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10 July 2009 @ 09:00 pm
Major Fannish Events  
For various reasons, right now I'm thinking about Major Fannish Events I Wish I Could Have Seen. Now, when I say that, I don't mean the actual events, most of which are available on DVD or at least on some fourth-generation cell phone recording somewhere, but the fannish reaction to those events.

And since I can't discuss this at all without spoilers, I'm just going to say: spoilers in the post for Buffy, Star Trek: TOS, Stargate: SG-1, Star Wars. No spoilers in the post for anything that has aired in, say, the last five years.

ETA: Spoilers in the comments for everything. No, seriously: everything in the WORLD. Television! Movies! Books! Anime! Manga! Horror movies from the 1930s! The Fifth World War! The heat death of the universe! It's pretty awesome, but if you don't like spoilers, maybe the comments section isn't the place for you.



So, like, I remember when I first saw the Angelus arc - specifically, when Buffy and Angel got into bed, and then Angelus got back out again. (Or, okay, I guess technically it was Angel who staggered out, but you know what I mean.) And then again when Jenny Calendar died. I remember thinking what an unimaginable experience this must have been for true believer fans when it was first run. (And for Buffy/Angel shippers, oh my god. Your fondest wish! Followed immediately by your worst nightmare! And this, my friends, is why I would rather my OTPs never ever become canon: canon writers make 'em and break 'em, and then they're harder for us to put back together again.) And then I tried to imagine what my friends list or circle would have looked like if I had a) been in fandom and b) fandom had been on LJ or DW at the time.

I can picture the endless roster of cut-tagged posts - I was there for the last episode of Angel, and I remember being stunned by the reaction - but I can't imagine what would be inside those cut tags. Aside, I assume, from a lot of screaming.

And last night, for various reasons (Spock Spock Spock Spock Spock), I watched Killa's incredible vid Dante's Prayer. Now, let me share with you my progression with that vid:

The first time I watched it, Best Beloved had to narrate the whole thing, including telling me who Spock and Kirk were, precisely. (I had sort of vaguely thought, up to that point, that Leonard Nimoy pretty much played, like, Elrond in Space.) And there's a lot of terrain covered in that vid, including people at different ages, and worse (for me), different outfits. I think it took her about fifteen minutes to give me the shortest possible summary. (Very short version that leaves a lot out: Spock dies tragically. His friends are sad. Kirk looks like someone pithed him. Later, chronologically speaking, they go and get him back.)

I remember being surprised that she teared up at Spock's death scene, largely because if someone in this relationship is going to cry, it's going to be me. (I think that people have a default reaction to emotional excess. Mine is tears.) I cry at the funerals of people I don't know. I cry at death scenes in movies. I cried so hard at Theoden's scene outside his son's grave that Best Beloved asked me if the son was a major character in the book. ("No," I sobbed. She stared at me blankly. "Then why are you crying?" "Theoden is saaaaaad," I said, unable to explain more completely because I was, you know, weeping helplessly. Keep in mind that this was not the first - or the third - time we'd seen the movie.)

So it was a little weird, I thought, that I was the one saying, "Oh. Well, that's sad," and Best Beloved was the one surreptitiously wiping her eyes.

The next time I watched Dante's Prayer, I'd been in fandom longer, so I knew a little more. I'd also had time to process BB's explanations. So I was a little sadder. And so it went.

But this last time - well, in addition to tearing up and sniffling emotionally for some ten minutes after the vid was over (and yet being really kind of touched - OMG, Spock knew Kirk's name), I found myself wondering for the first time what Spock's death was like for the Star Trek fandom. I mean, seriously, that is painful now, and I know what's coming. Then? I think it must have hurt rather a lot. And I wondered what fannish reaction would look like if this was a current fandom - I mean, imagine if, say, Sam died with Dean pressed against the other side of the glass, helpless and bereft, and then - did people even know there would be another movie? I mean, imagine if they didn't. Imagine if that happened with Sam and Dean and everyone thought, hey, maybe that's it; if there's another season, maybe it will just be Dean Gets Revenge. Maybe Sam is gone for good. (Or Rodney. Or Merlin. Or whoever. Insert Very Important Person of your choosing.)

