Advertisements
Star Wars Is For Everyone

Star Wars Is For Everyone

Logo

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

Remember……..

This IS the Podcast you’re looking for!

Powered by
Please follow and like us:
Advertisements

5 Comments

  1. Erica Steinweg
    September 29, 2015 at 08:24 Reply

    This is such an important conversation to have and fits with an experience I just had. On Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, I had the opportunity to work with the sixth through eighth graders on the subject of repentance. The question presented to them was “Did Darth Vader Repent?” and I was the resident Star Wars expert. We watched the end or ROTJ and had a lively conversation. While many had good things to say, the most eloquent contributor to the discussion was a transgender adolescent. Born Ben, she has recently, with the support of her parents, renamed herself Lily. I have known of her story in the community, but our paths hadn’t really crossed until that day. It was wonderful to connect with her over what was clearly a favorite topic for both of us–Star Wars.

    The gffa is big enough for all of us.

    1. Sandra Choute
      September 29, 2015 at 15:59 Reply

      Thank you for sharing this story! I am always amazed at how Star Wars bring people together. Star Wars is for everyone.

  2. Melinda
    September 30, 2015 at 10:48 Reply

    Congratulations on the (almost! 🙂 ) birth of your niece — and her inclusion in what sounds like an awesome family! 🙂

    What a great read, Sandra. 🙂 What you wrote touches a chord in me. No, I am not a person of color (although white is a color; Please, I am not trying to be flip. It is just an observation.), but I have been where you have been. To a certain extent. We among the female gender have had to deal with “…but Star Wars is for boys!” sentiments since 1977! 🙁 Ugh! Two days ago, I was (finally!) at the checkout counter at a local store, making my purchase. Some of the items were Star Wars toys. The clerk said to me, “It looks like some little boy is going to be very happy!” I looked her straight in the eye, and replied (matter-of-factly), “These toys are for a girl. For the record, Star Wars is for girls every bit as much as it is for boys.” (Although this woman was not as old as I am, she most definitely was in her 30s, at least, and has been around long enough to know that Star Wars appeals to people of both genders. Or you’d think she’d know that!) I got the same kind of comments when I toted my Star Wars lunch box to school with me when I was substitute teaching. “Mrs. Wolf, you can’t like Star Wars. It’s for boys.” Those kinds of comments came from boys AND girls who are 5, 6, 7 years of age, so I was a bit more forgiving of them. (Being in an educational setting, I could instruct both the boys and girls that there really is nothing that is “for boys” nor “for girls”. 🙂 )

    The Prequels did see actors and actresses of color and different ethnicities appear in roles, some what I call “background” roles, some in minor supporting roles, and then there was, of course, one of the greatest Jedi Masters — Mace Windu (played by the indomitable Samuel L. Jackson). Of course, there were many talented actors and actresses of color whose identities were hidden by their costumes/makeup — in both the PT and the OT — who were every bit as important (at least to me) in their efforts to bring the Saga to life. To this day, Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian remains one of my Top 10 Favorite Characters (no one will ever usurp Luke Skywalker for the top honor 😉 ). And I don’t care what the naysayers claim, Jar Jar Binks endeared himself to me right from the get-go. 🙂

    From my point of view, one of the strongest points Star Wars gets across is that people, beings from all different planets (in this case) can live together, can work together, can team up for the betterment of EVERYONE. That’s a pretty easy theme to pick out, and one that transcends to real life (in my opinion). I was raised to be “colorblind” (for lack of a better way to put it). The important aspect is to look at THE INDIVIDUAL, and learn what his/her character is, my parents instructed. Color doesn’t matter one iota. (My brother had two best friends growing up. One was Black, the other Japanese. My best friend was from South America. Many of my parents’ friends were of many different nationalities and backgrounds.) That is how my husband and I raised both of our girls (both are Star Wars fans, by the way 🙂 ). I don’t know if you’d consider me naïve (I’m not), but my upbringing translated very easily when viewing Star Wars.

    I do not take issue with what you have shared, nor am I minimizing what you have faced. I only am presenting another point of view.

    I wish I knew you in person. I think you’d make — and be — a terrific friend. 🙂

    Thank you very much for sharing this great story with us. MTFBWY 🙂

    1. Melinda
      September 30, 2015 at 10:49 Reply

      By the way — I couldn’t agree with you more! Star Wars IS for EVERYONE! 🙂

    2. Sandra Choute
      September 30, 2015 at 21:39 Reply

      Melinda, thank you for sharing your thoughts about my post! I hope to meet you in the near future.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

%d bloggers like this: