It is hard to make the best decision when in pain. Not all decisions are easy ones. The hardest part of this roleplay performance business in the Star Wars Actors Guild 77 is to have everyone from all walks of life on the same page through social media. The only thing that keeps them there is LOVE of Star Wars and its fans.
It is so precious and so fragile, that it must be nurtured in a way to keep up with all the powers that it will hold it together. Then it makes its own choices in life to where the person who cared for it must let it go other generations to enjoy.
We have seen tumultuous changes in Star Wars. But we have to trust the unknowable future that those leaders of this fine intellectual property will honor it, and yet, make it relevant and accessible to generations to come. This takes vision. And that vision that the content creators of this inherited Star Wars requires the fans to trust them and that it is going to be okay and that they have a heart and will care about us.
These are the ideas we hold ourselves true to as fans that connect to each other. Fans who enjoy Star Wars and storytelling and roleplay performing on social media as entertainment.
We must agree or there will be nothing left. Why spend so much time destroying fans? Fandom for a movie culture is not a competition to the death.
It’s about feeling for others to help them and feel good about it. I think we can achieve this and be great. The costuming groups have showing great strides in the representations of Star Wars. I applaud them.
Then, we have to protect our own. I have my ideas that I set long time ago when I offered myself to Star Wars fandom. I have made some strides, and I have fallen more times than I have gotten up. But the bug of “creation” with Star Wars from my point of view has NEVER LEFT ME as a ~50 year old Black Woman that enjoys social media entertainment.
Sure, I can go back to scientific research. In fact my research paper was recently quoted in “Cell Metabolism”. But all of that changed for me long time ago. What I found inside of me I thought was exorcised out of me during my studies in secondary, graduate school and postdoctoral research. It was my creativity.
Star Wars found me, again and tapped my heart of the thrill and exhilaration of excitement just like it did when I saw the Tantive V flee from the Imperial Star Destroyer on a large projection screen at the Mission Valley Cinerama in San Diego, California in 1977.
Does that make me more of a fan? No. But I want to contribute to fandom. And the way I did it was to use my knowledge ingrained in me in the School of Creative and Performing Arts as a child on stage. Except now, I use social media.
No one should be stopped from roleplay performing on social media. Everyone can participate. And Star Wars Actors Guild 77 (SWAG 77) is a group, like any other group out there, that roleplays and performs their characters. Many subjects are addressed. One of them is adult. We posted a cropped image of a man to model a news report like a “reality television show”. We used smartphone software to do this. We tagged it accordingly on Tumblr to see if anyone wanted to roleplay about it. What we got were unexpected comments from individuals that spew hatred and lies, and rant against Disney and Star Wars online. It was as if Star Wars fandom is segregated. My parents fought against segregation in the 60s. I know what that looks like. Separate but not equal.
We felt that the modified image was not offensive. There are many images of Star Wars where there are scantily clad slaves girls or women as “Slave Leias” and these individuals never question that. Is it okay for women to be scantily clad but not men? It was that disparaging treatment between male and female form and we felt we had to defend that.
In any case, we felt that the entire conversation derailed and there was no point on furthering it and we left it at that.
But what is this latest incident saying about Star Wars and its online fan community?
It has to change. Those changes are going to cause growing pains. You cannot say you utterly hate the 2012 Disney purchase of Star Wars, and then say the TV show, Star Wars Rebels is bad because of that purchase. Then to harass the celebrities who have auditioned to voice the roles and invade their privacy on social media. It is disrespectful.
If we are the problem to your Star Wars fandom ire, or I am the problem, then you address your concerns with me. However, I am only interested in the success of my business. I am not going to change. I am here to stay. Star Wars Actors Guild 77 is here to stay and my group is dedicated to our tenets.
These are: To tell Star Wars stories on social media. To read all the Star Wars literature. To write our own Star Wars stories that fit according to canon, continuity and timeline, and to perform on social media. We want to provide a strong, accurate and authentic portrayal of characters with respect to the content creators. We were asked to do what we do by Lucasfilm and we agreed. We appreciate their trust in us.
We are ready to start our fun for Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in 2015!
One focus of our roleplay performances will be #WhoIsFulcrum? We hope you enjoy it.
Help fund us for a great cause keeping young people safe and engaged on social media.
The Force Will Be With You, Always,