I was lucky enough this week to interview Savanna from Pandas, Lightsabers, and Cameras, Oh My. She is one of my favorite Star Wars bloggers, a fellow Cad Bane fan, and I've been following her for a long time. This was a lot of fun to do, and I hope you enjoy.
SW: How has Star Wars been an influence on your life?
SK: It’s extremely hard to explain how Star Wars has influenced my life, because it’s so much more than just movies to me. Star Wars is my life. I was raised watching these movies and now the franchise has become really important to me. I have met all of my close friends through Star Wars, whether it was online by forums and blogs, or in person at conventions. It’s a way for me to socially connect with thousands of people by blogging about Star Wars or sharing pictures about my passion. I love Star Wars because of the things it’s allowed me to do in life. That’s putting it condensed form, since it has been such a huge impact on who I am.
SW: Are you into any sort of 'collecting'? What kind of things do you like to collect?
SK: Even though I’m new to collecting, I really love it! Collecting can get a little addicting at times, especially with my huge clone trooper fandom backing it. Right now I’m focusing on getting carded clone trooper action figures, specifically anything with Shock troopers, and premium format figures from Sideshow every so often. It’s easier to buy collectibles when you have a focus. So while I’ll still pick up regular action figures sometimes, I try to stay contained in the clone trooper realm. I’d also like to start a Wampa-centric collection soon, as I have a huge love for those Hoth beasts.
SW: I think we all know you're a big fan of the Wolffe Pack and the bounty hunter Cad Bane. Would you like to tell us the story of how you 'fell in love' with each of them?
SK: It’s funny how I became a fan of both characters. Believe it or not, I was not a devoted follower of The Clone Wars when season 1 debuted. I tried watching the show with my brother a few times when it first aired, but didn’t find any interest in it. However, when season 2 came around, I decided to watch some of those episodes and got immediately attached to Cad Bane. I loved his total Western look and personality; he seems like a direct imitation of Clint Eastwood, which I thought was really neat. So my first major fangirl love was Cad Bane since he drew me into The Clone Wars. After that, I got more interested in clone troopers through going back to season 1 and watching the Ryloth arc. Commander Wolffe didn’t catch my eye until about season 3. I developed a huge love for this character after seeing his Phase II armor in season 4, which was back in the beginning of this year. Later I got to meet the guys who actually cosplay as the Wolfpack in the Florida Garrison of the 501st Legion. So with the combination of the real character on TV and meeting cool fans that like the same things I like, my obsession for the Wolfpack really grew.
(SW: That's really cool, because Cad Bane was the reason I got pulled into the Clone Wars as well, and I agree on those Western vibes. I've always held interest in clones, too.)
SW: Aside from Star Wars, what other fandoms are you really into?
SK: Star Wars is definitely my main fandom; I devote almost all of my time and interest towards that. Other franchises like Indiana Jones, Marvel, and DC comics are also on my list of fandoms, but I’m definitely not to the level of “crazy die-hard fangirl” with those like I am with Star Wars. I’m not sure if this would be considered a fandom, but I really love black and white films too. Sunset Boulevard and Young Frankenstein are a couple of my favorites.
SW: List your top five favorite fictional characters (including non-Star Wars characters.)
SK: Oh boy, tough choices! In no particular order:
Han Solo- He’s the dashing, rough and scruff guy from the original trilogy that has always caught my attention. I grew up on the original trilogy and Han was my favorite character because he was the scoundrel, not too good but not too bad. Plus, he pilots the super rad Millennium Falcon which gives him bonus awesome points.
Commander Wolffe- Let me try to contain my excitement here. *breathes deeply* Okay. Wow. Where do I start with Wolffe? I really love this character because he’s shown in dynamic perspectives between the Clone Wars television series as well as the Clone Wars comics. In the comics, he’s a very strong and determined leader but still has much to learn. He’s a fighter and never gives up, no matter the situation he’s put in. In the TV show, Wolffe is very grumpy and sarcastic, yet he continues to hold his title as Commander and knows exactly how to take care of business. Wolffe also gets huge bonus points for his good looks. And yes people, cybernetic eyes are attractive!
Tony Stark- He’s one of my favorite characters for his absolutely hysterical sense of humor. Tony Stark always has something witty and sarcastic to say, which makes me laugh like crazy when watching Iron Man or the Avengers. Even though he’s kind of a jerk, Tony Stark has a heart and I love his hilarious personality. It’s also really cool that he makes his Iron Man suits. Oh, and he’s good looking. Actually, let’s just conclude right now that all of my favorite guy characters are good looking! Ha ha ha!
(SW: Yup, I would have to agree with you there. Robert Downey Jr [Tony Stark] is the only reason I watch the Avengers movies.)
