Katie, 7, has been in the news recently because she was teased for being a “Star Wars” fan. Katie, rest assured, you are not alone. You may be one of the younger female “Star Wars” fans, but you are certainly in good company.
I discovered SW when I was a little older than you, about 10. I devoured the movies and any of the books I could get my hands on–and so did my best friend, also a girl. She was also very into “Star Trek,” and as we entered middle school we spent hours talking over our favorite science fiction/fantasy books, authors and series. We drove our eighth-grade English teacher nuts by staging debates over “Star Wars” books. I went with close to a dozen girls to see the first “X-Files” movie on opening day, and my best friend and I saw “A New Hope” in the theater when it was rereleased in 1997.
Girls and women have always been fans of science fiction. I can talk about “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” with my sister as easily as we talk about romantic comedies, because we love them both. One of our cherished memories is seeing “Attack of the Clones” in the theater with our brother, because that was one of the few interests the three of us had in common.
I have long bemoaned the lack of cool graphic T-shirts for women. For some reason, all we’re expected to enjoy are Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, etc. The guys get all the neat designs with “Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles,” “Star Wars,” “Lord of the Rings,” and other action-adventure heroes. Most of the time women have to go someplace like Cafe Press to express their love for their favorite fandom. That’s why I was thrilled earlier this year to see a “Star Wars” T-shirt designed for women at Delia’s. I was persuaded to buy it after the manager gave me a coupon for $10 off, and I wore it proudly on vacation in Hawaii. Oddly, though, the one compliment I’ve gotten on the shirt was from a fellow female fan at a restaurant in Kentucky.
I am also excited to hear about Her Universe, a store of “Star Wars” merchandise for women. It’s obvious to me there’s a largely untapped market for fangirls, but most companies seem oblivious to our existence and keep gearing their products and marketing to fanboys.
So, Katie, trust me, there are millions of other female “Star Wars” fans out there, even if it might not seem like it right now, and we are ecstatic to add you to our ranks.