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Celebrating the Women Who Built Modern Fandom, Star Wars Fangirl Docu-Series Looking for Leia Previews Episodes to Acclaim

Get ready to cry.

Carrie Fisher as Leia in Star Wars: The Last Jedi poster

Women have always been part of the Star Wars fandom galaxy, and Looking for Leia celebrates that. The docu-series, created and directed by filmmaker Annalise Ophelian, centers on different fandom stories told by and about female fans. At Dragon Con this weekend, Ophelian hosted a screening of the first three episodes of Looking for Leia, and immediate reactions were glowing from Star Wars fans who had the chance to see them.

Having had the chance to watch the screeners for these episodes, I agree with the glowing response. Ophelian brings a gentleness and a sensitivity to these stories, ones that deserve to be told. Too often, our narratives of fandom center around the male fan experience, with women being portrayed as hysterical or worthy of mockery because of their passion. Women built modern fan culture as it currently exists, but their contributions are often ignored.

Looking for Leia celebrates these stories. There’s a sweetness and earnestness to these episodes, a respect for the women we meet and the women whose stories mirror the ones shown. You get the sense that these women are old friends and their passion for Star Wars is as familiar as your own. Ophelian deftly avoids any sense of irony or winking at the camera; she has nothing but respect for the subjects of her documentary and for all female fans. The Force is truly with her and her crew.

These are also tearjerkers in the strongest sense. You won’t be able to watch certain episodes and scenes without tearing up, and with good reason. There’s a sense of empowerment in these stories because they are about women coming into their own fully through their own interests. It’s a truly powerful narrative, and one that female fans deserve after years of “fake geek girls” and claims that women only like science fiction because they’re trying to impress men.

The series will debut this fall, though we don’t have an exact opening date yet. Still, these early reactions to the preview screenings are more than enough to get you excited for when the series actually drops. Follow Looking for Leia on Twitter for more updates about the project, and for your daily dose of fangirl joy.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.