‘Star Wars’ Fans Raise Money for Transgender Youth in Honor of Padmé’s Influence — The Mary Sue

Star Wars is a series that helps to inspire hope among fans. Whether it is through Leia’s determination to lead or Padmé’s willingness to do what she thinks is right, the women of the Skywalker family have inspired children for decades, and we’re just talking about the Skywalkers! That’s not even getting into the rest…

‘Star Wars’ Fans Raise Money for Transgender Youth in Honor of Padmé’s Influence — The Mary Sue

In a week of horrible news, this is a really nice story.

meeting Obi-Wan Kenobi again

Oh wow. I got chills when Duel of the Fates kicked in, it’s still one of the most stunning pieces of music I’ve heard anywhere, not just in Star Wars.

WHAT a day it’s been for prequel fans! I always wondered if it would come. It seemed terribly unlikely in the days where people preferred actors, directors, and teenage fans to kill themselves but it’s nice to know there were always some people out there who wanted to build. My fourteen-year-old self who posted endless fanfiction on message boards is SCREAMING right now. (Her username on there was female_obi_wan.)

Fandom and identity

I remember during J.K. Rowling’s most recent (well, it might not be the most recent anymore) bout of biogtry I saw a tweet saying something along the lines of, “This wouldn’t have happened if you idiots hadn’t made a stupid wizard book a intrinsic part of your identity.” And I couldn’t understand it, and didn’t like it, because that’s what you’re supposed to do!

(Is this the probable autism talking?)

Then a few months after that Chadwick Boseman died, which was awful. Wealthy white film people had been having a go at Black Panther for ages (“not cinema” “despicable”) but suddenly it all stopped. I saw a lot of posts all over the internet saying things like “I feel like Black Panther was part of my identity” and “How do I tell my kids Black Panther is dead?” Black Panther wasn’t real, though… except of course he was.

Making a character or a film or a book part of your identity is, god, it’s such a bad idea. You always end up devastated or disappointed or hurt, for any number of reasons. A terrible idea. But we do it anyway. It’s hardwired into us.

Moonlight of the Red Dwarf variety

Going back over old Red Dwarf posts and man, I forgot how much…the actual show sort-of-but-not-quite shipped Rimmer/Lister. Or kind of? (I mean, there was a kiss, fake though it was.)

Honestly, of all the situations I expected to find myself in this month, “suddenly hardcore shipping the two main characters of a comedy TV show you’ve loved for ages but never considered that way (while the world is in the middle of one of the worst crisises in decades)” is… not one of them. Ah well. What I do really miss is being In Fandom, I guess. Having a sort of fandom central hub (LiveJournal and then Tumblr used to serve this function) where you could just run in and shout “I LOVE THIS THING” and get a chorus back of “WE ALSO LOVE THIS THING.” I suppose Twitter is sort of the fandom central hub now but Twitter just doesn’t work as a platfom for me because you can’t have long conversations.

Anyway, it also so happens that Red Dwarf continuity looks like this:

except even more nonsensical, so I’d be really bad at being a Proper Fan of it. (I still haven’t actually watched Back to Earth since… heck, probably since it first came out. What the smeg was that?)

Throw into that the fact that I guess I’m sort of too old for Shipping now anyway, and… well, I’ll just be here on the sidelines, reblogging all the lovely Promised Land meta and fanart and jazz to secret side social media accounts and so forth.

But, man Promised Land told such a beautiful story. I’m an absolute sucker for “characters who are two halves of the same whole whether they like it or not” relationships, and I never realised there was one right under my nose for going on a decade. Whaddya know.

I think when Rimmer says to Lister at the end, “There’s a moon here, Listy, that wouldn’t mind some sunlight,” what he’s really saying is “We’re about to die. Please be with me,” and ouch, my heart.

I really do love this thing.

You can tell someone’s fandom age by how aggressively they save fanfic


2014-present: lol why bother?