And I guess that did happen with SG1. (I was actually surprised, on my latest viewing, to realize how similar Daniel's temporary death was to Spock's temporary death.) But I wasn't around for it. Was there wailing? Was there gnashing of teeth? Did people go to sleep that night with a hollow pit in their hearts? If fandom had been primarily on LJ at that time (uh, was it?), would every post for days been cut-tagged with just punctuation and contain a lot of incoherent wailing?

And what about the whole "Darth Vader, Luke, and Leia: there's not enough family therapy in the universe for this one" reveal? What was that like? I mean, I can kind of imagine it now - I bet Luke and Leia shippers, should there have been any, would at minimum go off and write an alternate second movie where Darth Vader is Han's father or something. (I...would like to see that, actually. And, no, I don't ship Luke and Leia.) But I can't help but wonder what it was like then.

Does anyone else think like this? What is the big fannish event you wish you could have seen? (Seen the live reaction to, anyway.) But even more important, to help me in my fantasizing - what are the big fannish events you'll never forget? What were they like to live through?
Tags: [meta]
 
 
 
Imaginary Researcher: Indiana Jones - miggyhannahrorlove on July 11th, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
Seeing that Joss Whedon hates joy through the movie Serenity is pretty high on the list.

More personally, the very end of Six Feet Under had me crying for almost a half-hour, with about ten of those minutes being after the episode ended.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 05:42 am (UTC)
I've seen a couple vids for Six Feet Under that had me crying. I don't think I could stand any part of the series.

And I know what happened in Serenity, even though I've never seen the movie - seperis linked to a vid that showed that sequence. I had no idea who those people were. But that woman's (um, I don't remember her name, because I have never seen Firefly and only remember two names, but, you know, Wash's wife) voice, the way it sounded - I ended up crying. *sniffle*
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peeps wanna see peeps boink: Buffymusesfool on July 11th, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
Becoming 2 - Buffy sending Angel to hell and running away from Sunnydale - is what got me to log onto alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer for the first time. It was pretty intense, from what I recall. I wasn't on the newsgroup for the earlier stuff, though I kind of wish I had seen the reactions live.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 05:43 am (UTC)
Wow. Yeah, I can see that that one must have been a biggie. I mean, I watched it on DVD, and I knew she came back, but. Still. It was...memorable.
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¿es eso un libro de besos?darthfox on July 11th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
I think about this all the time, and it is why I am so vehemently anti-spoiler (for myself; I wish other people wouldn't seek spoilers, but it's ultimately their business). I grew up knowing that Vader was Luke's father. I have tried to get my head around the level of shock that must have been, and then the three years of wondering whether it was true, with no internet -- I mean, it's like the fact that my three-year-old almost-niece knows how to operate the DVD player, right, the world is just a different place -- and I will never have that. I've always known Vader was Luke's father. My friends got into Buffy while I was studying abroad, so I've always known Angel was a vampire (that's the Buffy one that I think of - not the Angelus thing, but the dude being a vampire in the first place, which was foreshadowed Jossily but not actually revealed until a few episodes later, I believe). I've always known what "Rosebud" meant. And so on.

Those are spoilers of inevitable circumstance. I was spoiled for The Sixth Sense by someone else's carelessness, and I saw it anyway, but my bitterness at not ever seeing that movie as a mystery is considerable.

I have sometimes wished I hadn't read Fellowship before I saw the movie, because the moment when Gandalf says "Fly, you fools!" and lets go of the ledge got a gasp in the theater like you wouldn't believe, and I was a very little bit envious of the people who were surprised by it.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 05:59 am (UTC)
for myself; I wish other people wouldn't seek spoilers, but it's ultimately their business

See, and that's exactly why I want spoilers so much for myself. For one thing, if I'm really surprised, I'm unlikely to figure out what's actually happened. If I'm really upset or scared - well. We had to go back to Fellowship of the Ring, because I blanked out during the first big battle sequence and couldn't remember anything that happened after that. (Battles like that - with hand-to-hand weapons, but armies - scare the holy crap out of me.) If I know, there's a good chance I'll be able to take in whatever's happening. So for me, it works better that way.

But I can see why you wouldn't want them for yourself. Totally.

I was spoiled for The Sixth Sense by someone else's carelessness, and I saw it anyway, but my bitterness at not ever seeing that movie as a mystery is considerable

I heard that some people got spoiled by a trailer? I don't know. I saw it blind, without even knowing there was a major twist. (Same, for that matter, with A Beautiful Mind and lots of other movies. I didn't know how to seek spoilers then, and since I didn't watch TV, I wasn't spoiled as often as I wanted to be.)

