*sigh* Here we go again. As long as Star Wars exists, it seems, the debate over what constitutes a “true fan” will rage on. And we do mean rage. The franchise fandom is, most times, one of the greatest fandoms there is. From charity work, to simply helping other fans in time of need, to just connecting and reveling in all things Star Wars, there’s much about the fandom to appreciate. But… and there’s always a but… The fandom can also be the most toxic and irrational. Case in point: those who feel the need to continuously gate-keep who is allowed to call themselves a true Star Wars fan. Well, those “fans” are back at it, this time centering their nonsense on the Legends character of Darth Revan. Yes, Revan.
For those who don’t know (and there are many), Darth Revan was/is one of the most popular characters in Star Wars to come out of the old Expanded Universe. The character rose to fame in the role-play game of Knights of the Old Republic. (Later he even got his own book.) Once a Jedi, Revan fought in the Mandalorian Wars. He gave in to the Dark Side, becoming one of the most power Sith ever. Eventually the fallen Jedi found redemption and returned to the light. If you didn’t know that, however, then you’re not a true fan. At least that’s what some would ridiculously have us believe.
Is Revan the measure of a true fan of Star Wars?
How the gatekeeping started is a mystery, but some of the responses on social media are spectacular. One in particular pretty much sums it up:
— Nick Melefsky (@nickmelefsky) April 14, 2021
Look, it’s great to love, and yes, even obsess, over a certain character or era of the franchise. But to use Revan as the measure of whether or not someone is a true fan is, as Mr. Melefsky suggests, moronic. We’re talking about a franchise that has existed for forty-four years. There are literally generations of people that have appreciated this franchise over that time. And in that span, including the Expanded Universe, there have collectively been thousands, THOUSANDS, of stories, films, TV shows, comic books, novels, toys, characters… You get the idea. To say someone isn’t a true fan because they aren’t familiar with the singular character of Revan?
Hate The Last Jedi but love the rest? Not interested in animation like The Clone Wars but love the feature films? Only reading the Legends novels and not the new canon works? Know every Revan reference in Star Wars but have never heard of Dash Rendar? It. Doesn’t. Matter. There’s no litmus test to label a true fan of Star Wars. Stop pretending there is. (Still, if you don’t know who Revan is, look him up. He truly is a great character.)