2007-2014: I know I should, but the likelihood of losing it isn’t that great, so I’m not too worried about it…


Hell, in 1999, I used to print them out




seeing someone’s work on ao3 after seeing their username on tumblr is like seeing your friend dressed up in formalwear when 2 hours ago they were eating pizza in their sweats on your couch

and then when you see a writer who you know mainly from ao3 on tumblr it’s like running into the local news anchor at the grocery store
you know who they are but they’ve never seen you before

i made at least 3 friends IRL at cons cos we were in the same lift in the hotel and they read my nametag and had read something of mine. I am still blown away by that.



when you think about it fanfiction is actually amazing

there are thousands of brilliantly written novel-length stories kids wrote from their own brains about characters and shows/books/movies they love all twined into the internet and other kids read these 50k+ stories in their own time and invest themselves in it

nobody’s being paid to write it and nobody’s being told to read it, people do it because they legitimately enjoy it

that is just kind of amazing

#and fanvids #and fandom in general #it’s a (largely) art-centric community built around distance which is really amazing if you think about it #like most grad programs for the arts or artist communes or what have you are all about being locked into a singular place with similar pe… #*people for a predetermined amount of time #just so you can have that energy and produce and critique each other #and fandom has created that here #i mean it predates the internet (with the zine and the trekkie letter circles and whatnot) #and the fact is that somehow we all googled and ended up here #and if you think about it it’s one of the last open apprenticeship places around #fascinated with henry jenkins’ theory that it has to do with women being excluded from other circles of art and making their own in a spa… #*space of their own #(not just women; other minorities as well) #fandom is largely about reclamation and not just narratives but people and issues and things we care about #we come here and we make awful things and we read more and we teach ourselves how to be better #artist commune unto itself #messy yes but also free and open and largely informational #think of how many tuts exist for photoshop #at it’s heart fandom is about art for art’s sake #that’s why i’m surprised people don’t want to study it more #(and believe me when i say i know it’s because at heart people think we are worthless #because we are doing something that is not for profit and only for love #because we are messing around with characters that are not our own #but that kind of misses the point doesn’t it? because the point of fandom is to make it our own because no one is going to make our art f… #*for us in the way that we want) #isn’t it funny how everyone has a ‘when i first started my shit was so awful’ story? #i just want to be like how did you get better? who did you read? whose graphics did you look at? what videos did you watch?#because chances are you were inculcated into this culture the same way everybody else was – by participating in it #and how many other things in the world can you say that about now (for free)?




I’m really not here for bashing on anyone for being a fan of Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock or – gasp! – even all three. It’s grating to see people having to loudly declare how embarrassed they are of their “superwholock past”, or making disparaging remarks about those who still enjoy said shows. I’m sure there’s a longer and more in-depth post to be written about this, but idk man, I’m tired. I’m just not here for this shit.

Generally I’m not a fan of being expected to be embarrassed about stuff you used to be into.

Or the idea that once a thing is no longer one of your main interests, you no longer like that thing. Which I feel is sometimes connected to having to be embarrassed about your previous main interests.

are … are you not aware that mocking superwholock fans is less because they are “embarrassing” and more because of the extremely homophobic, racist, misogynist and ableist tendencies the fandom/s at large has/have exhibited?

Have you ever seen the Star Wars fandom? It’s a goddamn nightmare and it’s everywhere. The ableism and the misogyny was and is appalling. When John Boyega was cast as Finn fans of the franchise sprouted crap about “forced diversity” and “political correctness” on here and on Reddit and Twitter. and everywhere you went on the Internet. When the main character of Rogue One was announced to be a woman fans flipped their lids about “feminism taking over”. When Jake Lloyd was diagnosed with schizophrenia Star Wars fans laughed, because he was in the worst of the movies, don’tyaknow, and therefore his suffering was funny.

Plus the franchise itself still hasn’t got a single main LBGT character or WOC anywhere in the movies, in 2016, and it probably won’t anytime soon. John Boyega got paid less than Adam Driver, for more screentime. Most of the movies don’t have more than a handful of female characters, and only a couple of them even pass the Bechdel Test. Leia had that gold bikini. Whenever articles appear in the media saying how nice it would be for more diversity and less sexism to happen, they’re shouted down by Star Wars fans yelling and yelling and yelling.

