I am tearful as I write this information because I fear no Star Wars fan hears me. I feel I should bow out, but I have FOMO and the minute I stop my creation will work. These facts depress me. I feel useless and less important each day. When I should be proud of my work. How and why do I keep going?
What hurts the owner the most about The Star Wars Actors Guild 77 is the time spent on lifting vague inklings to fulminant profitable ideas, such as:
Star Wars Celebration 2017, 2015 and 2012
SWAG77 commissioned the REYLO art by the fan artist Panda Capuccino. Today, I have not been able to contact her, anymore.
My idea for Star Wars Celebration is to legitimize online Star Wars fan groups on social media. I had no idea how to put that together. I had not done that before. I asked for help and received no input.
So, I read business magazines, read some business aspects of Facebook and Twitter, and set it up that way. I had organized major Health Forums in my city with vendors, such as Pfizer and the Komen Breast Cancer organizations. And I gave it up because it because taxing for me to do. They gave me funding to organize Health Forums for diverse women.
But, to put together Star Wars Celebration fan tables for online Star Wars fan groups was not frequent activity in 2012.
I spent a lot of money each time.
I had Star Wars fans walk out on me and then bad-mouth and lie about me behind my back. It hurts. But my Star Wars fandom was undeterred. I had worse in my Ph.D. program and that was in my face.
I did not give up my Star Wars fandom. I decided to create better programming for SWAG77 beyond fan-fiction writing, reading and review of the literature, and creating fan art for the stories we perform.
I started with creation of a campaign. One where Disney would at least hear us. It was not Lucasfilm Limited we had to convince. It was the Disney Board of Directors and programming that asked questions.
When Disney purchased Lucasfilm Limited, there were a lot of loose ends. Most of those ends in terms of contracts were frayed. Disney lawyers do not allow that. So all those loose ends had to be tied together.
Unfortunately, that meant that Disney had to cut some of those ends and one of them were the Star Wars Expanded Universe that many longtime fans knew.
This issue is about budgets. Disney reviewed the numbers with a fine toothed comb and discovered inconsistencies that caused the loose ends. The inconsistencies are a drain to move projects forward. To stop that headache in terms of creative control that can become costly, that meant converting most of the previous material to “Legends” canon.
Since SWAG77 consists of online social media roleplayers, where most roleplayers at the time knew the SWEU now Legends, it was a blow to our hearts to hear our beloved stories were meaningless after spending thousands of dollars on ideas. Many longtime fans that includes roleplayers either left the fandom or became real-time Star Wars fans.
Some fans fought back and put up billboards and harassed fans that took a wait and see attitude. SWAG77 had several of its Facebook paged dedicated to the new Star Wars content claiming we were meaningless. It is not their criticism we disliked receiving, it was their profanity and their offensive meme arts. It is not their dislike of the new characters that is at issue, it is their pointed attacks on specific characters because of their immutable differences, such as being Black, a woman or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
It is fine by SWAG77 to dislike and criticism that the material is disliked. It is wrong to use profanity to describe one’s criticism. But on social media, fans do not care. It is fine by SWAG77 to dislike the new characters and prefer the old characters, but it is wrong to use diverse immutable difference to justify one’s hatred of the new characters. How does a person change their skin color? Or decide to remain their assigned gender? Or transition into their preferred gender or love someone of the same gender? Why hurt people based on looks that cannot be changed like a television channel?
Why does SWAG77 care? Because the owner is a Black woman – a member of BIPOC – and will choose love over hate every single time..
Based on a last attack in 2014 over these issues, SWAG77 pursue an active social media campaign that was organized just like a political cause campaign since the owner had lots of experience in political causes, such as marching and protesting with Hosea Williams in Forsyth County, Georgia who ran out all the Black people who wanted to live there. Such as ending Apartheid in South Africa through Amnesty International. Such as voter registration activities, health care initiatives, fighting for the Affordable Care Act because she had three family members languish in pain in skilled nursing care.
The owner just thought, that if these Star Wars fans truly wanted some of the Legends to return, the hear is how to get Disney to listen. And to listen is all about “THE ASK” for corporations. We started in 2014, but launched in 2015 after hearing quotes from a voice actor for the Star Wars Legends character, GRAND ADMIRAL THRAWN.
I thought rallying fans would be easy. I was wrong. Everything done got disparaged. Fortunately not in any known podcasts or blogs like our roleplay stories and scripts were. And even now, Star Wars fans have the audacity to belittle all the work it took to GET THRAWN IN BACK INTO CANON by saying Disney Star Wars sucks and Star Wars Rebels Thrawn is a clown.
