This past Thursday night, I spent hours in line waiting to purchase all the new “Star Wars” toys for #ForceFriday when it opened at midnight. When I brought my new BB-8 backpack to the counter, the guy said, “Oh, your kid is going to be a hit at school with this!” I replied, “You’d think it was for a child, but …” I was sort of surprised, because most of the people in line that night were adults. With lightsabers. Making Wookiee noises. Adults.
I saw the same thing at Disney’s D23 Expo and Star Wars Celebration. I see it in toy stores on non-geek holidays as well. When I joke about pulling money out of one “Star Wars” purse to buy another one while wearing my “World of Warcraft” Blood Elf insignia necklace and how that crosses some sort of geek line, most people laugh and say they did something similar last week. I spent the holiday weekend in a little town known for wine tasting and counted 23 “Star Wars”/Marvel/DC shirts in five minutes, on very drunk grownups.
Things have changed in terms of fandom. We as adults are allowed to be silly and let our geek flag fly. Could you imagine this 10 years ago? Sure, during Comic-Con we all get nerdy, but in a semi-prissy wine village? This is new.
We all know why: superhero movie wish-fulfillment, new “Star Wars,” video games. I spend a lot of time talking about what’s wrong with Hollywood and the world at large, so this week, I just wanted to take a moment and revel in the happiness. I want to enjoy the fact that I got a high five from a very, very old man wearing the same Darth Vader shirt as I was in the grocery store this morning, and that my adult friends are all posting pictures of their remote control BB-8 toys (and when it’s missing from your house, it totally wasn’t me). It’s nice to feel like there is magic in the world again, at least for a little while.