Movies can play a major role in people’s lives. For some people the impact of films is more intense than others. For some it is merely a past time, while others view it as part of their vitality. Some people really connect with particular films and have little to no interest in others. I fall in the category of movies aren’t just stories told on screen, but stories that impact my thoughts and compel me. Then again, I am a storyteller and all stories hold more weight in my eyes. Which leads me to question fanatics. I don’t even think I can just use the colloquial fans because it doesn’t capture the true sentiment of a real fan. They are fanatics who can view a specific story as the holy grail never to be messed with. They are a dangerous aspect of our culture that in many ways hinders films, comics, tv, and video games.
Any fandom reveres what they hold canon. If that sentence went over anyone’s head don’t worry, I’ll explain. A fandom is a collection of fanatics who love and honor a specific story of series. There are fandoms for Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. I’ve noticed that fandoms pop up more ferociously when the subject is that of fantasy or science fiction. Although I wouldn’t want to walk into a Friends fandom and shout something innacurate about Ross or someone else. Fandoms are essentially the collection of all fanatics of one topic in one nice neat place. Sometimes they chat about different topics. Other times they speculate based off what they watch.
Canon is the truth of the story based from the writers. Thus any sanctioned story telling becomes Fandom. In the case of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the fandom includes not just the TV shows (and yes, I’d include Angel in this as well), but also the comics. Some of you may remember the movie of the same name, but since the creator writes it off, it isn’t strictly part of canon.
Back to what I was saying about fandoms and their relationship to canon. A fandom thrives on their addiction to canon and upholding what is supposed to be true within the universe. Similar to what is a fandom honoring canon material, fandoms are quick to reject what is not canon. Ventures off the beaten path can be seen as offense and can causes quite a stir within a fandom. For example people seem to be up in arms about the casting rumors surrounding the impending Fantastic Four reboot, in which there would be a black Human Torch (played by Michael B. Jordan) and a female Dr. Doom. It has Marvel fans of Fantastic Four in a tizzy.
Why Sometimes its Okay
Fandoms may be very protective of their canon, but sometimes they are so to a fault. Many times a fandom that once hated the prospect of a new idea will have a completely different view in hindsight. Then there are times that they will fight against the change at all costs until they destroy it for everyone else. There are people who still argue adamantly that Nick Fury can’t be black, despite the change being presented in the comics before Samuel L Jackson ever stepped into the role.
There are times when fandoms are what make a story even more detailed and enjoyable for the rest of us. If there weren’t people who loved the Lord of the Rings elvish never would have been expanded into the full language that Tolkien created the framework for. The fans of Star Wars have established a continuity that have been referenced in film and animated work to make sure new events line up properly.
What do you think of fandoms? Would you consider yourself a part of a fandom?