By Hanny Kee
Sometimes you are so captivated by something you just can’t take your mind off it. James Blunt sang about a girl on the subway in You’re Beautiful, and some people would focus on that beautifully crafted cupcake in some chic pastry shop. I, for one, am caught by narratives.
As you might know from my profile, I am a major Star Wars fan. I grew up watching all of the movies, and spent the early years of my adulthood chasing after the cartoon series meant to inject the saga into a newer generation. I enjoy it, not only for the ever-expanding plot, but also for its richness, texture, and the details that the saga carries. Of course, one might argue that it is only a marketing ploy, because a huge percentage of the profits reaped from the saga lies not in the ticket sales, but in its merchandise. But still, with every new addition to the saga, I feel…the magic still continues. The series has been around far longer than I have existed, and still, it lives on (Psst: with Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilms, I hope that even my grandchildren will get to enjoy this saga as much as I do now). I am drawn to such elements, because they give me the chance to carry a little longer in the legendarium of that world; to know the exact conditions of the “Chosen One” and to know the characters and their histories more deeply.
A fandom – the universe where fans of a certain object operate – that attracts me is one that is thick in detail and has interconnecting story lines; the many stories that has the effect of bringing me there and back again. I think what I’m trying to say here is that one becomes a fangirl, or fanboy, because one is sucked so deep into the chasm revolving around the area of our interest. One consumes everything that bears the name of our fantasy – be it commercially, or by using our imagination. I know of camera buffs that salivate at the advertorials of the latest DSLR – or perhaps, even at those products that are old and gold, thus fetching ridiculously high prices. One tries to escape, but one cannot, because we are always drawn back to that point of contact when we first encountered this new fandom, or this new thing of fascination.
Sometimes, whatever we have is not enough and we venture into deeper realms of the fandom, particularly if they are media-based, like books, TV shows or even movies. We watch the interviews on Youtube, we read reviews, heck, I’ll even go check out the fanfiction that comes with them – though sometimes I write them myself if I’m sucked right in, but these times are few, saved only for those that I truly hold at a special place in my heart.
I spent my childhood wishing that a wizard would drop by my door to give me a letter to Hogwarts where I would then graduate and become a Jedi, after which I would join a quest to destroy some form of jewellery by throwing it down a volcano. I knew that it was impossible, but still, there was a hint of magic for me to escape to, from the drudgeries of life.
Now, please excuse me while I go hunt some Orcs. I need them for my essay later.