Study Guide

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Fandoms

Fandoms

Ah yes, Star Wars fans—known as Trekkies. They know everything there is to know about the many characters from the series, from the Cylon warrior Chewbacca, to the great bounty hunter Boba Worf, to the estimable hero Captain James T. Skywalker, a.k.a. "Doctor Who."

Okay, okay, calm down—we're just kidding. We know better than to tease Star Wars fans (and not just because that would mean teasing ourselves). After all, this is one of the most dedicated fanbases on the planet, and they pretty much set the mold for all of those that followed.

The Empire Strikes Back came at a pivotal moment for the Star Wars fandom. The first film had been a massive, game-changing success, earning a (then) record-breaking $775 million at the box office. That's a lot of $$$. Over the next few years, Star Wars fanatics began gathering together and creating a community for themselves, writing fanzines, meeting at conventions, and, in general, talking mad trash about those chumps still obsessed with Star Trek.

The sequel was met with a positive response from fans (despite an initially negative critical consensus) and The Empire Strikes Back is now regarded as one of, if not the best film in the series.

With a mature, adult take on the Star Wars universe, an increasing sophistication with special effects, and one of the greatest twists in movie history, the sequel took everything they loved about Star Wars and turned it up to eleven. In fact, Empire's release might even represent the peak of Star Wars fandom, as 1983 Return of the Jedi was blasted by the fan community for its cheesiness and sentimentality.

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