Star Wars Day
By: Meg Humphrey
May Fourth has become the official Star Wars holiday over the last few years. As a Star Wars Fan since I was old enough to comprehend what a movie was, you’d think that it would be my favorite day of the year (outside of holidays where I get presents, of course). This is where I’ll admit that, for a little bit, I was a Star Wars hipster in the way where I really disliked the idea of “May the Fourth.” Suddenly Facebook would be blowing up with posts “May the Fourth be with you!” and I would get unreasonably angry. I would think “You’re not a Star Wars fan! Luke Skywalker isn’t lame! You haven’t cried while reading the X-Wing series or the Jedi Academy Trilogy! You don’t collect any of the toys! CG YODA IS NOT BETTER THAN CRAZY PUPPET YODA! Stop pretending!” Then I realized that I was part of the problem; I was acting as a gatekeeper to my fandom. I needed to cut it out and I did. I’ll never again forget that Star Wars touches uncountable lives in many different ways and there’s no one true way to be a fan.
Repeat after me: Star Wars is for everyone. Casual fans, die hard fans, fans who started with The Clone Wars, fans who saw A New Hope opening night in 1977, fans who hate the prequels, fans who love the EU (now the “Legends” books), old people, young people, girls and boys (and any gender outside or in between), Sith, Jedi, Wookiees, Trandoshans, Bith, Ewoks, politicians, pilots, and every other being in the galaxy. Star Wars is for you (and for me) and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
On the whole, Star Wars fans are beautiful. We’re eager to make friends and connections, to talk about our speculations and feelings, and to just enjoy the vast universe that is being set before us. You’ll find people with different opinions than you, but we’ll try to discuss them rationally and without hurting each other’s feelings (we just sometimes have strong opinions). I’ve done Star Wars Panel at Sakura-Con for the last seven years and I’m forever grateful for the friends I’ve made there and the stories from audience members about the goodness that Star Wars has brought to their lives.
Is the fandom perfect? No. As much as I’m accepted and respected by others, there’s still people who insinuate that my Rebel Alliance and Jedi Council tattoos aren’t real and I couldn’t possibly know as much about Star Wars as them because I’m a woman. Are there things I wish were different about Star Wars? Of course. My voice joined others with the concern of the lack of female representation after the Episode VII core cast announcement. But we stick with it, because our love of Star Wars is too great, and we are determined to make it better, more inclusive, and more fun for everyone.
So go ahead and get your Wookiee Cookies and Han Burgers ready for your Machete order marathon (or in my case – a showing of the Ewok Adventure and the Caravan of Courage)! Fill Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with your makeship Leia bun head bands and your hand crafted stormtrooper armor! Celebrate the Force as it surrounds us and binds us as the luminous beings we are!
And, as ever, may the Force be with you.