As promised last week, now through April I will be doing a monthly post listing 40 things I like about Star Wars. Bear in mind, these are in no particular order of importance, and I may be going back and writing individual posts about these as the year passes. What do you like about the things/characters I have listed? Feel free to share your thoughts!
“An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.” Truer words were never spoken. Lightsabers are a sci-fi twist on classic medieval swords, they are favored by Force-users, and they can come in personalized colors. In the golden days of the old Republic and the Jedi order, they represented the Jedi and their role as protectors of the galaxy. In The Force Awakens, the blue lightsaber that Rey found represents the Skywalker family heritage in the Force and her potential power. And I love the sounds they make!
2. Padmé Amidala
The Queen and Senator from Naboo was the first Star Wars character I idolized. I loved her beautiful costumes and her heroism. Padme worked hard to keep peace and order in the galaxy even though war became the norm—she stood up for what she believed in even though it wasn’t popular. However, just because she was a pacificst didn’t mean she was against getting her hands dirty in dangerous situations. Her relationship with Anakin was flawed, but she saw the good in him from the beginning, and she passed on her love for him to their children. She is amazing.
3. Princess Leia Organa
Rey was easily my favorite part of The Force Awakens. While she fits into the trope of being an orphan from a desert planet destined to be a hero, she breaks the mold by being a self-sufficient scavenger and someone who doesn’t whine. I am 70% sure she is a Skywalker, but she doesn’t have to be one to be amazing. Rey is her own person.
5. Bail Organa
IMO, he is the most underrated supporting character in the saga. Seeing him in Rogue One was amazing. He is getting his own post. That is all.
6. Costuming and Costume Clubs
I love being a Jedi. I also get a huge kick out of being Princess Leia. Am I anxious to build more Star Wars characters? YES.
The 501st and the Rebel Legion are so awesome. They spend hundreds of hours building their own costumes, from replicas of Queen Amidala’s gowns to labor-intensive stormtrooper suits. They spend hundreds more hours entertaining at conventions and charity events, raising money for people in need and visiting sick children. They are troopers in every sense of the word. Their social media feed has some of the best memes and fan photos you will see anywhere on the internet.
The local Alpine Garrison and Rogue Base are some of the leading members of the Utah cosplay community and include some of my personal friends. I love spending time with them, and I always get great photos with them no matter what I’m wearing.
I also have spent some time with the Wasatch Saber Club recently, and may I just say that I share their love of lightsaber fights. Even choreographed, lightsaber dueling is a martial arts form worthy of respect.
7. The Fandom
I ran into a former roommate of mine the other day on BYU campus. She told me that one of her current roommates was also a Star Wars fan, and she was was pretty quick to observe that Star Wars fans make good roommates. Why? Because we’re wonderful people!
There’s a feeling you get when you’re with other Star Wars fans that you don’t get in any other fandom. The Star Wars universe is so developed with films, video games, books, and other materials that we know just how to fit anything else we add. And of course, there is plentiful material for crossovers.
On the internet, we share the best meta posts, headcanons, and fan art you can find anywhere. Sure, we don’t all like the same Star Wars content, we disagree about canon and characters all the time, but one thing we all have in common is the idea that there is a galaxy far, far away where the greatest adventure is possible.
8. Clone Wars and Rebels
I watched Season 3 of Clone Wars with my family while I was home for Christmas. Last week I binge-watched Season 4 and I am currently working my way through Season 5. What I like best about Clone Wars and Rebels is seeing more of my favorite Star Wars characters in action, especially Padmé. The new characters, like Ahsoka Tano and Rex and Kanan Jarrus, are really cool to watch (and my family is biased towards Rex because I have a brother named Rex). These shows are very well-written and entertaining, and I like being able to go back to the Star Wars universe for smaller but still exciting adventures.
9. Anakin Skywalker
Confession time: I am not a huge fan of villains, and I never really liked Darth Vader. I’ve always been more fond of the man under the mask. Yes, he’s whiney and mentally unstable. Yes, he’s a jerk in Episode II and a sociopath in Episode III. But I can’t help noticing his good characteristics—the way his snark bounces back with Obi-wan, his tenderness to Padmé, his naivete, his daring. And I can’t help relating to his sense of inadequacy either.
I didn’t see Return of the Jedi all the way through until I was thirteen, and I think that kind of reinforced my view of Star Wars as a redemption story, specifically Anakin’s. Plus in watching Clone Wars, you get a closer look at Anakin’s struggles and how he kind of lost his moral balance. Anakin Skywalker was a great guy. He just had a really sad life and made bad choices in dealing with it.
And don’t tell me he isn’t cute.
10. Obi-wan Kenobi
They say that Ewan McGregor’s performance as young Obi-wan is one of the best parts of the prequels. And they’re beyond right. I have a LOT of feelings about this character. He’s one of THE greatest Jedi to fight in the Clone Wars. He’s handsome as heck and got a sense of humor as dry as the Dune Sea. He’s got a lot going for him. He and Anakin are the galaxy’s dream team.
And then tragedy strikes.
But that’s the nice thing about Anakin’s redemption: it made Obi-wan happy, too.
To be continued…