Lacey Gilleran is a co-host of The Resistance Broadcast podcast. She was answered a few questions via email for this interview.
What is your first memory of Star Wars?
I’ve liked Star Wars since about 2nd grade. There is a big dairy grocery store chain here in the Northeast called Stew Leonard’s. It’s pretty awesome, but also ridiculous at the same time with animatronic cows, chickens, singing juice boxes, and a Twinkie the Kid. It’s an experience, so if anyone has a chance to visit – do it! Anyway, back in the day there was a movie section and I saw the VHS box set for the original trilogy with Darth Vader on the cover. I asked my Dad what it was, he said Star Wars, and I promptly said I wanted it. I was hooked ever since. I connected with Luke Skywalker, the kid with dreams of adventure and a longing for “his place” in the galaxy. I wanted that too.
Who are some of your favorite Star Wars characters and have those favorites changed over time?
You know it’s funny you say “changed over time” because that would completely describe me. I have such love for all Star Wars characters that it can be hard for me to pick a favorite. Growing up it was Luke and Leia – I connected with Luke’s journey, but admired Leia for everything she stood for, how she always spoke her mind, and fought for what’s right. I used to pretend I was Leia’s daughter and went on secret missions for her. As I’ve grown up, I’ve connected with lots of characters, but I really grew to love Rey and Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. Rey for her optimism and strength, and Kylo for his costume and overall villain appeal. He’s such a cool character! More recently, I’ve really started to love Qi’ra. She’s tough and complicated – not afraid to do what she needs to do to survive. She also has some of the best clothes. I also can’t fail to mention my love for Admiral Ackbar. My sweet, sweet squid boi means a lot to me. I guess I love a lot of characters. Haha. Wait, did I mention I’m obsessed with Baby Yoda too?
Some fans only watch the films or favor the books or animation. How would you describe the Star Wars content you consume?
I think I’m definitely a movie type of girl. I grew up with the original trilogy, followed by the prequels. The sequel trilogy came much later in my life, but with it came this awesome community and podcasting. There is so much wonderful Star Wars content to connect with, but nothing has had such an impact on me like the movies.
You’re a co-host of The Resistance Broadcast. Why did you become involved with this podcast, what episode would you recommend for new listeners, and what’s your favorite part of being a part of TRB?
I got involved with The Resistance Broadcast because of chance, really. I was looking into advertising opportunities with Star Wars News Net at a previous job, and John and I started chatting. He asked me if I ever considered podcasting and if I’d want to join the show. I never thought about podcasting, but I knew I loved Star Wars and talked about it too much, so it seemed like a good move. Haha. John and James believed in me when no one else did, they have always been so welcoming and supportive. I don’t know how my life would be if I didn’t meet them two and half years ago. They’ve changed it in ways I could have never imagined. I’ll never be able to thank them.
My favorite part about being in TRB is connecting with other fans. When I was little and watched Star Wars for the first time, I immediately connected with Luke’s longing to find his place in the galaxy. I still connect with that today. TRB has given me a community and a place where I belong. No matter what is going on in my life, I know these people will not only support me, but will make me laugh and geek out with me. TRB has been my constant, the thing that makes me happy, and I don’t know what I would do without it.
The episode I would suggest to new listeners would be our interview with Eunice Huthart, the stunt coordinator from The Rise of Skywalker. Eunice was the best. It was not only interesting to hear about the process coordinating stunts for a major motion picture, but she is so incredibly charming. She kept us laughing and was so fun to have on the show.
Who is on your dream guest list and why should they come on your show?
My dream guest for TRB would be Mark Hamill. He’s Luke Skywalker. He’s my childhood hero. I think Mark is so fun and would bring some epic stories to our podcast. I’ve met him a couple times over the years and every time he’s been so kind and friendly. He’s just the best.
When I googled you to make sure I was remembering correctly that you used to work for ReedPop (who run Star Wars Celebration) I saw that you also once worked with the World Wrestling Foundation. Two questions: 1) since you worked with ReedPop can you offer some insight into how challenging it is to pull off the logistics needed for a huge convention like Star Wars Celebration and #2 please tell me you have a silly WWE story to share!
Yes, I did work at both ReedPOP and WWE. There are lots of challenges companies face when putting on large events like Star Wars Celebration. I loved working with Celebration and being surrounded by fans just like me. People don’t realize how much goes into these events from the operations and building logistics, guest management, sponsorships and sales, marketing, and most importantly customer service.
