In perhaps the most important panel of the weekend, Lucasfilm presented to us their new docu-series, "Our Star Wars Stories" which turns the camera on the fans and highlights the fandom in a way never seen before. The five-part series (so far) takes an in-depth and personal look at five separate parts of the fandom universe that truly represents what it means to be in love with Star Wars.
Hosted by Lucasfilm's Matt Martin, who produced the series as well, this panel reinforced what really drives the Star Wars machine, the fans. The subjects were all on hand, minus the Perales family who couldn't make it, including series host Jordan Hembrough, collectors Robin Bocra and FJ DeRobertis, Droid builder Christina Cato and 501st Legion founder Albin Johnson. Johnson is the focus of the first episode which is up on the StarWars.com site now.
Each panelist told us a little bit about themselves and their stories all while answering fun questions like what they did to prep for their interviews, which were all done in the span of a very short 11 days. Not surprisingly, the answer common to all was, “lots of cleaning and dusting!”
Things really took an emotional turn when their fellow fans in the crowd were invited to ask questions or share their stories. This is really where the rubber hits the road as you learn quickly or are reminded that Star Wars means so much to so many people and literally brings people together, helps people literally walk, find love or just gain a new friend. The room was full to the brim with positivity and hope you could package it and sell it, something that came a few times from the uber-collectors in attendance.
What's universal to Star Wars can easily be applied to any Fandom and whether you like Star Wars, Manga, Doctor Who or whatever, the passion, creativity and kinship on display at this panel and all weekend never ceases to not overwhelm. To be part of something, to be included, to feel welcome is at the heart and soul of all of us and this panel represented that better than can be remembered.
The only real problem the producers had was narrowing it down to five as it was truly an embarrassment of riches. Martin and Hembrough said they had thousands of submissions from all over the world and hoped the series would continue so they could shine a light on as many stories as possible. Hembrough summed it up nicely when he said, "No story is less important than anyone else's"
Even though the Perales family wasn't there, Martin treated us to an uncut bit from their episode which will air in three weeks. It was a quick preview of what's to come and the emotion in the room was papabile, don't miss it.
Go to StarWars.com for all the details on this series and the premiere episode which is up now. Folks, this is easily the best thing the StarWars.com folks have produced so far and I highly encourage you all to check it out. Wonderful.
Till next time...MTFBWY.
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