Star Wars is more than a film, it’s an event. It’s arguably the film that set the precedent for the modern blockbuster in 1977. Since then, Lucasfilm has made great efforts to keep that spirit alive for many generations of fans through its events; major press releases, impressive displays at conventions, and more notably, Star Wars Celebration. These events are integral to fueling excitement for the franchise and fandom.
We were able to speak with Daniel Kennedy, Lucasfilm Event and PR Coordinator, who has the immense responsibility of ensuring all of these come through to fruition. When he’s not in the office he’s showing his love for the Liverpool Football Club, crafting some beautiful artwork, or finding another piece of Kylo merchandise to add to his collection.
FT: How were you introduced to Star Wars?
FT: When did you feel you were a full blown fan of the franchise?
DK: I was the perfect age when the Prequels came out to become a full blown fan of the franchise. I grew up playing a lot of the video games, like Dark Forces, but when I got to experience the full theater experience of the Prequels I was hooked.
FT: Can you give a rundown of your position and a typical day (if there’s such a thing) of work?
DK: There are no typical days for me at LFL. I wear a lot of different hats here, which creates new and exciting opportunities on a daily basis. If I had to give you a succinct answer – I assist in handling the logistics, creative, and implementation of all Lucasfilm events.
FT: What has been one thing you never expected to do on the job that has been a pleasant surprise?
DK: I have been fortunate enough to travel around the world with BB-8 to various promotional activities and it has been one of the highlights of my career here at LFL.
FT: What does it mean to you to work at Lucasfilm, particularly during a new era of Star Wars?
DK: I am proud to be a representative of an amazing company like Lucasfilm. I know this franchise means so much to so many and I definitely take what we do seriously and strive to bring meaningful experiences to our events. I want every fan of Star Wars new and old alike to leave our events and activations with a memorable moment.
FT: There are numerous perks to working for Lucasfilm, which do you enjoy the most?
DK: I just enjoy working with such a passionate and collaborative team. Everyone here is the best at what they do and getting to learn from them on a daily basis has only served to make me better at my job.
FT: You eat, sleep and breathe Star Wars, how do you keep things exciting for yourself?
DK: I am a big gaming fan, PC & PS4, so I spend a lot of my free time in that space and community. I also am a HUGE Liverpool Football Club supporter. Maintaining an active engagement in these communities allows me to really dedicate myself when I am at work to Star Wars and our events. Everything I experience at work is new every day.
FT: When does your job feel the most rewarding?
DK: I feel most fulfilled after a big event like a Star Wars Celebration and I read everyone’s amazing reactions to everything we brought and put into the show. So many incredible fan stories and experiences come out of an event like Celebration.
FT: How much preparation goes on behind the scenes of Celebration, and what’s the process like? What’s the most challenging part of the process?
DK: Regarding Celebration, it is always on-going. We prep year round for the upcoming event and the majority of my time goes to the planning of it.
DK: Ashley and I met while working on Celebration. She visits the office quite often to discuss various things and she had seen a lot of my artwork through my Instagram or at Lucasfilm where I have a lot of it displayed. We talked about collaborating and I was finally able to talk to her and come up with a design we both loved.
FT: Have you always been interested in fashion/clothing design or did the project open up a new passion?
DK: One of my favorite aspects of Star Wars Celebration is coming up with merchandise ideas. I paint a lot as a hobby and have always been interested in art and design, and so designing clothing seemed like something I would enjoy. I would say I am hooked at this point and hope to do a lot more fashion design in the future.
FT: Why do you resonate with Ahsoka Tano and why do you think she resonates with so many now?
DK: Ahsoka’s journey as a character is what resonates with me most. She started off as Anakin’s Padawan and through trials and errors grew into a strong independent leader. By the end of Rebels, she carries such a significant presence, a gravitas, I consider Ahsoka one of the most important heroes in the saga.
FT: Will we see another collaboration between you and Her Universe again?
DK: Ashley and I are definitely looking to work together again. I would keep an eye out soon for something relating to one of my favorite characters of the franchise.
FT: What upcoming projects are you most excited about? Why? (The Mandalorian, Episode 9, Jedi: Fallen Order, etc.)
DK: Isn’t it such a great time to be a Star Wars fan right now? Honestly, all of it excites me. As a gamer Jedi: Fallen Order looks amazing. The Mandalorian, our first live action show, has me so excited to meet all the new characters that are being introduced to the Star Wars universe. And of course I am beyond excited to see what my space boy Kylo Ren has in store for us in Episode IX.
FT: If there was one Star Wars related moment you could relive what would it be?
DK: I am torn between two moments and both are Star Wars Celebration related. The first moment would be the Thrawn reveal in the Star Wars Rebels panel at Star Wars Celebration London. That room was packed and the reaction to Dave bringing Thrawn into the show was something I will never forget. The energy was just unforgettable. The next is the 40th anniversary panel at Celebration Orlando. Having everyone there to talk about the fans and their love of the franchise, the Carrie moment, and the John Williams surprise, I cried, I laughed, and I will never forget being in that room.
FT: During your time at Lucasfilm what do you hope to accomplish or be remembered for?
DK: I don’t personally need to be remembered for anything, but I want the Star Wars Celebrations that I helped contribute to be some of the fans most memorable moments of their Star Wars fandom. I think if I can help accomplish that, then I can say I did my job well.
FT: If there was one piece of canon material you’d recommend (show, comic book run, novel) what would it be?
DK: I would say if you missed the run of Star Wars Rebels when it was out, I would HIGHLY recommend you go and watch it on Disney+. It is just full of some of my all-time favorite story telling.
Thank you to Daniel Kennedy for his time and efforts at Lucasfilm. His work is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed. You can follow him on Twitter @DanielKennedyDK
Interview by Fantha Tracks contributor Joey Clark.