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A Princess in the Stars: A Female Perspective on Growing Up with The Expanded Universe

The Future is Female, so they say, but I would argue “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” is and always has been female, too. Despite the “. . . Assumption . . . that girls didn’t care about Star Wars . . . ”

"I think there was an assumption being made for quite a while that girls didn't care about Star Wars or that girls weren't identifying with characters like Luke Skywalker or Han Solo; they were only identifying with Princess Leia or characters in other movies along those lines. And you know I think that it is not just Star Wars that is making this change, I think culturally, I want to believe that there is real movement and momentum beginning to happen where those kinds of lines are being blurred and people are recognizing in the creative community that um little girls, and little boys, for that matter are crossing over into identifying with lots of different characters and lots of different stories; And we as filmmakers should not be the ones providing those boundaries we should just tell the stories and they should be open a wide variety of not only gender but ethnicity. and that is another thing we are really working to do is to make the casting reflect society in a much more equal basis."

- Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm (2012 to Present),

Star Wars Celebration 2016

I am a female fan of the Star Wars Expanded Universe and I have followed Star Wars, Star Trek, Science Fiction and Fantasy for decades. I still collect the figures, read the comics and the books that began my journey as an avid reader and I share them with the next generation of Jedi and Sith in my circle of influence! Yet, I’m not the unicorn I once thought I was; since joining this EU Movement, I have found many other “Fan Girls” who, like me, read and loved the SW EU and all of its characters, male or female. Yes, we have always been here, but either too shy to admit it or too busy with our nose in a book or comic to pay any mind to the forums of Fandom’s Past. Some of us are Introverts, too shy to try to engage in a conversation about the weather, let alone the Star Wars Expanded Universe near and dear to our hearts with a stranger. Some of us are Passionate and Excitable and come off as intense or obsessive. Yet, no matter the personality type, the Star Wars Expanded Universe touched us all for various reasons, in the eye of the beholder, male or female.

Some of you may have heard my Origin Story on Princes of the Universe with Matt Wilkins last year.

Growing up in a small town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, I often did feel like Luke Skywalker, that if there was a bright center to the universe, I was in the town that was farthest from. Both of my Big City parents decided to raise their family in a small, quiet and rural community where my father’s job had assigned him. There were not many opportunities for entertainment to be had. One Movie Theater, a Mall too far away to walk to, and we were literally on top of a mountain with a surrounding wilderness to explore. As the youngest, I had my older siblings, my brother and two sisters to watch over me as we explored the trails that led us to downtown on one side of the mountain or the community pool on the opposite side of the mountain. My friends were at school or on the same street, but I always felt I had a comforting protective Fortress in those mountains that guarded my small town.

I had my siblings to geek out with over Star Wars and other Sci-Fi / Fantasy franchises. My older siblings being a heavy influence on my own tastes, they had grown up with Star Wars, Star Trek, Star Blazers, and Buck Rogers, to name a few. I grew up with Tales of King Arthur and Camelot, Knights of honor, and Dragons, Phoenixes, and all manner of magical creatures from mythology had a place in my heart. My dear dark sister, “Darth Moll”, had all the Star Wars Toys; yes, original Kenner, and yes, as a girl. Together we would reenact the adventures of our Movie heroes or create new ones. As a family, we would watch any Star Trek TV show or movie and the Star Wars Movies (all three of them, at the time) over and over and we loved it, often quoting our favorite scenes and lines together. I believe this is where my love of Movie Quotes, in general, was born; sharing a secret language of references with my family, particularly, “Darth Moll”.

Illustration by Valerie Erzählerin: Depicting the Princess in the Stars, Debbie Sellers, her sister, "Darth Moll" as a Zabrak; riding the Dragon of Adventure, where ever their imaginations decided to take them, even to a galaxy far, far away. Image inspired by Debbie Sellers' childhood.

However, beyond family ties, my friends were not really into Star Wars or sci-fi / fantasy at all for that matter, more content with the mainstream little girl brands, like Barbie, Jem, and She-Ra. I was too, but while my friends were marching to the same beat, I was flying with a dragon, singing show tunes (thanks, Mom), and thankfully, my dear dark sister, Darth Moll, came along for the ride, dreaming of a galaxy far, far away while we played with her Star Wars Toys and many other popular franchises of the day. I also collected comics, the Batman 60s series reruns were my first introduction to the character, but then the Tim Burton darker, more serious take from the 1989 Batman film started me on comic books. Then the X-men TV series came out, I was the only child at my middle school collecting comic books, my parents gave me an old file cabinet from their office to house my growing collection.