Homophobia, racism, misogyny and ableism? Check, check, check and check. A franchise not being as progressive as it should be? Check. So where’s all the “fuck-no-starwars” blogs? Where are all the “ugh I can’t believe I used to be in Star Wars fandom” posts? Surely people should want to distance themselves from that toxic, unending crap. Why don’t they?

Lord of the Rings was used by Lord of the Rings fans as a rallying point for actual fascism and white supremacy, once upon a time, and in the modern day the movie producers can’t even bring themselves to cast non-white hobbits. Or any characters of colour at all. Number of Middle Earth blogs I’ve seen post a disclaimer to explain that it’s okay, they’re not like that, they just like the story, they’re not racists: zero.

No, it’s not that. Or if it is that, it’s deeply hypocritical.






I met my favorite person this weekend.

I have these Native American reenactments in the summer, okay. We dress in authentic Native garb and go teach about our culture and whatnot at historical events. There’s this one on a weekend that housed all reenactors from Ancient Greece to World War II–you can walk through a timeline of living history. It’s cool.

So there are these guys in a tent on the far hill called the Scottish Highlanders. They bring about two to five people to their thing per year. They do all the good medieval Scottish jazz. Kilts, weapons, challenging you to fights.

But theres this one guy that is there every time. I always go visit to hear him give in depth talks about Scottish Reavers and their malitia and weaponry and stuff. He’s fun, so I go talk to him and he’s asking about what school I’m going to, what I want to do, etc.

So I tell him I want to be a history teacher and I like to write. He asks me if I have anything published, and I say no, thinking he means an actual book. But he waves me off and asks, “No, online. Have you ever heard of”

Let me explain a thing. This guy. Is well over six feet. His biceps are bigger than my head, he’s about 45 years old, he has the thickest Scottish accent you’ve ever witnessed, he can wave two axes around like nobody’s business, he usually resolves friendly arguments with full on battle in armor with real weaponry with the scars to prove it, and he kind of has a biker gang.

And this guy starts telling me about the 700 page Doctor Who fanfiction that he’s been writing for six years and still running. 

Shamelessly continues to explain how he gets together with his badass biker buddies and they ride to his house with bottles of Jack Daniels and talk about the next fanfiction that they’re going to write together. (More Doctor Who, Xena Warrior Princess, Agents of Shield, Lord of the Rings…) They dare each other to write crossovers for interesting character interaction. This guy raves with excitement over character development and analysis. 

I cried. 

By the way

Here he is. Mike. In his Scottish glory.

Here he is with his buddy, Bear.

Here he is with his buddy Bear and me.

And here he is holding an ax to my throat.

I LOVE THIS. The perils of a site like Tumblr which is dominated by people under 30 (not on my dash, though, but that’s what demographics insist is true) is they genuinely don’t think anyone older has any interests in common with them. I feel like Livejournal was more varied in this regard, though again, my flist on LJ had all ages on it, so maybe it was just me. The only over 40s they know are the adults in positions of authority like parents and teachers, and surely Mom and Mr. W the Chem teacher have never heard of fan fiction or have the least interest in anything on the interwebs. A kid at work (I work at a university) who I jokingly called a meme lord once told me I needed to stop learning such things from my kid – who is 11 and basically uses the internet to watch Minecraft videos on YouTube, but of course she must be the one teaching me all these modernfangled intertoob things!

I admit though that I have fallen into the stereotype that fandom is all women, because that’s been my experience by far; I think the number of male-identified people I’ve come across in my various fandoms wouldn’t pass the single digits. But that’s probably due to the nature of my reading and the way I curate my dash. Where’s a big ol’ 40 something biker dude who writes Stucky?? Point him out to me and I’ll add him to my dash!

