Fangirls Around the Web: May 22

I’ve decided to make Fangirls Around the Web a recurring feature on the blog. Although this week’s focus is fangirls in the news at Star Wars Weekends, the updates and links I’ll share in this feature will run the gamut from geek girl news and shout-outs to interesting articles or commentaries on franchises, storytelling, and fandoms.

This Pink Mandalorian on the Geeky Redheads, and their Supporters/Admirers Facebook page is awesome. Who knew a Hello Kitty-Mando mashup had so much potential?

If you’re not already following Consetta Parker on Twitter, you should. In addition to her tireless work as publicist for The Clone Wars voice actors James Arnold Taylor and Cat Taber, she’s a great geek girl role model who turned her fandom into her own business, Parker Publicity.

In memory of the five-year anniversary of her death in Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice, Roqoo Depot is honoring her with Mara Month:

Mara was arguably the most popular SWEU original character, and Roqoo Depot is celebrating her life. For the entire month of May we will be posting special articles, art highlights, and memorable quotes for the most famous redhead in Star Wars, Mara Jade Skywalker. And we’ll be asking you to join us in remembering an unforgettable female hero.

~ from May is for Mara

Finally, fangirls made their presence felt far and wide on opening day of Star Wars Weekends:

  • Although I only posed for a photo with the costumed CadBanesChick (and Consetta), I noticed lots of female cosplayers of all ages in attendance on Friday, especially a ton of Ahsoka Tano mini-cosplayers. Anyone who’s willing to wear full Jedi robes in Florida in late May earns my admiration, that’s for sure.
  • One of the characters who posed for pictures and signed autographs for the young fans was Queen Amidala in full red Naboo regalia. Her line stretched out of the waiting area and around the building!
  • Special shout-outs to the young ladies working at Disney in the Ahsoka and Asajj outfits. There was no costume mask to hide behind, and they toughed through the heat in full makeup with a smile or menacing scowl when appropriate. Most impressive.
  • I rode Star Tours three times, and all three Rebel spies were girls. Awesome!
  • I had the chance to observe several different sessions of the Jedi Training Academy, and the Padawan group was basically 50/50 boys and girls each time. Several different female assistants supported the Masters throughout the day, and a female Jedi Master led quite a few of the sessions. In addition to the requisite appearance by Darth Vader, Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress joined Darth Maul as the celebrity participants. I think it’s so important for all of the younglings – participants and observers, boys and girls – to see women in positions of authority and confidence, and see them fighting with just as much skill as men. Bravo to Disney for sending this message.
  • It wasn’t just a visual message, either. From watching the sessions, it’s clear that the Jedi Training Academy script specifically calls for the Master to announce “another female Jedi” to the audience when at least one girl takes her turn. The hosts of the Padawan Mind Challenge on the Sorcerer’s Hat main stage gave a similar call-out, specifically welcoming the “fanboys and fangirls” joining or watching the game. Ultimately my takeaway, which was reinforced by the impression made a few weeks ago with the new Jedi Training Academy shirt with pink lightsabers, is that Star Wars and Disney are franchises that want to appeal to everyone.

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