We all have a little bit of Star Wars in us. Even if we don’t want to admit it. But there is something that separates the real fans -- the ones that live and breathe the Force to the point of naming one of their kids after a main character (such as this journalist) -- from the fake fans -- the pretenders.
Those ‘fans’ will only see The Force Awakens because it’s the latest film. They’re being swallowed up in the hype without being infatuated with the hype.
The real fans are excited about seeing Han Solo at the Sydney Opera House. The fake fans are excited about seeing Harrison Ford at the Sydney Opera House.
Being a Real Star Wars fan is about being fearless about exposing your Star Wars love to the wider community. It doesn’t mean you have to wear your Stormtrooper helmet in public. It doesn’t mean you have to display every Star Wars toy, DVD or book upon your coffee table. But it does mean you feel cool about being a Star Wars fan, even if other people don’t think you are cool.
So with millions of Star Wars fans around the world, you'd think all the trailers were being watched over and over again. But the truth is the opposite. Let's take a look:.
The first teaser released in 2014 has 74 million Youtube views. No surprises there. Since then, there's been a second teaser, a third teaser, the official trailer, a fourth and then a fifth teaser. Disney has been slowly releasing bits and pieces of information. But, by the time the fifth teaser was released, there were only 132,000 views on Youtube.
Is this a sign of Star Wars fatigue? Real Fans believe the opposite. It tells us the first two trailers were watched by a combination of fake Star Wars fans and real fans (real fans make up the huge numbers of Youtube viewers)
But the third trailer was a bridge too far. Real fans turned away in droves. Leaving only the fake fans. It’’s complicated, yet it’s very simple -- real Star Wars fans are counting down the days until it hits the screens. But that doesn’t mean they’re watching the trailers. It’s a case of 'fearing the spoiler'.
Real Star Wars fan Donna Nicol is preparing herself, emotionally, for the movie. For her, Star Wars is a rite of passage. She watched the very first film in the back of her parents’ car at the local drive-ins.
“I get really emotional when I even think of Star Wars and you don’t want to be around me when Mark Hamill is on-screen. I’m a blubbering mess. I’m actually very nervous about watching The Force Awakens. In fact, I’m so nervous I haven’t even watched the entire official trailer and there’s no way I’m watching the additional trailers and teasers. I just can’t,” Nicol said.
Real Star Wars Fan Tom Nixon has watched the first trailer. He snuck a peek at the second and third teasers. But he refuses to watch anymore.
“I couldn’t bring myself to watch the last few. I just want to keep as much surprise as possible for when I see it at the cinema. There's nothing like the rush you feel when you see something for the first time,” Nixon said.
“Some people can't help but watch everything, even search for spoilers online. It's understandable. But I think the fans who avoid all trailers and spoilers will get the most out of the film on opening day.
“I’ve got fan friends who are avoiding the internet altogether. Fear the internet! Once the plot points are leaked, there is no escaping them unless you switch off and go hide in a cave until release day.”
A real Star Wars fan will not only avoid all the trailers, they will watch the movie with a deep intensity.