Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Five years go by at point five past light speed.

My friend Jim attends Star Wars Weekends annually, and this year marked the first time he’s crossed paths with modelmaker Lorne Peterson since we met him at Star Wars Celebration III – and suddenly I can’t believe that trip was already five years ago. From Collect All 21

I had just started a new job, and my first few weeks, Jim and I emailed back and forth constantly, ironing out details about what to cover and how, setting up deadlines, checking the event programming to see who was going to be there and figuring out how to drink it all in. We were seriously, ridiculously psyched.

It was four days of total immersion in Star Wars fandom and there’s not a second of it I’d give up, even those frustrating times fighting deadlines and cramped media quarters and uncooperative laptops.

Friday evening to Saturday afternoon was particularly packed with “I-can’t-believe-we’re-here” moments.

Jim and I met, photographed and interviewed original Star Wars model-maker Lorne Peterson. This was a blast. I’d expected, at most, maybe a five-minute chat. We wound up talking for close to half an hour and it was just a very neat thing, thinking that this was a guy who had, quite literally, helped build part of my childhood.

I wound up talking to him a couple more times in the months after C3, and those interviews were the basis for a feature that ran in the October/December 2006 issue of Filmfax (“The Magazine of Unusual Film, Television & Retro Pop Culture!”). At 5,000 words, it was easily the longest piece of non-fiction I’d ever written for publication and also my first freelance magazine sale. Seeing it in print accompanied by some ILM-supplied photos and a couple of Jim’s shots from C3 was a total adrenaline rush. That these personal milestones were tied to Star Wars only makes them that much more meaningful.

I really like this shot Jim took of Lorne pondering a Millennium Falcon model onstage at Star Wars Weekends, and here’s a follow-up interview I did focusing on the release of Lorne’s “Sculpting A Galaxy” book.

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May 31, 2010 Posted by | Film, geek, science fiction, writing | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Mice and Clones

I met Sean Forney last summer at the Buckeye Comic Con and ran into him again at Screaming Tiki in October, when he showed me some designs he was working on for a possible Lucasfilm-licensed T-shirt. And a few months ago, he came to mind when I got a BGSU alumni newsletter mentioning him. (So, bonus points for being a fellow Ohioan and a Falcon!)

Click to enlarge.

Sean emailed me recently to share the final product, which he did for Disney’s Star Wars Weekends 2009 in conjunction with Blue Planet Gear, and though I can’t find any information on where these shirts may have been sold – I wonder if they were some sort of exclusives for the 501st or the Rebel Legion – I still think it’s awfully cool. (I particularly like the detail on the leftmost clone in the trio.)

Now that the shirt’s done, Sean, who grew up a Star Wars fan, told me a little bit more about the whole process in an email:

“I received an email from Bill at Blue Planet out of nowhere about doing a Stormtrooper shirt. The initial design was a Stormtrooper and two Clonetroopers for a shirt for the 501st. After that design I was asked to do a Mickey Mouse in Stormtrooper gear for the Star Wars Disney Hollywood Studios Weekends. I finished this design and Disney passed on the idea of Mickey as a Stormtrooper. So I was asked to re-do the first Stormtrooper design and it was approved for the Disney Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekends.”

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

“The idea for the design came from Bill at Blue Planet, but I came up with the poses through a series of sketches. Blue Planet was in contact with Lucasfilm and had the license to do the shirts. The final product came out just like the original designs and there weren’t many revisions.”

“It was thrilling. I have to admit it was a little nerve-racking making sure all the details were correct on all the troopers but in the end it was definitely worth it.”

To me, one of the neater aspects of the “new” Star Wars era – which is actually pushing two decades old itself, if you put its birth around the time of Timothy Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire” release in 1991 – has been seeing this incredible array of artistic takes on the saga and its inhabitants, as compared to the relatively limited number of interpretations in the original trilogy era.

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs, Fiction, Film, geek, Ohio, science fiction, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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