Recently the Star Wars channel on YouTube released another stunning interview in their series called “Our Star Wars Stories.” This series is hosted by Jordan Hembrough, who travels from one location to the next interviewing Star Wars fans who have had their lives greatly impacted by the franchise we love. These videos provide a look into how Star Wars has impacted the lives of so many fans from all over the world. The episode that was released on April 22 took viewers to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to hear the inspiring story of Zoe Hinton. Zoe, an official member in the MMCC, belongs to the Mav Oya’la Clan as Sabine Wren. Star Wars has had a big impact on Zoe’s life almost since the beginning and is the inspiration for her future in the film industry. Zoe aspires to follow the footsteps of George Lucas into the path of directing and the interview was not only an opportunity to share her story but to also get a chance to handle some of the equipment the crew brought with them.
The chance to be interviewed by Jordan Hembrough was a lengthy process but the interview was desired by both parties. Jordan contacted Zoe’s dad, Mike Hinton, about setting up the interview after the Perales Family interview. During that interview Lizzy Perales mentioned that she and her best friend, Zoe Hinton, run a Star Wars podcast together which put Zoe on Jordan’s radar. Fast forward to Star Wars Celebration Chicago where Jordan found Zoe for a small interview that was featured on the live feed for Celebration. She thought that that interview may have been the one, but Jordan stayed in contact to set up a full interview. Interviews can either fill someone with excitement or anxiety, but for Zoe she was excited and in awe when it started to become real. But the feeling never really set in for her until the day before the interview when the crew showed up to scout out locations in the house to shoot the episode; she was so excited she couldn’t go to sleep. But it wasn’t just the interview that filled her with excitement but the equipment the crew brought with them.
Zoe is a student of film and her university offers a wide range of opportunities and equipment to work with. However, as a freshman, Zoe doesn’t have that many options when it comes to camera equipment so working with the amazing crew and cameras was a valuable experience. Zoe had the opportunity to inspect and operate some of the equipment on the set, which was both informative and nerve-wracking because of the expensive equipment. She enjoyed handling all of the high-quality equipment on a real set, which take one back to the root of where her love of film provided inspiration: George Lucas. Zoe mentioned that she wanted to follow the path of directing and Star Wars is the main reason. She has learned so much from him especially that George didn’t really worry himself with how exactly the crew could do something but had the idea and expected it to work out, which was stated at The Phantom Menace panel at SWCC. She took the lesson to heart as she tends to get too caught up in worrying about making something for a film, which she believes to be a limitation in what she can do. But she believes she has become better for it going into film school. Be it her love of film or even Star Wars as a whole we wanted to know more about her interest in the Mandalorian Mercs.
Zoe has always loved Mandalorians from a very young age; at that young age she thought they were the only ones with the cool jetpacks! But growing up with The Clone Wars, she really came to like the characters that were introduced in the show. Characters like Bo-Katan and Sabine Wren created a certain gravity that pulled her to the club. Ultimately, she chose Sabine Wren to pull her into the Mandalorian Mercs. She really loved Sabine’s style, attitude, and her entire personality, which gave Zoe the inspiration for cutting her hair and dying it after refusing to do so. From the age of 6 she trooped as a jawa, with her dad who is in the 501st Legion, around other Mandalorian Mercs with whom she never had contact with. But for her it wasn’t until she started wearing Sabine that she really began to interact with them and come to love the creativity among the each one of them. The Mav Oya’la Clan instantly welcomed her to the fold, without being an official member, and that drove her to join as soon as she turned 18.
She is now extremely proud to call herself a member of the Mandalorian Mercs and the Mav Oya’la Clan. She was allowed to submit a little early into approval before her 18th birthday, where two days after she turned 18, she was informed of her approval. The best part of that experience that we all share was that she was doing a panel and her clan marched into the room to make the announcement. She was read a latter from the Mandalore himself by her Alor’ad, welcoming her to the group. To her that moment is something she will never forget, as it was a representation of what she loves about the club. The support we show for each other, the excitement of seeing friends or even those you don’t know, and finishing a set of armor are all heartwarming experiences to her; the eagerness of members to help others is a big reason that she loves the community and is proud to say she is a part of that community.
As part of that community, Zoe has 4 Sabine costumes, but is currently approved with a Season 3 Sabine, which took her probably almost year to make; the amount of time taken to make the costume was mostly due to unrelated life events and school. Her favorite part about building the kit, besides being able to wear it, were the moments she was outside working on it with her dad. From the tedious armor forming we all run into to the painting her dad had the patience and spark for, she is proud of the entire costume. But the pieces she is most proud of are the shoulder bells and upper pieces because they were the most difficult to form to the right shape. But no matter the difficulty, Zoe pushed through to become Sabine, this amazing, strong character she came to share an age with. Not only that but Sabine became someone she looked up to without feeling that there was a distance between them both. Zoe grew up with Sabine through high school and connected with strongly through Sabine’s hardships and family relationships within the series. She fully becomes the character she loves when trooping; she not only begins to express similar mannerisms of Sabine but when she dons the wig, when not in her epilogue Sabine, she feels more closely connected to that character.
To Zoe becoming Sabine in some ways creates a better version of herself. She becomes this character that is so full of confidence, resilience, and artistic talent who inspires her both in and out of costume. This is the feeling that the Mandalorian Mercs portray throughout the world. Becoming a character, either from the canon or imagination, and growing as a person. The lessons we learn are carried through our lives and lead us to do amazing things. Having that ability to be confident and resilient just like Sabine is the kind of impact these characters in this amazing universe can show us and Zoe. The Mandalorian Mercs inspire talent and artistic ability that is deep within us; it is something that is given room to grow if we let it. For Zoe, becoming Sabine is not only fun but creates an aurora of change to her life not only in costume but out of costume as well. Zoe has given us an inspiring story both on the Star Wars channel and here in this interview. It is always amazing to see where these characters take us in life, and we know that Zoe will go to amazing places with her abilities. This is the Way.