Star Wars Pursuit

1993 - 2014

 

I believe in dreams…

… but dreams, without a “plan of action” of how to make them come to fruition, is nothing more than a fantasy. More than that, just because you have a “plan of action” and work your ass off doesn’t necessarily equate to obtaining the dream or getting that golden ticket. Sometimes you do not get to cross “GO” and you do not get to collect your “two hundred dollars.” At the same time, just because you may not obtain the end result of any given dream, does not mean you have failed either. No. Not at all. As a matter of fact, I have come to learn some dreams do not happen for a very good reason, but the lessons you will learn on your journey will help you to obtain your new goals and dreams, giving you insight to make profound decisions.

I am a dreamer. I always have been, and always will be. My dreams are what kept me going when I was a young boy growing up in the Buena Vista Apartments in Alameda, CA. My parents lived together, for the most part, but they hated each other. It seemed the only time they didn’t fight was when we went to the movies. Movies were my salvation growing up because for an hour and a half or if I was lucky, two - whole - hours, we’d sit as a family and no one would be screaming, or throwing bowls that would shatter all over the kitchen floor. There’d be no crying (well, unless the movie was E.T.), and no one would punch holes in the walls. Movies are what brought my crazy-ass, dysfunctional family together, and if the movie was real good, we would talk about it all the way home.

This page is dedicated to one of my “failed dreams.” I use the word “failed” loosely (remember what I said about the journey). To make a very long story short, I was inspired by the movie Star Wars in 1977. Up until then, movies for kids were like a car wash. You go through, it’s fun, noisy, you know what’s coming, and you leave feeling squeaky clean. Star Wars was like nothing I’d ever seen before. As soon as it started, it left the impression with me that it had already existed, and following Luke Skywalker on his “hero’s journey” was like eavesdropping on a secret conversation at the grown-up table. It resonated with me on many levels, and to say the least, the movie gave me a much needed distraction. I was only nine years old and my parents’ fights continued until they ultimately divorced.


Fast forward to 1993.

I read in the SF Chronicle that Lucas was going to do something called a prequel to Star Wars. Well, this gave me “new hope” because I had been actively pursuing an acting career and was already a member of the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA. I started out with my “Star Wars Attack Plan” with one modest query letter to Lucasfilm expressing my interest to be considered. I followed up every six months like clock-work making notes on my calendar of when my next wave would be mailed out.  I sent out query letters from 1993 until Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith came out in 2005.

 

Fast forward to 1997

The Release of the original Star Wars trilogy was just about to hit the globe. I knew there would be an orgy of media hype, and I also knew I had to jump on the free media tsunami and use the hype to my advantage to tell my story, to tell the world why I needed to be a part of this new trilogy. What you see before you on this page is only a small sampling of what I actually accomplished with this dream - the dream of getting an audition for Star Wars – the prequels.

Funny thing about dreams, when you actively state out loud for the world to hear what it is you want, there will always be people to tell you just how stupid you are and ask you, “…why the hell do you want that?” When that happens to you just remember this… it’s your life and your dream. Paul Haggis wrote it the best, “There’s a magic in risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you…”

 

Fast forward to 2009

I never did get a call from my agent to audition even though I met Mr. Lucas himself. He’s a small man standing only 5’5”. How do I know this? I too am 5’5” and I looked him straight in the eyes when I told him, “Mr. Lucas, I know I’m not an Evan McGregor or a Samuel Jackson, but I’m just as talented, and I truly hope I get an opportunity to audition for you one day…”

Enjoy my “Kevin Wars Archives” and if you have any questions or want to know more about my Star Wars Attack Plan, … I am proud to talk about it.

Even though it never happened, I know Yoda would also be proud, “Do or do not… there is no try.

 

Fast forward to 2014

In 2012, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion dollars.  How do I feel about that?  Well, let’s say its bitter sweet and possibly more sweet than bitter. The man I admired as a child has moved on from his own creation.

 
Certainly, Disney can’t do any worse than what Lucas did with episodes 1,2 and 3, and I can only see Star Wars finally getting its fair run with strong storytelling, in addition to some amazing effects.

 
Disney is THE major power house with its own branding plus Pixar and Marvel, and the purchase of Lucasfilm also included the rights to the Indiana Jones series. 

I truly believe Star Wars is in such capable hands, minds, and hearts… yes, I said hearts.  JJ Abrams loves the original Star Wars and was bitten by the magic from those original films.   Kathleen Kennedy, producer extraordinaire, is in charge of all things Star Wars bringing in JJ Abrams and much respected writer and filmmaker in his own right, Lawrence Kasdan, which is something good ‘ole George should have done for the prequels.

I have always respected the work of JJ Abrams since his first screenplay, Regarding Henry.  I can’t even believe he was writing such profound material at such a young age (early twenties).  He’s been around a long time, and he even worked with my former boss, David Kirkpatrick.

I guess that makes me 1 separation away from JJ Abrams.  How cool is that?  Thanks David Kirkpatrick! 

So where do I stand with trying to get an audition for anything related to Star Wars now?  Well, I am very proud of my pursuit back in 1993, but I am not going to attempt to get the attention of JJ or Kathleen.  I will re-launch all my news segments in the months to come just as nostalgia.  When I look back at all the things I accomplished back then, I smile with pride.  I did it.  I never have to say, “What if I tried.” I went above and beyond and even met Mr. Lucas. 