I have sometimes wished I hadn't read Fellowship before I saw the movie, because the moment when Gandalf says "Fly, you fools!" and lets go of the ledge got a gasp in the theater like you wouldn't believe, and I was a very little bit envious of the people who were surprised by it.

*g* I remember when I first read Fellowship of the Ring, I got to that part and asked my mother, "Does Gandalf stay dead?" She wouldn't tell me. I refused to read further. I just really do not like surprises, I guess.


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Christy Corr: Blog.christycorr on July 11th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
Ha, Luke and Leia, that must've been awesome.

God, I can't begin to imagine how Lord of the Rings fans reacted when Return of the King first came out. Or Sandman fans, when The Kindly Ones came out. On a smaller scale, I also didn't watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog until a few months after it got put up, but I've heard brilliant things about people's reactions to Act III, and I wish I'd seen it at the time, too.

But yeah, I really wish I'd seen the reaction of Buffy/Angel shippers after 'Innocence,' too. And I suppose in the future no one will be able to picture the utter madness that was the release of Deathly Hallows, but I was here for that, so yay!
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC)
I was here for Deathly Hallows, too! Although, I actually thought books five and six had even stronger reactions, but, yeah, book seven: wow.
Seperisseperis on July 11th, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)
Buffy's death at the end of season five. I was in X-Men at the time and online in AIM and was sobbing in a chat room hysterically. The worst part is, I'd always watched Buffy, but I'd just started reading Buffy/Spike by Rivka and MustangSally, so I was just gutted. So there were a lot of us being hysterical.

Rose at the end of Dr. Who series 2. I still can't watch that. I watch around it.

I would have loved to have been around for:

Due South, the Victoria arc. Holy God, I fell apart spoiled and knowing what I'd see. That was gutting.

I'll need to read ohter people's responses. I know there are others, but seriously? Even thinking of Buffy makes me whimper in memory.
¿es eso un libro de besos?darthfox on July 11th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
Yes, that's another one, Victoria! I've been drinking bourbon (thanks, RTD) and forgot about it. But, yeah, I already knew what was up with her by the time I saw it, and sometimes when I watch it (rarely, because it's hard) I try to imagine what it must have been to think she really was just cleaning the kitchen, and she was a victim running scared, and then be completely stunned when she gets Jolly in the car.

Speaking of things we can't watch at all, though, to this day I haven't been able to watch "The Sentinel, by Blair Sandburg". And The Sentinel wasn't even any good, but that episode, man, the few times I've heard the opening voice-over I've had to turn it off. Which, if I'd been in the fandom at the time, I'd at least have not known what it was before I got there, so I'd have seen it. Once. :-P
(no subject) - kattahj on July 13th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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zillah975 on July 11th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
I cried so hard at Theoden's scene outside his son's grave that Best Beloved asked me if the son was a major character in the book.

I cry every time. It's because Bernard Hill does such a tremendously understated job with that scene, omfg. I'm getting sniffly pretty much from the start, but when he puts his hand to his face, I am lost.

I wasn't in fandom when Spock died, but I know I was devastated (no, we didn't know there'd be another movie). I'm pretty sure there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, and possibly sackcloth and ashes, too.

Alas, I can't help with your last questions. I typically come to fandoms late. Mostly the big fannish events I remember are the epic wanks, and I don't get the idea that's what you're looking for....
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 06:06 am (UTC)
Oh, man, I seriously cannot talk about the Theoden scene or I will cry right here at the computer. Boromir made me cry, but, oh, Theoden. *sobs*

I cannot quite imagine having Spock dead and thinking that was it. He was just DEAD. Holy shit.

(And, yeah, I'm not looking for wanks. Just the gut punches and the glee.)
(no subject) - darthfox on July 11th, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mizubyte on July 14th, 2009 04:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
Jonathan Toews does not want a sandwich.svmadelyn on July 11th, 2009 04:45 am (UTC)
Oh, what an awesome topic. I really would have loved to be there for:

1) "Luke, I am your father!"
2) A couple of things over at nocturne_alley
3) The summer of The Best of Both Worlds cliffhanger for Star Trek: TNG

I'm sure there's more but...they're not coming to me atm.

Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: TVlaughingacademy on July 11th, 2009 05:10 am (UTC)
3) The summer of The Best of Both Worlds cliffhanger for Star Trek: TNG

Oh my God, my brother and I spent that whole summer freaking out.
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Two boats and a helicopter.azarias on July 11th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
The week worth of punches in the soft bits that Torchwood has just given us is an Event I'm likely to remember for a long time. Mostly I'm wailing, gnashing teeth, spouting "Oh wow that was cool!" at anyone who stays still too long, retreating into denial and fluffy fanfic, and itching to buy it on DVD and inflict it on all my friends.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV lettersthefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 06:10 am (UTC)
Yeah, watching that one go by on my friends list has been quite amazing. Day four of COE is one I consider myself as having Been There For. (Even if I've never seen a second of TW.)
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Luminosity: ATS-SPPoC!sockkpuppett on July 11th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
When Buffy jumped off the tower, my heart went with her.

When Angel said he wanted to kill the dragon, I felt like I'd been literally punched in the stomach. (My husband came and sat down next to me, put his arm around me and said "I know you're not all right.")

I still haven't forgiven Joss for Wesley...

ETA: I wish I had been in Farscape fandom in real time.

Edited at 2009-07-11 04:51 am (UTC)
grime and livestockcofax7 on July 11th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
I wish I had been in Farscape fandom in real time.

fourteenlines still gets PTSD in the freezer section of the grocery store, she says, from the end of "Die, Me Dichotomy".

I wasn't in the fandom yet, but I was there for the end of season 3. Man, that was a hiatus from hell.
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Minim Calibreminim_calibre on July 11th, 2009 04:51 am (UTC)
I Saw Spock Die.

In the theatre. I am still FILLED WITH KHAN TRAUMA!

Sadly, being still in single digits, I was not yet in fandom.

BUT THE THIRD MOVIE MADE ME VERY HAPPY.
Minim Calibreminim_calibre on July 11th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
OH! Big fannish events?

Fucking Seeing Red.

Seeing Red, where I was unspoiled, warned I'd need tequila for the evening, and where fandom EXPLODED after it aired. I... I kind of wish I hadn't lived through it? Because the wanksplosion left scars. Scars I say. Not the happy fun Spock Death kind, either.
(no subject) - musesfool on July 11th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
feochadnfeochadn on July 11th, 2009 04:55 am (UTC)
I saw "Wrath of Khan" on the first showing of the opening day (I think it was a midnight or 1am showing -- Star Trek was big in my hometown). I was so stunned that I don't think I could speak for two or three days. I did, however, immediately go back and see it again. and again. and again. for several weeks.
When "Search for Spock" initially came out, I was very upset, since I felt it cheapened an incredibly powerful moment (Spock's death) for me in a very Disney-like "Oh, wait, no, he wasn't dead, just kidding!" way. I resented it for years.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV umbrellathefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 06:30 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, that's fascinating - by the time the third movie came out, Spock's death was part of your interior landscape! So instead of being the way I am, all, oh, this is so sad, BUT HE LIVES, for you it was revisionist movie-making.

See, this is why I wish I'd at least been around to read the meta posts (or whatever the equivalent was) back in the day.
(no subject) - laurashapiro on July 12th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: Odilon Redon - Egglaughingacademy on July 11th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
My father took me to see Empire Strikes Back the summer it came out, when I was four or five years old (I can't remember if it was before or after my birthday). I don't know that I'd go so far as to say I was traumatized, but oh man, that is a heavy movie for a kid that age. Luckily, Dad was able to reassure me as the credits rolled: “It's the middle chapter! This is when bad things happen to the heroes so they can have a big victory at the end!”

Likewise, I went into Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan a completely unspoiled li'l Trekkie, all of seven years old (ye GODS), and to my best recollection I didn't cry at Spock's death because I was completely flabbergasted. Then at the end, between Nimoy's voiceover and the final shot of Spock's casket, I knew that something was up, so I left the theater wobbly but optimistic. (Nowadays, though, I start sniffling just thinking about that whole sequence; watching it leaves me blind with tears. Yes, even though I know he gets better.)
Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: Spoiler Alert!laughingacademy on July 11th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
Someone in an earlier comment said that they spent the time between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi wondering if Vader had told Luke the truth, which I find fascinating, because I never doubted it for a second. Like, as a little kid I figured there was no way anyone, even a dark lord of the Sith, could tell a lie THAT big.
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je suis marxiste, tendance Groucho: sg1 sam thinkingshinealightonme on July 11th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
I always, always, always come to the party late when it comes to fandoms. So there's a lot of things in, say, Stargates or Life on Mars or Doctor Who that make me wonder - what did people say about this? What were they thinking? What did they do with themselves in the months between episodes that I am cheerfully watching one right after the other?

