The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams awakened some Star Wars fandom ire recently when he claimed to Entertainment Weekly that " Star Wars was always a boys' thing." That's breaking news to me and to the 41 female Star Wars fanatics Bustle surveyed about their strict devotion to the science fiction/fantasy franchise. Star Wars has the universal allure of an epic, the romance of a fairy tale, and all the imagination-capturing possibilities of an entire galaxy. Not to mention witty droids, cool spaceships, and some dope lightsaber battles. There is not a single aspect of Star Wars that appeals exclusively to male fans. And though it’s admirable for Abrams to hope that the sequel series will strike a chord with women audiences, female Star Wars fans aren't exactly a new thing.
Take me, for example. I didn’t get the memo in high school of how to hold back, blend in, and be cool. Instead, I proudly wore the unisex XL (only size they had) Han Solo frozen in carbonite t-shirt I’d purchased at the mall with my birthday money to class, pulling out whatever Star Wars sequel novel I was reading at the time if I got to my seat before the bell rang. That t-shirt may not have gotten me asked to any dances, but it was worth it to show my love for that roguish space smuggler to the world. Even if I could, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Bustle asked the women who love Star Wars to share the nerdiest thing they’ve ever done to prove their allegiance. I hope these 41 stories inspire you to raise your Star Wars freak flag high, and to prove those who insist the series is only for men completely wrong.
Honestly the nerdiest thing I've ever done was get into an argument with a boy in my class about the importance of women in the Star Wars universe. He made a comment before class started about how Princess Leia was kind of worthless. I then took the entire one hour and fifteen minute class period to explain how the events of Star Wars would basically had never happened if it weren't for her. My teacher let me take over the class and debate this. And they thought I was just a quiet, normal sorority girl…
Mark Hamill was my first real celebrity crush growing up. I printed about 50 different pictures of him off my parents' computer, cut them out, and kept them in a box next to my bed. Also, I read Luke/Mara Jade fanfiction. A lot of it.
I flew to LA from London to attend the Empire Strikes Back 30th anniversary screening at the Arclight in 2010. I was in the country for 36 hours.
I remember asking my parents if my two girlfriends and I could go see the Revenge of the Sith. We ended up not coming to the first two classes of the day because we slept in a bit and most my classmates were either weirded out that we went to the opening or were super jealous. Best time ever.
Dressed as Princess Leia and put that photo in my high school yearbook my senior year.
I teach 10th grade English and I regularly call my students my "young padawans."
We dressed up as different Star Wars characters, as a team, for an Autism Awareness Walk.
When I was a kid, I thought Anakin's poncho in Attack of the Clones was pretty dope, so I made one out of an old cotton bed sheet to play Star Wars in.
I was about eight years old. Already, my three siblings and I were hooked on Star Wars. To be honest, convincing my three-year-old brother that he was Yoda was pretty easy, as I'm sure other people with small siblings are aware... my family took a road trip to Arizona from Southern California. We stopped at a dude ranch, as one does, and took a tour of their recreated Old Western Town. At one point, a cowboy struck up a conversation with me and my siblings. The conversation began at pleasantries and then escalated pretty quickly: Cowboy: "So what do you want to be when you grow up?" Me: "I want to be an astronaut!"Sister: "I'm going to be a hotel manager!"Brother #1: "I'm going to be a r---"Brother #2: "I'M YODA."And so history was made. Thankfully he is now at UCLA studying economics.
I named my dog Darth Vader and dressed him as Yoda for Halloween. I also re-did my 3-year-old's room to a Star Wars theme.
I have watched and cried through the original three movies more times than I care to count. I use them in the same way many women use rom-coms for PMS therapy.
I showed up to Target and Walmart before the stores opened on the day they released all of the Force Friday items and was the first in line.
I tried on an Ewok hoodie hat made for a 5-year-old at Disneyland while I was still in my Belle costume from running in the Tinker Bell half marathon. My friends wouldn't let me buy it. I also used to challenged my guy friends to homemade Star Wars trivia over the phone after the age of 16.
In middle school, there were two boys I wanted to date. But I knew I had to be reasonable and pick one so I forced the two of them to do Star Wars trivia. I decided I would pick the one who fared best. It all began to fall apart when neither of them knew the answer to what planet the Ewoks lived on though so I fed the answer (Endor) to the redhead and ended up picking him. Looking back on it now, I should not have compromised. Boys should know where the Ewoks come from. That's like basic Star Wars knowledge.
I cried when I watched the last movie released. I went and saw the midnight showing when it came out. I cried when Anakin "dies" at the end. Plus, when Padme dies after giving birth to the twins. It was hard to see Anakin turning evil. You could see the pain in his heart protruding into the light.
I had to do a strip tease once to the "Imperial Death March"...
I waited in line for hours to see the midnight showing of Revenge of the Sith. Obviously, I've been Princess Leia multiple times for Halloween!
Kicked the ass of a boasting male Star Wars fan at Star Wars Trivial Pursuit at a party in front of a ton of people.
I drunk-purchased an entire set of Star Wars ice cube trays online. When they arrived, my fiancé opened the package and said, "I love you." My response: "I know."
I purchased tickets the second they were released for Episode VII on Dec. 17. Currently debating the order to binge-watch all the episodes in: original order, numerical order...so many choices, so little time.
I named my son Lucas after George Lucas.
