When I left Alaska to work on Star Wars Celebrations for Lucasfilm in 2001, I paraphrased a quote by Henry David Thoreau and stuck it on my fridge:
“I left the wilds for the same reason I went there. I felt I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.”
Now, after almost 14 years of working on Star Wars, it’s time for another life. I’m moving on from Lucasfilm. But I’m not completely moving on from Star Wars, thank the Maker. In my new job at ReedPOP I will remain working on Star Wars Celebration from their side, the show production side. Those of you working with me on the show now — on panels, programming, fan tables, etc. — will find me still there with you. I’ll just have a different email address.
I had a good life in Cordova, Alaska. It was like my home, and my friends there like my family. As exhilarating as it was to move to California to work on the Star Wars fan convention Celebration II, it was sobering to leave my community behind. Cordova is remote and cold compared to the San Francisco Bay Area, but my circle of friends up north was tightly-knit and warm.
Through nine Celebrations in four countries, twelve San Diego Comic-Cons, three leather backpacks, six desks, and three different Lucasfilm locations (Skywalker Ranch, Big Rock Ranch, and Letterman Digital Arts Center) I discovered one tightly-knit community of friends that stretches over the world, thanks to Star Wars.
There were at least a dozen E3 and Licensing Show pavilions, 230 costumed Star Wars fans marching in the Tournament of Roses parade, and the Elite Squad served 7,000 pieces of cake at the Star Wars Celebration IV Opening Ceremony.
There have been 90 issues of Bantha Tracks, five Celebration Stage hosts, one R2-D2 at my office door, and too many Bossks on my office shelves to count this evening. It all adds up to the fact that I fit here and am happy here, and I love my small contribution to Star Wars fan joy.
Yet I have decided to pull stakes and move again. It’s simply time for me to live one of those other lives that’s waiting. Thankfully you and Star Wars come with me. In addition to Star Wars Celebration I’ll work on ReedPOP’s international slate of Comic Cons, in India, Australia, France and more. I have a lot to learn, and I’m eager to get started.
My thanks to my coworkers, both on the Lucasfilm and on the ReedPOP side, for working to help make these Celebrations truly festivals about fans, by fans, and for being friends as well as colleagues. Thanks to Steve Sansweet for giving the fan from the Alaska village a chance back in 2001. And most of all thanks to each of you in the world of Star Wars fandom. You’ve given me a community I can take with me to the next life I’m headed to next week, when I point my truck east.
There are talented people here who care deeply about fans and Star Wars, who you will meet when you contact us on events, character casting, and fan relations. Me, you’ll see at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim in April, and then at events fueled by fan passion at various points of the globe!