The Cantina Scene in Star Wars: A New Hope encapsulates the spirit of creativity for the series. In that scene, a fledgling ILM created complex alien costumes that looked unlike anything we had ever seen. John Williams created a jazzy score that fit in more with a smoky, Earthbound nightclub than a desert dive on Tatooine. Even the story was different for what many assumed was a science fiction story. Star Wars has always been a brand that pushes boundaries and pioneers technologies. It radiates creativity, and fans of the series pick up on it. They feel the creative potential of the saga, and it inspires them to join in. The results are incredible. Fans create movie-accurate costumes. They paint and sew and design. They come together from all over the globe and from all kinds of life experiences to discuss their excitement for the newest additions to the saga and by analyzing the most minute of details in blogs or podcasts. They create YouTube channels that act as a digital Cliff’s Notes for the vast amount of canonical and non-canonical material. They use their talents to contribute to the larger galaxy of fandom.
Not to get too crazy, but this exact blog post you are reading right now is an example of one way that fans share their creative side. People who may be quiet and shy in person or just enjoy the task of writing take to their keyboards and share their insights and opinions. We certainly have a variety of them! Johnamarie Macias from The Wookiee Gunner is an excellent source if you are interested in Star Wars fashion or in hearing some commentary on the newest Star Wars: Rebels news. She’s so passionate and always down to discuss the newest items from Her Universe or the latest happenings with her little Blueberry (as she calls Ezra). Other blogs like The Imperial Talker and Eleven-Thirty Eight share deep-dive analyses and invite others to join in the discussion. Future of the Force and Retro Zap offer posts on a wide variety of topics ranging from reviews of the newest toys and books to editorials on the lack of representation in the films. With so many possible topics to write about and so many diverse insights, there’s always room of another.
While some people enjoy wrangling words into creation through a keyboard, others enjoy using microphones and sound mixers. Podcasts are a potential outlet for the creative force of those people. Like with blogs, there are podcasts on all kinds of topics. Some serve as general news outlets, some analyze the newest episodes of Star Wars: Rebels or the latest comic issues, and others analyze the music of the saga. One of the strengths of podcasting is that it is inherently a more collaborative venture. It’s often a group of friends who come together and act as hosts, editors, or sometimes both in order to share their thoughts and feelings with the world. Because of the collaborativeness of this medium, podcasts can also be a great place to celebrate the diverse voices of Star Wars fandom. Podcasts like Rebel Grrrl and Fangirls Going Rogue celebrate fandom from the female perspective. Coffee with Kenobi offers an analytical take for the more scholarly. Rebel’s Chat and Children of the Force celebrate the generational appeal of Star Wars. Of course, Far, Far Away Radio is also here offering a large group of diverse voices to the scene. Our hosts take pride in having people of diverse ethnicities, orientations, and genders because podcasting should give all kinds of fans a chance to express their voice.
While it seems almost like magic to me, some people’s talent lies in video production. A particular favorite YouTube show of mine is the show Star Wars Explained. I appreciate how this show breaks down the complex, interconnected narratives of both the Expanded Universe and the current canon. It allows everyone to keep up with what’s happened in the past and what’s new without having to make the huge time commitment that many of us happily give but not all have time for. If you are a fan of collectibles, The Collector’s Hutt is a good show that really takes its time to showcase all the intricacies and details of each figure, statue, or helmet released. Both of these shows enrich and educate the newer fans as well as the hardcore.
Perhaps you yearn to let your fandom out through art? You could join the thousands of Star Wars fans who share their love of the saga through all manner of art, handmade clothing, musical renditions, or original stories. You can find all manner of Star Wars art online. Some of the best art can be found at official conventions like Star Wars Celebration, but there’s also some great handmade art to be found on websites like Etsy. A quick search of your favorite Star Wars topic (mine is usually X-Wing or Rogue Squadron art) will yield results of art of varying styles. With such a wide variety of artistic styles and a galaxy of inspiration, there is surely room for your artistic voice.
If your talent doesn’t adorn a canvas but prefers to strut the runway, you are also in good company with Star Wars fans. Many share their love of the saga by creating all kinds of amazing clothing ranging from scarves and hats to dresses and jackets. At San Diego Comic-Con for the last few years, Ashley Eckstein and Her Universe have been hosting yearly fashion design contests in the vein of a nerdy version of Project Runway. If the bobbin and thread are with you, maybe your designs could win? At the very least, your designs might be able to help another fan express their fandom with flair.
Maybe you don’t know if you have a specific talent, but you do have a desire to do good, an ear to listen, and a mind willing to learn? You could always join the ranks of the 501st Legion, Mandalorian Mercs, or Rebel Legion. These fan groups create screen-accurate costumes and wear them to conventions, children’s hospitals, and other events in order to raise money for charity. While I have only ever been on the receiving end of these groups’ generosity, I have to say that there is something magical about seeing your child (or inner child) giggle in delight at being able to meet his or her favorite trooper, bounty hunter, or Rebel.
Your voice and talent is valued. It doesn’t matter that there are hundreds of Star Wars blogs and podcasts. It doesn’t matter that so many others also create art or clothes to be sold on Etsy or at conventions. Your voice in fandom matters because it’s your voice, and you’ll bring all your experiences and quirks to it; hopefully, you’ll find that fandom welcomes you. I have certainly had many people welcome me and celebrate my voice. If you’ve been passionate about Star Wars but held back because you feel like your voice doesn’t matter, please don’t. Take those first steps into a creative galaxy. We’ll be waiting with wookiee cookies on the other side.
Do you have something that you already contribute to Star Wars fandom? Share your blog, podcast, art, clothing, custom action figures, or whatever with us on Twitter at @mapplebee7567 and @farfarawayradio using the hashtag #creativegalaxy