Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

An eight-pack of Star Wars interviews

Big surprise: I really like talking with people – especially first-generation fans – about their Star Wars memories, and about growing up loving the saga and then sharing it with a new generation of kids.

So in planning my GeekDad coverage of Star Wars Celebration VI back in August, I thought it would be fun to set up a series of short interviews with some notable geeks and Star Wars personalities, asking them about their favorite memories and toys and things like that.

Eight great people took some time during the four-day convention to hang out and answer the same five questions, and I had a blast conducting the interviews. (MAJOR thanks again to everyone who participated!) The series ran in August and September at GeekDad, and I thought it would be fun to round up all the links here, too.

Photo by Jim Carchidi

  • Gronk creator and Lucasfilm-licensed artist Katie Cook was the first person I asked what were later named the “Five Force-Full Questions.” Her interview is here, and it includes her “deep dark Star Wars secret.”
  • I was psyched to meet everyone I interviewed, but I’ll confess that when Fanboys and Ready Player One writer Ernie Cline accepted the invitation, I had a bit of a nerdsquee moment. I’ve identified very strongly with his writing, since he grew up not far from my home in Ohio, and at around the same time. We actually spent about a half hour talking about tons of other geek stuff before we even got to his Five Force-Full Question answers, and then, generous and patient guy that he is, Ernie was kind enough to repeat his answers over the phone a couple days later due to a digital recording error on my part.

Photo by Jim Carchidi

  • Marc Thompson is a voice actor and a narrator of several Star Wars audio books, and he was actually attending Celebration with his kids, so he gets bonus geeky dad points for that. His interview is here.

Photo courtesy of Kristen Rutherford

  • Kristen invited me to one of the Nerdist crew’s Star Wars Transmission tapings and introduced me to several other neat geek types, including Chris Hardwick, who, it turns out, also has an affinity for the second wave of Kenner’s original Star Wars figures (the grouping which brought the action figure total to that magic number of 21). Read which one was his favorite here.

Finally, I did a trio of interviews with three actors from Star Wars: The Clone Wars:

Photo by Jim Carchidi

Photo by Jim Carchidi

Photo by Jim Carchidi

Man, was that a fun trip.

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October 23, 2012 Posted by | 1970s, 1980s, eighties, Fiction, Film, geek, science fiction | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Star Wars Celebration V: The GeekDad Interviews

I spent a good portion of the morning of Friday, August 13 doing interviews in the media room at Star Wars Celebration V, and over the past week, they’ve all been posted over at GeekDad. While it was obviously neat getting to sit and talk with all three of these guys about working in the Star Wars universe, a big part of what I liked about the conversations is that all three also grew up as fans of the original trilogy, so each interview included a little bit of reminiscing about those days, which is clearly something I like to do.

My first sit-down was with Dee Bradley Baker, who voices Captain Rex (and the entire Clone Army) on

Dee Bradley Baker photo by Jim Carchidi

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and it was just a ton of fun. Before I had even started my recorder, we were talking about being dads and nerds and playing video games, and I honestly don’t remember if I managed to get a single question asked from my written list, because the conversation just unfolded naturally and covered some really cool territory.

My daughter was very excited about this interview – even though she wasn’t at the convention that day – because she’s a big Phineas & Ferb fan, and Dee does the voice of Perry the Platypus. He’s also the voice of Squilliam Fancyson on SpongeBob SquarePants, which means he played a crucial role in our Totally Favorite Best SpongeBob Episode EVER – “Band Geeks.” Bonus Awesome Points: Dee offered to record a message for my daughter, and he included his “Perry” growl.

Read “Voice Of A Geek: An Interview With Dee Bradley Baker.”

Dave Filoni photo by Jim Carchidi

My next interview was with Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni, and again, you can just feel his intensity and enthusiasm for Star Wars as soon as he starts talking about working on the series and tying it to the way first-generation fans feel about the saga and the things that we wondered about when we were kids, and his experience the first time he saw the original movie when he was around preschool age. Here’s the link to “Talking Clone Wars With Supervising Director Dave Filoni.”

