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If you follow our social media, you’ve already seen the sad news of Shawna Trpcic’s passing. Browncoats everywhere are in mourning for our beautiful friend, the designer who brought our ‘Verse' to life with every character’s costume. There are already some very concise and well written accounts of her life and legacy, including the one from the CDG that we shared on our Facebook page. Instead of doing the same, I wanted to share a special observation of my own, from my short time with Shawna.

Shawna with CABC Auxilliary Member, Sara Mussen at the CABC Browncoat Meeting Room Panel at SDCC in 2023.

We were honored to host Shawna at our Browncoat Meeting Room Panel this summer at SDCC. She was charming and recounted many stories about working on the Mandalorian and the Book of Boba Fett and had a compliment for each person who had dressed up for our cosplay contest, but the best part was watching her after the panel ended. She stayed in the hallway and chatted with every single fan who approached her. Every. Single. One. She took pictures with every person who asked, signed things, looked over stitches and other details of homemade cosplays, gave advice, gave heartfelt compliments, gave hugs. And every fan left with a glowing smile, knowing that someone they considered a hero or an inspiration had given them her full attention and energy for the moments they had spent with her.

This is the thing I will never forget about Shawna - her generousness of self to her people.

She leaves behind her beloved children, one of whom is just barely an adult, the other still a minor. This is such a devastating time for them, and besides having to process their own grief and loss, they have to learn, very quickly, some adult things, like how to pay for funeral costs, and to keep the mortgage paid on the house they lived in with their mother. To that end, this GoFundMe has been created by a friend of Shawna’s to help defray these unexpected costs.

To a similar end, The Hellmouth Con/Fandom Charities will be fundraising in support of Shawna’s kids at their Buffy themed Sunnydale Homecoming event on October 14th. They will still be raising money for the Wooten Center and the L.A. LGBT Center, but will also have a vending jar on their vending table, the proceeds of which will go to Shawna’s kids. California Browncoats will also be at the event, and we will be adding the donations made through the Chopstick Game to Fandom Charities donation total as well. Donations made there will go directly to Shawna’s kids, not through GoFundMe.

Browncoats (and Star Wars fans) everywhere are sharing special moments they had with her. I especially enjoyed some details shared by Emily Swallow (@bigeswallz on Instagram) who is the Armorer in The Mandalorian, and these images from an original Firefly costume binder that Shawna put together, that were shared by @jayne_Statue on Twitter, some of which are imbedded below. If you have a special story to share, we hope you will do so, and tag us, we would love to hear them.

I would like to leave you with one other lesson I learned from Shawna - that life is short, but can be beautiful, if you choose to make it so.

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