Mike the Doctor Who Scottish badass fills me with hope and love. <3

okay but what’s his username I want to read a 700 page Doctor Who fan fiction

I love this post with every fibre of my being
















how is it possible to love fictional characters this much and also have people always been this way?

like, did queen elizabeth lie in bed late sometimes thinking ‘VERILY I CANNOT EVEN FOR MERCUTIO HATH SLAIN ME WITH FEELS’ 

was caesar like ‘ET TU ODYSSEUS’ 

sometimes i wonder

the answer is yes they did. there’s a lot of research about the highly emotional reactions to the first novels widely available in print. 

here’s a thing; the printing press was invented in 1450 and whilst it was revolutionary it wasn’t very good. but then it got better over time and by the 16th century there were publications, novels, scientific journals, folios, pamphlets and newspapers all over Europe. at first most were educational or theological, or reprints of classical works.

however, novels gained in popularity, as basically what most people wanted was to read for pleasure. they became salacious, extremely dramatic, with tragic heroines and doomed love and flawed heroes (see classical literature, only more extreme.) books in the form of letters were common. sensationalism was par the course and apparently used to teach moral lessons. there was also a lot of erotica floating around. 

but here’s the thing: due to the greater availability of literature and the rise of comfy furniture (i shit you not this is an actual historical fact, the 16th and 17th century was when beds and chairs got comfy) people started reading novels for pleasure, women especially. as these novels were highly emotional, they too became…highly emotional. there are loads of contemporary reports of young women especially fainting, having hysterics, or crying fits lasting for days due to the death of a character or their otp’s doomed love. they became insensible over books and characters, and were very vocal about it. men weren’t immune-there’s a long letter a middle-aged man wrote to the author of his favourite work basically saying that the novel is too sad, he can’t handle all his feels, if they don’t get together he won’t be able to go on, and his heart is already broken at the heroine’s tragic state (IIRC ehh). 

conservatives at the time were seriously worried about the effects of literature on people’s mental health, and thought it damaging to both morals and society. so basically yes it is exactly like what happens on tumblr when we cry over attractive British men, only my historical theory (get me) is that their emotions were even more intense, as they hadn’t had a life of sensationalist media to numb the pain for them beforehand in the same way we do, nor did they have the giant group therapy session that is tumblr. 

(don’t even get me started on the classical/early medieval dudes and their boners for the Iliad i will be here all week. suffice to say, the members of the Byzantine court used Homeric puns instead of talking normally to each other if someone who hand’t studied the classics was in the room. they had dickish fandom in-jokes. boom.) 

I needed to know this.

See, we’re all just the current steps in a time-honored tradition! (And this post is good to read along with Affectingly’s post this week about old-school-fandom-and-history-and-stuff.

Ancient Iliad fandom is intense

Alexander the Great and and his boyfriend totally RPed Achilles and Patroclus. Alexander shipped that hard. (It’s possible that this story is apocryphal, but that would just mean that ancient historians were writing RPS about Alexander and Hephaestion RPing Iliad slash and honestly that’s just as good).

And then there’s this gem from Plato:

“Very different was the reward of the true love of Achilles towards his lover Patroclus – his lover and not his love (the notion that Patroclus was the beloved one is a foolish error into which Aeschylus has fallen, for Achilles was surely the fairer of the two, fairer also than all the other heroes; and, as Homer informs us, he was still beardless, and younger far)” – Symposium

That’s right: 4th Century BCE arguments about who topped. Nihil novi sub sole my friends.

More on this glorious subject from people who know way more than I do

Also a thing with fix-it/everyone lives AUs: at various points in time but especially in the mid 1800s-early 1900s (aka roughly Victorian though there were periods of this earlier as well) a huge thing was to “fix” Shakespeare (as well as most theater/novels) to be in line with current morality. Good characters live, bad characters are terribly punished – but not, you know, grusomely, because what would the ladies think? So you have like, productions of King Lear where Cordelia lives and so do Regan and Goneril, but they’re VERY SORRY.

Aka all your problematic faves are redeemed and Everyone Lives! AUs for every protag.