I think, seeing the current gossip and speculation about Matt Smith as Eleven, I would have liked to have been around Doctor Who fandom just as Eccleston was leaving and Tennant was stepping up to the plate, just to see if similar things were being said. I'm also curious - if I'd been watching Stargate: SG-1 when it was on, not knowing if Daniel was coming back or not, would I love Jonas Quinn as much as I do?

I don't know. I think about this a lot though.

I guess a certain character's death this season in House will be a fandom event I always remember, though not really in a good way - that was my favorite character on the show, really. Though there was a festival in his honor, which was pretty cool.

The biggest fandom event I actually experienced live would have to be this whole Star Trek revival. And I've been loving every minute of it. TALKING ABOUT STAR TREK IS COOL AGAIN!
ravenbellravenbell on July 11th, 2009 06:05 am (UTC)
I was so very impressed that they kept the House death under wraps. The season finale got me harder, though.
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9 to 10 - redfiona99 on July 12th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Vonnie: Veronica pilot smilevonniek on July 11th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
Buffy's death in "The Gift" comes to the mind most immediately. I cried and cried, until I was bone dry. And there was all kinds of contract-related issues with the network (WB) the show was on at that time, and for a little while, we wondered if BTVS was NOT coming back, and this was what we were gonna be left with -- Buffy, swan-diving off the ledge.

"Casino Night" (The Office), in which Jim and Pam kissed for the first time. I wasn't watching the show at that time, and the fannish squee across LJ (I have quite a few Office fans on my Flist) was so deafening, I started aheming the first two seasons *that night*. And I spent that entire summer in Jim/Pam-related daze. Ahhh, good times, good times.

The last two episodes of season 1 of Veronica Mars. Waiting for those last 4-5 episodes in real time was torture. Boy, that show was addictive back in its heyday.

Edited at 2009-07-11 05:13 am (UTC)
you're always running into people's unconscious: veronica mars: is putting you on her lisinnocentsmith on July 11th, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)
VM Season 1, last two episodes: omg so good omg what's going to happen who's at the door aaaaaaahhhh omg!

VM Season 2, season finale: ...wait, what? WHAT. Are you freaking KIDDING me? Jeebus Christ!

VM Season 3, series finale: well, I'm vaguely depressed, but at least it wasn't as bad as 80% of the season has been. I wonder what else is on tv?
(no subject) - elucreh on July 11th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - athenejen on July 13th, 2009 11:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 06:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aethel on July 11th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: mourndramaturgca on July 11th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)
The death of Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica hit me like a ton of bricks. I cried then and when I listened to the podcast for the ep two days later, I feel apart for about three hours.

Also, the death of Wash in Serenity hit me pretty hard (even though I was spoiled :p)

And I had just started regularly watching Buffy mid-s5, so I wasn't hit as hard as some people were, but actually the music from the end of "The Gift" can still get me weepy.

Also (it's only sort of fandom, but still) I remember the Muppet salute to Jim Henson right after he died. That was heart wrenching. And along that vein, I still haven't really recovered from Mr. Rogers dying.


Aren't there any fandom moments of great joy out there?
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on July 11th, 2009 06:53 am (UTC)
Starbuck dies? In the original one or the remake? *did not know that*

And I never saw Serenity, but just seeing Wash's death sequence in a vid pretty much killed me. (It was his wife's voice that got me. That woman can ACT.)

You know, I didn't even know there was a Muppet salute to Jim Henson, although it makes sense, but I still remember that black-bordered Time with Kermit on it. *sniffle*
(no subject) - dramaturgca on July 11th, 2009 07:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jedinic on July 13th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Via metafandom - countess_baltar on July 14th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - darthfox on July 11th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - laughingacademy on July 11th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - chasethecat on July 12th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ranalore on July 12th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - themis on July 13th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - athenejen on July 13th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - asparagirl on July 28th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - almeda on August 2nd, 2009 02:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fox1013 on July 11th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)