book talk, spoiler free, Uncategorized

Rant: I like Twilight and I hate fandom toxicity.

29134673_10155124376386581_820367603_nYes you read that correctly. I like Twilight. The books and to some extent the films as well. It’s true I haven’t read them in years but I haven’t read Harry Potter for a while either I hate to admit. A lot of the books I like I talk about frequently and it’s quite well known in my friend group the books I enjoy. Twilight is not one of them, not unless you go far enough back. Back when I was in college and had reread The Vampire Diaries books for what felt the thousandth time in a row and I was bored. I had free time between classes and didn’t know what to do with myself. I chanced a trip to my local bookstore on one of my free classes and wandered around waiting to see what would catch my eye. It was actually New Moon that made me stop, I figured it had to be about werewolves and I liked the simple looking cover and font. Thankfully the super helpful bookseller mentioned it was a sequel book (and she’d loved the first) and helped me find a copy of the first book. Twilight.

I read Twilight cover to cover in a matter of days. A feat I hadn’t achieved in years despite working in our school library in secondary school, the summer holidays and six months of college had been blur of too full of music concerts and staying out late with my friends, a new boyfriend, a new girlfriend and a new boyfriend again and I hadn’t had what felt like a spare moment to pick up a book. I moved onto New Moon a day later after spending a day somewhere with family yearning to get stuck into the book I’d stupidly left at home and I ate all my meals in my room that day and I cried. A lot. I know to a lot of people this already sounds ridiculous, I’ve been told for years how toxic and harmful the relationship between Bella and Edward is and I’m not disagreeing, well I wouldn’t if they had been real human people but as it turns out one of them was a vampire and they were both fictional characters. So I cried because Bella was hurt and I was young enough to remember being hurt and left alone by people who I thought cared about me and it felt to get that out. I was awkward like Bella, I didn’t really like other people and I was unbelievably clumsy as heck so as lame as it sounds I related to her. A lot of people complain that Bella is too weak but to be honest I can’t say that at her age I wouldn’t have done anything different, in fact she might have handled it better than me! Not forgetting that by Breaking Dawn and on occasions before that although she isn’t conventionally “kick ass” she shows that she can be strong. She is literally willing to die to keep her family safe and I love the character she becomes.

Time went on, turns out Eclipse was already out or came out not long after and I eagerly awaited the release of Breaking Dawn and made sure I got a special edition version and then it was announced they were making films and everyone was reading and talking about this book series that I loved. By this point I’d seen Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, two of my other favourite series brought to the big screen and was beyond excited for these films, especially when they announced that Catherine Hardwick, a female director would be in charge of the first film! I followed every piece of information I could get, i reread the books and I loved the film. I still have all the reference books about the making of the film that I brought after seeing it and the directors handbook filled with notes and sketches etc from the director is still my favourite.

As time went on and more films came out the franchise gained more and more fans. Other kids at school would recognize my Twilight keyring on my bag, the quotes on my notebook and my favourite replica bracelet with a heart and a wolf which was nice. Pretty soon though I discovered a darker side of The Fandom were you weren’t a big enough fan or if you didn’t read the books first you weren’t allowed to like it because you weren’t a real fan and there was some real bullying going on which all sounds absolutely absurd but sadly still happens among some fandoms today, especially in comics it seems. Soon fans of the franchise were dubbed as “Twihards” and gained a reputation for being sad, obsessive, screaming teenagers who would kill each other for a lock of Taylor Lautner’s hair etc and I didn’t correct anyone who said otherwise. I kept my enjoyment of the franchise to myself after then afraid I would be lumped in with the few that gave the other fans a bad name.

Fan reputation for Twilight just got worse over time with people verbally abusing fans because of the material itself, people who hadn’t even read the books going on about how badly written they were and how laughable the idea of sparkling vampires are, how disgusting imprinting is (that was rarely as they would have to read/watch past the first book /film) and don’t forget the plethora of necrophilia and beastiality jokes anyone even breathing a mention of Twilight were subjected to. Don’t get me wrong, they are not especially the best written books, some of the plot points are silly and in a “real world” circumstance a lot of the behaviour would be harmful and worrisome but please give me some damn credit to know what is a fictional world and people and what is not.

