Q: Good evening! I’m glad you guys are visiting my blog today. We have another special guest. I’m interviewing Poppy Appleton, aka Ahsoka Giya. She’s a steampunk cosplayer and a member of the Star Wars Steampunk Universe. The SWSU is a cosplay group and charity organization that’s continually growing in members. I interviewed a couple members in the past and everybody in the SWSU seems to be very pleasant company. Thanks for joining us, Poppy.
A: Glad to be here, Stephanie!
Q: Your SWSU persona is Ahsoka Giya. Would you mind telling us about it?
A: Ahsoka Giya is a steampunk imagining of Ahsoka Tano. Giya meaning gear in Japanese. I tried to keep a silhouette of the character from season 3-5 of the Clone Wars but with a steampunk twist.
Q: Why did you join the SWSU?
A: My husband (Cog Bane) and I had recently moved from northern California to San Diego. We have been friends with Nathan Seekerman for a few years after meeting at the different cons. When we moved to San Diego, he asked that we join! After seeing the great charity work the group provides to the community, we were in.
Q: It seems like the SWSU is getting bigger. Are you getting a lot more members?
A: Yes, the group is steadily growing. I love it because it's wonderful to see the great costumes that people come up with.
Q: Aside from yourself, which member of the SWSU has the most interesting costume?
A: I have always loved Rebecca’s take on Boba Fett (Lady Babette Fett). There’s always something new and interesting on her costume. And it’s just lovely!
Q: What’s your favorite Star Wars film?
A: I honestly love then all, even the prequels! But as a kid, I LOVED Empire Strikes Back when they were on Hoth. I love Wampa! I feel the story and character development were nicely paced and there’s lots of fun stuff, such as AT-ATs, Yoda, Boba Fett, and we really get to see Luke dive into his Jedi powers. And of course the, “I am your father!” Ahh! I love it!
Q: Regarding cosplay in general, what do you enjoy most about it?
A: The community! The community is amazing and wonderfully supportive. I also love cosplay because any day can be dress up day! I feel cosplay really gets the side of myself that craves creativity.
Q: I think some people label cosplayers a degenerate subculture of social misfits. Why do you think certain people give cosplay a negative label?
A: Degenerate subculture of social misfits isn’t a negative label at all! I think a lot of us identify with being different and cosplay makes us feel we belong not only to the characters we love and embody but to a group that understands this love for these characters.
Q: Do you have other cosplay personas?
A: I have several and they are all steampunk. I have a steampunk bandit, steampunk princess, steampunk jester, and a steampunk gunslinger.
Q: Let’s move to a few steampunk questions. It seems like most steampunk fans have their own unique view on the genre. How would you define steampunk?
A: I have always looked at steampunk with a very wide lens. It’s the future in the past, or the past in the future. Since there is no definitive movie or book, steampunk is what you make of it. So long as it’s weird, it’s steampunk.
Q: Do you have a favorite steampunk book series?
A: I LOVED the Leviathian series by Scott Westerfeld. It’s a young adult novel series but it was so good. I also enjoyed Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. I also dabbled in Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series by Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris.
Q: Steampunk enthusiasts seem to be multiplying. Why do you think people are drawn to the genre?
A: Steampunk is a very fluid genre and I think that attracts people who want something weird or different, but still want some individuality to their own personal creations. This is appealing to people like myself who want to make a character their own.
Q: I noticed several whimsical elements in steampunk, like gears, goggles, top hats, parasols, and various knick knacks. What are your favorite steampunk accessories?
A: The jewelry! I love weird jewelry. The weirder, the better! I make all of my own jewelry so I try to put my own twists on things. I also love hats. I have a hat or headpiece for every costume.
Q: My own book series has a combination of steampunk and post-apocalyptic elements. We’re definitely seeing more post-apocalyptic steampunk literature, but some people don’t believe the two genres can blend together. On the flip side, some people don’t understand how steampunk can be anything except post-apocalyptic. What are your thoughts about that dilemma?
A: I think steampunk fits in post-apocalyptic literature and outside of it. Steampunk is very fluid and I think that works for many different “worlds.” I think the only dilemma may be a persons love for a certain type of literature that they can’t imagine sharing a steampunk world outside of that.
Q: Is there anything exciting coming up for you?
A: Just trying to finish some costume updates for Ahsoka for Comic-Con. I’d like to tackle a few bigger projects this year but we’ll see ;)
Q: I’m really glad we talked. You gave a lot of fun and interesting answers. Thanks for letting us know more about yourself and the fabulous Ahsoka Giya. I will probably run into you and other members of the Star Wars Steampunk Universe at future events. Best wishes to you and the entire organization.
A: Thank you! And thank you for the opportunity!
That concludes my interview with Poppy Appleton. I really enjoyed talking to her. She seems really fun and open minded to everything in the realm of steampunk or science fiction in general. In fact, the entire SWSU is a swell group. Hopefully, many of you guys will have the pleasure of meeting her at some of the steampunk festivals or comic cons. I also want to thank Con Woman Photography, Sonny Meas Photography, and The Photobloggin' Fedora/“Kimihiro-kun” for taking a few of the lovely photos in this post. You guys can find Ahsoka Giya on Instagram as Poppy Appleton. I'm also going to leave Facebook links for Poppy and the SWSU. Please leave comments if you want to say anything about this interview. I hope you enjoyed the experience and stay tuned for my next blog post. Have a good week!