A long time ago in a little kids room far far away, a 10-year-old boy tried to muster the Force with all of his will and power. Just like Yoda teaching Luke to raise the X-wing from the swamp, all the little boy wanted was to turn that little red light on in the nose of his toy X-wing fighter — all the way across the room from his bed. It wasn’t working, but he believed it would happen, so for what seemed like hours he tried and tried with amazing concentration, until he fell asleep, exhausted. The next morning when he woke, everything had changed. The light was on. It had worked, and it had to be because he believed in the power of the Force.
To this day the power of the Force remains strong for many of us who grew up enchanted by the simple story of good vs. evil, redemption, and a sense of endless fun shared by so many. My father took me to see the original movies, and now my own sons and daughters have their own Star Wars universe to believe in, from the same original trilogy, to the new films, and to The Clone Wars adventures (appointment television for our family). But it’s a rare opportunity when something you grew up loving so dearly, crosses paths with your professional career, as well.
About a year ago, after making contact through mutual acquaintances, Tara Sinclair, the global softgoods manager at Lucasfilm Licensing, asked me about the possibility of developing a unique relationship with Petco, and an exclusive line of Star Wars pet products. At Petco we are very careful about our licensing partners, but this was a special opportunity. Our two teams met for several months to hammer out the details and begin building the relationship. But that was the easy part, because there was an immediate bond over the shared passion for pets and all things Star Wars. The hard part was not being able to tell anyone about it until we announced our partnership at the 2013 Comic-Con in San Diego.
Everyone at the Petco offices, from our merchants to our product development team, to our merchandising, creative and marketing teams, have worked tirelessly over this past year to bring to life the Star Wars universe through fun, authentic, inventive, and creative products. Developing the types of pet products (and Star Wars products) that have never been experienced before by human or pet. As of September 1, our stores have now become Star Wars central, and our store partners are excited to meet all of the fans coming in to see, try, and buy the products.
This has truly been a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to contribute not only to Petco’s success, but to create something that is now a permanent part of the Star Wars galaxy.
To this day I don’t really know how my X-wing’s light turned on by the time I woke up the next morning. I actually had trouble turning if back off. But I can tell you this, that light is still on inside me and within everyone at Petco for the launch of our Star Wars Pet Fans Collection. And to be able to share this with my father, and my children, means the world to me.
A special thank you from all of us at Petco to Tara Sinclair, and the Lucasfilm team, for being incredible partners, and a special thank you to my colleagues at Petco for showing what can happen through hard work and amazing partnership.