On February 27, 2013, I woke up with the desire to write about Star Wars. Several significant events had happened prior to this date, including Disney buying Lucasfilm, J.J. Abrams becoming the director of Star Wars: Episode VII, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars celebrating its 100th episode. I wanted to create my own space and express my love for Star Wars through writing, and here I am one year later with many precious memories. I’ve met and made many friends from across the fan community–some have even changed my life in great and unexpected ways. I’ve donned the detective cap and made a few discoveries here and there. I’ve joined a podcast and guested on others, all the while knowing that I have trouble expressing myself verbally but still welcoming the challenge.
To celebrate the first anniversary, here are the top ten moments that made this past year an exciting one for The Wookiee Gunner:
After creating the site, one of my goals was to highlight the talent and artistic accomplishments of Star Wars fan artists. I’ve interviewed nearly a dozen great artists and each one brings something different to the table. I admire the work and passion these individuals possess and it has been my pleasure to provide them a space to talk about their art and methods. If you have a favorite Star Wars fan artist (or if you happen to be a fan artist yourself), go to SW Fan Artist Spotlight and submit an application today!
Although I had seen the post before, a Tumblr friend pointed out that the date for “Seen a ghost?” on the official Star Wars Blog was a few decades old. With the power of Google at my hands, I did a simple search and found that January 5, 1976, was when concept artist Ralph McQuarrie completed “The Droids in the Desert” in order to visually sell George Lucas’s story to Twentieth Century Fox. I wrote about it, tweeted it out and made Matt Martin’s day. Martin is the digital content and communication relations manager at Lucasfilm, so I’m glad his hidden treat didn’t go unnoticed!
When I created this blog, I didn’t do it with the intention of climbing the social media ladder and attracting thousands of views. I created The Wookiee Gunner because I wanted to stay up-to-date with the latest news and share my thoughts along the way. That said, I am grateful for the surprising amount of attention I’ve received over the past year. One of the first things that put my blog on the map was figuring out that the original Star Wars Rebels Facebook cover was the exterior of The Ghost. Something in my mind just went click and went straight to the blog to write it down!
With the exception of a few toy lightsabers during my childhood, I never really owned the action figures, attended the Celebrations, or participated in any other capacity. Star Wars has always been part of my life, but I became more involved in the community when Star Wars: The Clone Wars premiered back in 2008. Since then, I’ve picked up a few items to decorate my shelves, but none cooler than my three tiny LEGO X-Wings that I assembled during the unveiling of the life-sized LEGO X-Wing at Times Square. Sitting in the cockpit of this giant masterpiece is one of my fondest memories, but what I loved most about the event were the stations set up to build your own miniature X-Wing. There were more adults than kids at those assembling stations, and nothing warms my heart more than seeing grownups regress back to a time when life was simpler and the imagination was richer.
On November 4, 2013, I was named Fangirl of the Day as part of the Year of the Fangirl initiative! Ashley Eckstein and her talented team of fangirls at Her Universe have done an exceptional job providing a safe space for fangirls to express their love for fandoms. If you’re a fangirl or if you have a fangirl in the family that deserves the spotlight for a day, submit an application today!
Star Wars Reads Day 2013 was an exciting day for me because I held my first interview (ever) with Star Wars author Jason Fry. I practiced my interview questions with my cat. I went to three different Radio Shacks to purchase a new digital recorder. I wrote down a script because I didn’t want to deviate or sound unprofessional. Needless to say, I was beyond nervous, but in the end, I followed through and accomplished my goal.
As mentioned previously, verbal communication isn’t really my strong suit. Even after several months of podcasting, I still get nervous before an episode and admonish myself pretty harshly afterward whenever I say something unintelligent. I’ve gradually learned to accept my mistakes, though, while also trying to keep them to a minimum. All that said, I still enjoy doing what I do with Jason Ward of Making Star Wars, Randy Lo Gudice of 1985FM, and Jeremy Conrad of Furious Fanboys on a weekly basis. I feel deeply honored to be associated with these gentlemen. Working with them has been a delight, and I hope to continue that for however long they’ll have me.
Devised by Jason, Randy, Jeremy, and Mark Newbold of Jedi News UK, The Kessel Run was an 8-hour podcast that kicked off 2014 on a high note. I participated in the opportunity to meet great fans and members of the Star Wars community, while also supporting the awesomeness that is Rancho Obi-Wan. I wonder if most of them thought, “Who the heck is the new girl?”
Me? I’m just a simple woman, trying to make my way in the universe.
Fangirl flail! From the Star Wars Rebels panel to taking down a stormtrooper in the name of charity, New York Comic Con 2013 was full of many awesome Star Wars moments. At one point, I stumbled upon Tricia Barr on my way to donate to the 501st Legion. I was in fangirl heaven! I remember standing a few feet away debating with myself about whether I should approach her or not. I finally gathered up the courage and did. From there, Tricia was so kind and introduced me to Ashley Eckstein. The entire time I kept thinking, “I’m standing and talking with two significant fangirls from the Star Wars community. How did this happen?!” I also had the pleasure of meeting fellow fangirl Megan Crouse (@blogfullofwords) for the first time. NYCC 2013 was an experience I won’t soon forget.
Friendships. I’ve made many over the past year and each one is special to me. However, there is one that stands out from the rest. My bond with Elisa Ardell is something I truly cherish. She’s my twin from Canada, a highly talented artist, and someone who I deeply admire. We met on Tumblr months prior to launching the blog, and since then, we’ve fueled each other’s love for Star Wars by fangirling on a regular basis and supporting each other’s projects. I’ve never met anyone so kind and open minded as her. She is quite simply the Han Solo to my Chewbacca and that makes her very special. *HUGS*
Elisa is currently working on Star Wars Destinies, an online fan comic based on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Another individual who has given me much support is Jason Ward. He found me on Tumblr one day, offered me a contributor position on Making Star Wars, and eventually brought me onto “Now, This Is Podcasting!” It all happened so quickly, but I’m so grateful that he approached me and expressed interest in wanting to work with me. I admire his unwavering passion for that galaxy far, far away and appreciate his insight on any topic. Jason and the team at Making Star Wars have done a marvelous job bringing a different perspective to the Star Wars community, and I’m glad to be part of that. Thank you for putting faith in me and giving me an opportunity to contribute under the Making Star Wars name.
There we have it! Looking forward to this second year and powering The Wookiee Gunner into the exciting territory. If you’ve been a fan of TWG from the first day or just caught on a few days ago, thank you so much for reading and responding with positive comments. May the Force be with you all!