So You’re Still Gatekeeping New Fans of Star Wars…

Pop Culture

Love to wake up to see “Revan” trending and wonder if it is a good thing in the world of the Star Wars fandom or a bad thing. Time and time again, we’re thrown into a battle over who is a “real fan” based on what they know about a given property. It’s gatekeeping at its finest, and it’s a conversation we’ve had over and over again.

I know that I’ve written about it in the Star Wars fandom time and time again. Our Briana Lawrence wrote about gatekeeping with anime, and now it’s being discussed yet again because of a random tweet.

Like … what is the point of being angry that people like the thing that you like? When I tweeted about it myself, people started to compare me to the bullies who shoved them in lockers over Star Wars, as if I haven’t gotten death threats online for being a female fan. It’s a toxic fanbase made worse by this gatekeeping notion. You don’t know the name of the Rebel in the background of a scene who was eating a sandwich? You must be a fake fan.

That mentality has divided this fanbase time and time again, and it’s not just a Star Wars problem. Instead of embracing fandoms and each other, these keepers of the nerdy gates force others to prove their worth. To what end? So you can be the most knowledgeable? So you can rub it in that you know everything and anything about the series? The minute someone questions me and my knowledge of the things that I love, I know that they’re the fan I want to avoid—even if that’s not their intention.

This gut reaction to gatekeep is what ends franchises, quite frankly. Mad because people got into Star Wars because Star Wars isn’t just for you anymore? Well, it wasn’t just for you in the first place. You just thought you were special.

Rahul Kohli is, personally, one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter for a number of reasons. One, he’s always willing to stand up for what he believes in. Two, he’s an ally and willing to call out the bullsh*t. And three, he’s unapologetically a huge Star Wars nerd, and for someone who writes about entertainment and wants to create myself, it’s beautiful to see. His tweets today about this Revan issue perfectly express how I feel about the gatekeeping that happens time and time again.

Gatekeeping doesn’t help anyone. All it does is shut down the conversation or put people off. Star Wars is for everyone. It’s not more mine because I watched it as a kid than it is someone else’s who just got into it. It’s for us all, and it’s exhausting having this conversation over and over again—but apparently it needs to be said again.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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