There is a way to healthfully exist in the Star Wars fandom, and for me, this is no longer it.

The Star Wars fandom was broken. At least, that’s the way I saw it then. It was dysfunctional. Harmful. Dangerous for some of us, sometimes. And it didn’t have to be that way.

That’s what I kept telling myself, over and over. That was the mantra that kept driving me forward.

The fandom is broken, and you can do something about it.

I thought I was going to change the world. Or, at the very least, the very small corner of it in which I spent so much of my energy and time.

And that’s where the beginning of my…

Words are powerful tools. But words without action attached get erased.

Joshua Cairós

I was floating.

No, literally. I was on top of a raft in the middle of my parents’ pool, slowly spinning, even more slowly traveling in a single direction, though I couldn’t have told you which way.

It was hot. I should have felt the sun on my face, should have felt the unsteady water beneath me.

And it was quiet. I should have heard the wind touching the trees in the distance, should have recognized my own heartbeat in my ears as I tilted back my head.

But I felt nothing. Heard nothing.

I lay on a raft on…

We block to protect ourselves and our allies. But does this ignore one of fandom’s most troubling realities?

Photo by from Pexels

“Report. Block. Go private. Stay safe.”

Concerning the unwritten rules for surviving online harassment as a Star Wars fan — whether you’re the one being targeted or not — these are the most well-known. And possibly the most important.

It’s one thing to have someone spam your Twitter mentions telling you all the reasons they didn’t like The Rise of Skywalker. There is no harm in disagreeing, or in expressing an opinion that differs from the person you’re replying to.

It’s another…

The evidence that underrepresented voices in fandom receive disproportionate levels of online harassment continues to grow.

Courtesy of Krystina Arielle @krystinaarielle

To many, Krystina Arielle is not a familiar name (yet). This will soon change, thanks to the launch of the Star Wars: The High Republic Show on YouTube later this month.

Lucasfilm announced the project during the official launch of The High Republic publishing initiative, which featured Arielle introducing herself and the show to the fandom.

The show will give Star Wars fans a behind-the-scenes look at what went into making this initiative come together. It’s a spotlight on the creators behind the magic — which makes Arielle the perfect host, being a creator herself.

The actress is also…

Women in the workplace often have to work harder to win creative opportunities. It happens in fandom spaces, too.

In which I spend 800–1500 words complaining about how much I hate men and wish they’d all get out of my Star Wars.

I’m kidding, of course. Fs in the chat to those who don’t read past the first line. I look forward to your embarrassing (for you) Twitter DMs.

The truth? Star Wars wouldn’t exist without men. Or women. Just because a woman pushes back against an infuriating long-standing gender disparity doesn’t mean she hates those who share a gender with many who happen to be responsible for it.

To say that women have to fight harder to win…

It’s a carefully crafted process created to revolutionize the experience.

Your thumb hovers just far enough above the screen of your phone to extend the silence screaming in your headphones.

One light tap on the play button and you will be transported to another time and place, another universe, perhaps, where the only narrative that matters is the one Taylor Swift sings to you. Just you. Just for one hour, nothing more.

And yet you hesitate. Contemplate. Second-guess this simple action, the easiest thing you’ll do all day.

Perhaps you’ve been here before, stretching out the moment before you hear…

If we’re going to call ourselves allies, we need to act as allies.

Alisdare Hickson

Like many of you, I spent Tuesday listening to and retweeting black voices, and those supporting black voices. Sharing their work. Buying their books. Realizing, with every passing moment, how much I still didn’t know. How many times I’d already failed as an ally.

The only way for all of us to do better is if I start doing better. Change starts with the individual. Right?

This may not be my fight. But how can there be a fight if the voices of the fighters aren’t being heard?

Other than a quick and kind reminder to my audience to please…

Fiction is a mirror of the real world. Too many people treat it as an alternate reality.

“Interesting article. I find your points interesting because they have no back up to them. You call yourself a Star Wars fan, so I only have one question for you …”

This email goes on for another 768 words and concludes with the phrase “you should admit you’re not a real Star Wars fan.”

Kevin (not his real name) sent this essay to my personal email address — available to the public (by choice), but not without some searching — in response to an article I wrote responding to Frank Oz’s commentary about fulfilling fan expectations in filmmaking.

I won’t…

Years of staying busy have made self-care a foreign concept.

Photo by Natalie from Pexels

I’d avoided reaching out for help for as long as I could. But I was desperate, and there was only one person in the world I trusted to dish out the hard truths I couldn’t seem to force upon myself.

“You know that thing called ‘relax’?” I texted my best friend early Sunday evening, avoiding the use of full sentences in an attempt to hide my panic. “How I do that? What wear? What do? Please advise.”

There may or may not have been an upside-down smiley emoji to finish off the plea.

At that point I’d been working almost…

Want to read more in 2020? Here are a few ways you can make it happen.

Image courtesy of @notabookhoarder with permission from the photographer (me)

Let me be clear about something before we begin: I’m never going to recommend that anyone needs to read as much as I do.

I just have this “thing” about clearing my unread bookshelves (39 left to go … I think). And also this thing about rewarding each new month with more books, because BOOKS.

However, I do think that people who say they want to read more in general are more capable of doing this than they think. I read 15 books in January not because I “had” to…

Meg Dowell

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Project Stardust, a fem-led website and community that celebrates underrepresented voices in the Star Wars universe and fandom.

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