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Melinda’s Brew: Star Wars Fandom In Good Hands

Melinda’s Brew: Star Wars Fandom In Good Hands

One’s a little bit light side. One’s a little bit dark side. They balance each other out. Which seems almost fitting since the co-hosts of the podcast “Star Wars Geek Girl” – California’s Lizzy Perales and Pennsylvania’s Zoe Hinton – pretty much bookend the country. Thanks to the internet, the two teens “met”, forged a friendship, and wound up co-hosting the weekly podcast. The pair just celebrated their two-year anniversary.

Listening to the teens talk about Star Wars and whatever else they deem noteworthy every week, you’d never guess they didn’t meet until Celebration Orlando this past April.

Meeting Lizzy – in person – was “a little surreal” for [then] 15-year-old Zoe [who turned 16 last month]. “We saw each other from across the street,” recounts Zoe. “We ran to each other, and hugged in the middle of the street. It’s a good thing there wasn’t any traffic.” At that particular moment, that is. Both

Face-To-Face. “Lizzy (left) is a little taller than I expected,” Zoe (right) quips after meeting her Star Wars Geek Girl co-host at CO this past April. While attending the Fan Celebration was fun, both their dads agree the best part was the chance for Lizzy and Zoe to finally meet in person.

the girls’ dads noticed cars down the street, and had to usher their daughters to safer ground, so caught up in the moment were they. “It was really exciting to meet Zoe,” says 15-year-old Lizzy. “I was looking forward to it for a long time.”

Not only did the two teens meet “for real” this past spring, they hosted a discussion at the most recent Star Wars Fan Celebration. Clad in their respective Sabine Wren costumes – both girls enjoy cosplaying – they chaired the 10:30 a.m. panel: Star Wars Fan Girls on Friday, April 14. That is where I was introduced to the Star Wars fans who morphed their fandom into a weekly podcast. Prior to attending the hour-long discussion, I was intrigued to hear what two teens had to say about being devoted Star Wars fans in 2017. As is par for the course, I kept a journal of what I did at the Celebration, and this is what I had to say after attending the girls’ talk:

“Our [my husband Tom and I attended Celebration Orlando] first panel this morning was ‘Star Wars Fan Girls: Star Wars Geek Girls’, co-hosted by two 15-year-olds, Lizzy and Zoe. They were so cute! Two friends who met in person just the night before, they co-host a podcast. One lives in California; one in Pennsylvania. They both were dressed as Sabine from “Rebels”, and I found them delightful. They talked about what it was like being teenage girls who happen to be Star Wars fans, and I must admit it was wonderful to hear them say they are proud and happy to be Star Wars fans.” 🙂 [You can catch what the girls have to say on the subject in my three-part CWK series posted earlier this fall.] Both girls [and their siblings] have been brought up on Star Wars [“We brought them up right!” Mike, Zoe’s dad, quips on a recent SWGG podcast.], and wear their fandom proudly. That says a great deal for the future of Star Wars.

The Stage Is Set. Lizzy (left) and Zoe rose to the occasion to host one of this past spring’s Star Wars Fan Celebration panels. Zoe has aspirations to become a filmmaker. Lizzy aims to be a chef and open her own restaurant one day.

When Star Wars Geek Girl debuted two years ago, Zoe helmed the show on her own. A lifelong Star Wars fan, Zoe was encouraged by her dad to take to the airwaves because of how much she enjoys talking about Star Wars. Her first episode was all about her very favorite Star Wars character – Ahsoka. Early on, Lizzy was a guest, and by Episode 6, Lizzy was a permanent fixture on SW Geek Girl. Earlier this month, the girls’ dads ‘hijacked’ their podcast to pay tribute to SWGG’s second anniversary, and Zoe’s dad Mike noted he wished he had considered the possibility that Zoe might one day have a co-host when he bought the domain name “Geek Girl”. Who could have guessed what the future held? As Yoda would say: “Always in motion the future is.” 😉

“It definitely has been fun having Lizzy as my co-host,” Zoe points out. “She’s funny. Sometimes she has a different take or a unique perspective on things. Sometimes she’ll say something that I hadn’t considered.” Lizzy feels the same way about Zoe, and adds: “Before our podcasts, we’ll talk – as friends. It’s so nice to hear what she has to say.” And to think – if not for the internet, who knows if Zoe and Lizzy ever would have met? Their dads touched upon that very subject during their co-hosting of Geek Girl’s 88th episode. “[They] probably never would have met,” Mike noted during the show. “I’m so glad the girls found each other.”

The internet may have brought Zoe and Lizzy together, but there are aspects of “real life” that can make it a challenge – although not impossible – for the girls to keep Star Wars Geek Girl on schedule. There is the three-hour time difference between their respective ends of the country with which to contend, not to mention school, homework and various activities that take up their time and attention. Still, the high schoolers manage to stay focused, and have kept to their weekly podcast schedule. Zoe’s dad lends a hand

Cosplaying Sabine. While both Zoe (left) and Lizzy both enjoy sporting Sabine Wren costumes, the girls prefer Sabine’s armor from different seasons. Lizzy considers herself more “dark side” and Zoe more “light side”. Both girls are Sabine fans because the “Rebels” teen likes to express herself through color and art.

by reaching out to individuals the girls would like as guests on their shows. While Lizzy and Zoe have enjoyed all their shows, their favorite podcast was the one on which Vanessa Marshall, who voices Hera Syndulla on “Rebels”, was a guest. “There’s been so much positive feedback from other teenage girls,” Lizzy says. “It’s awesome! I remember one time I was at an event. I was in my Sabine costume. Another girl who was in a Sabine costume came up to me, and told me, ‘I listen to your podcast.’ Now we’re friends.” Zoe chimes in: “We’ve heard some very good things about our podcast, about how much of an inspiration our podcast has been.”

That is what Star Wars is about at its root – inspiring its fans in one way or another. Because of her fandom and desire to talk about Star Wars, Zoe was inspired to begin podcasting, and with her dad’s help, launched Star Wars Geek Girl. Because she found a kindred spirit, Lizzy was inspired to contact the show’s host. She and Zoe became fast friends, and decided to join forces. As Lizzy’s dad Sal said toward the end of the podcast he and Mike co-hosted to commemorate the milestone the teens reached this month, “I can’t wait to hear what the girls do next.” Neither can I. 🙂

Until next time,

MTFBWY 🙂

p.s. If you remember, to commemorate my anniversary writing for Coffee With Kenobi – it’s been four wonderful years now! – I held a raffle this month. I received a number of entries, and I am happy to announce the lucky winner of the bulging-at-the-seams Star Wars backpack. [Drum roll, please…] The individual who will be receiving the surprise is Florida’s Kat Gibson! Congratulations, Kat!!! 😀

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