- Brian Borg
Positivity and the Expanded Universe Movement (Part II): Positivity and Progress
In my previous article my focus was on explaining why I believe the concept of a positive mindset is a critical aspect allowing the Expanded Universe Movement to advance its goals. I used the movement’s early history to demonstrate this by emphasizing just how negative the overall movement was at the time. I then explained where I believe that really changed when I told you all about a Facebook group that formed comprised of a group of various social media page owners.
Hopefully my previous article hinted at how much of a difference that mindset change made as I now want to emphasize just how much progress we have made as a result.
The second part of 2015, specifically starting in June, was really when things were more obviously changing. It was around that time that the Movement started to hit its stride, rallying around Darth Revan in the Hasbro Black Series Fan Poll of 2015. The success there cannot be understated. A new Legends action figure would be made for the first time in over a year! Perhaps it was this that emboldened those page owners, myself included, to try for something outrageous -- a fan funded billboard message to Lucasfilm in San Francisco. The planning for that fundraiser started in October of 2015. By December of 2015 it was live.
On January 6 of 2016, as though the movement were declaring to the world that things were going to be different starting with the new year, the billboard project was successfully funded. In April of 2016, the billboard made its debut on the streets of San Francisco, gathering notice by fans, media, and most importantly Lucasfilm itself.
These successes the movement experienced went on to fuel the need to create Twin Suns Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization intended to officially and professionally represent the Expanded Universe Movement and support distribution of Legends stories to as many people as possible. The organization was founded in early June of 2016, and ground work began on the next big project at that point -- getting into Star Wars Celebration in 2017. To do that, the organization itself took a cue from the Movement’s recent past and had a focus on a positive message.
But 2016 was not done with for the movement. In June/July of 2016, the Movement would again succeed in the Hasbro Black Series fan poll, scoring an excellent looking Jaina Solo Black Series figure. It was followed shortly by a successful book drive hosted by Twin Suns Foundation.
Then 2017 started with the movement’s official representative organization learning it was invited to have a fan table at Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 by Lucasfilm! (Shout out to our friends there! We are glad you enjoyed the billboard enough to give us a shot!) Twin Suns Foundation then held its first fundraiser to supplement its efforts at Star Wars Celebration, and despite hurdles encountered, together the movement successfully funded that project a full month early on February 22, 2017! Twin Suns Foundation scored many successes at the Celebration Booth thanks to the support of the movement, some of which we are still learning about a couple months later! Not only did it allow the movement to make headway with other official fan groups but it exposed our efforts for what they actual are to new and old fans alike! Oh, and we also had the awesome experience of donating sixty-one Star Wars books to a children’s hospital in Florida!
While this was happening, we also found ourselves at the center of an effort to get word out about Shannon McRandle’s GoFundMe, helping her meet her goal and exceed it in little over two weeks’ total time elapsed. No small feat when you consider this was over $9,000.00 raised!
That accomplishment was then followed by the sixty-one books Twin Suns Foundation and the Expanded Universe Movement donated to a children’s hospital in California on May 9, 2017 as part of the Winter 2017 Fundraiser!
None of these accomplishments could have possibly happened if the focus had remained on negativity. It is clear that the focus on positive attitudes has allowed us the ability to find opportunities we only dreamed were possible mere months before.
Put succinctly, about twenty months ago we were little more than an echo chamber of rage. Now we are an organized movement making noticeable gains towards meeting our goals, all because we changed how we thought about the situation, moved past the negativity, and found ways to be positive.
Amazing and inspiring really.
Today the Expanded Universe Movement finds itself as a positive entity overall. Our shift has become so obvious that even some of our most stalwart opponents, people who had been arrayed against us for YEARS, have shifted their stance to be more open towards us. Some of them now count themselves members of the Movement and allies as well!
And the movement has continued to grow. We are becoming more quickly recognized for what we actually are. Official fan groups have begun to back our efforts while others have offered to even partner with Twin Suns Foundation on some endeavors, such as the 501st Legion indicating one of their New York Garrisons having an interest in getting books to a Children’s Hospital they regularly visit each year.
With all this in mind, it should not be difficult to understand why I believe positivity to be the key to all our past successes. If we are to learn anything from where we have been in the past, it should be that positivity is our only path forward and will most certainly see us meet success someday!
But how does that affect any of you not in control of a segment of the movement? What does any of this mean for you individually? The answer to that can be found in the final part of my positivity article series, Positivity and The Expanded Universe Movement, Part 3.
Be looking for it soon!
In the meantime, feel free to let me know in the comments below some of your thoughts on the positivity of the EU Movement in recent years. What are some successes you have seen that I did not mention? (There are plenty I did not have time to write about!)