I once watched all six films in one sitting, chronological order. I don't have photos of that day, but I distinctly remember falling down when I tried to stand up after finishing Episode VI. My legs just couldn't function.
When I was 12, I stood in line for hours to see The Phantom Menace when it first came out.
I was a Star Wars fan as a very, very small child. I used to play Star Wars in my backyard with my best friend (a little boy of the same age). He DEMANDED to play both Luke AND Leia (which I thought was bulls**t then but now I'm like "what an interesting psychological moment"), so I invented Lily, Leia's twin sister (who had butterfly wings).
Very, very recently I read the novelization of Revenge Of The Sith while on a kick of reading every Star Wars book I could get my grubby little hands on that included any semblance of Anakin/Obi-Wan emotional angst/their deep, unbelievable codependence/the two of them being best friends in a way that also is like, deeply painful. Anyway, so I was reading Revenge Of The Sith and was taking a bath because that's relaxing. And while reading in the tub, I got very emotional over what was happening in the book and legit cried. I was in the bath and I cried. Over Revenge of the Sith. This is no exaggeration. I am too emotionally invested in that story. I am a monster.
I was completely obsessed with Obi-Wan when Star Wars Episode I came out. (Um....Ewan McGregor anyone?) I basically started writing fan fiction (I was going into ninth grade) because I wanted to create a young female Jedi character who would go on missions with her master and Obi-Wan and Anakin. And, yes, I hoped that somehow I'd get discovered and be asked to play that character in Episode II. Obviously they would chuck out their old script when they read my fan fiction. I also had a clip in padawan braid, which I didn't need because I had long hair, so I took to braiding my own padawan braid. Pure unbridled fandom. I still get a little swoony at Ewan in that role, even with the dumb padawan hair.
Well, this Halloween my little family and I dressed up as Star Wars characters. We decided to do the Star Wars onesies because 1) Star Wars is awesome, 2) We want to teach our son important life lessons, like "Star Wars is everything," and 3) it was easy and we're nothing if not exhausted 99.344% of the time. We chose Darth for the kid because, like Darth Vader, he is both a good soul and an evil little ball of terror. It seems to fit him perfectly. For ours, it was whichever ones we could find that would fit. I only had one choice because I'm a girl and apparently all we're allowed to be is the Princess. My partner, Jed, is 6'4'', so finding one that would fit him was also a challenge. Thankfully, the Storm Trooper delivered.
Made my husband a Han Solo trapped in carbonite costume for Halloween. We're also keeping our kid home from school to see The Force Awakens, which is probably wrong but I don't care.
I do cosplay for Force Girls, which is a pretty empowering group of ladies who all love Star Wars. Plus, I have a whole tattoo sleeve in dedication.
When I was in...let's say middle school, but to be honest it was probably high school...I made up characters that I integrated into the Star Wars universe and wrote up "files" for them on 3x5 cards — the iPhone notes of the early 2000s. Then I think I just sort of daydreamed about their Star Wars lives? Never got around to writing actual fanfiction. I'm an only child, can you tell? I remember one was a Jedi, who I also assigned theme music to, and one was like, Leia's nanny on Alderaan.
I once hit on a guy in a bar by saying "Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?"
I dressed as Princess Leia for Halloween in the 7th grade. My friends and I were too old to trick or treat but not too old to walk around in costumes and make fun of people because we were so cool. I only sort of regret using the costume so early in my life. And I REALLY regret not having photo evidence. I feel like I need to revive it again. Like, a 15th anniversary edition.
My brother and I made droids out of cardboard boxes and dressed up like Anakin and Queen Amidala and acted out a whole scene from the movie to welcome our dad home from a business trip
I went to the opening night of Attack of the Clones dressed as a Jedi.
My hubby, daughter, and I have dressed up as characters from Star Wars for two of our daughter's three Halloweens.
I dressed my children up like Luke & Leia long before it was trendy. Like, early '90s. And my Christmas table centerpiece is Star Wars-themed.
Back in 2012, my twin brother and I got matching Rebel Alliance tattoos! Mine is on my arm (pictured left) and his is on his shoulder blade. We tattooed the phrase, "Born together, Rebels forever", because when we were in preschool all of the sets of twins/triplets had matching t-shirts that said "Born together, friends forever", so we just tweaked that to display our love of Star Wars. My whole family was raised loving Star Wars, so it seemed like the perfect tattoo to get together!
My fiancé and I wear our matching Wookiee onesies and watch movies together with our cats. It's one of my favorite things!
I kept the cover of a Nick Magazine with Anakin from The Phantom Menace under my bed for several years.
To celebrate my 10th birthday and the Jewish holiday of Purim, I had a dress-up ice skating party. But everyone except me was too shy (or practical) to actually wear costumes on the ice, so Queen Amidala skated amongst mere plebeians that day. But I looked super cool, okay?!
Among many nerdy Star Wars pursuits, I planned my entire holiday vacation and flights around seeing The Force Awakens with my dad and my brother; I have cried, in public, while watching the new movie's trailer; I own multiple vintage Star Wars shirts (for different occasions) and A New Hope clutch (for fancy occasions); I'd probably marry a guy on the spot if he Han Solo'd me; and my face (along with my brother's and our friend's faces) has been photoshopped into an embarrassing number of Star Wars poses.
Thanks to all the awesome, geeky women who shared their Star Wars stories with Bustle! The force is strong with this female fandom.
For more on Star Wars, check out Bustle's video about things never to say to a female fan below:
Images: Giphy (18)