I align myself as being aromantic. Most definitions describe aromanticism as “an individual that experiences very little to no romantic attraction.” So why do I rank Lost Stars as my favorite new novel in the Star Wars canon? A young adult novel that tells the story of two “star-crossed lovers” on opposite sides of the Galactic Civil War? What about the countless numbers of romance webtoons I subscribe to on Tapastic and Line Webtoons? In what world does this make sense?
Something about these stories appeals to me. In Lost Stars the two main characters, Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree, are so very well written. While reading it you feel for them. You understand their actions and reactions. Their acceptance. Their experiences are things that could happen to us in our lives, you know – besides the whole spaceships and superweapons thing obviously. For me, using their story to live out what it would feel like to be completely devoted, to truly love another, makes sense and doesn’t make sense at the same time. There are many factors in our world that enable us to connect with others on a romantic level. For some it comes naturally, others it takes more time to develop, and for others like me, that “thing” just isn’t there.
For someone who has fully embraced the new canon of Star Wars, this year has been a great year for reading. For the past two years I’ve been slowly making my way through the now-Legends novels chronologically (though the X-wing series got pushed ahead, for obvious reasons), and I can definitely say the ratio of books I’ve enjoyed to those I’ve slogged through has been much higher with the new stuff than the old EU.
That’s not to say I don’t love what I’ve read of the old novels, but I absolutely adore some of the newer books, so much so that two of them have become two of my favourite books ever, something that none of the old EU books have managed to do so far. In fact, that list is damn hard to get onto, because I dislike almost everything I read.
Protip: never suggest I read your favourite book, because odds are I will hate it and will pick apart all the reasons I think it’s awful right before your very eyes. (I’m so sorry, friends who like The Name of the Wind.)
While at PAX Australia earlier this month I tagged along to a panel called, Who Cares About Female Protagonists? with a friend because, well, I care about female protagonists a hell of a lot.
There’s a reason the majority of my favourite games are headed by women and girls, or at least give the player the option to pick their gender (props to you, BioWare.) These games make me feel like I can be a hero in a way male-led games do not. They make me feel like I can be something more than I am.
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.
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.
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.
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.