Star Wars is Joy

Star Wars is Joy

When I was planning this article a few weeks ago, the title ‘Star Wars is Joy’ had a very different origin behind it.

As I write this, my country is preparing to move to our highest Covid-19 alert level at midnight tonight – a complete nationwide lock down that will last at least four weeks. I had started the day with optimism, and a plan for what I wanted to accomplish, and now I find myself close to tears at times, full of uncertainty for what the future may bring. I decided it was a good time to work on this article, as a way to focus on something positive.

My country was one of the first regions to get the release of The Rise Of Skywalker. I went into the theatre not knowing anything beyond the trailers, I had actively stayed away from spoilers. To say I was blown away was a massive understatement.

I love The Rise Of Skywalker, plain and simple. But as I went to share my joy online, I paused, and noticed a post from someone I followed – they hated it. Someone who I thought loved Star Wars and all of Star Wars, had declared they hated the film. I didn’t read any further, I couldn’t bear it. I didn’t want to let someone I had never met taint my enjoyment of Star Wars. I deleted my post, worried that if I shared my joy, I risked opening myself up for negative comments and hate for having an opposing opinion – of course that’s sadly a normality in today’s society, but I just couldn’t bear it.

A few months ago, I excitedly shared a picture of my husband as a background extra on a local television show (background/stunt work is a hobby of his). Moments later, a Star Wars fan berated me, declaring “What’s the big deal… Stop going on like it’s some f..king great thing.” Literally – that’s a direct quote.

We all know to ‘ignore the haters and trolls’ these days, but even celebrities will tell you how much the negative comments hurt. I don’t share personal posts very often on social media these days, and I thought being proud of my husband was something that would be safe from criticism, but sadly I was wrong. This small individual instance left a long lasting impression.

Social media has given everyone a platform, a voice for their opinions. In a realm where more clicks and views earns you money, we see more articles with click-bait headlines like ‘Rise Of Skywalker Box Office Fail‘ instead of headlines like ‘Fans Love New Star Wars Film‘. The toxicity rises to the top in the quest for more clicks and views. It’s become popular or ‘intellectual’ to publicly critique everything you hate, in great detail, rather than just walking away. I don’t follow sports, but I’m not going to mock or direct hatred to those passionate fans who paint their face team colours and cheer from the stadium seats. Cheer away, whether your team wins or loses.

After Episode IX came out, I decided it was time for a break from blogging – I was suffering from burn out, and ignoring health issues – and honestly, I wanted time away from the fandom. I loved the new film, and didn’t want anything to take that away from me. I disappeared from social media completely, only checking individual accounts when my daughter alerted me to something she knew I’d love to see.

Everyone is entitled to use social media as much or as little as they want to, no explanation or justification required – but it’s sad when even the imagined reaction to a post makes us hesitate from sharing what we love online. I realized that by taking a break from a hobby I love, I was letting the negativity of others affect me. We can all like different things, and that’s okay.

I spent my holiday break with my family, taking the time to reaffirm my love for Star Wars. I do love blogging about Star Wars fashion, I do love the movies, the toys, the fashion, the characters, the stories, and yes, even the fandom. It’s where I met my closest friends, and my husband, and it’s where I want to stay.

I was lying awake one night, trying to put my feelings into words – and one phrase just kept sticking in my head – Star Wars is Joy. A succinct phrase that summed up how I felt. I couldn’t shake it, so I decided to do something about it. If I truly believe that ‘what we wear is part of who we are’, then I was going to do something about that – I put it on a t-shirt.

Star Wars is Joy. It makes me feel so happy on a daily basis – playing Star Wars video games with my family, curling up on a couch reading a Star Wars book, rearranging my Star Wars collectible displays to add a new piece, and looking through my wardrobe of Star Wars fashion, trying to decide which character t-shirt I want to wear today. Star Wars gives me hope, cheers me up, motivates me, and brings me so much joy.

And at midnight tonight my country goes on lock down, as so many regions and countries around the world are doing as well. It can be hard to deal with the anxiety of this global crisis, but for my family, the phrase ‘Star Wars is Joy’ is giving us hope. We are keeping each other positive by enjoying our Star Wars hobbies at home together – video games, books, movies, board games, crafts, and wearing our favourite Star Wars clothing while we spend this time at home. My ‘Star Wars is Joy’ t-shirt now has a different meaning for me.

I hope everyone can find joy in their treasured fandoms, especially in this difficult time. Stay Safe, and May The Force Be With You.

This isn’t supposed to be an advertising article, but in case you feel like Star Wars is Joy too, you can get my t-shirt here –

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If you are reading this, thank you for taking the time to visit my little patch of the internet. I hope you find joy in Star Wars too, or any fandom you love, and never let anyone else take that joy away from you.