Star Wars

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The Canon

Star Wars canon consists of six movies and a large volume of tie-in books, novelizations, young adult books and comics, although some fans only consider the movies to be true canon.

Canon timeline


Below is a list of terms and their definitions that are used in this fan community.

  • ANH is the common abbreviation for Episode IV - that is, Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Chanslash is a piece with romantic or sexual relationship between minors or a minor and older person of the same sex.
  • ELoC stands for E-mail Letter of Comment.
  • ROJ or ROTJ is the common abbreviation for Episode VI - that is, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
  • TESB is the common abbreviation for Episode V - that is, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Fan Fiction Policy

According to a Wired article:

Today, creative types dream of making worlds that fans actually want to colonize; J.J. Abrams, George Lucas, and Whedon design their cosmogonies with this in mind, while the developers of Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and World of Warcraft take the participatory paradigm further every day. It's hard to say whether Conan Doyle would be pleased. (He once bought a fanfic—for £10—to use as inspiration.) But they wouldn't surprise him either. He was there at the beginning, after all. "Elementary," he'd remark, or perhaps, for the groundlings: "No shit, Sherlock." [7]

Fandom timeline

Below is a partial list of events that took place in this fandom.


  • Star Wars fandom was noted as developing very quickly, within months of the release of Star Wars: A New Hope. The swift coming together of the fandom was noted as being made possible as many of its participants had already been active in other media fandoms such as Star Trek or general science fiction fandom. Lines of communication were already in place to bring together the fans, although it was noted that "Officially, Star Wars fandom could not be said to exist until the first major zine appeared, bringing together the works of a number of fans for a large audience." (Johnston, J. "Who Comes With Summer." Alderaan 5, 23 Jul 1979.)
  • Star Wars would also generate a very large and quickly thriving fan-fiction community. The first story to arrive on the scene was published in Warped Space #28 or Scuttlebutt (The publishing of this story marked Warped Space as being a mixed fandom fanzine. (Verba, Langley)) Unlike the Star Trek community’s relationship with Paramount, Lucasfilms Ltd. would be involved and trying to maintain some control on the type of content which appeared, according to Verba, almost from the start.


1970s and 1980s

"The same thing happened in ST fanfic. Mary Sue’s abounded in the early years after the series ended and when I was following it in the early 70’s, they were practically non-existent. In their place was Kirk/Spock – the only form of self-insertion fic that the ‘establishment’ of ST fandom would tolerate. These types of fics grew rampant and it got to the point were you couldn’t find any other kind of Star Trek story. The people who would have written anything else weren’t being read and those who might have wanted to read anything else had long before found that nothing was being written (or at least published) in ST fanfic that wasn’t slash. It gave ST fanfic a very bad reputation and when SW fandom started up, Lucasfilm was VERY insistent that fanfic in it’s genre would not end up going in the same direction. I published a fanzine in that era, and you were supposed to send a copy of your ‘zine to Lucasfilm’s Fan Club – it was said to be for archiving purposes, but I knew from others in the fandom that if you had questionable stories in your publication, you would be pressured not to publish again. Lucasfilm was very active in monitoring it’s fandom while I was part of it (until 83) but I have no idea what happened afterwards."
  • During the 1980s, multi-fandom fandom zines were circulating. If a fan wanted to read a story from their particular fandom, they may well have to read the story in a zine that contained stories outside their fandom. According to Langley, this would often gateway fans into other communities, creating in them an interest that would lead them to seek out the source material. This would help a number of fandoms including Battlestar Galactica, Blake's 7, Dark Shadows, Doctor Who, Man from UNCLE, Star Trek, Star Wars and others.


  • In February, Starlog ran an article reporting a rumor about The Empire Strikes Back. The rumor stated that Darth Vader was actually Luke Skywalker’s father. Various fen were incredulous about this rumor. They did not believe it.
  • The Empire Strikes Back was released in the United States on May 21, 1980. [8] The release of the film, while answering many questions including, apparently, the identity of Luke Skywalker's father, created a great deal of debate among fen. Many refused to believe that Darth Vader really was Luke Skywalker's father and felt that the third film would reveal this to be a deception. (Deneroff, Linda. "Daddy Dearest?" Comlink, 1981.) Yoda's remark regarding the presence of "the other" -- that is, another force sensitive, potential Jedi besides Luke also raised great debate. Many believed "the other" would be revealed as Han Solo, and fan-fiction flourished after TESB exploring this possibility.



  • Bev Lorenstein and Judith Gran published Organia in July of 1982, a multimedia fanzine described as "An Adult Fanzine of Ideas". It contained Star Wars adult, heterosexual stories and artwork, and the publishers faced criticism from some members of Star Wars fandom for going against Lucasfilms's apparent wishes that no pornography based on the films be produced.