Look: Disney HEARD US BECAUSE OUR ASK WAS ABOUT THE PROMOTION OF ART. And as any Thrawn fan knows, ART is central to this character and its development. FANS ARE LUCKY that Disney Lucasfilm Limited HEARD what we said.
Because in 2015, NO FAN that currently pops off like a fruit knew who THRAWN was. Only a FEW DEDICATED COSPLAYERS and fan artists did.
We broke a part the campaign into 3 programs: The overall attributes of Thrawn that we wanted; how the children can be included, and the art evaluation program.
The overall attributes were “blue papers” – like white papers but for Thrawn in blue. The art evaluation — appreciation of fine art and criticism 101 was a great idea until I learned that many fans had no clue about the fine arts and that exposure was more important. But the inclusion of children took a turn into ysalamiri and one member took over than process because I was inundated with the overall attributes and paying for the social media to operate the campaign.
It became SAVE THE YSALAMIRI. I created it like “Save the Whales” after reviewing several “SAVE” animal websites. The member told me an idea, and I took it a step further based on the campaign. I needed funding, but the member was fine doing it for free. So, I allowed it. When a business takes a donation without set up, it is reviewed by the IRS in such a way that gets a business audited. I was not set up for donations. The IRS wants to know who are these people giving me money — i.e. are they drug dealers laundering money and is your business a front? I don’t have lawyers to where I can afford the protection like companies. So that is why I let things go, but at least have some acknowledgement of my business’ involvement.
The issue is this would have never happened if I did not pursue GETTING THRAWN IN as a campaign to make Thrawn canon.
And maybe Lucasfilm considered the possibility of Thrawn back into canon. From the rumors, I don’t know to be true, there was a list of characters and Thrawn’s name was somewhere in the middle. Our Star Wars Celebration 2015 fan table shoved Thrawn’s name to the top, especially with that simplistic video. And the fact that Dave Filoni came by our booth early and I was so sick (I had caught a cold where my tonsils swelled and I had to go to the ER at 3 AM) and had to get treated in another city.
I would not slog through a serious health issue if I did not think GET THRAWN IN would not work. My health is more important than this fandom.
And let me tell you why.
At the end of Star Wars Celebration 2012, I saw a cosplayer dress as a Sith, rather heavy-set man, spalled out on the floor where the paramedics were reaching for their AED (automatic external defibrillator). The paramedics and police were racing to save this man’s life. I do not know who he was or what more happened. But as a health professional, I knew this Star Wars fan, and many like him for different conditions, needed improved health activities at conventions. To use the fandom to encourage healthy behaviors.
I CAN DO THAT. I HAVE BEEN TRAINED FOR THAT.
That is the main reason why I have not left Star Wars Fandom. Because, I never want to see some dude have a heart attack when these conventions are meant to be about fun. I never want to see a fan raging in a mental health issue when there are fans to talk other down. No one should suffer in any fandom healthwise, and my fandom happens to be Star Wars.
So when fans bash me, I remember than man, a cosplayer on the floor of a con slowly dying from cardiac arrest when probably he just wanted to have fun.
And I can do something about that.
But, I should have left a long time ago. I am not going to Star Wars Celebration 2022. I am immunocompromised and COVID19 would kill me, even though I am fully vaccinated. I cannot risk it. I have gotten sick at Anaheim Convention Center before and all though crowds make me nervous these days.
I can be online, from afar, I’m not a metaverse person. I just want to be a part of the fandom
Currently, I have to fund rase to bring forth better programming. I am doing that by capital investments. We would like fans to help us with a purchase of a NFT or t-shirt. With better programs, we can help influence Disney for more Star Wars content.
Each piece corresponds to a story on SWAG77 Patreon: Surfer!Thrawn and Snowboard!Thrawn. We say Thrawn likes to surf and snowboard. He’s into extreme sports. This is another of SWAG77 programs.
There is also Death Star Putt Putt at our booth were fans can compete for 5X T-shirts. These shirts would be our 5X sized shirts. We have a story about how we came up with that idea.
We have done the SWAG77 Podcast in the past. We will pick it up in the future. But the market is saturated.
Our main commission of Thrawn X Sabine fan art created by Elthien, is based off the silent movie “Forbidden Paradise” from 1924. It is about a royal woman who falls in love with a foreign soldier who discovers a revolution in her country. It stars Pola Negri and Rod la Rocque.
Our NFT location shows all our artwork we have created