Matthew Wood photo by Jim Carchidi

I finished up with an interview with Matthew Wood – Skywalker Sound supervising sound editor and the voice of General Grievous. This one had a certain “coming full circle” feeling, since five years ago at Celebration III, Jim and I actually bought him lunch as a favor to the Lucasfilm press contact who was helping us out that weekend. That was a rushed meeting, though, and although Jim had seen him at Disney’s Star Wars Weekends since then, this was my first chance to sit down and talk with him. (I was strangely thrilled to learn that he had once owned a Timex Sinclair computer – the same sort I brought home from middle school one day in a brown paper bag, buying it from a friend for ten bucks plus a “Lost City” D&D module I had already played through.) Here’s the end result, “Grievous Geekery: A Conversation With Lucasfilm’s Matthew Wood.”

August 28, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Current Affairs, eighties, Fiction, Film, geek, science fiction, Television, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Clone Wars Season Two, George Krstic and Star Wars Flashbacks

With this Friday’s premiere of Star Wars: The Clone Wars season two just a few days off, I’m excited to share another podcast/interview/reading with George Krstic, who wrote “Cargo of Doom,” the second episode of the one-hour season opener! “Holocron Heist,” the first half-hour, gets things started at 8 p.m. on Cartoon Network.

We chatted about the upcoming premiere and The Clone Wars in general (George also wrote season one’s “Downfall of a Droid” and “Storm over Ryloth”), and then dove into recollections of growing up as kids hooked on our Star Wars toys. I read/recalled some scenes from a chapter in Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek, while he jumped in with a bunch of fun memories of his own – including his nominee for Worst Star Wars Toy Ever (aka “How My Little Brother Wound Up in the Emergency Room”).

Grab your old plastic Darth Vader case and dump your Kenner guys on the floor: There’s some fun to be had!

The podcast runs about 30 minutes and is here in mp3 format. (Right-click and “save as” for an easy download.)

And if you missed George’s “Spaghetti Artoo” story in our first podcast, you can find that one here.

September 30, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Current Affairs, eighties, Fiction, Film, geek, Ohio, science fiction, writing | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Amazingly cool coolness from Clone Wars writer George Krstic

Just before I headed off to Penguicon, I received an absolutely jaw-dropping email about “Collect All 21!

It started off with one of the sentiments I love to hear most about the book, along the lines of how my recollections echoed or reawakened someone else’s memories of their own Star Wars-infused childhood. (This never gets old. Seriously.)

Then it went on to mention the sender growing up not only in the same era, but in the same corner of Northeast Ohio.

Okay, so that doesn’t happen very often…

And then this came along: “…finally, my ‘wasted’ youth paid off when I got onto ‘Clone Wars,’ so…”

WHAAAA-?

>re-read the email subject line<

>flick eyes to signature and URL link<

>begin excitedly pointing at screen and babbling while Jenn watches with mild concern<

This. Is. SO. Cool: It’s from George Krstic, writer on Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network!  (He also co-created “Megas XLR” and was a story editor and writer on MTV’s “Downtown.“) WNJC-AM’s “Fictional Frontiers” has a great interview with him here.

Honestly, just so stunningly amazingly neat that I actually held off on emailing him back for a couple days because otherwise it would have been a note like: “OMGbabblebleargh/CloneWarswriterproducer/fumblemumbleSqueee!”

And check it out – he wrote this blurb about “Collect All 21!” :

Whenever I’ve been asked where I would go first if I had a Time-Travel Belt, I’ve always said: Akron, Ohio – 1979 – the Children’s Palace Toy Store on Old Route 8.

The toys, the time, and the vibe were all amazing. The wonder of old-school “Star Wars” figures and ships stacked to the rafters, the simple joy of being a kid and loving a robot called R2-D2, and the anticipation of all of the cool sequels to come.

I never thought I’d actually get that Time-Travel Belt, but reading this book is almost better. (Except for the whole not being able to buy a mint-in-box vintage 12-inch Darth Vader, meeting my younger self and ruining the time-stream thing…)

I ask you: HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?

The guy has been super nice and encouraging in the emails we’ve exchanged, and I can’t publicly thank him enough for this note and his thumbs-up, so expect me to write and say many more good things about him in the future.

May 11, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, Current Affairs, eighties, Fiction, Film, geek, Ohio, science fiction, Television, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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