Thumbnail
Behind the Mask  |  Executives

Steve Sansweet

Age: 78
Born: June 14, 1945

Writer, Prior Lucasfilm Head of Fan Relations, and World's Largest Star Wars Collector

2023-01-11T20:09:29-08:00

Star Wars Collector

Considered the biggest collector of Star Wars merchandise, which has become "Rancho Obi-Wan" and him being the head of fan relations for Lucasfilm.

"In the years to come I would start to write Star Wars books (my 16th will be published in October), do 50 hours of QVC Star Wars specials (and bought everything I sold), have a 15-year second career at Lucasfilm (where I'm still a consultant), and collect a few pieces here and there - leading to the recent incorporation of the non-profit Rancho Obi-Wan as home of the world's largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia." -- starwars.com (2012)

Most significantly, Sansweet has the original Boba Fett action figure, complete with its unreleased (and controversial at the time) J-slot and L-slot rocket firing backpack. He also owns the original Boba Fett jetpack prop that is likely used for the Sarlacc Pit fall, according to theswca.com.

Head of Fan Relations for Lucasfilm

Q&A: Boba Fett's Backstory

As head of Fan Relations for Lucasfilm, Steve was asked about Boba Fett in Episode II in this Q&A published in April 2000 on StarWars.com (Archive.org back-up):

Question: I'm excited that Boba Fett is going to be in Episode II. Are we going to get more details about how he was once Jaster Mereel and killed another Journeyman Protector on the planet Concord Dawn before becoming a bounty hunter?

Answer: Highly unlikely.

My advice: Forget everything you knew, or thought you knew about the origins of Boba Fett. While none of us have seen a script of Episode II or have an idea of the direction in which George Lucas is taking the character, it's fairly safe to say that he won't be held to any of the back stories that have arisen over the years to try to explain the roots of this strong, mostly silent type. If there is any hint of Fett's beginnings, it will be all George.

At the same time, what you've read to this point was probably misinformation anyhow. A bounty hunter like Boba Fett has much to gain by having numerous myths of his origin in circulation among potential employers and potential victims. That is why the Star Wars Encyclopedia states: "Many tales are told of his background and exploits, but there are very few verifiable facts, perhaps by design."

Fett's short career as a law enforcement officer on Concord Dawn, and his perhaps-unjust downfall, was first told in Tales of the Bounty Hunters. Dark Empire II speculates that he was formerly a stormtrooper who killed his commanding officer. The Marvel Comics series has Fett as an ex-Mandalorian commando, a veteran of the Clone Wars alongside Fenn Shysa and Tobbi Dala. Marvel even went as far as showing the lush jungles of the planet Mandalore.

As many fans know, when it comes to Star Wars knowledge, there are degrees of "canon." The only true canon are the films themselves. For years, Lucas Books has stayed clear of characters, events, or the timeframe that George might want to deal with in the Star Wars prequels. While such things as the Clone Wars, the fall of the Jedi, and Palpatine's rise to power were on that list, Boba Fett wasn't considered to be of major concern.

But like any great storyteller, George starts to develop a script and it sometimes takes on a life of its own, with characters coming to life and demanding a say. He has told us that Boba Fett will have a role in Episode II--just as Fett first appeared in the second film of the classic trilogy--so we may finally learn the bounty hunter's true genesis. As for whether Fett really survived his descent into the cavernous maw of the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi...what do you think?

Q&A: Is Boba Dead?

As head of Fan Relations for Lucasfilm, Steve was asked if George Lucas considers Boba Fett dead or alive in this Q&A published in December 2002 on StarWars.com (Archive.org back-up):

Q: Did George Lucas intend for Boba Fett to die in the sarlacc, despite what others may say or print?

A: Yes, in George's view -- as far as the films go -- the baddest bounty hunter in the Galaxy met his match in the Great Pit of Carkoon where --unfortunately for Mr. Fett -- the ghastly sarlacc made its home.

However, Lucas also approved Fett's comeback in the expanded universe. And of course, by going back in time with the prequels, the Star Wars creator has brought Boba Fett back to life himself, albeit at a much younger age."
-- Steve Sansweet, LFL/Fan Relations, December 2002 - "Does Lucas Consider Boba Dead?", StarWars.com


Last updated: January 11, 2023
Article ID: 197