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Poll: When Does Star Wars Collecting Die?

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  1. #1

    Default When Does Star Wars Collecting Die?

    It comes up from time to time that the fans that grew up with the OT, which for a number of cultural and temporal reasons presumably drive Star Wars collecting, are aging. Priorities in life shift, interests can change, people age and eventually die.

    I think it was the XKCD comic that posited the question as to what date Star Wars would be quoted for the last time...

    ...and there's this article on the decay of cultural memory:

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/h...=pocket-newtab

    From the article:

    "...the number of people who know or remember something decays over time. [...] People had bought Elvis memorabilia for years and it was collecting huge prices. Then all of a sudden the prices started to collapse. What happened is the people who collected Elvis memorabilia started to die. Their families were stuck with all of this Elvis stuff and trying to sell it. But all of the people who were buyers were also dying."


    Elvis content more or less ceased; Disney has tried to resurrect Star Wars via new content with varying degrees of success, but even now, cultural relevance is diluted by time and an unprecedented amount of competing content that was unimaginable not too long ago.

    There are other factors to consider ranging from living space and median incomes to material and environmental costs, cultural mores regarding material possessions...

    So when does it end? With the generation that saw it begin in 1977? Shortly thereafter? Never?

  2. #2
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    I think for overall consumers Marvel will be the next few generation's star wars. You'll have kids that grew up during the marvel run and become adults with spending money that want marvel collectibles and are nostalgic the same way star wars fans are. As far as star wars is concerned I imagine it will still always survive in some capacity. The OT still resonates with all ages IMO.

  3. #3
    Since I don't collect for profit, I don't care what will happen to SW in social culture. But, as a person who grew up with comics, I don't think MCU has the originality of SW at the time of release. No exceptional concept, no outstanding design, no jaw dropping special FX, no original story.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sithocan View Post
    Since I don't collect for profit, I don't care what will happen to SW in social culture. But, as a person who grew up with comics, I don't think MCU has the originality of SW at the time of release. No exceptional concept, no outstanding design, no jaw dropping special FX, no original story.
    I disagree. Its somewhat saturated and can be run of the mill seeming now, but don't forget there was a time when every studio's opinion on comic book content was that no one would ever show up to a colorful costumed actor prancing around and their villains. Especially, the concept of solo films leading into overall team ups similar to comic titles crossing over. I mean now its had such a profound mark on the industry you have directors even coming out to lament their success haha.

    Not to knock the accomplishments of Lucas and Star Wars, but I wouldn't underestimate the og avengers staying power. This next phase might be a different story. We'll just have to see.

  5. #5
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    When they make more films like the sequel trilogy.

  6. #6
    When they stop making new content. When OT fans die off, it will be PT fans to take over and likewise with ST. In order for SW to remain relevant decades later it will need a new influx of young blood. Every SW media property knew this with CW and Rebels being made to fill in the gaps. If no new media is created 50 years from now it may go the way of Elvis collector community.

  7. #7
    I give it 50 years at most...that allows for bored senior citizens to have their fun, and some nostalgic PT fans to have their day. My reasoning is that PT fans of a certain age are still more likely to be nostalgic about toys and collectibles in ways that subsequent generations may not be, but are likely to be less engaged/committed than OT fans of a certain age.

    I don't see the ST having the same lingering impact, and things like The Mandalorian or Rogue One IMO are more likely to wind up with obscure cult followings than cheering throngs of fans, in the future.

    In 20 years I'll be creeping up on 70, and personally, not likely to be an *active* collector of anything. In 50 years I don't think culture will be all that comparable to what we see now.

    I don't collect with financial value in mind, either ... for myself I just think that one day Star Wars isn't going to exert the pull it once did and I'm curious as to when that day will be.

    The Internet is a funny thing. It gives an afterlife to cultural phenomena that should be forgotten, but even the Internet is going to change and with it, content.

  8. #8
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    Great article and question, ZE!

    I think maybe SW will die out in another 20-30 years. It's pretty much what your quote says. It's only us that's collecting this stuff, and when we die, there will be no one left to pick up the reigns. I've said it all along, we are collecting the Hummels of tomorrow.

    I think Marvel has more longevity since they are constantly creating new content, which I think is really the key in having staying power. I mean, DC has been around since the 30s and Marvel since the 60s, and they have constantly been picking up new fans along the way. Even with DC now seemingly close to collapsing, I think as long as they continue creating new stories even via digital, they will continue forward.

    OTOH, I think SW is close to ending because I don't think they can survive solely on the OT or even the PT. The sequels are essential to their survival. I know most hardcore fans disliked/hated the sequels, but we can't really predict the future based on this alone. Frankly, I'm amazed the PT currently has such a strong fanbase and if you were to have asked me the same question when they first came out, I would have said the SW brand was dead in the water. I would have said there was no way the PT would have gained any fans. If anything, it killed a whole lot of them. But thanks to people who watched the PT growing up during a more impressionable time in their lives, SW gained a whole new generation of fans. We really don't know how the sequels affected kids today, no matter how much anecdotal evidence we all think we have. The way many of the fans think of the sequels today, I and my friends around me felt the same about the prequels. So you never know.

    Even having a hit like the Mandalorian isn't a sure thing. It all depends on whether the younger generations pick up on it. The Clone Wars and Rebels are probably better for the franchise since they are appealing to kids who will grow up with fond memories of the shows. Who knows, maybe in 10 years, they will be making live action versions of the Clone Wars cartoons! Hell, probably sooner than that!

  9. #9
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    I don't understand the question. Can you quantify DIE?

    I mean, there's likely no end to a certain degree of collectability -- there are people that collect Wizard of Oz still. So if you mean wiped off the face of the Earth, I'd say never.

    But if you mean, Star Wars dies when collecting is so small that it remains a niche for hobbyists, well I think we're seeing that start now. Star Wars cultural relevance is mostly dead to the new generation. The rest of the world could care less. And the majority of drivers is still the generation that grew up with the OT. When that generation is gone, so will the vast majority of the people who really care about Star Wars.

    For the new generations, Star Wars is just one more sometimes cool, often uneven franchise like the MCU or LOTR or Matrix or Bond or Pirates or soon Avatar. And as far as franchises go, Star Wars can't really compete with the MCU for coherence.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wor-Gar View Post
    For the new generations, Star Wars is just one more sometimes cool, often uneven franchise like the MCU or LOTR or Matrix or Bond or Pirates or soon Avatar. And as far as franchises go, Star Wars can't really compete with the MCU for coherence.
    100% If Disney can't find something that resonates with the Fortnight kids, then eventually SW will just be trinkets at a gas station rest stop. Gladly, we won't be around to see that most likely. Also, if the Millennials are continuously pushed back to where they can't settle and buy homes to store all this ****, that generation won't have any real reason to spend disposable cash on this stuff. in hindsight, when you really think about it, selling Lucasfilm to Disney was probably a move that ensured it's immortality as SW will be in some sort of spotlight for as long as Disney exist and that House of Mouse IP just seems to last forever. Most of those cartoons were made before a lot of Gen X's time, but don't you know a lot of Gen X's that collect that stuff and know about those old animated movies and are like hopelessly in love with Disney and Disney World, Disney Land, etc??? I even know a lot of Millennials that spend a great deal of their cash on yearly Disney Park passes where they are forever inundated with all Disney IP....cept for Song of the South. We don't want to go there...to the dark times...

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