1984 to 1988

  • Personal computers, aided by their word processing programs, started to have an impact on the publication of fanzines. They, along with the growth of coping services, led to a growth in the number of fanzines and created a situation where more fen could produce their own, high quality fanzines. (Langley)


  • The following is a post to net.startrek from 1985 to give people an idea of the climate at the time:
Aug 14 1985, 7:09 pm
Newsgroups: net.startrek
From: s...@uoregon.UUCP
Date: Wed, 14-Aug-85 19:09:00 EDT
Subject: Re: Requested information on K/S

Feminists who are interested in erotica written by women for women should find themselves very able to "stomach" K/S. They should check out the rave review of K/S written by SF feminist author Joanna Russ in a fanzine namec NOME, "Another Addict Raves about K/S." Natrually there is a spectrum of material-from mild to X-rated, from well-written to total trash. This material is widely circulated, but not "Published" in the ordinary, or profit-making sense, and is in fact underground material of great interest to the participants-the writers, readers and editors. Unfortunately, attention paid to K/S for its feminist importance, may be damaging to fandom as a whole, if Paramount gets too interested in it. Starsky/Hutch and Star Wars fandoms were severely restricted by paranoid producers. Joanna has refused to supply the names of K/S editors and writers to the editors of Penthouse FORUM--but FORUM is interested. As for the writers involved, writing fan material is wonderful fun, and may just provide the impetus for writers to break into publication, as a number of fan writers have. While it is true that REAL SF writers look ascance at Trek as formula fiction, the first item of importance to most aspiring writers is GETTING PUBLISHED. Trek is a "hungry" market.

1986 to 1988


  • According to TheForce.Net's Fan Fiction Archive: Lexicon, the drabble craze started around this year. This tradition was based on a Monty Python skit. It started in the Doctor Who fan fiction community before spreading to the Star Trek, Star Wars and other fan fiction communities.


1996 to 1998


  • Marc Hedlund, the director of Internet development for Lucasfilm, Ltd. said in an October article in Wired magazine that Lucasfilm Ltd. tolerates the publication of fan fiction, so long as the stories were not for commercial gain, and does not sully the family image of the Star Wars characters.
  • Around 1997, any attempts to post anything about fan fiction to the Star Wars Usenet group rec.arts.sf.starwars and groups branched off of it were rejected by the moderators. The rational was as follows:
Fanfic is the name given to literature created by fans and modeled on characters, events, and locations mentioned in movies, TV, and the like. It has been especially popular among science fiction affectionadoes.

But the forces around UseNet "group-advice" on the global information superhighway have decided that neither you nor anyone else in the world will be able to read any, at least in that part of the Big 8 hierarchy they dominate.

David C Lawrence, also known as "Tale," wrote Russ Allbery, Lawrence's associate on "group-advice" "is the moderator of news.announce.newgroups; if you want to create a new newsgroup in the Big Eight, you have to go through him."[1]

Lawrence will not officially approve the RASS draft proposal for publication, a process normally required to create the group.

"The reason why RFDs for those groups aren't posted is because Tale feels it's in his purview to reject RFDs for groups where the traffic itself would be illegal," Allbery explained. "... Discussion of sex, guns, or illegal drugs is not illegal. Posting fanfiction is."[2][10]


  • Betsy Vera created a page called BEDLAM: About Writing – Beta Reading. Betsy’s page was notable for several reasons. Early on, in the late 1990s, this page was important in terms of defining how to beta read as the page contained examples of various beta reading jobs, giving different perspectives on how people actually went about the process. The story being critiqued and used as an example was from the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer community but the site was referenced in such communities as the Star Wars, Star Trek, Gilmore Girls and X-Men fan fiction communities.
  • Necronomicon 98 had a panel about fan fiction on the Internet. The panel discussed that, the history of some popular media based fan fiction communities and the future of fan fiction. Fandoms represented included Star Wars, Star Trek and anime.
  • In February 1998, Sci-Fi Entertainment ran an article on fan fiction. It referenced the Star Wars fan fiction community. An extract of a relevant section of the article says:
There's also high-volume activity associated with Star Trek (referred to here as a aggregate for all four series, although currently Voyager seems to be leading to the greatest fanfic response ) and Lois and Clark: The New Adventure of Superman. But there are other, too: Star Wars, Babylon 5, Sliders, Xena, Dr. Who, Quantum Leap, Highlander, SeaQuest DSV, Beauty and the Beast - all of these popular science fiction and fantasy series have sites dedicated to the stories and characters of those universes.


