Melinda’s Brew : Stepping Into A Larger World

Melinda’s Brew : Stepping Into A Larger World

The lengths to which I will go for Star Wars and a blog. πŸ˜‰

I recently returned from a trip to the UK — set up a long time ago “to collect” our youngest padawan, Caitlin (you met her in a couple of previous blogs I wrote for CWK), who spent her junior year at the London School of Economics and Political Science (a mouthful for any school! No wonder the Brits shorten it to LSE.). Let’s face it … this was going to be a (much needed!) vacation, too. I never had been to England, and always wanted to go. This was the chance I had been waiting for! πŸ™‚

Too, I missed Caitlin terribly — the last time I saw her was when we bid her good-bye at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on New Year’s Day after inching our way through the blizzard that blanketed Wisconsin and Illinois on its march eastward (oh, what a fun drive that was!). This trip would give me the chance to see her a little sooner than if I had to wait until she came home on her own. I arrived in London while Caitlin was enmeshed in her final exams. I spent a little bit of time with her (some was better than none), πŸ™‚ which pretty much left me to my own devices most of the time.

What does all of this have to do with Star Wars? you might be asking yourself right now. Please allow me to share the beginning of a special story with you…

I have been an avid reader of Star Wars Insider for many a year. It is the only magazine I read (except for the errant publication I pick up in a physician’s office to kill time while waiting for my appointment — which has been the case far too often these past few months). πŸ™‚ I savor almost every article and spread in the 8-issues-per-year publication. (The only articles I do not read are those pertaining to new novels coming out. Try as they might, all reviewers have the tendency to reveal plot points — sometimes key plot points — in their writings, and I prefer to be in the dark when I open a book to page 1.) The Insider is published by Titan Publications Inc., located in London. I sent off a quick email to the magazine’s editor, Jonathan Wilkins, sometime ago to see if we could meet while I was visiting his bustling city. He graciously accepted my invitation to lunch! πŸ™‚


While Caitlin was taking her final final, I taxied to Titan’s offices across the Thames. I arrived early — I must have been anxious to meet another huge Star Wars fan πŸ˜‰ — and waited for Jonathan in the downstairs lobby. It wasn’t long before this tall, bearded fellow strode down the stairs and approached me. Neither of us knew what the other looked like. I hoped my Star Wars t-shirt would give me away. It must have because he walked right up to me, said, “Melinda?” and gave me a hug. How welcoming is that? πŸ™‚

Jonathan had a nearby eatery in mind so we quickly made our way there. Once settled at a table, we continued our chat about everything Star Wars. I was interested in gleaning information about the man behind the pen [or keyboard, I should say πŸ˜‰ ] that did not involve Star Wars. Jonathan quipped, “Well, (many of) my friends are Star Wars fans, and we spend a lot of time talking about Star Wars. And my job revolves around it so I’d have to say it pretty much encompasses my entire life!” If that isn’t a direct quote, it’s pretty darn close. πŸ˜‰ I most definitely could relate … Star Wars permeates so much of our lives — oftentimes without our even realizing it. πŸ™‚

My lunch partner knew I had two daughters who were raised on Star Wars, and asked what I thought about all the hoopla surrounding the lack of principle female characters expected in the upcoming films and, more importantly, the absence of female characters in the first wave or two of anticipated toys and collectibles. (I addressed the outcry pertaining to the perception of meager female character involvement in a previous blog — fans reacted negatively too soon since it has become known the female gender will be adequately represented both in the upcoming films and animated series.) Regarding Hasbro’s lack of female character action figures, I told Jonathan this: (1) It is ridiculous to think any company will release everything in its arsenal at the same time. Marketing does not work that way. With the dawn of “Rebels” this fall, I am confident we will see plenty of Hera and Sabine, in particular, on the shelves. My prediction — they will turn out to be fan favorites — among boys and girls — and Hasbro would be foolish to ignore that; and (2) if Hasbro ignores Star Wars’ female fan base, it has made a stupid — yes, stupid — business decision. Give the fans what they want, and the company will make money. Plain and simple. If the collectibles don’t emerge on store shelves, Hasbro will have no one but itself to blame when it comes up short in its effort to make money. I’m willing to be patient to see what the toy powerhouse has in store for us all. I did admit to Jonathan that it was rather disappointing that fans did not find action figures/12″ dolls of Padme in her entire array of costumes in stores. Erin, my oldest daughter, began a collection of the dolls and action figures depicting the gorgeous costumes created for Padme, I explained, and was disappointed she could not complete the set. “Some things just were not meant to be,” I added. (She was after all the costumes Natalie Portman wore in the prequels in both sizes.)

Jonathan informed me that he was interested in what I — a female fan who has two daughters who are Star Wars fans, too [maybe not to the extent as their ol’ mum, but fans in their own right πŸ™‚ ] — had to say on the subject because the Insider is dealing with the topic in an upcoming issue. “It’s going to seem like our article is in response to what has been said (recently),” Jonathan noted, “but this has been planned for quite some time.” The world of publishing. The editorial staff works a minimum of six months in advance to get a magazine out. It’s odd to work on a Christmas issue during the heat and humidity of July. lol I look forward to reading the article when that issue appears in my mailbox. πŸ™‚

… And here I’ll stop. Just like waiting for … anticipating … the arrival of each issue of the Insider, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to wait until next time for the final installment of my luncheon with Jonathan. I just wanted to set the stage today — we talked about so much more … Episode VII … his barely contained excitement about his first trip to a Fan Celebration in the U.S. (next April’s extravaganza in Anaheim, CA) and some of my recollections from Celebrations I, III, IV, V and VI … lots more … and, oh, a little website called Coffee With Kenobi. πŸ˜‰ In addition to wrapping up our own little meet-and-greet, I intend to share with you an unexpected happenchance that capped my last afternoon by myself. Was it the will of the Force that let me through the portal of one London business establishment … or just plain luck?

