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My Own Journey into the Star Wars Fan Community

My Own Journey into the Star Wars Fan Community

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“Star Wars! Nothin’ but Staaaaaar Wars!”

In case you haven’t heard, there is a new Star Wars movie coming out next month. There are five other movies coming in years to follow, we have another season of Star Wars Rebels to watch right now, Battlefront being released soon, and a plethora of novels, Marvel comic books, and reference materials to read. In short, it is a wonderful time to be a Star Wars fan. The fact that you’re reading this blog means that you’ve already gotten involved with the online fan community. You’re also probably aware that this blog is here because the nice owners of Coffee With Kenobi allow an awesome group of fans, including me, to share our thoughts with you monthly, and that Coffee With Kenobi has a fantastic podcast. Really. They don’t pay me to say this, but a boy can dream, right?

Needless to say, as a Star Wars fan myself, I’m excited. My own participation with other fans, aside from my “in real life” casual fan friends, really started when I joined Twitter in April 2014. This was right about the time the EU became Legends, and wow, I sure learned a lot from other folks in a hurry. I started listening to Coffee With Kenobi and several other fine podcasts, and I found that I could use my commute to further educate myself on the galaxy far, far away. I tore into the Legends books with gusto to make up for lost time.

I managed to procure a badge for San Diego Comic Con that year – my second year – and due to my further participation with fans online, I knew a little more about where to go and who to talk to. I was exceptionally blessed to meet Vanessa Marshall and Ashley Eckstein (and I fangirl flailed appropriately). I hung out with other “Rogues” from Star Wars in the Classroom. Authors? Met them, got their books, followed up with reviews – it’s the right thing to do.

As summer led into fall, I started thinking about Star Wars Celebration Anaheim (SWCA). I went all four days and I will forever be happy that I did. Having the chance to meet and spend time with all of the fantastic friends I’d made on Twitter was, by far, the best step I could take into the larger world. Every moment spent in line, walking the floor, crying during the Star Wars Rebels panel (thanks for not laughing, Cory), visiting food trucks, checking out costumes, and even a fun morning workout – I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Oh – how could I forget the HILTON BAR? Pins exchanged, blue milk & nerf tacos consumed, photos taken – and even corralling Tom Kane to come talk to us about what it’s like to voice Yoda. I could go on and on about SWCA, but my space is limited! Suffice to say that if I finally met you there after tweeting for months – or meeting you for the first time, period – I am forever grateful for it.

Ahsoka Lives Day group photo at SWCA. I'm in the back center in front of Kylo Ren.

Ahsoka Lives Day group photo at SWCA. I’m in the back center in front of Kylo Ren.

We convinced Tom Kane to join us in the Hilton Bar.

We convinced Tom Kane to join us in the Hilton bar.

SW fans are good folks. Hilton bar... again.

SW fans are good folks. SWCA, Hilton bar… again.

I went to SDCC again in 2015, and while fun, it of course had far less Star Wars than SWCA. I met up with another Rogue, Danielle L, and we attended a fun panel about geek fashion. It was there that I decided that they wasn’t a single thing wrong about purposely buying everyday clothing items that subtly hinted at my geekery (mentioned last month when I talked about Disneybounding). Getting dressed for work has never been more fun – I get to be a Jedi a few days a week!

SWCA also provided me with ample opportunity to spend time with the Coffee With Kenobi family. Dan and Cory later invited me to start blogging for the site, which I’ve been doing since May of this year. This led into doing two (so far) book reviews, including getting the advance reader copy of Battlefront: Twilight Company. Sure, Del Rey distributes a LOT of ARCs, but as my people say: there are many like it, but this one is mine. I was proud to be asked to review the book for CWK. Recently I was able to do a guest spot on the podcast itself, which was a lot of fun, and I saw a little bit behind the curtain of how podcasts work.

Force Friday also presented an opportunity to hang out with Star Wars friends and experience the excitement of Midnight Madness. I didn’t want to stay out so late (early, actually!), but again I’m glad I did. It was worth being tired the next day!

There are a lot Star Wars podcasts, as mentioned earlier, and I think that most people with whom I communicate listen to more than one (that’s probably an understatement). Of course, the podcasts are written, hosted, produced, etc. by other fans – fans who at some point said “hey, *I* can do this, too!” There are plenty of opportunities to write/call in to shows, appear as a guest, or even start your own. If you feel that there’s something you want to talk about – do it!

