Author Archives

Nicole Dieker

‘The Force Awakens’ Brought ‘Star Wars’ Fans Back Together. ‘The Last Jedi’ Tore Us Apart

(AP Photo/Sadiq Asyraf)

(Note: This post contains spoilers.)

The Last Jedi picks up exactly where The Force Awakens left off, as if it were the next episode of a Netflix series. But those of us in the audience have seen two years pass in between Rey offering Luke his lightsaber and Luke throwing it away — and in that moment, it seems, some fans began to realize that they would not get what they thought they had been promised.

First, a recap. As Brian Hiatt writes for Rolling Stone — and I’d like you to imagine the following in yellow, scrolling towards infinity — “In the months since the franchise stirred back to life in 2015’s The Force Awakens, it has felt rather like some incautious child grabbed civilization itself and threw it across the room — and, midflight, many of us realized we were the evil Empire all along, complete with a new ruler that even latter-day George Lucas at his most CGI-addled would reject as too grotesque and implausible a character.”

When life gives us one unfathomable scenario after another, we turn to stories. I found myself reading books the way I used to do in childhood: constantly, deeply. I felt anxious if I finished a novel and did not have a new one to immediately begin — but I also felt anxious about a lot of things, this year. I needed to immerse myself in other worlds so I could feel other emotions. Read more…

Fans, Fiction, and Representation: A New Hope

There’s something about Star Wars: The Force Awakens that feels both delightful and urgent, as if it were both a joy to create and a story that must be told at this particular moment in history. People who lined up to see the film when it released last December—and then immediately bought tickets to see it again—are now buying the DVD or Blu-Ray or streaming version so they can watch The Force Awakens for the fifth (or tenth) time at home. They’re also creating fanart, writing their own narratives, and celebrating the idea that the Hero’s Journey has been opened up to a new group of heroes. Read more…