Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back of fan bases?

Or is it Attack of the Clones? Well, I suppose that depends on your certain point of view…

Earlier this week, Vulture posted a massive list of what they’re calling the most influential fan bases, and Star Wars came in number 2 – pretty good, all things considered. Occupying the #1 spot is Game of Thrones, which I can’t really be all that bitter about seeing as they’re peaking right now. (And, well, I’m a fan, if not technically in the fandom.)

It’s an interesting series, but one major qualm with the Star Wars listing: Warsies? Dude, no one with an actual clue uses that term. It’s not even a Trekker/Trekkie situation: No one uses it.

The Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Joss Whedon and Lord of the Rings fandoms also made the list. It’s all part of a week-long series, which also covers things like naming your fandom (don’t,) psychology and the crazy shit fans buy.

They’ve also profiled several influential fans, including the Leaky Cauldron’s Melissa Anelli, The One Ring’s Erica Challis and TFN’s Dustin Roberts.

4 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back of fan bases?

  1. Paula

    Except for the psychology article (could they find anyone more mundane than that one psychologist?), that was an awesome series!

    It’s interesting to read the profiles of the influential fans. To me, that’s the more intriguing part of this.

  2. MattDoc

    Warsies! I had never even heard that one until this article.
    I love GoT also, but I’m not sure if I agree with that being #1 on a list like this.

  3. Dom

    MattDoc, I wouldn’t take this list too seriously. It seems like the site just pulled franchises out of a hat at random. There’s no methodology to the list.

    Also, it doesn’t account for how enduring each franchise has been. Star Wars has lasted for over 35 years (years!) and is still going strong than GoT, which has only had a fandom for about 2 years maybe. If GoT ended next year, I could imagine GoT fandom dying out a few years later, but Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings have already proven their staying power.

    1. Dunc Post author

      GoT/ASoIaF fandom predates the TV show – the first book was published in the late 90’s, and I remember seeing dedicated message boards and such in the early 2000’s. Obviously they’re nowhere near as old as some of the other fandoms on the list, and the TV show/last book are what really turned it up to overdrive, but they’re not spring chickens either. Age-wise, I’d say the fandom is at least as old as Harry Potter’s, which also started publishing in the late 90’s.

      A Game of Thrones (the book) wasn’t an bestseller initially, but all four since then made the NYT lists. A Feast for Crows (#4) was the first to reach #1, and that was in 2005 – years before HBO. I hate using bestseller lists as a indicator of fandom (or quality,) but it does prove there is a large, excited base of readers.

      I think pre-HBO ASoIaF was one of the bigger book-based SF/F franchises – not Harry Potter-sized, but certainly at least equivalent if not bigger than Wheel of Time fandom and the like. It’s not a perfect fandom (‘GRRM is not your bitch,’ and the ASoIaF board I visited after reading Crows reminded me AMAZINGLY of TFN Lit) but it is definitely a growing fandom, and I don’t doubt it’s still going to get even bigger. They’re on the rise.

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