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.
It was a month ago that I finally stepped foot onto the plane that would bring me, for the first time in over 15 years, to America. I meant to sleep the flight away–I really did–but instead I absentmindedly drank a glass of wine offered to me before remembering my sleeping pills had a “no alcohol” rule. So for around 30 hours, I did not sleep. Oops!
Why was I going to America? Well, for Star Wars Celebration, the massive convention for Star Wars fans all over the globe to converge and nerd out together. As if anyone needed more proof of how much I love the franchise, this was it. From the 15th to the 19th of April, I was to be surrounded by Star Wars.
Hearing the news of the cancellation of The Clone Wars last year was like a galactic gut punch to the stomach. Rebels softened the blow, in the way that a cushion softens a skydive-gone-wrong.
But, I am endlessly positive about the future and hopelessly enthusiastic about seeing new Star Wars stories, and so it didn’t take me long to get into the Rebels hype. I was going to miss Ahsoka and Asajj and everyone else with the fire of a thousand suns, but I had total faith that the group working behind it all had plans. I’m endlessly scared of change, but I knew it was time to love a new thing.
It’s not uncommon among the Star Wars fandom on tumblr to find some pretty awesome gifsets made by some pretty talented people. It is also unfortunately not uncommon to find a tag on any of these gifsets saying something along the lines of:
“I didn’t like this character at first because they were so annoying/just a love interest/fought with [male character]/so on and so forth.”
If you’re nodding along to that and thinking that yeah, maybe that’s a reasonable line of thinking, I want you to stop and reconsider. You’re thinking of a female character, right? Any male characters that you hate spring to mind for any of those reasons?