Captain America- Oh hey, another cute guy! But wait, Captain America is more than just looks. Steve Rogers is the all-around “good guy” that you have to love. He’s a selfless super soldier that always puts others before himself. I think that’s quite admirable and a trait that a well-rounded character should have.
Batman- I find Batman AKA Bruce Wayne to be similar to Captain America in the sense that he’s selfless. I love how Batman had to basically prove himself as a good guy and rise from the shadow of darkness. I’m a new fan of Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Bruce Wayne, so I’m still figuring out what I do and do not like about their characters. Overall, I see them all as people with good intentions, though sometimes they are misunderstood, which is relatable to all of us in the real world.
SW: If you like, tell me how your involvement in the Star Wars Underworld community came about.
SK: I’m glad you asked this question, as it’s one that I find myself answering quite regularly for various reasons. I guess it was about year and a half ago when I got really into the Star Wars fan community and created a blog of my own. At that time, I was searching the internet for other Star Wars blogs to follow and stay updated with. Along the way I found the Underworld website and glanced through it. Then I found them on Facebook and kept up with the SWU there. When I saw that they were rehauling the main SWU website, I thought it might be cool to devote some of my extra time towards writing articles for them. I did that for a little while then got involved with the SWU Podcast. I was the recruiter for that show first, then I also co-hosted as needed and it was really fun. I’m not has heavily involved with the SWU these days as I’d like to be, since school is dominating all of my available time right now. But I’m so blessed to have found the SWU. I’ve met tons of cool people and had some awesome opportunities all because of the Underworld. I encourage all Star Wars fans to check them out! The SWU is a fantastic group of people all celebrating the same love for Star Wars.
SW: What would you most like to see in the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII movie, or the upcoming trilogy as a whole? What would you least like to see?
SK: While it seems like the whole Star Wars fanbase has been focusing on the topic of the upcoming sequel trilogy, I honestly haven’t put much thought into it. I’m not really looking forward to Episode VII since I know it will probably cover Expanded Universe times, which I’ve never been a fan of. I’d love to see some sort of new female character that is a strong leader, rather than Ahsoka Tano, who is a padawan, that we see in The Clone Wars now. So that doesn’t fully answer your questions, but I’m kind of leaving Episode VII an unanswered topic because I don’t want to get my hopes up for something and then those hopes get crushed.
SW: I'm aware that you are into cos-playing and have a Jedi costume of your own. If you could cos-play as any Star Wars character, who would it be?
SK: I can answer this in an instant. Zam Wessel. I’m absolutely dying to do a Zam costume. I’ve done all the research and know what I can make or where I can buy parts. Now it’s just a matter of time, money, and help from friends to actually build the costume. As for other cosplays, I have a couple in the works to hopefully debut at MegaCon in March of 2013. I’m keeping those under wraps for the time being, but I will say that one of them is not Star Wars related!
(SW: That is so exciting. I can't wait to see your new costumes!)
SW: What would you say is your dream job?
SK: Anything in the field of photography, with the exception of wedding or studio portraits, would stoke me. I have a wide range of interests in photography so I could see myself doing anything from fine art to wildlife imaging. I’d love to shoot freelance and just roam the coast of California, looking for weird places and gorgeous beaches to photograph as I want. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how I develop my love for cameras to determine which branch of photography I want to focus on.
SW: What do you see (or hope to see) yourself doing five years from now?
SK: Great question! I often find myself thinking about this. In about five years from now, I hope to have a degree in photography, possibly live in San Diego, and live the dream as a photographer. I tend to focus on career goals more than having a family so it’s definitely a huge deal for me to graduate college and get a sweet job that I’m passionate about. As long as I’ve got a camera in my hand and I can be somewhat close to the ocean, I’m sure I’ll be happy with however God uses me.
SW: Finally, tell us about one of the most interesting, unexpected, or odd experiences that came about as a result of one of your passions (SW, photography, and pandas).
SK: I could go on forever about the crazy things that has happened as a result of my passions, but I’m going to share a short one that makes me smile. So it’s obvious that I love Commander Wolffe. We all know that! Well one night during Celebration VI in August, I was coming back to my hotel room from the convention center. When I got in the elevator to take me to the 3rd floor, a guy and 2 Sandtrooper cosplayers got in the elevator. As soon as the non-costumed guy saw me, he exclaimed, “Hey! You’re the Wolffe girl!” and then proceeded to tell his Sandtrooper friends that I was a Star Wars fangirl that had a blog called “Pandas, Lightsabers, and Cameras.” I thought this was pretty hilarious that a complete stranger could identify me as “the Wolffe girl”…and I’m proud of that!
(SW: Ah, I remember reading this story on your blog last summer...very amusing!)
Check out Savanna's blog, Pandas, Lightsabers, and Cameras, Oh My!