Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, have you seen the Orphan Black season 5 extended trailer? Is five seasons enough for the show?
Speaking of trailers, the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released this week at the Star Wars Celebration in Florida. The event, which was attended by Gary Fisher, set fandom abuzz over the weekend.
There’s lots to see in the trailer. BGR posted an article pointing out the similarities between the trailer for The Last Jedi and the trailer for The Force Awakens. Whether that’s formulaic editing or a hint about history repeating itself remains to be seen. For now, the theories are flying. The Sun wrote about two of the biggest ones: That Luke will turn to the Dark Side and Rey is a Gray Jedi. Time also chimed in to talk about the poster for the movie supports the theory about Rey.
Fans have pointed out that the Gray Jedi theory in particular would make sense, and that it would be a satisfyingly balanced resolution to the conflict between the Light Side and the Dark Side.
What if The Last Jedi is Luke training Rey to be a gray jedi cuz there is darkness in everyone, instead of repressing you should accept it
— Sorachi's Last Pantsu⭐GINTAMA THE FINAL APRIL 8 (@Bakaizer_) April 2, 2017
What do you think? Is there a theory we’ve missed that would explain everything? Let us know in the comments!
The other big fandom debut this week was that of Bill Potts, the new companion on Doctor Who. As a black lesbian, Bill has a lot of potential to be good for diversity and representation, and a lot of potential to be bad for it. So far, though, most reception has been positive. While The Sun mentions that a “feminist campaigner” is unhappy with Bill because she believes that Bill was written for the male gaze, both Vox and The Mary Sue have published articles praising Bill.
The Vox article focuses on how Bill is unique among companions, which it praises as a contrast to how “Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has a bad reputation for writing female characters who would be impossible to distinguish from one another if you only read their words off a page.” According to the article, “Bill is, in short, surprising,” both for the Doctor and the audience, both in the way she interacts with the Doctor and her attitude towards life.
The article from The Mary Sue focuses on reasons to like Bill, and praises the way she’s represented as both a woman of colour and a lesbian: “I love that we have a woman of color on the TARDIS again. […] I love that Bill rocks her afro majestically. […] Not only is her sexuality integral to her personality, but it’s also integral to the plot of the episode in a really beautiful way.”
Fans in the wild seem pretty happy with Bill’s introduction, too, as this tweet attests. Here’s to a hopefully awesome series of Doctor Who!
Directioners had a bit of a moment this week. According to <cite<Rifinery29, Harry Styles’ Twitter account was (probably) hacked, and the hacker tweeted a link to some explicit Larry Stylinson fanfic. Refinery29 readership is ostensibly not that familiar with musician RPS, so the article continues into an analysis of why it’s so popular, saying that “boy bands are inherently homoerotic and that’s part of their lasting appeal.” It concludes with the following: “The question is, does the #Larry movement prove that we are fundamentally uncomfortable with male friendship? That we encourage gay relationships? Or that we simply have too much time on our hands to develop intricate romance where there is none?” Considering that there are nearly 30’000 fanworks of the pairing on AO3, it’s likely that fans have explained their own reasons for shipping Larry.
Lastly, here are some pictures of a dog having fun! As The Telegraph reports, the dog’s owner was invited to speak at a convention, but she didn’t realize what Furry fandom was. Her dog, Link, “was just a little curious why people were wearing tails,” at first, but enjoyed meeting new friends.
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