When I worked there we were a relatively small team and I was managing the social media channels mostly on my own. I think there is a disconnect when people are behind a keyboard and they forget they are speaking to another human being. I would offer the advice to treat others with kindness and just remember they are doing a job, they aren’t trying to make you upset. They want you to have a great experience.
As for WWE, wow that was a wild experience. I worked on the road crew so I traveled each week with the RAW, Smackdown, and NXT shows. It was super high pressure and fast-paced, but I was right out of college and was thrilled to travel and work in LIVE TV. I think my silly story would have to be that I was coworkers with Freddie Prinze Jr. At the time he was writing for WWE and was traveling with the shows as well. I was told to never talk to him or “make eye contact with him”, so when I jokingly mentioned it to the Head writer of RAW, he pulled me aside in the stadium and called Freddie over. He tells him “This is the girl I was telling you about, the one that can’t talk to you.” I was so embarrassed – we’re talking the red of a Sith Trooper. Freddie just smiled and said “Sweetheart, you can talk to me whenever you want.” He was so kind and friendly. But yeah, that stands out to me. That and Vince yelling at people. Haha.
This year you’re doing a project people can find on Twitter searching for #MySWCollection366. Tell me about this project – what inspired you to share you Star Wars collection, what kind of feedback have you received, are you experiencing any burnout, and if are you holding back your favorite collectibles or spreading them out throughout the year?
I was inspired by you actually! I am a big Star Wars collector, I’ve collected stuff my whole life, but I feel like it’s grown tremendously since The Force Awakens. It’s my way of expressing my love for the saga and connecting with other fans too. I saw you doing the amazing 365 series celebrating women in the galaxy, and I thought I could do something similar with my collection. It’s been a lot of fun! I don’t know how I’m ever going to top Day 9 when Mark Hamill replied to my tweet, but I think people have really enjoyed it! There are days where I need to remind myself what I’ve already shared, but I also like the challenge. I do have some pieces I’m holding for the remainder of the year, so people will just have to wait and see what they are!
If you could choose an existing Star Wars character to center a Disney+ show around – who would it be and why?
No one will be surprised with this answer, but I’d love for them to continue the stories set up in Solo: A Star Wars Story with a Disney+ Solo Series. We’re big fans of Solo at TRB with our creation of the #MakeSolo2Happen movement, so I’d love to see Han and Chewie continue their adventures. The movie left it in a perfect spot for it. Alden and Joonas were great together and we want to see more of their chemistry and friendship on screen. There is about 10 years prior to A New Hope, so that’s plenty of time for some hijinx to ensue. Plus, I REALLY want to see a Jabba puppet. How awesome would that be!
What are some Star Wars sites/podcasts/journalists you would recommend to others?
Clayton Sandell – He’s an ABC News reporter that is one minute chasing fires and staring down criminals, and the next he’s geeking out like the rest of us. He also gives great scoops from GMA and upcoming interviews with Star Wars insiders.
Jake Bartok – He’s an incredible artist. He’s always posting beautiful Star Wars art including his recent medieval series – where he reimagines characters in their medieval costumes. I also might have his TROS Rey as my phone background.
What are you looking forward to as far as announced Star Wars projects in the next few years?
Obviously, I will take all the seasons of The Mandalorian that I can get. That said, I’m so overjoyed with the upcoming Kenobi series. This might be a little embarrassing to admit, but I did cry when they finally announced it at D23. I was so happy for Ewan and so excited for what’s to come. For me, Star Wars is my escape. It allows me to forget about the tough parts of life for a bit and travel to a galaxy far, far away. So every time they announce a new project with characters I love – like Kenobi – I get so overwhelmed I cry happy tears. I like to think of it like the Daisy Ridley gif of her crying in bed watching The Force Awakens trailer saying “Oh my goodness, amazing!” That pretty much sums me up.
If you could have a meeting with Kathleen Kennedy what would you like to ask her or tell her? Who else would you like to be in the room for this meeting?
Kathleen is an absolute inspiration. She has done so many things in her life, it’s amazing. If I was meeting with her I would first express how many people she has inspired, and that I appreciate what she has done with Star Wars. Then I would get down to business and ask her to make a Solo sequel series for Disney+. Now of course I would have John and James with me, but I would also like Jon Kasdan and Joonas Suotamo to be in the room to back me up. I feel like they’d all be on board too and we could collectively convince Kathleen to #MakeSolo2Happen.
Find Lacey on Twitter here!