Fan Spotlight: Destinee and Matthew

This NorCal couple finally made it to Celebration. is shining a light on those who truly give the saga its power: the fans. In the Fan Spotlight, we’re honored to tell their stories.

About five years ago, Destinee Nagtalon and Matthew Dong were just friends. For “a really long time,” the Northern Californians practiced judo together. But in 2014, they found another shared interest: Star Wars Rebels. According to Destinee, Star Wars brought them closer together.

When runs into the couple at their first Star Wars Celebration in Chicago this past April, Destinee’s decked out in her best Ahsoka Tano cosplay; Matthew’s out of costume, taking a break and snapping pictures. On any other day, they might have been dressed up as their favorite duo: Sabine Wren and Ezra Bridger.

“We’ve always wanted to come to Star Wars Celebration,” says Matthew. “It’s always been one of the bigger things in our lives together, and it’s very exciting to actually be here and take everything in.”

Star Wars was definitely something that we both connected with, and we stuck with it,” Destinee adds. “It’s been a fun time.”

The Fan Spotlight Q&A

What’s your favorite Star Wars memory?

Matthew: Let’s see. The first Star Wars movie I saw in theaters was actually Star Wars: Episode III. Although I’ve seen all the others, the only one I can actually remember is Episode III. And I went with my dad, my uncle, and my cousin. We all sat together. It was amazing — and I was a kid at the time. I was just mesmerized by it.

Destinee: I would have to say when Rebels ended. That was really emotional. I’m an Ahsoka fan, but I’m also a Sabine fan. I was [dressed as] Sabine yesterday, and the last couple days, and she’s kind of been my person. I connected to her on many, many levels. And I actually met Tiya [Sircar, voice of Sabine], and she’s amazing.

Poe Dameron in his X-wing cockpit in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Would you join the Resistance or the First Order?

Matthew: I would most likely join the Resistance.

Destinee: I’m also part of the Resistance.

If you could fly or drive any Star Wars vehicle, what would it be?

Matthew: I would like to be in command of a Viscount-class Star Defender.

Destinee: We’ve played a lot of the Star Wars: X-Wing board game, and I play a lot of the Imperials, because he wants to take over the Rebellion and the Resistance and all that. So I think, based on that information, I would want to fly a TIE interceptor.

Sabine Wren with Chopper.

Which Star Wars character would you want as a roommate?

Destinee: Sabine. One hundred percent. Sabine Wren.

Matthew: I would probably take Rebellion Kallus. I wouldn’t take Imperial Kallus — he seems a little too uptight. But I’d probably go with what everyone calls “Hot Kallus.” Because he definitely let loose a bit. He seems like a cool guy.

If you could have any job in the Star Wars galaxy — Jedi, Sith, Death Star janitor, rancor keeper, whatever you want — what would it be?

Matthew: I would probably be a bounty hunter. I would most likely work more for the light side than the dark, but I would like to be a bounty hunter. Or a mercenary. Either one of those.

Destinee: I think I’d like to be one of the Aces from Star Wars Resistance.

Get your tickets for Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2020 now!

Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Fangoria, Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.

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