Janina Gavankar: How a Nerd of Color Became the Face of Star Wars

Since the NOC launched in 2013, actress Janina Gavankar has been one of the community’s biggest celebrity boosters. Now, finally, Janina is able to join us on Hard NOC Life! In the intervening years, she has racked up the nerd bona fides by starring in Arrow, True Blood, and Sleepy Hollow. But now, she is part of the biggest nerd franchise of them all: as Iden Versio in the blockbuster game franchise Star Wars: Battlefront II.

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Early Bird Passes for Universal FanCon are On Sale Now

In exactly one year from now, fans from all over the country will be gathering by the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Maryland to celebrate their diverse fandoms at the first ever Universal FanCon. And for a limited time, you can get early bird weekend passes for the convention, which go on sale today!

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History as Fan Fiction: A CTRL+ALT Panel on Hamilton

Back in November, we recorded a live edition of Hard NOC Life from the NOC Reading Lounge at CTRL+ALT — the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop-up culture lab in the former Pear River Mart location in SoHo. Hamilton superfans Constance Gibbs, Kendra James, and Kevin T. Morales joined Keith to nerd out over the smash Broadway hit musical Hamilton.

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#RyanPotterForTimDrake the Newest Fan Campaign for Representation

[ED. UPDATE 9/10/16: Ryan Potter’s self-made audition tape has been getting a lot of attention!]

There’s a new fan movement in the works that is determined to get Ryan Potter cast as Tim Drake in the DCEU films. Who is Ryan Potter? Potter, 20, is a young half-Japanese actor who’s best known as the voice of Hiro from Disney’s Big Hero 6. A martial artist himself, Potter has quickly risen to be a fan-favorite choice for Tim Drake amongst DC fans. And it all started with a tweet.

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The Lie Behind “Honest Dialogue”

One of the things I hear all the time in nerd spaces is “why can’t we have a dialogue?” in terms of equal rights issues such as racial equality, media diversity, LGBTQ issues, etc.

Because as soon as the sun will rise, the moment a fangirl dares states that Batman: The Killing Joke is misogynistic, BBC’s Sherlock is homophobic, or that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is racist and lacking in diversity, white fans will move heaven and earth to silent marginalized fans. Whether it’s screaming oppression themselves resorting to bullying and stalking or even violence.

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My Thoughts on Dope

[I wanted to write this reflection the weekend of its release. I decided that I needed a little more time because the film hit home in too many ways and I needed some space from it to get a better handle on how I wanted to approach it. This will not be a typical review, nor will it be an endorsement — despite my endorsing the film whole-heartedly. I have no idea what this is, but I needed to get it out.]

Hip-hop is fandom. While it may not be explicitly geek/nerd culture, it is fandom of the highest order. If anyone chooses to refute this, they aren’t being intellectually or culturally honest. Never has this connection been so blatantly displayed than in Rick Famuyiwa’s 2015 gem of a film, Dope. [I have a lot more to say about this. Watch this space in the next month or two]

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