Until next month —


p.s. Please remember — I’d love to hear from you, either via a comment below or an email sent to

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  1. Neil
    July 1, 2014 at 14:20 Reply

    Cool blog, MW!
    How exciting to meet the head honcho behind Insider – and possibly have a hand in a future publication. Happy you had fun my home town πŸ™‚

    1. Melinda Wolf
      July 7, 2014 at 18:31 Reply

      I had a super time! Silly me, though! I should have quizzed you about what to see and where to go. And look for some of your old haunts. πŸ˜‰ I did think of you while I was there. πŸ™‚

  2. Lisa
    July 2, 2014 at 19:21 Reply

    It’s so cool that he made time to meet with you, Melinda! πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to hearing how it all ended up.

    1. Melinda Wolf
      July 7, 2014 at 18:32 Reply

      Now I just have to write it. πŸ™‚ Oh wait! Why get ahead of myself? It isn’t due until next Tuesday. πŸ˜‰

  3. Jay Krebs
    July 9, 2014 at 09:56 Reply

    What an amazing opportunity! It’s both very gracious and encouraging that he would take time to meet with you.

    You’re right – it is very challenging to find Padme and Leia dolls and figures – quality ones that do them justice. In my various flea market, garage sale and vintage toy hunts, the ladies are indeed scarce. However, sometimes I feel like it makes those finds so much more special. At least, that’s how I think of it. Luke, Anakin, Han, even the “Ice Cream Maker Guy” from Cloud City in ESB are easier to find. As much as I love collecting those characters (well, maybe not the ice cream guy), they’re a “dime a dozen”! πŸ˜‰ I love a challenge. I love uniqueness. I love feeling like that ONE figure/doll is unparalleled in my collection. After all, that’s what women are, right?! LOL πŸ˜‰

    But in the larger scope of things, you know how I feel about the representation of women (or lack thereof) in Star Wars, and in media in general. I’m not a “feminist,” but there are elements of representation I feel are sorely lacking or missing entirely.

    You definitely made some excellent points to Mr. Wilkins. It’s great that he was so open to your ideas, and is willing to tackle the subject in Star Wars Insider! You know, there are plenty of ladies on staff here that I’m sure would be more than willing to contribute (ahem) to that article!

    How wonderful that your trip was a win-win for you – not only did you get to see your precious Caitlin and visit an amazing part of the world, you had this terrific meeting of the Star Wars minds as well! πŸ™‚

    Really looking forward to your next installment!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Melinda
      July 15, 2014 at 14:49 Reply

      I hope you like the next installment, Jay! I just posted it. πŸ™‚ But on to more important matters at hand…

      Luke (figures) being relegated to the “dime a dozen” clan. πŸ˜‰ Oh well. But never in my heart. πŸ™‚ lol

      I have to ask — who is “Ice Cream Maker Guy”? Is that his official name? πŸ˜‰ Or just a moniker with which he has been dubbed by fans? Inquiring minds want to know!

      I can’t wait to see what the new wave of female characters — both “real life” and animated — bring to the Star Wars Saga and franchise! Fangirls unite! πŸ™‚

      1. Jay Krebs
        July 18, 2014 at 09:26 Reply

        The “Ice Cream Maker Guy” IS actually a real character – his name is Willrow Hood, and he can be seen leaving Cloud City during the evacuation with what looks like an ice creammaker tucked under his arm!! πŸ˜€

        You can read about him here:

  4. Joe2 Taylor
    July 9, 2014 at 19:25 Reply

    Ohh, leaving the reader thirsty for more! great ending.

    What an awesome opportunity. I’m sure you had a lot to talk about. Can’t wait to read the rest.

    1. Melinda
      July 15, 2014 at 14:51 Reply

      I am never (okay, rarely πŸ˜‰ ) at a loss for words. lol It was a great time, Joe, and I’m glad you’re enjoying my tale. It ALWAYS is wonderful to have you stop by! πŸ™‚

  5. Becca Benjamin
    July 12, 2014 at 14:28 Reply

    This is Funtastic! The force is totally with you, Melinda πŸ™‚
    What an amazing to person, to make such an effort to not only meet with you, but to have lunch with you…..just WOW!

    Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures from across the pond πŸ˜‰

    1. Melinda
      July 15, 2014 at 14:58 Reply

      Sometimes, Becca. Sometimes. πŸ™‚

      I hope you enjoy the rest of my tale. πŸ™‚ Meeting Jonathan most definitely was one of the highlights of my trip. He was so easy-going (truthfully, I did not expect anything less), and “delightful” is the perfect adjective to use to describe our meeting and lunch/conversation. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. The only real disappointment I experienced was when we had to say good-bye.

  6. Coffee With Kenobi: Melinda’s Brew: Stepping Into A Larger World - Jedi News
    August 24, 2016 at 07:47 Reply

    […] SOURCECoffee With Kenobi […]

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