I always considered myself a “Tom Boy” Action Princess; Pretending to be G.I. Joes outside with my sister and friends, I was always Lady Jaye (brunette, short hair), then coming inside for a Tea Party or playing with our many varied Barbies. Darth Moll was the same, we wanted to do it all, with no limitations. It’s not that we wanted to be a boy, it’s just that we found what the boys did so interesting too. Much like one of my Favorite First Heroes, Princess Leia Organa.

Speaking from my own experience, as a child growing up in the 80s/90s, we had a lot of things catering to us in the Girl Toy Market. Barbie being the most successful, with her multitude of careers allowing us to dream anything was possible. Yet, other female characters influenced me like She-Ra, The Princess of Power, He-Man’s twin sister with her own spin-off show and Female “Joes” on G.I. Joe, Like Scarlett, Lady Jaye, Jinx, and Cover Girl. Shows like Jem and the Holograms, which really “sang” to me because of my musical loving mother. Even my beloved Yvonne Craig as Batgirl on the classic Batman TV series reruns, with her trademark high kicks (and dancing background), inspired me to pursue Karate as well as Dance among my other interests. While a company might have only monetary motives in creating these Female counterparts to the original male heroes, these images and heroes inspired me and sent a message of equality. Anything He-Man could do; his Twin Sister She-Ra could do, too. Female Joes or Janes served alongside their male counterparts, fighting just as hard for Freedom and Justice against Cobra. The Star Wars Expanded Universe was no different. It was character and story that drove my interest, but more on that later.

Some of you may recall from my appearance on Princes of the Universe, I was diagnosed with ADHD and that was the suspect reason for my trouble in school. I was a hyperactive kid who wanted to have fun every moment, "school" was not conducive to my bubbly, effervescent nature. I had trouble focusing, I had trouble sitting still. However, when it was made clear to me by my parents, teachers, the principal, that I had to find a different way of learning that worked for me. I had a learning consultant that ran me through a regiment of Tests to find where my weak learning areas were. I excelled at visual mediums, like art, but my weak area was reading comprehension. So it was determined I had to read more, and practice, learn the important details to retain for whatever subject I was reading. This was not good news for fun loving “little Debbie”.

It was my mother that suggested that I had to pick the book for this exercise, something I wanted to read; She wasn’t going to make me read something heavy that would bore me, she wanted me to pick something that I would really try with. It was overwhelming the number of books at the store, and I decided given that my family’s love of the Science Fiction genre, I would see if they had anything like Star Trek. It was the Will of the Force that I happened to find a beautiful blue cover with the words Star Wars Embossed on top in Gold foil: Heir to the Empire in Paperback. It was so exciting finding Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn and there were my heroes right on the cover; Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie.

Debbie Sellers' original Paperback.

I was floored, they had made Star Wars Books? I could continue the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia beyond the Movies? Countless viewings of the Star Wars Movies, including the Ewok films. All the hours in the woods around our house when we would pretend to be on Endor. The adventures Molly and I created with her figures and endless playsets. I read the back cover “The Authorized continuation of the Star Wars Saga” … “Five years after Return of the Jedi”. Star Wars was comfortingly familiar, and without hesitation, I found my Mom and we bought the book.

Now came the Rules: I had to do my school work first, read my new book for one chapter, chores, then I was free to do what I wanted. From the first page of Heir to the Empire I was hooked, it felt like I was reading one of the movies, but it was a new original story, the next adventure of Luke Skywalker and company. I was so curious what new world we would discover next. What challenge was left after the destruction of the empire? Plenty. If learning more about the Star Wars was the solution to my school troubles, then we found the miracle cure. Absorbing the details of a Universe I love was a treat, not a chore. Also, it did teach me how to focus on the details which I then applied to my school work; and as a result, History became my favorite subject because it was not just learning new stories, but learning new stories that actually happened in our world. My Mother being a History teacher may also have had some influence.

Heir to the Empire was my “First Step into a larger world” of the Star Wars Expanded Universe and as a result, I became a regular reader. I finished that first book in a week, on top of my school work, and I remember seeing “book 1 of a three-book cycle at the top” of the cover. As I’ve often said, I came to the Expanded Universe for my old friends Luke, Han, Leia, Lando, and Chewie, However, I stayed followed the Expanded Universe for all the new characters, diverse planets, and the stories I discovered along the way, beyond the movies.

