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Jun 27, 2018

Star Wars Fan Projects I Love

One of my favorite things about the Star Wars fan community is the unfailing love to create projects that were inspired by everything the Star Wars universe has given us. Podcasts, blogs, fan art, fan films, cosplay, and so many more projects are shared amongst the fan community to celebrate Star Wars. While I spend most of my time on The Dorky Diva promoting my own projects, I wanted to share some of the fan projects that inspire me.


Podcasts


It's no secret that I love podcasts. While I host a show of my own these days, one of my earliest introductions into the Star Wars fan community was through podcasting. I found a few shows that I really enjoyed, ended up co-hosting a couple shows for a few years, and then finally branched out and started my own.

Skytalkers Podcast
 is by far my favorite podcast I've ever listened to, regardless of the topic. The hosts Charlotte and Caitlin had me on their show over a year ago to chat about how I started The Dorky Diva and what Star Wars means to me. During our chat, I had such a genuinely fun time that I went back and listened to their previous episodes, as well as continued listening up to today. It's so rare to find an all-female hosted show that really intrigues me, but Charlotte and Caitlin have such interesting discussions that sometimes I listen to their episodes two or three times just to catch all of the details. Their three-part format is really great and helps them stay on track while discussing their topic of choice. They are huge Kylo Ren fans, which couldn't be more opposite from me yet I somehow absolutely love their show even when I disagree with their thoughts. Skytalkers always ends on such a light-hearted note that you can't help but feel full of hope and happiness when the show ends. Definitely subscribe to them on iTunes if you haven't already!



The Interesting Podcast is hosted by my good friend and fellow co-host, Brian Ballance. His show isn't marketed as a Star Wars centric podcast, but he interviews many Star Wars cast members and contributors which makes it fun for Star Wars fans to hear. This podcast is actually the reason why Brian and I became friends. He interviewed me a few years back and I found his insight on Star Wars to be so intriguing that I later asked him to co-host The Dorky Diva Show. He's talked to ILM artists, creature performers, authors, and fan creators on The Interesting Podcast. My favorite show so far is the episode with Hal Hickel, ILM Animation Director and creator of K2-SO. Hal's story really hit a special place in my heart as he talked about his journey at ILM and how he got his dream job. You can't go wrong listening to any of the episodes Brian has done. They're all amazing!



Fan Films


When I was about nine years old, my mom told my brother to stop wasting our summer by watching TV and make a movie with our video recorder instead. Of course, we chose to recreate Star Wars in our own way- complete with a tin foil Death Star and trash can lids as X-wing pilot helmets. True story! While we had fun with our little fan film, there are tons of Star Wars fans out there making their own films...with real production budgets!  

Looking for Leia is a six episode docu-series that explores the Star Wars phenomenon from the perspective of fangirls. I've talked about this project previously on the blog, but I wanted to share it again in case you haven't read about it yet. This docu-series is being created by Dr. Annalise Ophelian and her team of female producers. I was lucky enough to be interviewed for the docu-series last month and I couldn't have been more excited to voice my stories as a fangirl of Star Wars. There's no set release day yet for the docu-series, but I would highly recommend watching the preview reel and teaser trailer that are on the Looking for Leia website. I'm super eager to watch the series when it's all done! It's sure to be a stunning labor of love that celebrates women in fandom...finally. 




Odyssey is a Star Wars fan film created by Mark Vogt and other young film makers from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I remember meeting Mark when I was probably twelve years old at Disney's Star Wars Weekends. He was probably about the same age or younger and while I don't know him well, it's neat to see how a Star Wars fan just like me has grown up to start making his own Star Wars inspired films. I was so impressed by the quality of the production when I saw behind the scenes photos from their first filmed sequences. The story includes lots of elements from Rogue One including the Shoretroopers and follows a young rebel named Quinn on his first mission with Odyssey Squadron. You can watch the trailer for the film on the Odyssey website. I look forward to seeing the complete film! 




Artists


I can't draw stick figures. I can't even draw a decent smiley face. But thanks to my lack of drawing skills, I've gotten to know a lot of wonderful artists who take commissions and make my ideas a reality on paper!

Melissa Thomas is an illustrator and graphic designer who creates the most amazing stylized Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney artwork. Melissa is just a wonderful beam of light in the Star Wars fan community, but also one of the greatest artists I've had the pleasure of working with! Whenever I need some sort of artwork for my blog or podcast, the first person I contact is Melissa. She's so professional yet easy-going and has the best ideas. She recently launched a series of prequel-inspired stickers in her Society6 store. The first series features characters from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace including Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé. If you ever have a crazy idea of character mashups or just a moment in the Star Wars story that you want commemorated in artwork, Melissa is definitely the best artist to check out. 


Cosplay


As a former member of the 501st Legion, I have an obsession with really high quality Star Wars costumes. Creating an outfit or set of armor that looks like it walked off a movie set (or animation cell) is much harder than one would think!

CallMeSnips AKA McKenna Fellows is an Ahsoka Tano cosplayer that I saw at Ahsoka Lives Day back at Celebration Orlando in 2017. She was wearing the most incredible Mortis Ahsoka costume- the first one I had ever seen! Later that year, McKenna moved out to California very close to where I was living at the time and we became close friends. After seeing how much time and passion she puts into her Ahsoka cosplays, I can say she is truly talented! Ahsoka's headpiece is probably one of the most difficult cosplay pieces that you can make, but McKenna nails it every time. She has almost all of Ahsoka's costumes including her classic season three look from The Clone Wars, the Fulcrum look from Star Wars Rebels, her epilogue outfit from Star Wars Rebels, and more variations including her slave outfit, snow coat, and Mortis transformation in The Clone Wars. It's exhausting keeping up with this girl because she's always doing amazing things. Her love for Ahsoka knows no bounds! 


Other


365 Days of Star Wars Women is a project started by Amy Richau that celebrates the women of Star Wars including characters, actresses, and crew members from the entire franchise. Every day, Amy highlights a woman and shares her story, whether it be her fictional story in the Star Wars galaxy or the real work they do in the Star Wars franchise. It's easy for me to think of key female Star Wars characters and crew members, but she's featured so many that I've never even heard of before. 



Black Series Rebels is a weekly Star Wars talk show hosted by Alex Backes and Stephen Ellis. Each week they discuss the latest Star Wars news and merchandise releases as well as chat with a special guest. These guys are absolutely hilarious and totally embrace their fandom in a way I've never seen before. The best part about their show is that it's fully funded by the fans through their sales of limited edition enamel pins. They've created a huge assortment of Actions Pins that feature the likeness of our favorite Star Wars characters. I was on their show last fall and had such a blast talking to them and seeing their set. They're also really supportive of other creative fans in the community, which is so rare. I can't thank them enough for all of their support to The Dorky Diva. 


I hope you guys check out all of these awesome creators that make me proud to be a Star Wars fan! As there are literally hundreds (probably even thousands) of fan projects out there, I'm sure I'm not aware of all of them so please leave your favorite Star Wars fan projects in the comments below! 

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