With Sabine entering the “real” world, Ong felt like she suddenly meant more to others too. “Right after that panel, so many people were like, ‘Yeah, Sabine! Yeah, Sabine! Normally, I just get, ‘Oh, great costume.’ And then all of a sudden it was like, oooh…Sabine is here!”
Ong thinks characters like her make the fandom more accessible. “With Rey, with Sabine and Hera – all female representation in star wars now it’s not just Princess Leia, even though she was very strong. But she was kind of the only one. Now you have so much more.
Although she recognizes that others can still be toxic online, she tries to avoid these conflicts. “No one I know personally fights online. I feel like the nerd community is usually pretty nice to each other. Sometimes they’re like, oh, are you really A geek?” she said. “I mean, I used to hear this maybe 20 years ago: ‘You’re a girl, why are you dressing up?’ But now I seem to see Everybody here. It’s not just all male fans, like it was at Comic Con. »
That camaraderie was evident even in the way the folks at Celebration voiced their disagreement. While waiting for a meeting of Ahsoka Tano cosplayers, Erin Baker, 26, from Portland, Oregon, showed off her twin lightsabers and engaged in the topic of Ashley versus Rosario. His grip was much more measured than most found online.
“I think I liked Rosario’s performance in [The Book of] Boba Fett better than in The Mandalorian. She had more of Ahsoka’s spirit the second time around,” Baker said. “I would have loved to see Ashley in it, but I think I’m excited for any Ahsoka content. Ashley will always be Ahsoka to me, and so I think a lot of us were disappointed. But I think Rosario will still do a good job.
The optimistic way she approached the issue is typical of interactions at Celebration and contrasts with how they frequently take place online. When brought together in person, those who disagree are more likely to do so without insulting each other. “Without the digital barrier of the internet, when you’re face to face with people, you have to engage your social filters and instead think, ‘I shouldn’t be a hole to this person,'” Lacey said. , the cosplayer of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Will politeness and manners continue now that Celebration is over and fandom is returning to largely interacting online?
“Light and darkness are within each of us. It’s the Force, isn’t it? He’s a wraith,” said Santa Claus-themed Jedi Gray. “You just have to shoot towards the light and try not to get sucked into the dark. You just have to try to be good, try to be forgiving, and try to be positive. Try to have a good thought for your companion star wars Fans.”