[GUEST POST] Celebrating Star Wars fandom

Regina Layug Rosero loves cats and costumes, lipstick and lightsabers, Star Wars and superheroes. When she's not working as a communications officer for Doctors Without Borders, she's writing on her blog, the Geeky Cat Lady (https://rejjventress.wordpress.com), or cooking for her family. She shares with us a story of how meeting her fellow fans changed her life in a big way.


I’ve been a Star Wars geek ever since I first saw the opening crawl scrolling up my dad’s TV. Growing up in the Tatooine-like deserts of Saudi Arabia, I draped my black abaya over my shoulders like a cloak, and pretended I was Darth Vader. Sitting behind the driver’s seat in my dad’s car, I pretended to be Han Solo, piloting the Millennium Falcon. Any stick could be a lightsaber.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of people to talk to about Star Wars, outside of my immediate family. For many years, I was just “that girl who likes Star Wars” and sat in a corner, reading. So you can imagine my joy when I finally met the members of Star Wars Philippines (SWP).

I always tell people, it was like I had found my tribe. Finally, there were people who knew what Twi’leks were, who understood how the Force works, who got my dorky references. I always tell people, it was like I had come home.

It was at SWP that I learned about the many novels Timothy Zahn had written. Through SWP, I met dear old Ricky, who was older than most of us, who loved Star Trek as much as he loved Star Wars, and who shared with my brother his passion for World War II. At SWP, I met Ruth, who was so young that her parents insisted her yaya accompany her to our meetings, and who later on put together a beautiful Barriss Offee costume. One of the things I loved most at SWP was that there were so many other people loved Star Wars, and nobody cared about your gender identity or age, how you dressed or where you came from, if you had piercings of tattoos. 

It was a family, and it was lovely. But I didn’t realize exactly how important SWP would be in my life. 

SWP is where I met my husband. He was the first guy I met who wasn’t afraid to argue with me. He didn’t scoff at the fact that I was a girl who loved Star Wars. He helped me build my costumes. He surprised me with Star Wars toys.

Reader, I married him. 

And of course, because we had met through Star Wars, we had a Star Wars wedding in 2010. My wedding dress was inspired by Padme Amidala’s dress in Attack of the Clones. His barong was designed like a Jedi tunic. Our entire entourage—yes, including our parents—was in costume. Ruth was one of our secondary sponsors, and she marched down the aisle in her Barriss Offee costume.

Because my dad had passed away years before, my brother walked me down the aisle, and he wore an admiral’s uniform. Our groomsmen had Imperial and Rebel logos on their barongs, while our bridesmaids were dressed like Padme’s handmaidens. Even our ringbearer, our Bible bearer and our coin bearer were dressed like younglings. One of our friends made foam clone trooper armor for his daughter, who was our flower girl. 

SWP is how I heard of the 501st Legion, of which I became a proud member in 2005. It was because of the 501st that I was able to march in the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade, and I had the fan experience of a lifetime: I met the Maker himself, George Lucas. It was at the Rose Parade that I met fellow fans from all over the world, about 200 of them, and it didn’t matter if you spoke English or Spanish or Chinese. All that mattered was you were a fan, and we all became brothers and sisters in armor. 

So many of the people I met in SWP all those years ago are still my friends now. We’ve partied together and worked together. We went to Star Wars Celebration together. We organized conventions and events together. We’ve dueled with lightsabers. We’ve helped each other build costumes and props. We’ve worked on fiberglass and plastic and leather together. We’ve trooped together and argued about spoilers. 

Now I have a son, and his name is (predictably) Lucas (not Luke!). He’s turning four this year, and we’re doing all that stuff all over again—but with him. 

Across the stars, beyond the desert sands, in these islands, I found a galactic family. I think the Force is with us.

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