I recently had the great privilege of interviewing Bonnie Burton, Star Wars craft goddess extraordinaire, and all-around awesome geek role model. I first met Bonnie back in the mid 1990s when we both lived in Boulder, Colorado, but she has obviously gone on to bigger and better things. For the interview we covered many topics, including her job at Lucasfilm, and of course her new book, The Star Wars Craft Book, that John Booth recently reviewed for GeekDad (my review will run soon on GeekMom).
GeekDad: What’s the most fun thing about working for Lucasfilm?
Bonnie Burton: Knowing that I work for a company whose franchise has touched so many lives is amazing. Star Wars has inspired filmmakers, artists, fashion designers, directors, actors, writers, astronauts, scientists, the list goes on and on. It’s awe-inspiring to say the least. But I think the funnest part of my job is getting to meet Star Wars fans at conventions and online. I love seeing the creative things fans make, whether it’s a steampunk lightsaber, or a Wookiee birthday cake, or a funny fan film. Star Wars fans are some of the most creative people in the world. 😉
GD: Are you able to share your personal feelings about the prequel movies? If so, what are they?
BB: I love all the Star Wars films, The Clone Wars TV show, and the live-action Ewok movies, and yes even the Star Wars Holiday Special. I love it all! 😉
GD: Jar-Jar or the Ewoks?
BB: I’ve loved the Ewoks ever since I first laid eyes on them as a kid. And to tell you the truth, Jar Jar is growing on me thanks to The Clone Wars series. He’s actually got quite the fanbase.
GD: Han Solo or young Obi-Wan (or both!)?
BB: Ooooh, tough one! I love Han Solo for his maverick personality, but Obi-Wan would probably make a better mentor. 😉
GD: What’s one interesting thing about being married to Artoo? What are his guilty pleasures?
BB: Never give an astromech the TV remote… you’ll never see it again! Artoo and I have an Open Source Marriage which means he can see other droids and I can see other humans. But truth be told, it’s great to have a spouse who can fix anything in the house.
GD: How did you decide what crafts should go into The Star Wars Craft Book?
BB: I wanted a good selection of easy crafts and a few challenging crafts as well. There are crafts for people who’ve never sewed before, people who love puppets, people who want geeky pet toys, people who like to decorate their rooms with Star Wars accessories, people who like to garden, people who fancy themselves as Force fashionistas and more.
GD: Had you done all of the crafts previously and just gathered them together, or are some original to the book?
BB: I picked the best of the best! Some of the crafts were popular crafts featured on StarWars.com, but many are brand new crafts that I think fans will really get a kick out of! I’m always crafting and thinking up new projects. In fact, right now I’m working on a Great Pit of Carkoon Dog Bed! 😉
GD: Which are your favorites to make?
BB: I love making Star Wars puppets. Whether it’s Jedi Master Yoda or the wide array of characters chilling out in the Mos Eisley Cantina, I love making funky little finger puppets to play with throughout the day. I even bring them to meetings. The Chewbacca sock puppet and the Admiral Sackbar Puppet are also fun too.
GD: Which is your favorite to have made (meaning, it isn’t necessarily easy to make, but neat to look at/play with)?
BB: I love the Jabba the Hutt body pillow. The craft is easy to make, but it’s fun to have it around the house too. It gets so many comments from visitors to my home, and my dog loves sleeping on it.
GD: Which are easiest for early elementary kids to make?
BB: There’s TONS of easy crafts for kids and beginning craftster who happen to be adults as well. Some of the easiest crafts include: Yoda Stick Puppet, Admiral Sackbar Puppet, Bith Band Spoon Puppets, Ewok Flower Vase, Chewbacca Tissue Box Cover, Star Wars Collage Box, Star Wars Marble Magnets, Wookiee Pumpkin, Hanukkah Droidel, Star Wars Action Figure Wreath, Star Wars Snow Globe, Dagobah Carnivorous Plant Habitat, Star Wars Rock Buddies, Wookiee Bird House and more!
To read more about Bonnie’s new book, check out John Booth’s GeekDad review or visit the Star Wars website. To learn more about Bonnie Burton, you can find her on Twitter, where she tweets regularly on her marriage to R2-D2 and many aspects of geek and pop culture. She’s also (obviously) at StarWars.com, and she will also be at the upcoming Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. While you’re there visiting the GeekDad booth, watch some of Bonnie’s craft demonstrations. She has also written other books about Star Wars, girls and other topics.