GeekGirlCon: Introducing the Star Wars Panelists

One week from today – on Saturday, August 11, at 12:30 p.m. Pacific – is the Star Wars panel I’m hosting at GeekGirlCon. Which means now’s a good time to introduce the panelists. Rather than just give some generic bios, though, I wanted to do something more interesting and fun. So I asked each of them a few questions to help explain why I invited them to be on the panel, and give a sense of the perspective they’ll bring to our discussion.

Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano on The Clone Wars and founder of Her Universe

Favorite character(s) in Star Wars: R2-D2 is my favorite, but I also have a soft spot for Chewbacca!

Lightsaber color (if you could choose): Gotta go with Green :o) However, even though I would NEVER go to the dark side, I really want a black lightsaber just like Pre Vizsla.

Favorite scifi or fantasy book: The Hunger Games Trilogy.

Bending skill most desired (Air, Water, Fire, Earth): Chocolate Bending! YUM! Haven’t you heard of this new bending skill? It’s all the rage these days! This way I could bend a fresh baked batch of brownies whenever I want them!

Lucky item: The Number 22. It’s not really an item but this number is definitely my lucky number.

My DVR is set to record: Doctor Who, The Clone Wars, Warehouse 13, and Big Brother (yes, I admit it).

Linda Hansen-Raj, reviewer and interviewer for FANgirl

In addition to being a contributing writer at, as well as a published mixed media artist, Linda is physician specialized in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. She currently runs a pediatric Neuro-Rehabilitation practice in Northern California, which she finds both challenging and rewarding.

“Perhaps if Anakin had a good Rehab doc,” she muses,” things may have turned out very differently in a galaxy far far away.”

Her hobbies include playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, riding horses, bruising her shins with her Bo Staff in karate, writing fanfic, and hanging out with her husband and  their Padawan.

Little known Star Wars facts about Linda:

  • Her malamute/shepherd in medical school was named Indi, after George Lucas’ malamute, Indy.
  • Favorite TOR moment: Dancing on top of a sandcrawler on Tatooine with Jedi Rugo Darmic, with Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” playing in the background.
  • Most coveted Jedi Power: Force Persuade.
  • Most coveted Sith Power: Force Choke.
  • Reason for learning Bo Staff: It’s all about the double lightsaber!

Joao Stinson, husband of the late Racheal Ambrose

I’ve written more fanfiction than I care to admit. Most of it is based about Anakin and Padmé, but I also have an affinity for original characters in the Star Wars Universe.  I only watched the movies for the first time in 1997 when they were released in theaters. I watched ESB and ROTJ on VHS after I saw A New Hope in the theater.  I screamed aloud when Luke’s hand was cut off, I couldn’t believe it. By the time ROTS was released, I watched it seven times in theater. I’ve played The Force Unleashed, many co-op hours of Lego Star Wars, and many others, and currently play The Old Republic and followed the game as closely as anyone for several, several years.

Favorite Star Wars character(s): Darth Vader and R2-D2.

Lightsaber color: Green.

Favorite Expanded Universe book: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno (the ROTS sequel).

Last Star Wars collectible purchased: R2-D2 Pez dispenser to add to Racheal’s collection.

Rebel or Imperial: Imperial.

Joanne Perrault, a Washington resident with a knack for photography who brought her mini Jedi to the first GeekGirlCon last year

Favorite Star Wars character: Luke Skywalker.

Favorite World of Warcraft character: In WoW I play a restoration druid who has the Savior of Azeroth title.

Lightsaber color: Blue.

Bending skill most desired (Air, Water, Fire, Earth): Water.

Hunger Games arena weapon of choice: Sling. (Think David and Goliath).

Imperial or Rebel: Rebel all the way. *cough*Sitharewussies*cough*

I’ll also have another longtime Star Wars fandom friend in attendance helping out with the panel, and I didn’t want to leave her out.

Mary Sheridan, who will be Tweeting and taking notes

My boundless imagination hit full-throttle when that Star Destroyer ranged “overhead” in Star Wars: A New Hope to a chorus of audience cheers. Coming from a vagabond family who simply thought of me as “weird”, I realized that in that darkened theater I had “found my people.” Now retired from a career in Trauma Nursing and living on a tranquil rural property in southern Ontario, Canada, I regularly exceed my monthly internet usage plan indulging in my eclectic geek girl passions: SciFi, SpecFic, and Fantasy books and movies; a brilliant community of like-minded friends at FANgirl’s Cantina; and perhaps one day, genre costuming. In my spare time, I am an artist, writer, equestrian, and mistress of my own “holocron”: a huge file of ideas for geek projects that grows daily. Most of these will be neglected unless someone creates a working time machine or finds the fountain of youth.

OT or PT: OT

Lightsaber color: Blindingly gold.

Bending skill desired (Air, Fire, Water, Earth): Fire.

Favorite Star Wars character: Jaina Solo Fel.

Hunger Games arena survival skill: It’s a toss-up between camouflage or rapier wit.

Favorite scifi or fantasy favorite reads (comics or books): Star Wars X-Wing books plus Dark Horse X-Wing and Legacy comics; The Hunger Games Trilogy; and an oldie in the fantasy section, The Mists of Avalon.

I’m really looking forward to our discussion in a week. If you can’t make it to the convention, the panel will be Live-Tweeted by @GeekGirlCon. And of course I’ll have a full report here, too.

Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She also writes about Star Wars for Random House’s science fiction and fantasy blog Her interview with X-Wing: Mercy Kill author Aaron Allston can be found in this month’s Star Wars Insider Issue 135.

In her spare time, Tricia puts the finishing touches on her first novel, Wynde. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to

For updates on all things FANgirl follow @FANgirlcantina on Twitter or like FANgirl Zone on Facebook.



Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to

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