to Lucasfilm. From the late nineties you organized several events
with Star Wars Celebrations which attracted ten thousands of people.
Was the original idea yours?
Wars Celebrations came about as the result of several ideas that
we blended together. I'd say that the fathers of Celebration were
the then Vice President of Marketing at Lucasfilm, Jim Ward; the
owner of the Official Star Wars Fan Club and the editor of Star
Wars Insider, Dan Madsen and John Bradley Snyder; and me.
did you make up the program list of such an event? How big was
What staff? Compared to what came later, it was a very simple
process, although a lot of work. After finding out who we could
get as guests, and what other resources might be possible, Dan,
John, Anthony Daniels, and I spent two weeks before the first
Celebration at the Insider offices putting together the plans
first Star Wars Celebration outside the USA was held only on the
30th anniversary. Why? Didn't you find an appropriate location
or would it have been too risky because of the expenses?
think we had to make sure that Celebrations in the U.S. would
first work after the prequel movies all came out. We always wanted
to do international events, but they are very tricky because of
the partners who might be available, and then having to do most
of the work by email and phone until right before the shows. Finding
the right international partner who will fund the show is not
easy. Celebration requires a very large budget and Lucasfilm wants
to make sure it has the very best possible partner to run the
Did the success of Celebration Europe surprise you or
did you expect this?
felt very good about Celebration Europe. The fans had a great
in Hungary Expanded Universe became widely accepted only in the
past few years, and became really popular. What do you think about
the Expanded Universe galaxy? How did they receive it in the USA,
back, at the very beginning?
think the novels and comics of the Expanded Universe have been
a very important part of the success of the Star Wars saga. What's
most important is that there is something for just about any fan.
It starts with the movies, and now The Clone Wars television series.
Then there is the fictional Expanded Universe and the very rich
non-fiction books such as the Art Of... and Making Of... and others.
There are, of course, many collectibles. And there are many fans
groups such as the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion who love
to get together in costumes and march in parades, visit children's
hospitals, and raise money for charity. Star Wars fans are simply
the best people I know!
became well-known in Hungary in the nineties by your books and
publications. However, in the past few years we felt you did not
publish too much. For when can we expect another book on action
figures, an item long awaited by the fans? Are you working on
Someone feels my 14 Star Wars books are not enough? (He laughs.)
I was working on three Star Wars books at one time - I had to
turn down a fourth - and it nearly killed me. So I took a bit
of a break. But I am working on my next Star Wars book right now
and it is about... action figures! It is different than the Action
Figure Archive, but in the nearly 14 years since that book came
out, there have been well more than 1,500 new figures!
to your job you made many friends from fan communities. How many
of them do you keep in touch with on a daily basis?
stay in touch with hundreds of fans all over the world through
email and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Sansweet). Not on
a daily basis, of course, because then there wouldn't be time
for anything else. But often!
In Star Wars: The Complete Saga we can find a featurette
about the organization of the 2007 Rose Parade, and you are in
this one, and your work is featured also. Did you take part in
many major decisions like that?
2007 Rose Parade was a team effort at Lucasfilm. That's the way
we always worked there. Different team members were responsible
for different parts of the event. It was that way with many major
projects at the company. I was there for 15 years, from the Special
Editions through the three prequels to The Clone Wars television
series, and major decisions were made based on the input of many
people; I was one of them.
remember well, that you were really satisfied with the activities
of the Hungarian club and helped us a great deal to ensure some
attention for us. When you first heard about our club, what was
your reaction? Did you think that there could be such a fanatic
and rather creative Star Wars fan group even in a Middle-European
Star Wars fans are everywhere! I have been especially happy to
see the growing strength of fandom in Eastern Europe: Hungary,
Poland, the Czech Republic and other countries. There is a strong
history, especially in those nations, of a deep-seated love for
science fiction and movies.
were a guest to several fan clubs around the world. Would you
come to Hungary?
would LOVE to come to Hungary for a fan convention! I was in Poland
last year as well as Ireland, France, and Guatemala. This year
I already have been invited and will be going to Canada, Mexico,
and Peru. In the past I've been a guest at fan conventions in
Australia, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Finland - and we've done
Celebrations in Japan and the U.K. So I'm ready!