And why you should too!
My perspective on being a female in the fandom.
I get asked a lot about why I love the Star Wars franchise or why it causes worldwide pandemonium. For those of us who are part of the fan base, this needs no explaining, not Star Wars day, not the Comic Cons, not the cosplay, not the movie or series releases, nothing needs explaining because it is being felt. All this is innate and reverberates from one fan to another, the same way that we are adamant that “Han shot first”, the same way we love the cantina music, the same way we all tried to re-watch the movies in the “machete” technique. But for those who haven’t seen a single movie or have tried to but couldn’t get through, this all doesn’t make sense, and for a female nonetheless to be so into this universe is surely something that isn’t understood.
I’ve been wanting to talk about why Star Wars resonates with me and why it is much more than “space cowboys” for a long while, but was truly afraid to share my thoughts. Maybe because I hear that some fans have aggressive online fights? Maybe because I felt that I couldn’t translate into words how huge this decade long franchise is? I only decided to speak up after I finished watching the premiere of The Rise of Skywalker. The tears that were streaming down my face, the all over goose bumps, the constant shivers, all this had bound to mean something, and if I could add just one more person to the fandom then I have done my job.
The photo below was taken on Star Wars day.
Where do I begin?
First things first
Let’s get one thing out of the way: A fan is a fan, no matter if they are male or female, and contrary to popular belief Star Wars isn’t only for male audiences.
How to watch
Starting the 1977 “A New Hope” is tough for many, but once you get past the initial shock factor you begin to enjoy. Suspend all logic and rules of gravity, light speed, and physics in general. Try to get past the oddly shaped “aliens”, talking robots “droids” and take it for granted that they coexist with humans. Remember that it was shot over 40 years ago and focus on the story rather than the poor light saber duels and blaster shots. After that it will be smooth sailing.
It could get confusing to first time viewers as to why the movies start in the middle of the overall story. The first three movies are known as the Original Trilogy and consist of Episodes 4, 5 and 6 (in Roman numerals). The second 3 movies are the Prequels that show us the story of how Vader became a villain and fill us in on the evil Empire and how it arose. These are episodes 1, 2 and 3. The 3 recent movies are the sequels which are episodes 7, 8 and 9. There are also the movies Solo that tell the tale of Han Solo, and Rogue One which events take place shortly before Episode 4.
Although female characters are scarce in the franchise, especially early on, the women who are present are inspirational. Princess Leia stood up to Darth Vader and eventually went on to be a general. Padme in the prequels was introduced as royalty and before her barefoot and pregnant phase proved herself to be a strong presence in the battlefield and a senator. Rey knew she was destined for more than being a scavenger and put her mind and body to training to become a jedi.
There are a plethora of entries to give you all the information you need about the franchise and what I typed in above isn’t at all an attempt to do that, although I do feel like a Google article, but those had to be said.
The photo below was taken at the Dubai Mall Star Wars display.
Everyone needs to believe in the greater good, yet everyone has some “bad” or evil lying within. Is a person ultimately bad? If he does bad things does that make him bad? Or is he a product of conditions he lived in or influenced by? If someone kills for a good cause, is he a murderer? Are we even allowed to act like gods and end people’s lives? Can a good person become evil, and can a horrible person be redeemed?
We all need heroes, so badly, that we might close our eyes and wish we were heroes, or that someone in a cape would fly down and take us away from a situation, someone that can save the world. When we were children we felt like we could become heroes to save humanity from doom. We hold on to these ideas because as humans when circumstances become overwhelming we feel the urge to escape, and when we can’t close our eyes to sleep, we can immerse ourselves to a fantasy land or “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”.
The photo below is with my R2D2 socks. I have a Kylo Ren pair as well as Darth Vader.
Star Wars is a tale of friendship, family, love, loyalty, patriotism, temptation, foolishness, rebellion, tyranny, politics and destiny. It is standing up for what is right versus becoming all powerful, dying in combat versus immortality. It is about how good children end up so damaged by incidents that they go down a dark path. It shows us incredible battles, utopian planets, superb cities and futuristic architecture. It also showcases deadly weapons, mass destruction, torture and terror. We get to see jaw dropping lightsaber duels that would make any person crave being a Jedi. We also get to see humanity, tight bonds, faith, and how one person can make a difference.
Once you enter this universe, you will not only watch the trilogies once, you will re-watch everytime you feel lonely or down, whenever there is a storm outside, when you need a tiny ray of hope. You will pass it on to your children as I am doing with mine, through the films, books and toys, because this franchise is one that crosses generations and the stories it tells are of moral value.
The photo below was taken in Turkey.
You might choose to read the comics and books that tell many spin off stories, you might choose to join Youtube channels or tune in to podcasts and listen to audiobooks (all of which I do). Anything that will make you feel within the galaxy that you don’t want to get out of will become a haven. I also highly recommend you watch the animated series “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels”, as it goes into complete detail about every planet, every war, and shows us character development while introducing new protagonists and antagonists such as Ahsoka, Thrawn, Ezra and the gang and many more. You get to see the storm trooper academy, the clones, the chilling reign of the empire, and Anakin’s superb physical and mental advantage in battle. Watch “The Mandalorian” also, the recent series following the journey of a bounty hunter.
The photo below is one of my many hauls of memorabilia. Have I mentioned I’m obsessed with Vader? My phone cover has his helmet printed on it!
I cannot imagine a world without Star Wars, without the injustice we love to hate, authority we want our rebels to defy, the force, the pop culture references, the war tactics, the memes, the cheesy lines, the memorable phrases, the soundtrack, the spaceships and the negotiations. It is truly a saga that stands the test of time and I encourage you to give yourself the chance to watch it, and when you do get ready for a lifetime of wonder!
The photo below is my leg tattoo showing Vader, his tie fighter, the death star and of course Anakin vs Obi Wan duel on Mustafar. This is my personal reminder that even good people have their demons and what they decide to do makes all the difference.