Given all those “equality-based” cartoons of the 80s/90s I grew up with, my family’s own philosophy of equality, I was already primed and ready for these messages. No matter the gender or species, I cared about the character, the person who had become my friend over a book long adventure. From the Movies, I already loved Princess Leia. Yes, I identified with Princess Leia. I was brunette, she was brunette, she inspired me to grow my hair out and see if my sisters could replicate her trademark hair buns. she was of petite stature, so was I. I was raised on Disney movies and liked Disney Princesses, and yes I was still in my Pink Phase. Yet, Leia was a different kind of Princess.

Even judging just from the films, in the first movie, her petite stature didn’t faze her to stand up to Grand Moff Tarkin; I only grew to 5’ 2” myself, and seeing Leia's courage made me feel 6' feet tall, even as a kid. Leia may have started off as the cliché “Damsel in Distress” in the film, but as soon as the opportunity for escape came, facilitated by Luke, Han and Chewie, Leia proved she could hold her own in a fight, keep up with the boys and even came up with the solution for getting out of the firefight on the detention level; “Into the garbage chute, fly boy,” because someone had to save their skins. Princess Leia wasn’t a meek princess waiting for someone to save her, she took charge when opportunity knocked. Some make a big deal of her slave outfit of marketing sex to children. I will defer to Carrie Fisher on this one: when asked by a father 'What am I going to tell my kid about why [Leia is] in that outfit?', and Carrie Fisher responded as only our beloved Carrie would: “Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off,” Off screen.

In the confusion on the Sail barge, during Return of the Jedi, Leia acted, seized the opportunity to escape with her friends, and go back to wearing what she wanted. Again, an Action Princess, leading by example and teaching me and many other girls that if you find yourself in a situation you don’t want to be in, use your head and strike, remove yourself from the situation and fight another day. Leia was no different in the books. In Shadows of the Empire, when held captive by Prince Xizor, she rested when could, so she would be alert for an opportunity of escape. She ate when she could, so she would have energy to think clearly and be ready for escape. She lightly exercised, to remain strong and blood pumping, ready for the fight. All this she learned in the Rebellion. Following Leia and the boys on their adventures was always a joy, and I used my reading Star Wars books as a reward. If I finished my homework, I got to read Star Wars. I tore through the first book in a week and soon, my Mother and I were back at that same books store picking up book 2, Dark Force Rising. My love for Leia would only grow as her story unfolded in the Expanded Universe. She had a lot to absorb after the movies; she had a twin brother, discovering Darth Vader, a man who tortured her, was in fact her father also. Her issues with wanting to have children, having to balance leadership of the new republic vs being a good parent. Watching her children grow up and make mistakes. Improving herself, accepting her role as a Jedi. Do not belittle Leia by saying she couldn't possibly do it all. She did.

During that first read of Heir to the Empire, I was shocked that Mara Jade quickly became my absolute favorite character in Star Wars, easily tying with Leia as my long time as favorite female to follow in those stories after only one book. Her introduction was so unexpected, why did Mara hate Luke Skywalker so much? I could not put it down. As more books followed, I was eager for more Mara Jade, if she was not in the adventure, I was content with the Big Four, being my lifelong “friends” from the movies, yet I kept looking for that Fiesty Redhead and wondered if the Chemistry I sensed between her and Luke was real or imagined. I kept following all their adventures; Our main heroes, because I was interested in them, I cared about them, somehow over the course of reading that first Trilogy a relationship had developed between me and this fictional Family. Still, I was content to see how my heroes grew and evolved from the movies; Luke becoming a true Jedi Knight, Leia and Han’s budding relationship. Following them to Bakura, seeing the different perspectives of the movies through the Tales books, watching the Jedi Academy be established on Yavin IV as Luke found more and more students.

