My Love for Star Wars

…or why Leia, Rey and Jyn are so important to me.

I want to thank Shelly for inviting to me to write another post for the Toy Photography blog.  Two of the topics that she suggested are:  “Your love for Star Wars” and “What is so important about Leia, Rey and Jyn?”.   This got me thinking: why do I love Star Wars and why am I drawn to these characters?

I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I saw it in 1977, in the theater with my family.  I remember the excitement and buzz over the movie and I remember the very long lines outside the theater.   The special effects were amazing but I was most awed by the story and the characters, especially Luke and Leia.  Leia made a big impression on me because she was one of the first strong female characters ever portrayed in the movies (at least the movies that I had seen at that age).  I also enjoyed Luke Skywalker’s story and his journey from being an “average” person to a hero and Jedi Knight.

Luke and Leia became my childhood heroes so it’s no surprise that the Luke and Leia minifigures were the first minifigures that I ever photographed and posted on Flickr. In fact my love for these characters inspired my first real theme which was my “Skywalker Family Fun” series, which focused on Leia, Luke and Darth Vader doing family activities together.

While I don’t find myself taking as many Skywalker Family Fun photos as I used to, I do still find myself wanting to take photos of Leia, Jyn and Rey.   Why do I keep photographing them?  As a woman, I think it’s natural that I would identify with the female characters more than the male ones but as I thought about this question, I realized that I don’t have any photos of Padme or some of the other female characters.   So what is it about Leia, Rey and Jyn that keeps me gravitating to these characters and minifigures?

Leia

Leia represents a tough, confident female character who takes charge in difficult situations and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. She’s also smart, witty and funny, which captivated me as a child. She doesn’t just stand around and wait for the guys to tell her what to do, she takes charge of the situation.   She was completely different than any other female characters I had encountered before, so I was awestruck. Leia is one of the main reasons why I fell in love with LEGO photography. Once I began taking pictures of the Hoth Leia minifigure, I was immediately impressed by her details and expression.  I tried to recreate every scene that I could think of that included Hoth Leia and then I started buying every Leia minifigure I could find.

Leia will always hold a special place in my heart – especially now that Carrie Fisher is no longer with us. Carrie Fisher’s passing has affected me more than I can express and I haven’t yet been able to photograph my Leia minifigures but I know that will change some day and I’ll return to photographing Leia again.

Rey

To me, Rey is the first female character that we see in the Star Wars movies who has the physical strength to challenge the guys.  She is also the first female character that we get to see in a lengthy lightsaber battle (I know there were female Jedi in the prequels but they didn’t get much screen time).  She’s also very athletic; she’s strong mentally as well as physically. Not only does she defeat Kylo Ren in a lightsaber battle, but she uses his own mind games against him in the interrogation scene.

As a kid, I can remember wishing to see a female Jedi in the Original Trilogy – especially after it was revealed that Leia was strong in the Force too. Sadly, that didn’t happen but at least now we’ll (presumably) get to see Rey training to be a Jedi and I can’t wait to take photographs based on those scenes.

Jyn

Jyn is strong, tough, determined and brave.  She’s not afraid to stand in front of the Rebellion and try to convince them to go to Scarif to get the plans and she is not deterred when they tell her “no”. Even when faced with a monster weapon, such as the Death Star, Jyn never gives up hope that it can be destroyed and is willing to sacrifice her life to get those plans. She also grows as a character from the beginning of the movie, where she is a loner and doesn’t trust anyone, to the end of the movie where she’s part of a team.  She’s strong willed and tenacious, which I think are very admirable qualities.

As for LEGO the version, the Jyn minifigure is probably my favorite Star Wars minifigure since Leia.    I fell in love with her expression and with her cloak which can be used to represent Jyn’s outfit on Eadu or Jedha. I feel that this little piece of fabric adds a lot of visual interest and realism to Jyn’s portraits. To me, Jyn is an inspiration and she has quite a few motivating quotes in the movie that I’m hoping to recreate in photos.

For me, the Star Wars Universe is full of interesting and inspiring characters and I don’t mean to leave anyone out by focusing on these three.  I think the reason I’ve fallen in love with Star Wars is because of their wonderful and progressive characters and I’m grateful that we have these mini figures that provide us with unlimited photo possibilities.   What are your favorite characters from the Star Wars universe?  Who do you relate to the most?

Lynn

You can follow Lynn on Flickr, Instagram and G+

18 thoughts on “My Love for Star Wars”

    1. Definitely! Every Star Wars fan has a special love for the incredible saga. I remember my Mum introducing me to Star Wars and I regret not watching it earlier.

      1. It’s always amazing and heartwarming to read everyone’s memories of this saga and how they were introduced to it by their families, parents etc 🙂 Star Wars is a story that’s literally getting passed down through generations!