Robe hood onI’ve also always had an interest in costuming. As a fan of the Jedi, I wanted to procure my own set of tunics and robes, but held off for some time. Some time ago I commissioned a Mandalorian helmet, began piecing together my kit, and joined the Mandalorian Mercs as an associate member. Shortly before Halloween, though, I admitted to myself that I am a Jedi, through and through, and finished my Jedi costume.  I submitted it for Rebel Legion evaluation and was pleasantly surprised to be approved the very next day! I haven’t trooped yet, but I’m looking forward to joining my fellow “good guys” at events in the near future.

In addition to attending events, blogging, and costuming, I recently rekindled an interest that had fizzled out due to life events. Since the first time I was told I have a face for radio (waitaminute…), I’ve thought that I might have a knack for voice acting. I’m working on a fun project now within the Star Wars universe which I’m very excited about. Unpaid, yes, but THAT fact is completely unimportant. It’s fun, and I believe in the project and, even better, the people involved with it. More to follow about that!

My blog this month has been about MY fan journey, and from what I’ve seen, a lot of you are also involved in fandom. I’m interested to hear about your own participation. What do you do? How do you do it? What fun (or not so fun!) stories or advice can you offer others?

Until next time, thank you for reading, may the Force be with you, and remember –

This is the podcast you’re looking for!

Contact me at MediocreJedi@coffeewithkenobi.com or on Twitter @MediocreJedi.

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5 Comments

  1. Jay Krebs
    November 14, 2015 at 10:45 Reply

    (((((Hugs)))))!
    A lot sure has happened for you, in what seems like a short window of time! Impressive….most impressive!
    I found myself smiling through the entire reading of this wonderful account of your journey! Even meeting up randomly at the CVS registers in Anaheim was a special memory. I remember you being a bit sad, because it was the first time you had ever really been away from your little man. I could totally relate to that, because CIV was my first time away from my younglings!
    I can’t wait to check out this new voice-acting adventure of which you speak!
    Keep on being the awesome you that you are, MJ! 🙂

    1. MediocreJedi
      November 14, 2015 at 15:14 Reply

      Oh, so sweet! That was fun seeing you (& Pam, yes?) as we shopped for late night treats. Yes, I did miss my little buddy – actually left early Sunday so I could spend more time with him before the week started.

      Thanks for reading & commenting!

  2. Pam Bruchwalski
    November 16, 2015 at 23:43 Reply

    Yes, I was there! I was there! At the register. At CVS! 🙂

    What a great entry. I love to hear personal stories about my friends’ journeys through their SW fandoms. Thank you for sharing yours.

    I feel like everyone and their brother has heard my story, so there’s no reason to rehash it here! But this new film is a new adventure for all of us, and that’s so exciting to me. We’re all going into TFA…together.

    For now, I’m avoiding all things SW, but in a little over a month, I plan to immerse myself in the GFFA again as we reach another soaring high in our collective fandom.

    I can’t wait!

    Oh, and one more thing. Your picture at the top of your blog? Bill Murray? LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  3. Melinda
    November 17, 2015 at 10:32 Reply

    My road to Star Wars fandom has been long — I’ve been a fan since 1977 🙂 — and a wonderful one. 😀 It is so much fun immersing myself in the Saga, and through it, I have forged friendships that I know I will treasure until the day I die. Sadly, I was not able to go to CVII, but I lived vicariously through my friends who were there … and starwars.com, which ran live feeds during most of the 4-day event. Thus, I feel like I was right there with you and everyone else. I even scoured the crowds for people I knew were there, and was thrilled to find many of them! 🙂 I can attest to how much fun they are because I have been to most of the Celebrations. I’m glad you thoroughly enjoyed yourself. 🙂

    It will be exciting to see what the next chapter holds in store for all of us. Until we find that out — and always — MTFBWY 🙂

    p.s. Once a Jedi, always a Jedi. 🙂 Your costumes are super! 🙂

  4. My First Jedi Cosplay – San Diego Comic-Con 2016 | Coffee With Kenobi
    August 14, 2016 at 08:00 Reply

    […] my November post, I mentioned that I had put together a Jedi costume suitable for cosplay. While I had since worn it […]

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