I was still hoping Mara Jade would join in on the mission, so I could learn more about this mysterious redhead. I should also note, I already had a fascination with Redheads as a kid. Majority of my Barbies were redheads, I just thought it was a pretty color. ; but now that I trace it back, I had many Heroines from the 80s/90s with Red hair, which may have been why Mara Jade was a natural fit for me personally (despite the fact that I’m a Brunette). Red Sonja (yes, my parents let me watch the movie as a kid), Teela from He-man, Yvonne Craig from the 60s Batman was the best of both worlds, she fought crime as a redhead help hide her identity, because she was really a brunette, like me. Sorsha from Willow, another George Lucas Creation, and actress Joanne Whalley was a natural fit for me to plug into as Mara Jade when reading the books, accent and all, she was raised on Coruscant/Imperial (I still wonder if Mara should have a British accent). Why did Mara Jade fascinate me, beyond the red-hair? Why would I consider her a role model? She was brainwashed as a youth to think the Empire was good. Mara Jade was a true believer, she thought that her missions for Palpatine were maintaining Law and Order for the Empire. Yet look at her story from her introduction in Heir to the Empire. Mara Jade had everything, resources, power, influence, the finer things being a member of the Imperial court had to offer, posing as one of the Emperor's favorite dancers. Yet, still capable of getting the mission done. It is assumed that the Emperor had been training the Force Sensitive Mara since she was small. Mara Jade was neither dark nor light side of the force; Emperor Palpatine referred to her as "an experiment", neither Jedi nor Sith. Mara Jade is grace and fighter, Dance and Karate, to draw from my own experience again. If you look at her story, thanks to that no good Luke Skywalker, she lost everything. Her position in the Imperial Court, her job of being the Emperor's Hand, all her resources and means of earning a living, imprisoned by Isard, to which Mara orchestrated an brilliant escape, even without her force powers. After Palpatine died on the Seconed Death Star, their force connection was severed, and Mara lost her ability to tap the Force. I believe this was on purpose, Palpatine taught Mara to use the Force while relying heavily on that Force connection with him that allowed them to communicate across the galaxy. Without the Force, Mara had to escape Isard, and rebuild her life from nothing. Using all her skills, her years of training just for survival. That is difficult enough to imagine here on Earth, when you multiply that on a Galactic Scale, Mara Jade is quite a woman indeed. Making her way on her own, she found a position in Talon Karrde's Organization as a smuggler, where the Force would play a hand in having her finally crossing paths with the loathsome Luke Skywalker who ruined her life.

During this time, Mara Jade's only ability to touch the Force was her recurring nightmares of the Emperor's Last Command: You Will Kill Luke Skywalker. When you are wallowing in revenge for years after you have lost everything, is it any wonder Mara was so eager to end Skywalker, after his actions took everything away from her. Yet, she spared him, finding another way to fulfill the Emperor's Last Command. Begrudging respect and an alliance formed, eventually friendship for Luke and Mara Jade. Luke accepted her hatred when they first met, returning no ill will and respecting Mara's feelings. Overtime, we all know how their relationship developed; such was the Optimistic Farmboy, never giving up on any potential Force Sensitive student, even Mara Jade, the Emperor's personal assassin, and encouraged her every chance he had for her to pursue the path of the Jedi, and eventually to become a Jedi Master. Assassin and Spy, to having nothing, to rebuilding her life in a difficult galaxy, to aspiring to become a Jedi Master. Is it any wonder why I admire Mara Jade so much? Another of my favorite books, was The Courtship of Princess Leia . I got the book to see how Han and Leia finally got together, but once again I was surprised by the imaginations of the talented authors of the Expanded Universe. I was fascinated by the concept of the Hapes Consortium; a collection of 63 planets where the females were in charge and males subservient. Now, that might have been an original idea for a movie. Also, in that same book, the Witches of Dathomir, basically natural Force Wielding Amazons and new beloved characters like Teneniel, who would only grow in importance through her daughter, Tenel Ka Djo’s story as time and the overall Contiguous story went on. How clever, young Debbie thought it was; fascinating, captivating storytelling igniting my imagination. What if the Females were in charge?

At the time, I was alone in my Star Wars EU love through much of high school; try as I might, I couldn’t get Darth Moll, my dear dark sister, to me, Miss Star Wars with all the toys, to read beyond Courtship of Princess Leia until recently (Thank you, Disney/New Lucasfilm direction of the canon). It wasn’t that she wasn’t interested in it before, it was a time constraint for her with school and eventually work, and sadly, Darth Moll had not developed the good reading habit like I had, thanks to the SW EU at an early age. When I hit college and discovered other like-minded fans who were reading the SW EU books like me. We would discuss the SW EU books, among other sci-fi / fantasy franchises, in the Science Fiction Club at my university, of which I became the “Sergeant at Arms” (More like Sergeant of Chaos, given I sowed more disorder more than maintained it), and my friend Sarah was President, and about half of our members were, you guessed it, female. We pooled books, and I borrowed the Young Jedi Knights books from my friend John before I bought them for myself. In 1999, as a club activity, we went to see the New Star Wars Prequel film Episode I, in homemade costumes and some in makeup, I recall my friend Jay painstakingly applying Darth Maul makeup from an image from Entertainment weekly magazine. Let's just say we had a healthy debate about the pros and cons of the film for weeks after. Joining the Expanded Universe Movement I have met and befriended so many amazing women who are just as passionate about the Expanded Universe as I am. My Circle continues to grow. Star Wars never needed to GET Female Fans, we were already here and more are joining everyday because they are curious about the characters that I and my Movement counterparts highlight and discuss everyday. Once again, on my Facebook page, for March - Women's History Month I'm celebrating different female Expanded Universe characters everyday - #WomenofStarWarsEU, a tradition I started so some of my favorites would not be forgotten. In part to highlight that half the galaxy was always female but to raise awareness for people who didn't follow the films into the books; show them the compelling stories and characters the Expanded Universe has to offer.