He said that their fan base was extremely important to them, and that they understand and value the role of fan sites in the world of fandom. At the same time, the most important thing to Jim is the experience that each individual fan will have when they see TPM in the theater. While they naturally would prefer to contain leaked information, they are willing to let most things go by. An example he gave was our shot by shot description of trailer B. They weren't excited to see it, but at the same time they felt it does not hurt the trailer because, as Jim said, "it will blow you away".
The line they draw is at the posting of sound or video files from the film because the non-controlled and out-of-context setting could hurt the ultimate presentation of the film. Why? Because, people are making judgments about the character, dialogue, and voices without the benefit of having the music of the film, the special effects, and the full context the dialogue is in. They don't want people having pre-conceived notions about the character based on one little snippet. [12]








Google Trends: Star Wars fan fiction, Star Wars slash. 2004 to late 2006.
Blog Pulse Trend Tracker: Star Wars slash, Star Wars fan fic.



  • In 2002, people were more likely to give feedback on stories posted on the list and more likely to offer concrit than they are in January 2008. [61]
  • On January 29, Doctor Phil had an episode featuring a Star Wars fanatic. CNN posted a video about it. [62]
  • In March 2008, Star Wars fan fiction writers reacted negatively to FanFiction.Net's policy change regarding the exclusion of certain characters from stories.
  • In April 2008, "Star Wars stormtroopers in British court over copyright battle." [63]
  • In April 2008, the bebo group shockattack was created. [64]
  • In June 2008, people were talking about what age a child should be before they were exposed to Star Wars. [65][66]



Star Trek vs. Star Wars fans

In the early years of Star Wars fandom, there was a fair amount of debate and animosity between members of this new fandom and those who have come from other science-fiction and media fandoms, most notably Star Trek. Many letterzines were rife with debate over which was the better property and which fandom produced the better fan fiction. Some complained when fanzines such as Warped Space branched out from solely including Star Trek-related materials into also including Star Wars.

Critics of Star Wars fandom also claimed that it had not developed organically on its own, but rather had, from the start, been the creation of clever marketing on the part of Twentieth Century Fox.

Sock puppets and fake identities

There was a man during the early 1980s who claimed to have ties to Harrison Ford. He claimed to be a good friend of his. The man wrote scathing reviews of Harrison Ford's film. These reviews did not endear him to many in the community. While some people were skeptical of his claims, one of the bigger fanzine publishers had befriended him and believed his claim. [69] This helped secure and legitimize his claim in that community.

Han Solo vs. Luke Skywalker

A split between fans of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker became a serious point of contention in the fandom, particularly following the release of ROTJ. Some of this split was the result of shipping wars between Luke/Leia and Han/Leia fans. [70] Luke/Leia fans hated Han Solo, and Luke/Leia were also bitter because George Lucas made them twins. Han/Leia fans hated Luke Skywalker and were bitter that Han had not been revealed as "the other" potential Jedi and did not care for his character's treatment in the final film. Parties from both groups joined organizations like Church of Ford and Cathedral of Hamill to help their own cause. These groups then battled [71], frequently through letterzines of the time such as Comlink.

Adult/slash fanfiction debates

By 1981, the community was actively publishing m/m material. It came to the attention of Lucasfilms Ltd. The company responded by issuing a letter telling Star Wars fen they could not publish any Star Wars related fanzines with out their permission. (Jenkins) This action caused some kerfluffling in the fandom. Some people left the fandom. Other people joined, in order to get away from fandoms which had much more sexually explicit material circulating.

Around the time that Lucasfilms was cracking down on adult material, some fen were leaving Luke/Han stories on Mark Hamill's property and his kids stumbled upon it. Hamill did not react favorably.

Evidence suggests that the adult material situation was largely resolved internally, in the fandom by 1990. The community was on to bigger and better things. One such thing was the drabble, which had entered the fan fiction community by way of Doctor Who fans.


There is a thriving Star Wars costuming community. jedi_dwh said of the community:

But the discussion has come up in my own fandom, and costuming entered the discussion, as the costuming organizations have a lot of support from George Lucas (but he will lay the smack on anyone trying to profit unreasonably from it). And there are people who make HP robes to sell to people. They just don't make a huge profit on it. [72]

Influential Fanworks

This section needs more information.

Fandom Members

See Category:Star Wars fans.

Fandom Size

May 2007

As of May 23, 2007, there were 134 Star Wars stories on FanLib. [73]

December 2007

As of December 8, 2007, there were 330 stories on FanLib. [74]

External Links

Meta discussion

See also


See Star Wars bibliography for a list of academic and media articles relating to Star Wars.

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