and well in Hungary.  As the Skywalker Saga comes to an end, new films come along and new TV show begin there’s no doubt that there will be the support of the Hungarian fans, as there has been for many decades. May the Force be with you all!

Cover photo: Star Wars fans with lightsabers at the Star Wars Celebration of Chicago, April 2019 (StarWarsCelebration.com)

Mark Newbold – Mark was first caught in the Star Wars tractor beam back in 1977 and has been involved in running websites since 1994 (Lightsabre.co.uk, Jedinewsco.uk). He is Editor-in-Chief of Fantha Tracks and is a frequent writer for print and online magazines including StarWars.com, Star Wars Insider, Build The Millennium Falcon, Starburst and Star Trek The Official Magazine. He is a proud Honorary Friend of the 501st and the Rebel Legion.

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