There always was Feminism in Star Wars. Those strong characters of all stripes and moral compasses made our stories engaging. Amazing characters and Role Models for Girls/Women to look up to and learn from like, Mara Jade, Jan Ors, Nomi Sunrider, Jaina Solo, Tenel Ka Djo, Aayla Secura and dozens of others, whose full stories were never on Screen. Complex Villians like Isard, Daala, Shae Vizla, Lumiya, Sarriss, and Zannah, to name a few. Are they to be ignored because they weren't in a movie?

The Star Wars EU is my longest relationship and it is a relationship; I actively participated in seeking out, paying money for, and putting forth the effort of reading these stories for decades. As a teen, If I learned there was a new book out, usually after the fact because the internet wasn’t then what it is today, I would ask for extra chores from my folks to save my money for those books and comics. I had to spend hours earning the money, then hours reaping my reward as I sat in a comfortable spot, in my room, in my backyard, in the school library, following the adventures of characters that had become my friends over the years. Sometimes when school was rough, reading was escapism to retreat to a galaxy far, far away, a break from reality. After both of my Grandfathers died within a month of each other, and I was so sad I thought my heart would burst, it was comforting to think about something else and go on an adventure with my friends in those books and see how my favorite characters dealt with the same losses. When Darth Moll went to college and moved out of my parent's house, and I felt incredibly lonely, being separated from my best friend for the first time in my life, my fictional friends were there for me to keep me company. If a boy had broken my heart, at least I could still cheer on my favorite couple, Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, during their tempestuous relationship and learn the lesson to never give up on love.

As I grew into adulthood, my family took the hint and started giving Star Wars Expanded Universe books for presents. My father’s second career offered him access to the latest Star Wars PC games, and I got to demonstrate and test them during computer shows (another happy chore). I would still frequent Toy Stores even though I was in college seeing what was new in the latest line of figures, hoping for another Mara Jade figure, but content with Shaak Ti and Aayla Secura from the Star Wars Republic comics, wondering if they would ever release a Jan Ors or a Winter Figure.

For 37 years we had a contiguous Canon that referenced, reflected, and echoed each other in all media tie-ins. We got new characters, new stories, new planets, new friends, new enemies, we grew up and changed and evolved and learned from these characters for decades. Followed Luke from Farmboy to Grand Master, Mara Jade from Emperor’s Hand, servant of the Empire, to Jedi Master and Mother to Ben Skywalker. We were there when Leia gave birth, we wept over her children’s fates in turn, trying to learn from their choices and mistakes. We ached if a favorite character heroically fell, we cheered at the final battle over a long conflict and embraced victory. We gasped in surprise over an unexpected twist. We have literally laughed and cried, lived and died with these characters, even if it was only just from a book, played out only in our heads and that is what made it even more real to many of us. That is the relationship; that is why some of us Expanded Universe fans can’t let it go so easily.

Some people may wonder “It’s been nearly four years, why haven’t you EU fans given up already?” Did you not read my story? Being an Expanded Universe Fan is a highly personal endeavor. Be it from my allowance from my parents or from my first jobs, I put in the work to earn the money to afford the EU material because I had to know what happened next, to my fictional friends. I invested hours of reading time, sometimes unable to put the book down until I found a stopping point in the story where I and my character friends could have a break from the action and catch our breath. All the events played out in my head, in my own imagination. My picture of Hapes may not be your picture of Hapes, but we all love it the same.