I get that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I really do but for love of the written word please just let people enjoy things! As long as they’re harming themselves or anyone else let them love what they love, let them be free to express their enjoyment of fiction, Twilight or otherwise. I’m not saying you have to like things everyone else likes but don’t make the mistake vice versa. Some of my favourite films are considered trash but as I fast approach thirty I’m rapidly finding I couldn’t give a hoot but other people, younger people especially will be hurt and feel ridiculed and that’s not okay. Much like in my “Why I read YA” post, let people be free to read what they enjoy.

So yes. I like Twilight. No I’m not obsessed with Edward Cullen and can tell the difference between him and Robert Pattinson (I’m more of a Team Alice fan anyway to be honest). Yes I read the books before the films came out and no it doesn’t matter one bit. You like them as well? That’s awesome! I’m always here to chat about them if you want. Don’t like them? No problem! Still here to chat about them if you’re interested in that kind of friendly discussion. Also yes I own more than one copy of each book (three or four of New Moon I believe – Yes I may have had more money than sense as a teenager but to be fair I own just under ten copies of The Hobbit and three of City of Bones). No I do not own a Team Edward or Team Jacob shirt (It’s totally fine if you do, I personally have a Team Charlie one – I kid you not. Twitter picture evidence).

I also read an awesome post by new blogger Silver Wolf Reads entitled “Why liking Twilight shouldn’t be a curse” which you should totally check out as well!

Uncategorized

The Women of Star Wars

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Scrolling through Twitter aimlessly when I was meant to be writing a blog last night I came across a tweet from someone who’s daughter had been crying because she wanted to wear her Star Wars top to school the next day but was worried she would laughed at  for liking “boy stuff” so her mother asked people retweet and comment to show her how awesome girl Star Wars fans are. At the time of writing that tweet has been retweeted 2,711 times, received 4,472 likes and 946 comments from people all over the world including other parents, cosplayers, astronauts, voice actors from the Star Wars TV shows and authors including Christie Golden who has written for Star Wars among many other fandoms and so many more all backing this seven year old fan. It is by far the most beautiful thing I’ve seen on Twitter and I welled up reading through all the amazing responses. It got me thinking about how much the women in Star Wars mean to me and how many amazing women there actually are in Star Wars and although today was meant to be another review I thought I’d take the opportunity to list some of the best ladies that the Star Wars universe has to offer.

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Princess/Senator/General Leia.
This one is probably an obvious one but Leia Organa is in my opinion one of, if not the best female character in Star Wars. She was involved in Politics from a young age like her biological mother and went on to become instrumental to the Rebel Alliance, she watched her home planet as it was destroyed but still remained fiesty and witty as ever even as she was being “rescued” after having been tortured. She learns the man who destroyed her planet and her adoptive family was her biological father but still offered comfort to her brother. The Princess becomes a Senator as well as a wife and a mother and then goes on to become the General of the Resistance, all the while remaining firm in her beliefs and loyal to her allies. Leia is smart, brave, a warrior and a diplomat.

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Rey.
Rey has a strong moral core, helping those she finds in need without question. Growing up alone on Jakku she learned how to survive and make the best of her situation. She is fierce, loyal and a fast learner, picking up fighting with a lightsaber and using the force relatively quickly. Rey is a fighter and fights for what she believes in and those she cares for. On top of all that she’s a pretty awesome pilot too!

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Sabine Wren.
A madalorian warrior who forged her own armor and became a bounty hunter when she decided the Imperial academy wasn’t for her. An expert with weapons of all kinds (but a certain knack for explosives!) Sabine is also one of the first known members of the Rebel Alliance.

