STAR WARS IS FOR EVERYONE
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
In less than two months, my niece will be born. It is such a wonderful time for our family. My parents have been waiting for a grandchild to spoil for a very long time. I am so glad everyone will be paying so much attention to the new addition and they’ll forget about asking me about having children. One of the many pressures of being the eldest of five children. But, let’s save this topic for another day.
My “Star Wars Baby.” Yes, that’s what I call my niece. She does have an official name. I am not ready to share it with anyone. Her birth comes at such an exciting time for fans of the Saga. This is the year of Star Wars. She’ll be born into a family of individuals who love Star Wars and all things geeky. Her dad, my brother, is a huge fan of Anime. I remember when he first introduced me to The Clone Wars. He and I used to sit around to watch the episodes and tried to make connections to the films. Her aunts, including me, love Harry Potter, Marvel and DC Comics, we cosplay, play trivia, collect knick knacks, and love all things Star Wars. I can’t wait for my niece to reach an appropriate age to be introduced to the Saga.
The excitement that surrounds the upcoming films was not there when the prequels were released. Although I had my siblings and friends who loved the saga as much as I did, one of the things that I struggled with as a fan, was the lack of representation of people who looked like me in the fandom. As a Black woman, I felt alone at times as a member of the fan community. I can remember mentally preparing myself to handle being the only person of color in the room during events and at times, while waiting in line to watch the films. There were days when I felt that fans were either oblivious or chose not to acknowledge the lack of diversity around them as it relates to Star Wars. I have always believed and expressed that choosing to ignore an issue does not make it go away. There is a disconnect within the Star Wars community. I felt it, so it became easier to keep to myself then to feel shunned by others in the fandom.
A couple of years ago, I met a friend on the Rebel Force Radio Facebook page. Our discussions about The Clones Wars, the Original Trilogy, the Prequel films, and getting to know each other on a personal level, has helped to restore my faith back in the fan community. I decided to rejoin Twitter and have noticed some improvements but there is still more work to do. However, I have to acknowledge the ladies of Fangirls Going Rogue and Coffee With Kenobi for using their platform to promote diversity among fans and believing in the idea that Star Wars is for everyone.
On December 18, a new era will begin for Star Wars. It will be interesting to see how the new film will impact the new generation of Star Wars fans. I feel ecstatic that my niece will grow up in a renewed fan community that is welcoming to others regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. A community of fans that truly believes Star Wars is for everyone.
I want to hear from you. What type of fan are you? Do you make other Star Wars fans feel welcome? Do you believe that Star Wars is for everyone? Leave a comment on the site or contact me by email at SandraC@coffeewithkenobi.com and on Twitter @geekchic9
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