The Expanded Universe fan, has not only invested money but spent countless hours in that Universe, invested time to read all these stories in comics and novels; because they wanted to, because they loved it, they were driven to know more. They were swept away with an engaging story, traveling along with characters they cared about as those characters, grew, changed, faced and overcame adversity and challenges. It required some participation on the readers part, to read and willingly followed these stories for the decades as I have, as many of us have. We EU fans are curious creatures, and we ask questions and we put forth the time and dedication to seek the answers through all media, novels, comics, and games. We are detectives, and we rejoice at our reward when things call back and reference each other, such as when you read the Jedi Academy Trilogy and discover references to the Dark Empire comic books. This beautiful puzzle of the EU, each book giving us a piece of the larger picture, and we smile as things fall into place and reveal more of the story and still fits together.

I am a huge film buff, I love movies, and can quote from the best and worst of them. Yet, movies are a passive media; you just have to hit play and let the events unfold as they have a dozen time before with each viewing. There is a time limit, a beginning a middle and an end that must be resolved in about 2 hours. Benevolent or not, Movies are a dictator, if it doesn’t happen on Screen, it didn’t happen, if it was not said in dialogue, the information is not conveyed. Deleted scenes do not count as Canon, in either timeline. Movies are spoon-fed to you, in a way, and I say that as a HUGE movie fan, but as I’ve learned recently, even if the filmmakers take the time to put something on the screen, the subtext or clever hints are not always picked up by the viewer. Even if something is choreographed for the screen to the second, some of today’s audiences may not have the attention span to pick up the clues. No matter the viewer, the audience has the ultimate trump card to reject whatever they don’t like or look at their phone if they get a notification. Then again on the other side of the spectrum, a viewer, much like a reader, can take away something completely not intended. A recent conversation with self described casual fan of Star Wars, This fellow female fan of Science fiction stated that you had to have the Force to use a lightsaber. I explained maybe originally during the Dawn of the Jedi era when they were Force Sabers, but that wasn't the case by the time Han Solo sliced opened the Taun Taun on Hoth. It was an interesting debate. was the lightsaber like a pocket knife? a tool that anyone could use? or did you have to have the Force even just to turn it on. Again, this female fan hadn't read the books, but she may have been taking away information not intended by the original filmmaker.

Same with the written word or the art of comics requires you to take in new information and process the story in your own mind, to interact with the material on a more intimate level. How I picture Corellia in my own mind may be different than how you picture it, even though we are reading the same words. The many Authors who described Corellia, who meticulously selected descriptive words may each have pictured it differently than any of us or even each other. The activity of reading is highly personal and becomes a part of you in the way no other medium can match. Each reader brings their own personality and life experiences to whatever material they are reading, so it is literally a different experience and universe from reader to reader. My favorite character is not your favorite character, I identify with a character differently than you do. The eye of the beholder, if you will.

I stayed with the entire Legends story, even though some rough books because I loved that “galaxy far, far away”, that universe, and I loved and cared about the fates of those Characters, my friends, that I was traveling within those stories on a very personal level. I gently challenge people to read the EU books or re-read them if I discover they are forgotten on their bookshelf. I buy Legends to prevent a day when Lucasfilm/Disney/Del Rey decides it is too costly to reprint these stories and then they become truly impossible for new EU fans to find. I encourage us to request out of print titles on E-books to get them circulating once again.

When the opportunity presents itself, I ask people who may not understand the continue the Expanded Universe movement, “Why do you think the Expanded Universe fanbase is so loyal? That 4 years later, we are still wanting our story continued, if it was all some contradicting mess,” as many claim?

We remain loyal because we have so much invested in this contiguous story; time, money, emotions.

In this movement, I’ve made new friends and allies. Darth Moll is finally eager to read the Expanded Universe, being turned off by the new direction of D Canon. My best friend in the movement only started reading the Expanded Universe after the De-canonization decision by Lucasfilm; she started reading it to see what they were getting rid of and she loved i. Together we founded EU groups like the Star Wars EU Praxeum, where new EU fans can ask questions and get information on learning about the EU. I got into a conversation with a cashier, she loves Star Wars, wasn't happy with the new film, showed her a picture of a Nexxu, and she asked what other adorable creatures the Expanded Universe had to offer. This relationship with the Expanded Universe is a another reason why I so adamantly support the Twin Suns Foundation's noble mission of promoting literacy through Star Wars Legends; simply because it worked for me when I was a kid. I went from reading Timothy Zahn, to Alan Dean Foster, to Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Annette Curtis Klause and Douglas Adams. We have a Force Bond with the Expanded Universe, a bond not easily broken; Boy or girl, Human or not, from earth or from another galaxy.

May the Force of the Fans be with us. Happy International (and Intergalactic) Women's Day, fellow Fan Girls!

To see more from Debbie, click here. To find Debbie on Facebook, click here.

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