 

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Mon Mothma.
As a loyalist leader Mon Mothma was one of the first people to openly oppose Palpatine and helped to forge the Rebel Alliance itself. When she becomes ill about six years before the events of “The Force awakens” and is unable to lead the Republic the Senate is thrown into disarray and unable to agree on anything.

 

il_570xn-1179493427_26uy.jpgJyn Erso.
After her mother was killed and her father kidnapped, Jyn was raised by a Resistance fighter, the leader of the Partisan’s, Saw Gerrera. Jyn became a child soldier for the Partisan’s but after she was abandoned she made her own way and eventually joined the Rebel Alliance to track down Saw who held vital information concerning the battlestation known as “The Death Star”. After retrieving the information Jyn and others formed the team “Rouge one” who sacrificed themselves to retrieve the Death Star plans revealing it’s weakness and leading to it’s ultimate destruction, thus making Jyn an especially important character in the the Star Wars universe.

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Hera Syndulla.
The heart and Leader of the “Star Wars: Rebels” as well as the pilot of The Ghost, Hera is an Optimistic and fair leader. Trusting in her team and guiding them when they need it Hera fights along side Leia and Lando for the republic.

 

 

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Rose Tico. 

The Star Wars universe tells us that no one in unimportant and that is certainly the case with Rose Tico who gets an unfair amount of negativity. Rose is a true believer in the cause and even after losing her sister she still willingly gives up her only reminder of her to help accomplish her mission for the Resistance. She is smart and stronger than people give her credit for, she may not have a mask, a lightsaber or amazing fighting moves, she’s a ship maintenance worker and she has so much heart. Her line “That’s how we win. Not by fighting what we hate. Saving what we love” is one of my absolute favourites. Not to mention my hair totally sticks out just like hers!

padme-amidala_05d50c8a.jpegPadmé Amidala
Elected as the Queen of Naboo at just fourteen Padme served two terms as Queen and went on to hold a position as Naboo’s representative in the Galactic Senate. She was a leading member of the Loyalist committee whose goal was peace between the warring Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems. Her views were often controversial among the senate but she stood by them through everything. She married a Jedi Knight in secret and when he turned to the dark side while she was carrying their children she travelled to a volatile volcanic planet to try and convince him to come back to the light. She may not be a big fighter in the traditional sense but she is determined and not afraid to do the hard thing.

captain-phasma1-625x350.jpg Captain Phasma.
Not all the amazing women of the Star Wars universe fight for the Rebels, the Resistance, the Republic or the Jedi order. Captain Phasma worked her way up from the sister of a primitive clan leader on a forgotten planet filled with dangers to the most recognisable and highly ranked stormtrooper in history. In charge of training the older recruits Phasma is completely merciless and will let absolutely nothing stand in her way, weather that be her brother or her superior. She is beyond strong and adept with many weapons with which she continuously trains. Her special armor was created especially by her from the wreckage of a Naboo yacht that had once belonged to Sheev Palpatine (more commonly known as Darth Sidious, the Emperor) she pried the chromium off the ship herself.

Iden3Iden Versio.
Iden served the military of the Galactic Empire, was a TIE pilot in the Starfighter Corps, was one of the only survivors of the destruction of the first Death Star (among those, Vader himself) and was named Commander of an elite task force called “Inferno Squad.” She is immensely well trained and disciplined, although she can appear quite intense Iden can also be compassionate towards civilians and friendly, yet professional with members of her team.

I know there are still many more I haven’t mentioned here and Ashoka Tano, Amilyn Holdo, Aurra Sing, Kor Sella and Aayla Secura all get honorable mentions but this post needs to have an end point somewhere even though it’s been so much fun to write. I’ve loved remembering all these great characters and why I love the Star Wars universe so very much. I hope anyone out there who still thinks Star Wars is only for boys will take a look at all of these awesome ladies on this list and think again.

 

Edit: I also realise there are a ton of awesome ladies in the now non canon legends universe too but it was hard enough to narrow down the cannon candidates, let alone if I included the ladies from Legends as well. Plus Mara Jade would probably kick their butts anyway.