What we often don’t witness in fandom is when a parent is converted by the actions of their child. As a way to spend more time with my 49-year-old mom, I dragged her into the world of podcasting and introduced her to the animated series Star Wars Rebels. I knew she wouldn’t have been adversed to the idea because she’s always been a supportive parent, and since then, we gathered a small following of listeners who enjoy tuning in for the mother/daughter perspective on one of Lucasfilm’s properties. Not only do I get to spend time watching Star Wars with her and record our hour-long discussions, but I also get to see other fans appreciate her insight on the Star Wars universe as much as I do.
Given how the franchise has grown over the past 40 years, it’s quite clear that Star Wars connects families through the generations more so than any other pop phenomenon. At conventions, we see parents cosplaying with their children and fellow fans often passing along supportive comments, such as “Parenting done right.”
One fangirl and artist shared her beginnings as a Star Wars fan, “[My 17-year-old brother] sat me down on a Sunday afternoon to watch the movies when they were on television.” When I asked her how her older brother was introduced to the movies, she said that her parents had taken him to see the movie in 1977 when he was just five years old.
“He was young for it, but he still remembers it,” she said, just as she remembers watching the movies with him and having that being one of her earliest memories at six years old.
See, parenting done right.
The fact of the matter is, however, there are a significant number of parents who don’t have the slightest clue about Star Wars or fandoms in general. This causes a barrier, and sadly, I see more comments along the lines of “My parents don’t care” than “My parents understand.”
“My parents now prefer [to] ignore what I draw. They are ashamed, I guess,” wrote one fan artist in a stream of conversation related to explaining fandoms to parents. The lack of care and appreciation at home is the reason why people turn to the Web and social media. According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, about 92 percent of teens go online daily, including 24 percent who are “almost constantly” online. It’s in this digital setting that people connect and find themselves in others, no matter how far away they live.
A home supplies commercial from Germany demonstrates how parents should make an effort in understanding their children’s interests.
Johnamarie is the owner of TheWookieeGunner.com. She is a content contributor for Making Star Wars, Star Wars Report, and Fangirl Next Door. She is also a co-host on “Now, This Is Podcasting!” and “Rebels Chat”.