        Lynn

  1. Yay! Lovely read about your affinity for these characters, Lynn! I agree with all your sentiments, though I am not as emotionally attached to Leia simply because I didn’t grow up watching Star Wars like everyone else did. (I know, I know, WHAT?! I guess I was too busy playing ukulele and going to the beach in my youth. …Or watching Dark Crystal!)

    I really love Rey’s character, and I also adore Maz Kanata. Hope to see them both in future episodes!

    As always, your work is crisp and top notch.

    1. Thank you very much Leila! Wait, you didn’t grow up watching Star Wars? How is that possible? 🙂 I’m kidding. I can understand that. I actually spent most of my time doing gymnastics but Star Wars was my other favorite past time. I’m thoroughly loving your Dark Crystal photos on IG. I’m definitely going to watch the movie again some time soon 🙂

      Thanks again Leila!

      Lynn

  2. Great read about your Star Wars addiction Lynn! Yes the women are great in these movies. I love Leia a lot and she’s an icon. I’m a big fan of your crisp Flickr page.

    1. Thank you very much Francis! I appreciate the kind words! I agree that Leia is an icon. She was an inspiration to so many people. I’m a big fan of your IG feed – your photos are delightful 🙂

      Lynn

  3. GREAT post, Lynn! It’s wonderful to hear your reasoning behind photographing this trio, even if I don’t find the reasons surprising at all! All of what you love about them is shown wonderfully in your photos. You capture their unique, strong spirits beautifully and I always love seeing their portraits grace my feed.

    Your posts inspire me to take more movie recreation shots. Your attention to detail is great, and as someone who loves the Star Wars universe more than any other, it’s so fun to see these scenes recreated by a fellow fan. There are a lot of Star Wars photographers out there, but your photos truly are one of a kind!

    Of all the Star Wars characters, male or female, I think Rey is my favorite. I love how strong, smart, and capable she is, and I can’t wait to see what they do with her in Episode VIII. More importantly, I can’t wait to see what they do with her so that you can recreate it in LEGO form!

    1. Thank you very much for the kind words James! I really appreciate everything you said – your comment made my day 🙂 The Star Wars Universe truly gave us many wonderful characters to admire and photograph (male and female). I can’t wait to see your photos! 🙂

      Lynn

  4. As the female part of our duo, I totally agree with you!

    We can see powerful and inspiring women in the saga, Phasma, Maz Kanata, Padme Amidala… and it’s great that we can relate to them in their Lego form, since most merchandising forgets their existence ò.ó

    (Greetings from Barcelona… and sorry for the english!)

    1. Thank you very much Fran! Your English was great! Yes, it’s true that we have so many inspiring women to look up to in the saga. I’m grateful that LEGO has provided us with minifigures of most of these characters so we can photograph them 🙂

      Lynn

  5. Great post Lynn! And, as usual, wonderful images to accompany your words.
    It’s wonderful to read about your connection with these characters. I can’t wait to see your Rey’s Jedi training shots!! Fingers crossed this is a part of the next film installment, not only for all us Star Wars fans, but for us fans of your work too!

    1. Thank you very much Brett! I certainly hope we get to see some scenes of Rey training to be a Jedi 🙂 If not, I’m sure there will still be lots of great scenes to recreate 🙂 Thank you again for the kind words!

      Lynn

    1. Thank you very much Stephen! I completely agree with you! During these difficult times, it is so nice to be able to get lost in a movie, especially a movie that has such a powerful message of “hope” 🙂

  6. While I am certainly fans of Leia, Rey, and especially Jyn (for her pluck), I am not drawn to them personally over some other characters.

    However what thrills me about the latest couple of movies is that there are more stronger female role models for my daughter. Leia was always around, but she was barely more than a side character for most of it. Rey and Jyn are at the very core of the story, but they are not super women – they are normal teenagers who got put into extraordinary situations, and rose to the occasion.

    My daughter is 5, and has a 7 year old big brother, so Star Wars plays a prominent role in our household – it makes me happy that she gets to see a woman play a central role in those stories, and gives her someone to emulate that isn’t a princess

    1. Hi Dave,

      I think it’s wonderful that your daughter has such great role models in Leia, Rey and Jyn. Leia will always be my favorite (possibly because of nostalgia) but I do agree with you that she was more of a side character. I can remember watching Return of the Jedi and wishing that Leia had a bigger part in the movie, although she does get to kill Jabba the Hutt 🙂 I completely agree with you about Rey and Jyn, they are both tough characters and it makes me very happy that they are just regular people who do extraordinary things. I’m very glad we have these characters to inspire young girls. I wish more characters like these were around when I was growing up 🙂

      Lynn

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