Think about it?  When I started my Star Wars prequel audition campaign, the internet was just getting started, and I am so proud to say I was the first actor to have a full blown website to get the attention of George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum and casting agent Robin Gurland.  Now if only I had the foresight to create a Facebook type of website…. Oh well.

I wasn’t meant to be in the prequels obviously, but I don’t look back on those days of my dogged pursuit as a failure… not at all.  I learned so much about myself, promotion,  life and the importance of believing in a dream.  I still live that way and I will never change.

I am beyond thrilled that Star Wars will live on even if Disney isn’t following all the expanded universe material.  Luckily, I never got into that expect for the Timothy Zahn novels.  Those were amazing.   But for all the fans that really got into the expanded universe and read all those books…. I feel for you.  I say, let’s give JJ and Disney a chance.  We should all be grateful that more stories from the Star Wars universe are around the horizon, not to mention television shows.  I say the sky is the limit now that Disney has control.  Treat the franchise with respect, Disney. 

May the Force be with us… all! 

April 2015

We are about seven months away from JJ Abram’s Star Wars The Force Awakens, and the first trailer was released in November of 2014 with much excitement.   To date, in my opinion, JJ and Disney are doing it right.  The first trailer was reminiscent of the original series with very simplistic shots of the desert and introducing us to a few new characters.  It took its time with setting up the new world, and the screen was never swarming with unnecessary images, but focused on building suspense and action, in a word, intriguing.  So, first teaser…. AWESOME!

 

Here it is April 2015 and the second trailer was released at SW Celebration in Anaheim, CA and then later to the internet.  Again, the second trailer established a sense of respect and history for the origins of this epic world and yet continued to build and introduce us to so many new exciting elements, characters and basically, something fresh within something so familiar.  Watching the second trailer was like seeing an old friend after decades of being absent, and it left me with the feeling of such excitement that I can pick up this friendship right where we left off, but at the same time, continue to embrace new elements within our friendship because of the growth from our separate journeys. 

 

I grew up with the explosion of Star Wars a New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, and I consider myself to be a “classic” SW fan.  Episodes 1, 2, and 3 were enjoyed by some, but for us “classic” fans, it never gave us that welcoming hug from that old friend, but rather felt like something out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  It somewhat looked like Star Wars, it had the lightsabers and new space vehicles…. But man oh man, did if feel like an impostor desperately trying to imitate my lifelong friend.  At a glance, it appeared to be Star Wars, but it was so not Star Wars, at least not the Star Wars I remembered or envisioned for the future.

 

1, 2 and 3 were replete with contradictions within the storytelling.  It was as if Mr. Lucas didn’t watch 4, 5, and 6 as a refresher before he started writing the prequels, he was completely ignoring key plot points that were brought up in 4, 5 and 6.  There are so many, too many to list, but here is just one simple example:  In Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan flies around in his Starfighter with a red astromech droid named R4-P17 or R4 for short, however, in Episode 4, when Obi-Wan saves Luke from the Sandpeople Obi-Wan says, “… I don’t ever recall owning a droid.”  Even Jedi Knights battle memory loss, I guess.  Again, this is only one example of so many contradictions, and it isn’t even the most offensive, but clearly shows Mr. Lucas really didn’t pay attention to the details of what he created with the original series, and to us “classic” fans, it seemed he just didn’t care.

 

I don’t think this will be the case with JJ and Disney.  First of all, Kathleen Kennedy was brilliant enough to bring back Lawrence Kasdan to write episode 7 with JJ Abrams.  Kasdan is an amazing writer (Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Big Chill… enough said.)  JJ is also one of the best writers of his generation, and he wrote Regarding Henry when he was only in his twenties!  Come on!  That’s just brilliant!  Not to mention the rest of his amazing career, what he’s done with the Star Trek franchise and he isn’t even a fan of Star Trek!  JJ is not only the Spielberg of his generation, but he is a Star Wars fan himself, so I truly believe he is making a Star Wars film that he would want to see as a fan.  There is respect for the Star Wars galaxy, you can see it, feel it with every image that has been released so far, and JJ and Kasdan know how to write a damn good story!  It’s as if Obi-Wan and Yoda got together to write Episode 7!  

 

So, long short, I feel that Star Wars is back in full force and the film isn’t even out yet, and I’m already in love with that little rolling droid, BB-8 and it’s a practical effect!!  That’s what Star Wars is about… introducing us to unique characters, strange new worlds, hope, and epic dramatic stories and let’s face it, there will never be another Star Wars experience like the one back in 1977.  Times were different and since then many other sci-fi films and video games having been trying to emulate that galaxy far, far away and special effects are just so impressive that whatever writers think up, filmmakers can bring life to those ideas on the big screen.  It’s so difficult to surprise movie goers these days, especially the younger generation.  That’s where a strong sense of story and structure comes in and that’s what JJ and Kasdan will provide!  I know it!

 

The future looks bright for Star Wars once again, and I couldn’t be happier about that.  Disney has done such an amazing job with the Marvel franchise, and I’ve enjoyed all those films and I’m not even a huge Marvel fan…. I can’t imagine what type of stories will come out, and all the new characters to be revealed within the next 10 years in the Star Wars universe.  There is so much to look forward to and this all wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for Mr. Lucas, so thank you for creating the Star Wars universe and thank you for selling it to Disney so they can take care of it, and continue to feed the fans with more unique stories!

 

I cannot wait until December 18th 2015!
 

KEVIN WARS (the pursuit of a STAR WARS Dream)


Kevin Wars
Episode IV

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Kevin Wars
Episode V

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Kevin Wars
Episode VI

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Designed and Maintained by Phil Olsen