For some, Star Wars is a hobby. For others, it is their life. This goes for people of all ages from all backgrounds, regardless of gender, race, or age. Something truly beautiful about the saga is how it can bond people—from friends to family to complete strangers.
My latest interviewee is a friend found through our mutual love of Star Wars, thanks to a network on Tumblr. Her jokes about Darth Wheezy were what initially made me think she was Too Damn Cool (and really, her jokes are hilarious).
A twenty-year-old who speaks her mind, Mára Kuryt:nîk grew up in various locations in Canada. Her native tongue is French-Canadian and her second language is English. Her mama is of Ukrainian descent and her papa is of Mohawk and Māori descent.
Until she was eight-years-old she thought Star Wars was real and had happened in the past, and had to see someone for about two years before finally accepting the truth. Life just hasn’t been as fun since. You can find her on Tumblr, and hear her A+ mixes on 8tracks.
Costume & modelling by Static Cosplay.
Photography by me.
I adore Static’s costumes (and photography), so getting to shoot her was really cool. Bonus: the landscapes down near the snow are très gorg (and also freezing cold).
This week has been one of mental health awareness, and in typical Saf fashion I left this post to be written at the last day. In NZ it’s been Mental Health Awareness Week, while elsewhere it’s been Mental Illness Awareness Week. Exactly a year ago I wrote a post about why awareness is important, and a year later it’s still just as vital.
It was maybe a month or two ago that a friend on Twitter opened up about their own struggles with mental illness, which prompted an open discussion among our little community. A lot more of my friends were struggling with mental health than I realized, and I’m sure others felt the same about me.
Despite my personal vows to be open and honest with regards to mental health, I suddenly realized that I am essentially a freezer of feelings—I carefully tuck the bad ones away in a back shelf and leave them to freeze for a few months, until the power breaks down and they begin to thaw. I fully contribute to the lack of awareness, in part because I don’t like to show weakness, and that is a failure of mine.
I recently attended a baby shower—perhaps the first of many?—and was blown away by the decorations and embellishments. Almost like walking into a real life Pinterest board. I dream of a day when my own parties are this photogenic.
Long story short: I ate too many mint candies, took a lot of selfies with my friend-who-is-basically-a-sister, and suggested a name nobody can pronounce.
Let the hipster paper-straws-in-jars trend never die out. The straws may disintegrate as you drink, but at least you look cute.
Something that is unique to Star Wars is the generational shifts that have occurred over the past near-forty years, from the older fans, the ones that grew up with the Original Trilogy; the fans like me, who first experienced Star Wars on the silver screen through the Prequels, whose childhood crushes were the Padawan Obi-Wan; and the kids who were introduced to the GFFA through the animated series of The Clone Wars and Rebels. Soon enough will come the generation of the Sequel Trilogy and the Stories.
We are a fandom split across a massive time span. Each generation of fans has a different take on the saga, their own individual part of the galaxy they are drawn towards. I tend to the younger side of my fandom circles, and even then I’m an Old Fart compared to some of my other Star Wars buddies.
Even though I’m relatively young, I notice that voices that are younger still are often ignored, or aren’t given a proper platform to speak about their own experiences with the series and the fandom. Thus I am doing a series of interviews of younger fans, each under twenty years old, to try and capture the opinions of the younger generation—the people that will one day inherit this saga and make it their own.
My first interviewee is the lovely Liza, known as Bookybarnes on Tumblr, a sixteen-year-old student currently living in the States who is a relatively new fan of the galaxy far, far away. Introduced mainly through Tumblr and The Clone Wars, Liza embodies the generation being brought to Star Wars through the animated shows and internet culture rather than the films themselves.
A tiny gallery, miniscule really! Kamui is the sweetest ever, and I’m honoured I got the chance to get some photos of her.
The Auckland Wintergardens sure are something else. Magical almost, maybe even a little like Hogwarts. Less giant squid though.
Eveychu as Harry Potter
Soxy Cosplay as Draco Malfoy
Hoodies from Verboom
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When you have a chronic illness, it starts to become the core of your being. It becomes hard to not let your illness define you, to actually live a life. It also becomes hard to explain your experiences to your healthy friends and family and I’m somewhat glad that I have friends with similar experiences for support (though I am not thankful they also have to live with these struggles.)
I’m not sure when I first heard about the interactive narrative tool, Twine, but from the start I had a feeling that, as someone who wants to get into game narrative, it was the kind of thing I’d want to experiment with. My first idea was based around chronic illness, and trying to illustrate what life is when you have one.
And so, I created Bloom.
If there’s one thing I love unabashedly above all else, it’s women in my sci-fi—specifically, women in Star Wars. My utter adoration of Rey Last-Name-Unknown is no secret, even though I know essentially nothing about her. She, like Captain Phasma, (or Padme, or Leia,) ticks every box: she’s a girl, she’s in Star Wars. Hey, I’m easy. Sometimes all some people want is a scrawny dude in black. Different strokes, folks.
This week has been Women of Star Wars appreciation week on Tumblr, which means that there’s even more positivity about the ladies on that blue site than usual. I don’t do gifs anymore, nor do I even spend much time on that timesink of a hellhole once I discovered the joys of productivity after escaping; that doesn’t mean I don’t want to participate somehow.
One of the prompts (the first one, which leaves me anything but prompt) is Don’t Look Back, which is a great one since I’d love to look forward to the women who will soon be gracing our screens, pages, and shelves in the years to come. The women of The Force Awakens, the woman of Rogue One (an apt name, considering there is only one woman so far), the ladies in the upcoming books Aftermath and Lost Stars, and even the ladies of the comics. Why not appreciate the women who will soon be leading our stories?
Going from Star Wars Celebration to Disneyland was going from my happiest place on Earth to the happiest place on Earth. Stepping into Disneyland is like stepping into another world, filled with rocket ships and cute little stores whose opening hours are never.
I also found my true love there: soft pretzels. Oh America, why do you make such strange, yet delicious food?
Sporting my new Sigma lens, my usual nifty fifty was thrown unceremoniously into my bag (“I don’t need you anymore, I’ve found someone better!”) Soon enough I found myself swapping them back around; turns out I’m still a sucker for prime lenses.
I absolutely adored Star Tours and Space Mountain, much to no one’s surprise. Sometimes when I drift off on the bus I think of going back and riding Star Tours a million more times. One day I’ll get all the combinations, guys. One day.
News update: I got a Patreon! If you like what I write/photograph at all, consider helping me out over there. There’s so much more I want to do, but money can be the biggest cockblock of all time.