Today, exactly a year ago, the Sense8 fan base was waiting for the premiere of a two-hour special that would become the only Netflix Original to air a new episode after the cancellation of Sense8.
It was aptly titled Amor Vincit Omnia or “Love Conquers All” as a tribute to the hundreds of thousands of devoted fans who willed it into existence with their unwavering determination. This year marks the 1st anniversary of that historic moment in Netflix’s streaming history when an audience won its right to complete a groundbreaking series, which was unceremoniously cut short during Pride Month in 2017. But as it can only happen in a universe governed by the laws of Sense8, good prevailed over intolerance and evil on June 8th, 2018 and fans are planning to mark the first anniversary of this important television event in true Sense8 style.
A global rewatch of Amor Vincit Omnia across different time zones is scheduled for the 8th of June and Sense8 fans around the world are invited to join in with their clusters. Special giveaways and Sense8 tribute videos will also take center stage on the 8th with fans taking the time to re-live the wonder and magic of this unique episode which faded out with the words “For our Fans” from series creator and director Lana Wachowski.
June 8th, 2018 was the culmination of a months-long fan campaign and an equally hectic shooting schedule for the creators of the show who had to grapple with time and budgetary constraints to film an episode that ties up many of the loose ends of Season 2. The whirlwind shooting schedule not only took Lana Wachowski and the cast across many European destinations but an equally ardent fan base followed close behind to the surprise of the streaming network which cited the show’s lack of popularity and viewership for the cancellation. In fact, the cast and crew required additional security personnel as the shooting wrapped up in Naples, Italy where the immense fan presence quite literally overwhelmed the production.
Releasing not one, but three tribute videos in honour of the anniversary of this historic episode is Venezuelan Youtuber Sora Miyano who not only interviewed cast members Michael Sommers (Bug) and Sandra Fish (Janet Marks) for the occasion but also recorded a live chat with Sense8 super fans Anna Pernigo (Italy), Ine (Belgium), and Margaret Hernandez (USA). When asked what inspired her to create the Sense8 oriented content for the anniversary Sora explained “I’ve seen many shows, but no other fandom and no other show is as kind and beautiful as this one. Sense8 takes you to a whole new level whether you’re a member of the LGBT+ community, minority, or not. Just the best fandom ever and I mean it with my heart. It just made the sense8 experience the best, for me, I didn’t want it to end and I still don’t.”
The accessibility and the kindness of the cast and actors who agreed to be interviewed also made an impression on Sora who recalls “It was crazy! I was very anxious and if there’s one thing I never thought I’d do, is interviewing actors. What surprised me the most was Sandra! she’s the kindest human being ever. The little bit I got to talk with her made me feel like I’ve known her my whole life.”
Anna Pernigo, who was among the many fans who witnessed the shooting of Amor Vincit Omnia in Naples joined Sora for the fan chat and found that “talking about Sense8 was absolutely amazing. How is it possible that a show was able to make me connect with people all over the world? It was absolute bliss. And if Sense8 is more than a show we are definitely more than fans!”
The recently concluded Sense8 Convention in Paris also bore witness to this sense of connection fans share across time zones and geographical borders. The second installment of the convention was attended by Sense8 stars Tina Desai, Brian J. Smith, Erendira Ibarra, Michael Sommers, and Sandra Fish and a third will be held in the French capital in 2020 owing to the success of this year’s event. “I was completely star struck by the actors but blown away by their kindness and their love for us. They were so grateful that we managed to bring Sense8 back” gushes Ine, who attended both conventions but recounts the trepidation fans and cast members felt prior to the premier during Sense8 Con 1.
“The special episode hadn’t come out yet so there was still a lot of mystery on what was going to happen… Sense8Con2, on the other hand, felt like coming home.” Describing the special bond Sense8 fans share with the cast Ine adds, “The guest who stood out most to me was Erendira. She shared some very personal and emotional stories with us about filming Sense8 in a difficult time of her life, and how Lana was so supportive. Every cast member from Sense8 really is just a blast to meet. All great personalities with great stories. All the actors were crying (and I mean, really crying!) when the convention came to an end.”
There will be tears of joy, sadness, and laughter shed on June 8th once more as fans around the world tune in to witness the thrills of the heart-wrenching emotional rollercoaster that is Amor Vincit Omnia and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Clusters around the globe are organizing rewatch parties for the anniversary of the episode which most fans hope won’t be the last the TV world sees of Sense8. With a brand new full-season of the CW’s previously canceled Veronica Mars heading to Hulu; hope is renewed that a similar fate awaits the most inclusive show in Netflix’s line-up. For the time being, however, regardless of what the future holds, Love always wins on the 8th of June.