It was the summer of 1977, and my whole family—like the rest of the country—had Star Wars fever!
Here’s my brother and I in our t-shirts, off to see the movie (again), and that Christmas we all got the gift of Star Wars: comic books for me, a lightsaber for my brother, and my mom got a picture-disc LP record of the soundtrack.
Wow! It’s been an amazing summer but the wait is FINALLY over! Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Five premieres this Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. (EST/PST) on Cartoon Network. I had the privilege of attending a special screening last week in San Francisco of the first two episodes of the new season! It’s definitely incredible to watch our show on the big screen. For a full recap of that screening, make sure to read this previous post on the Star Wars Blog! Thank you to all of the fans who came, and here are some more photos from the screening!
The most famous person I’d ever met before starting the Legion was James Irwin, astronaut from the Apollo 15 mission and pilot of the lunar module. You want to talk about a sky-walker? He was the real deal. Even before Star Wars hit, I was nuts about space exploration as a kid and astronauts were like unto demigods.
I remember my father pulling me and my brother out of school in Missouri and piling us into the camper to drive three hours to see Irwin speak. A gentle man with a soft voice, he answered every question patiently. (Most of the questions were from kids like me wanting to know how you go potty in space.) When it came time to meet him, I couldn’t find the words. He autographed a picture of him waving on the moon and simply said to me, “God bless you, son.”
According to Wookieepedia, I’ve written over 50 Star Wars books. Yes, I’m proud of that, and grateful to numerous editors who continue to hire me, but I’m especially proud of another accomplishment: I’ve donated over 60 pints of blood.
When Tom Spina and I were brainstorming ideas to make our Celebration VI behind-the-scenes panel on the Mos Eisley cantina aliens truly memorable, we both gravitated to an unnamed alien lurking in the shadows of the infamous watering hole. Despite over three decades of scrutiny, this shifty looking barfly had managed to avoid the spotlight. So, Tom and I figured we’d give him his due, and also come up with a way to give him a name.
In honor of the upcoming Star Wars Reads Day, a few random reminiscences on some of my own memorable book experiences:
No AC, no Interstates, just heat and dust and the adventures of a young man with cool future technology. My first real introduction to the wonders of science fiction.
If you don’t know who I am, let me just explain that I am a professional Star Wars nerd.
See, I took took several nerdy things – origami, doodling, a love of Star Wars and a painful history of middle school disasters – and put them together to came up with a book, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. It’s about an earthbound sixth grader who makes an Origami Yoda and brings it to school to (hopefully) avert some of those disasters.