Author Archive



Make-A-Wish Rebel: Portrait of a Star Wars Fan

John "Dak" Morton | April 19, 2013

In May 1997 just after the re-releases, I attended my first Star Wars convention, reuniting with my fellow actors for the first time in 18 years. The event was in Hackensack, New Jersey, just across the Hudson from New York City and the Twin Towers. In the nineties, I donated all my proceeds for children’s charities, and at the Hackensack show, I raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the non-profit that fulfills the wishes of children under 18 with life-threatening illnesses. At my table, the Make-A-Wish representative who would sit with me to handle the cash transactions through the weekend told me the convention had sponsored a dedicated young fan from Scappoose, Oregon, a bedroom community just northwest of Portland. He was there with his best friend, his brother, and his parents.

An 18-year-old Ben Fitzgerald arrived in front of my table driving his hot rod landspeeder: a high-tech, Swedish wheelchair. His third upgrade.

Rebel Knight Benjamin Fitzgerald in uniform, 1997 Hackensack Star Wars convention.

Rebel Knight Benjamin Fitzgerald in uniform, 1997 Hackensack Star Wars convention.

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Star Wars Celebrityhood: Be Careful What You Wish For

John "Dak" Morton | March 20, 2013

Here at Tierfon Rebel Base we had a family wedding a few weeks ago. Family members came in from across the galaxy. Most of ‘em Navy-types. I’m at the cantina ordering bantha milk, and cousin Tom Mustin comes up to join me, asking, “What’s shakin’, Dak?” I tell him I’m gonna write posts for the Star Wars blog. So, he tells me his sea story. I should say Tom is another family member who put his thumb out on the road instead of going down to the sea in ships. [Note the link to the ship named after his family.]

Bantha milk in hand, Tom draws one from his time as an actor. One of his gigs was in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Says Tom, “I’m in the elevator with another doctor when Shatner and Deforest Kelley enter, wheeling in Catherine Hicks on a gurney.” According to Tom, the scene goes like this. Tom (an intern, talking to other intern): “So Weintraub says radical chemotherapy or she’s going to croak, just like that.” Second Intern: “What about Gottleib?” Tom: “What do you expect? All he talked about was image therapy. I thought they were going to punch each other out. Hahah.” Bones: “UGH!” Tom: “You have a different view, doctor?” Bones: “Sounds like the g-ddamn Spanish Inquisition!” Kirk (Shatner): “Bad Day.”

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Celebration Europe Momentum Builds

John "Dak" Morton | March 4, 2013

dak

Everybody knows Obi-Wan Kenobi’s line in A New Hope in reference to the destruction of Alderaan: “I felt a great disturbance in the Force.”  I’d be interested in hearing from anyone with examples in the Expanded Universe where Force-sensitive beings express feelings of great joy in the Force. You know, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in celebration and were suddenly expressing joy that something marvelous has happened…or will.

In this galaxy, some of us creatures who surf or body surf know the feeling of a wave mounting behind us that enables us to fly down its face and onto the shoulder. The art is in sensing the force of the wave well before it breaks and where one is in relation to it so as to be in tune with it. You gotta feel its momentum.

And so it is with the momentum that is building for organizers, celebrity guests, and fans in the run-up to Celebration Europe in Messe Essen, Germany.

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