Once upon a time, it was tough being a female Star Wars fan. Perhaps, like me, you grew up hearing the phrase “But Star Wars is for boys”. Maybe you struggled to find other girls or women who shared your love for that galaxy far, far away. Or perhaps you yearned for a wider range of female characters to look up to.
Over the past decade, Lucasfilm has done a tremendous job of boosting female representation on the big screen, in its TV series, and across its print media. Characters like Ahsoka Tano, Rey, Phasma, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, and Hera Syndulla are among the recent additions to the decades-old franchise and we’ll soon be getting acquainted with Iden Versio, commander of the Imperial Special Forces unit Inferno Squadron and protagonist of EA’s 2017 game, Star Wars Battlefront II.
But, contrary to popular belief, female Star Wars fans are neither a rare breed nor a relatively new phenomenon as filmmaker Annalise Ophelian’s new documentary, Looking for Leia, will illustrate.
What is ‘Looking for Leia’?
Looking for Leia is a feature film documentary that will explore how women have helped shape and expand the Star Wars universe over the franchise’s forty-year history, and will look at the various challenges these dedicated fangirls have faced along the way.
Over the next six months or so, filmmaker Annalise Ophelian and her team will interview an inter-generational and culturally diverse group of female Star Wars fans, including cosplayers, artists, authors, film buffs, cultural critics, and women working in STEM fields. Every fan has their story about how they’ve experienced and interacted with the Star Wars fandom, and Ophelian’s documentary will give some of them the chance to share their personal stories with the rest of us.
You can learn more about this exciting initiative over on the Looking for Leia website.
What is the ‘Looking for Leia’ Kickstarter Campaign?
The Looking for Leia Kickstarter campaign was launched on 25 May 2017 in a bid to raise $25,000, which will put towards hiring staff, travel costs, licensing fees, and other production (and post-production) costs.
At the time of writing, the campaign had successfully raised over $16,000 and has enjoyed press coverage on Nerdist, The Verge, and The Mary Sue. But, since it’s an “all or nothing” campaign, fans are urged to keep on pledging money. If the campaign doesn’t hit its fundraising target before 24 June, Ophelian and her team won’t receive any funding and production may be delayed.
A range of Star Wars-themed perks are available to donors, ranging from a simple social media shout-out to an executive producer credit on the finished film. A full list of perks can be found on the project’s Kickstarter page.
Short on cash? Don’t let that stop you. There are other ways to show your support for this campaign.
How Can I Support ‘Looking For Leia’?
Curious to know how you can support this incredible project? Here are some of the ways you can help!
- Back the Kickstarter – The sooner the campaign hits its target, the sooner Ophelian and her team can complete their work. Speed up the process by making a pledge today. Every dollar helps!
- Get involved – Looking for Leia is looking for potential interviewees and people to help produce and/or promote the film. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch.
- Write about it – If you run your own blog/website or work for the media, consider writing an article or two about this project. Let your readers know how important this project is to the Star Wars fandom. Who knows? They might even make a pledge!
- Share the love on social media – Are you on Twitter, Facebook, or any other form of social media? Then why not take the opportunity to make Looking for Leia go viral by sharing links to the Kickstarter campaign and/or project website? And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Looking for Leia on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The Looking for Leia Kickstarter campaign ends on Saturday 24 June 2017 and is an “all or nothing” campaign, meaning the project will only be funded *if* it reaches its goal.
You can help Dr. Annalise Ophelian and her team punch production into hyperspace by heading over to Kickstarter to make your pledge!