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Between 1999 and 2009 Lightsabre.co.uk brought news, fanfic, podcasts and much, much more to the masses. Our fifty-eighth guest is an official Star Wars artist – Tsuneo Sanda.

Lightsabre – Tsuneo, welcome to Lightsabre.

TS – Thank you for having me.

Lightsabre – During your career you have crafted many amazing images but you have swiftly become best known for your artwork in the Star Wars universe. How exciting is that like?

TS – I do not have the actual feeling. If it is so, it is very honored and I am sincerely glad. And I want to thank Lucasfilm that permits all my Star Wars works to be drawn freely in my own image.

Lightsabre – Tell us something of your career. How and where did you begin in art, who inspired you as an artist growing up and what led you to where you are today?

TS – I started from drawing an illustration for advertisement as a graphic designer. I think I am on that extension line now. However, a work for the cover of New York OMNI Magazine was the beginning in art for me. And they gave my work high evaluation that let me have big confidence to draw. Then a work for “Star Wars 20th Anniversary” was provided by high evaluation from Lucasfilm, my confidence has grown.

I have a number of artist who inspired me. I learnt idea, expression from them when I created works in the past. Because I wanted to keep growing up more with getting lots of things. I did not spare any effort for seeing my possibility and learning, that made myself today.

Lightsabre – You’ve had your work appearing on the official site alongside work by Dave Dorman, Matt Busch, the Hildebrant Brothers and others. How does it feel, for your art to inspire fans as much as these other great artists?

TS – My works of Star Wars have the same feeling of fans. I always think “I am excited if there is a scene some thing like that…” when I draw, that is maybe, we can share. And because I think skills are important, but I make an image have top priority.

Lightsabre – What has it been like to be a part of the Star Wars phenomenon?

TS – I place it with a place of self-expression.

Lightsabre – Revenge of the Sith introduced us to another amazing array of characters and vehicles. Which of these new creations give you the most pleasure to draw?

TS – I do not have special thought. I reflect the whole Star Wars now somehow because the series was completed. I will decide a theme to draw from now on.

Lightsabre – You are now an official Star Wars artist. Just how proud does that title make you feel?

TS – I hardly consider it. As I said before, the basis is to raise own level. There is a place of the self-expression of drawing the picture in the world of “Star Wars” now. However, I sincerely value this environment given now and do my best.

Lightsabre – What were your feelings on Revenge of the Sith? Did it satisfy you as a fan?

TS – Wonderful of the image is unparalleled as the movie

Lightsabre – If you could choose any art project, Star Wars or otherwise, what would it be?

TS – I am always natural. I think ability is necessary to get good work, but “luck” is necessary too. So I always keep in mind the importance of my polish every day. I do not spare any effort if there is a place needs my drawing. I would like to draw “film poster” as the self-expression but, my ideal is to draw a picture being displayed for all the time.

Lightsabre – Tell us something of the tools you use to create your artwork. What media do you prefer? How long does a piece take to be approved by Lucasfilm and how long does it take from inception to completion?

TS – Acrylic Eg, brush made in Japan, and I use an airbrush sometimes. I spend a lot of time on the draft with a pencil. And, about four weeks are spent from the draft to completion.

Lightsabre – What lies ahead for you in the future?

TS – I hope to more grow up in the future.

Lightsabre – A quick question about our site. Any comments?

TS – I hope many people meet my works through a site of Lightsabre. And thank you for having my works, I really appreciate.

Lightsabre – It’s been a great interview, and thanks for being our guest on Lightsabre. Just one final question. George Lucas approaches you to create special artwork for a future re-release of the Star Wars saga. Alongside you stand Star Wars legends Drew Struzan and Ralph McQuarrie. Lucas gives you the choice pick of film poster you can create. Which film do you choose

TS – That would be something. If Mr. Lucas has such a plan, and I have the request, I need not especially choose the work. Because I have an equal feeling and image for six series works. However, if somebody asked “which do you like the best?” I will answer with The Empire Strikes Back without question.

Thank you very much. May the Force be with you.

This interview was originally posted on lightsabre.co.uk on 17th December 2006.