Slightly tangential but I wanted to add my own favorite account of Chinese fandom to this~ I don’t know how many people here have heard of the Chinese novel A Dream of Red Mansions (红楼梦), but it is, arguably, the most famous Chinese novel ever written (There are four Chinese novel classics and A Dream of Red Mansions is considered the top of that list). It was written during the Qing dynasty by 曹雪芹, but became a banned book due to its critique of societal institutions and pro-democracy themes. As a result, the original ending of the book was lost and only the first 80 chapters remained. There are quite a few versions of how the current ending of the book came to be, but one of them is basically about how He Shen, one of Emperor Qian Long’s most powerful advisers, was such a super-fan of the book, he hired two writers to archive and reform the novel from the few remaining manuscripts there were. In order to convince the Emperor to remove the ban on the book, he had the writers essentially write a fanfiction ending to the book that would mitigate the anti-establishment themes. However, He Shen thought that the first version of the ending was too tragic (even though the whole book is basically a tragedy) so he had the writers go back and write a happier ending for him (the current final 40 chapters). He then presented the book to the Emperor and successfully convinced him to remove the ban on the book.

According to incomplete estimates, A Dream of Red Mansions spawned over 20 spin offs, retellings, and alternate versions (in the form of operas, plays, etc.) during the Qing Dynasty alone. 

In 1979, fans (albeit academic ones) started publishing a bi-monthly journal dedicated to analysis (read: meta) on A Dream of Red Mansions. In fact, the novel’s fandom is so vast and qualified and rooted in academics of Chinese literature that there is an entire field of study (beginning in the Qing dynasty) of just this one novel, called 红学. Think of it as Shakespearean studies, but only on one play. This field of study has schools of thought and specific specializations (as in: Psych analyses, Economics analyses, Historical analyses, etc.) that span pretty much every academic field anyone can think of. 

(That being said, I’ve read A Dream of Red Mansions and can honestly say that I’ve never read its peer in either English or Chinese. If for nothing else, read it because you would never otherwise believe that a man from the Qing dynasty could write such a heart-breakingly feminist novel with such a diverse cast of female characters given all the bitching and moaning we hear from male content-creators nowadays)

the beauty of archival research *sigh*

i went to a building that is a “fan recreation” of one of the buildings from Hongloumeng and my like bitter, angry, never smiled once 78yo male teacher was like squeeing and giggling and kept sitting down and fanning himself and posed dramatically for photos

this guy was like the voldemort of staff, a man of legendary terror-inspiring mien. swooning.

A more recent example of fandom in history is the original Sherlock Holmes fan base! It’s one of the earliest coherent models we have that closely represents the fandoms of modern media. 

Arthur Conan Doyle’s first two Sherlock Holmes novels weren’t hugely popular, but when he began to write stories for The Strand magazine involving Sherlock Holmes, the public basically went absolutely mental. He used to get fan mail – predominantly from women, apparently – addressed directly to Sherlock Holmes, some women even offering to be his housekeeper. 

He eventually got so fed up of writing stories about a character he didn’t really like (he considered Sherlock Holmes to be an irritating distraction from his ambition to write historical fiction, once saying “he takes my mind from better things”) that he took measures to end the series once and for all. First, he raised his fee for writing the stories to an extortionate amount, hoping that the magazine would refuse to pay it and fire him. However, there was such a demand for new Sherlock Holmes stories that the magazine just agreed to pay his ridiculous fee. So, he killed off Sherlock Holmes in 1893 in the Reichenbach Falls, and when he did that, shit hit the fan. People reportedly placed Sherlock Holmes obituaries in newspapers. Many of them cancelled their subscription to The Strand, and wrote angry letters to Arthur Conan Doyle explaining how he’d broken their heart. To fill the gap left by the death of their bb, some people wrote fan fiction and shared it in literary groups and book clubs. 

Conan Doyle caved to pressure in 1901 and wrote Hound of the Baskervilles, partly because the fan fervour never really died down, and partly because cash dollah. You know how fans lobbied for the return of Firefly, and ended up getting Serenity made? The original Sherlock Holmes fans totally got there first.

You forgot the bit where Holmes fans wore honest-to-god *mourning* attire after the death of their fave. Men wore crepe armbands in the streets for Holmes. It was redonk.


Goddamn, we homo sapiens love our stories.