Throughout the forty-year history of Star Wars, there have been countless ways that fans have chosen to show their appreciation for the saga. Since the advent of the internet, it has made many of these ways much easier. Whether it be through podcasts or websites just like this one, fans have come out en mass to show their support for the Galaxy Far, Far Away. While podcasts and websites certainly have their own merits and outreach to them, it would be wrong to omit one of the other sides of the Star Wars fandom, those that create their own Star Wars fan-works.
While people have been writing their own Star Wars stories and creating their own pieces of art for decades, the introduction of the internet and social media have allowed these mediums to really explode. With a universe that is so rich with history and depth like Star Wars it is not a surprise that people around the world have taken to writing their own fiction. Websites such as archiveofourown.org (commonly known as ao3) and www.fanfiction.net have enabled fans to share their fictions far and wide. The types of works that you can find are endless. Any kind of genre, any length from a small drabble to stories that have chapter counts spanning into the hundreds. One of the best things about this kind of fan fiction is that literally anyone can participate in it. It doesn't matter what skill level one has as a writer, if they have an idea in their mind it can become reality.
I started writing some of my own fiction after the release of The Force Awakens. Growing up I never was much of the creative type. Never even read for fun, only for schoolwork. I had no idea that this whole other entire world existed until after TFA. It was like the floodgates had opened. Reading and writing these stories about your favorite characters in ways that you would not see otherwise. A lot of fan fiction works tend to involve character relationships, the majority focusing on the romantic variety. While romantic pairings tend to be the vehicle through which the stories are told, it does not diminish their quality nor should it deter you from reading them.
One of the other big aspects for this realm of fandom involves artists. The audience for fan art is equal to if not larger than the one for fan fiction. This manages to happen with even less creators than compared to those who just strictly adhere to writing. Another advancement brought forth with the introduction of social media has allowed artists of all stripes to widely showcase their work that they would not have been able to achieve before. With Twitter and other popular sites like Tumblr and Instagram, these artists share their work that spans multiple styles and multiple inspirations. I follow countless artists on Twitter and Tumblr across many different fandoms and am constantly in awe of the talent that they have.
A huge part of what a lot of fan artists do involves them actually making money with their art. Like the piece above, a fan artist can choose whether or not they would want to take commissions. It sounds exactly how it looks, pretty much. Fans can approach an artist who commissions their work and the recipient is able to obtain their own piece of custom, one of a kind artwork. I've gotten my fair share of commissions over the past year and knowing that I'm giving my support to these incredible artists is worth every penny. A lot of these same artists are the ones that you see selling their own works at conventions across the globe. Next time you're walking around a convention pick something up! You're guaranteed to make that artist's day!
What about you? Do you write your own fan fic or make your own art? Comment below or email in with your thoughts!
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