1. I’m definitely more on the ‘speaking fantasy fandom’ end of the spectrum, since I have practically no interest in sports. That said, I never had too much issue with people liking or talking about sports. They have their world and I have mine, so to speak. Or, put another way, they have their job and I have mine.

    Something that probably helped with developing that outlook was that, when I was a little kid and my parents would talk about food preferences, they would say things like ‘Everyone has different tastes’ and ‘Everyone has different taste buds’. When it came to art, people would also talk about the difficulty in producing pieces that people like or would be willing to buy, which also brought up the fact that everyone has different preferences. Some people will like a particular artwork, and some people won’t. That’s ok — artists don’t have to feel like it’s the end of the world if a person dislikes something they made and, conversely, no one has to feel bad for disliking a particular piece. As someone who wanted to be an artist, that was a vital thing to learn. And I started translating that mindset onto most other things in life, including my outlook on sports vs stories.

    The part where it probably gets hard for most people is where they feel like they are forced to engage with sports in some way, or if they’ve been picked on by sports fans in the past. None of my immediate family cares about sports, no one at school really bothered me about it, and growing up I was taught a lot of the Christian perspectives on how to deal with ostracization without turning into a hateful person. That makes it a lot easier to develop boundaries and say no to things without resenting the other person or expecting other people to change their tastes. That didn’t change the fact that me and the people I grew up with still had strong opinions, preferences and morals, but there was still this deep acknowledgement of the fact that everyone was different and that it was fine, and even good, for everyone to like different things. Obviously I’m not perfect at this — no one is, but learning this at a young age does help a lot, and it’s something we should try to exemplify and teach the next generation.

    As a side note, there actually were reasons why Anakin ran that race. A huge plot point in that movie was that the Jedi were trying to free the planet of Naboo, and they ended up crash landing on Tatooine. Their ship was damaged so badly they couldn’t leave without buying the parts they needed to fix it, and the Republic credits they had were not an accepted form of currency on Tatooine. That means they didn’t even have the money to buy parts to leave the planet and continue their vital mission…which also means they couldn’t just buy Anakin’s freedom. Anakin wasn’t just running the race for the sake of his own freedom(he didn’t know that was on the table in the first place), he was also participating in the pod race because he loved it and wanted to help the Jedi. There were a lot of lives at stake if the Jedi were unable to leave, Qui Gon could see that Anakin had a unique skill set that would give him an edge, and was realizing that Anakin was the Chosen One and that it was vital to help him become a Jedi. In that situation, the race was the best way to accomplish all that.

    There were multiple characters that expressed worry and concern for Anakin’s safety in this, and that was part of the decision making when it came to whether or not Anakin would participate. His mother let him participate out of kindness and because her son wanted to, and the Jedi let him participate out of desperation for their mission, the desire to free him, and because of the whole Chosen One thing. Anakin lived on a rather dangerous planet and in a dangerous universe. Although there would have been concern over safety, people living in such situations are willing to take risks and rise to the occasion in order to protect what they love or to gain something important. In that sense, the show is realistic. We live in such a safety focused society that we forget what it’s like for people that live beside danger every day.

What say you?