#SWRepMatters began in October 2017 as a Twitter hashtag campaign aiming to highlight the strides in diversity and inclusion that Lucasfilm was making in the Star Wars franchise–and how far it had to go. Enlisting support of like-minded members of the Twitter Star Wars community, campaign founders Kate Sanchez, Swara Salih, and Jessica Shitara encouraged others to share their stories: When have you felt seen in the franchise? When has Star Wars disappointed you with its lack of diversity or use of harmful stereotypes? What do you hope to see in the future?
That first campaign went viral, and since then, the #SWRepMatters planning group has facilitated monthly conversations highlighting specific identities (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, body diversity etc.,) as they appear–or fail to appear–in the Galaxy Far, Far Away. As the movement gained steam, the hashtag has been used by Star Wars authors, actors, and those working behind the scenes of the franchise. The planning group’s unfailing and consistent work on issues of representation led to the first #SWRepMatters panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in 2019. Not to rest upon their laurels, #SWRepMatters launched this website in summer 2019 to further promote, highlight, and support representation in the Star Wars franchise.