Next month, From World War to Star Wars returns to where it all began: Star Wars Celebration! I’m happy to announce that I’ll be back at Celebration with an all-new presentation showing the many unexpected ways that World War II influenced the Star Wars saga. With less than a month to go, this is a special sneak peek at my latest installment of the live presentation.
Star Wars Celebration has long been a favorite event of mine, so it was the perfect place to debut years of research to a public audience in 2012. Despite all of my work, I didn’t know what to expect. Would anyone show up? Did anyone care about history and Star Wars as much as I did?
To my great relief, hundreds of you showed up and I got to share with a capacity crowd some of my favorite stories and connections, including the wartime exploits of Sir Alec Guinness and how the war helped build the Millennium Falcon. It was great to have Star Wars artists and prop experts Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas join to discuss the iconic weaponry of Star Wars too. The whole panel went off so well that I was afforded the opportunity to present a new lecture at Celebration Europe II, in Essen, Germany, the following summer.
Speaking about the war in Germany was a whole new experience for me, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the turnout and engagement from the European audience. The second From World War to Star Wars lecture followed the story of Christopher Lee and his wartime journey through a number of iconic Star Wars filming locations.
So what is in store this year?
So far, 2015 has been the year of Tarkin thanks to the character’s return to Star Wars Rebels and the new novel from Del Rey. I think it’s fitting then to delve into the wartime trials and tribulations of the actor who brought the iconic character to life: Peter Cushing. I’ll take you through his unique journey during World War II and we’ll explore his ever-entertaining wartime contributions.
Of course, one can’t talk about the character Grand Moff Tarkin without mentioning his most iconic weapon: the Death Star. And if there is one-thing Star Wars stories and World War II have in common, it’s super weapons. Crazy weapon ideas were everywhere during World War II. After all, when the whole world is at war, it’s only natural that people will look for ever more amazing weapons to bring the conflict to a close. We’ll explore some of the outrageous and dangerous weapons of the era, including some of Death Star-like proportions!
Finally, I’m proud to show off the new propaganda-style art for this year’s presentation. Based on a wartime Navy recruitment poster, this key art accompanies the vast number of historic photos included the lecture. The only way to learn about Peter Cushing during World War II, super weapons, and much more is to see it all at the convention.