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Star Wars Fans: Living Through Lussier

Germain Lussier gives fans a view of “Galaxy’s Edge” while at D23 Expo 2017.

io9’s Germain Lussier is the Fans’ eyes and ears

At the moment, we’re all living through Germain Lussier…

Just a few days after D23 Expo, and now with San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) under way, Lussier, reporting for io9, is on the ground. And now — more than ever — he’s acting as fandom’s eyes and ears.

“I’d say I’m io9‘s Star Wars point person,” said Lussier, recently, when asked to describe his job.

A Lot of Star Wars to Cover

Movies are Lussier’s primary beat, so he gets the call to cover Star Wars more often than not.

“Working in Los Angeles I have relationships with people at the studios that allows me access to the films and filmmakers that other people may not have,” said Lussier, just prior to D23.

“But there are other writers on my site, Katharine Trendacosta and James Whitbrook in particular, that know a ton about Star Wars,” he said, adding, “more than me in a few ways too.

“I’m lucky to have them to help me out because, let’s face it, there’s a lot of Star Wars out there to cover,” he said.

Star Wars fans are lucky to have so many reporters working on their behalf; the saga represents a special beat, one that Lussier takes very seriously.

“My earliest memory of the franchise was getting a classic Millennium Falcon toy for Christmas when I was very young,” said Lussier. “My mom hid it behind a chair, so I’d think I didn’t get it. That suggests, to me, that it was the biggest thing I asked for that year and that I was already a Star Wars fan by that time. But, I don’t remember much before that.

“What my mom says, though, is when I was two years old, we were watching TV on her bed, and she was looking for something to keep my attention while she fell asleep,” he added. “She said she turned on Star Wars, held my hand, and went to sleep.

“Two hours later, two-year-old me hadn’t moved, I was still staring at the TV – that’s when I truly became a fan.”

Covering the Star Wars Universe

Many fans take notice of Lussier when he is covering conventions and premieres, but his work is a 24-hour, 7-days a week, 52-weeks a year slog through the pop culture universe.

Some may think it sounds glamorous, what with the special events he attends, but Lussier said it’s not always so “Hollywood.”

“I’m an entertainment journalist,” said Lussier, whose Twitter feed is a veritable cornucopia of media. “I report and write about ‘entertainment’ in general, but mostly movies. I spent my days either sitting in my apartment, pouring over movies news, to write about it for the site, or researching, interviewing and reporting on movies or events.”

“Probably 80% of my time is spent on the news, which also includes pitching and writing original ideas, and 20% is spent out of the office, doing interviews, visiting film sets, conventions, etc.,” he said. “My schedule is basically like 8-6:00 PM, and in that time, I can do a billion different things.

Some days I spent all day writing one article. Others I’ll write eight articles. Others I’ll be on a plane all day, others I’ll be watching a big movie film.

That schedule keeps things interesting for Lussier, to say the least…

“Every day is different,” he agreed. “My favorite stories are the ones that come from my head. Maybe that’s an original thought I want to expand on, or an interview I did that I have just the right way to package.

“But putting your unique voice or news into the world is much more fun than just regurgitating someone else’s news, which is admittedly a big part of the job.”

Hard Work Helps

Hard work is the biggest part of the job, and Lussier credits a strong work ethic for putting him in the catbird seat.

“I knew I wanted to get paid to write about movies since I was like 10-years-old,” he said. “In high school, I started writing movie reviews. I went to NYU for Cinema Studies and Journalism.

“I interned at Premiere Magazine, Us Weekly, and Entertainment Weekly and did online interviews for Then I worked for six years at a local newspaper in my hometown in upstate New York. From there, I moved to LA, worked on a few small sites before dipping my toe in online film sites. I started at Collider briefly, left for Slashfilm, was there like 6 years, and am now at io9.

“All in all, I’ve been a published film writer for 20 years,” he said.

However, beyond the hard work, Lussier also credits Star Wars as the impetus behind his career.

“I literally owe it all to Star Wars,” he said. “Star Wars drew me to movie websites back in 1997, as I looked for information about The Phantom Menace. Movie websites got me started interviewing celebrities. Reading movie websites helped focus my passions as a journalist as I jumped from place to place.

“And all along the way, writing about Star Wars got me where I wanted to be,” continued Lussier. “I wrote the paper to get into NYU about Star Wars. I wrote papers at college about Star Wars. After graduating the day that Episode II came out, I set a goal for myself to be at a job by the time Episode III came out where I could review it in print, and I accomplished that.

“Ten years later, I was interviewing Harrison Ford one on one and standing on the red carpet of the world première,” he said.

Always in Motion is the Future

She’s the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. #d23expo

A post shared by Germain Lussier (@germainlussier) on

Looking ahead to the new films, television shows, books, and comics, MSW asked Lussier what he hopes to see next on the big screen, little screen, and Kindle.

“In the Saga films, I’d like to see the redemption of Kylo Ren, rise of Rey, then the two of them spreading a new version of the Force in a subsequent trilogy,” he said. “In the standalone films, I’d like to see stories unrelated to the Skywalker timeline.

“On the small screen, I’d like to see an animated show set during the sequel trilogy but largely unrelated. I’d prefer not to have a live action show as it would bump up too closely with the movies and just be overkill.”

On the page, the prescription is simple.

“A good Star Wars book makes you feel Star Wars. You should get goosebumps at the reveals and excitement,” he continued, speaking to books and comics. “To be fair, I haven’t read a lot.

“I did read the Thrawn trilogy growing up, and I’ve read some of the new canon books. I like them just because they have weight to them now that they are canon.

“In the past, I didn’t even think about that because I never thought we’d ever see any more movies,” he explained. “But now that we do get movies, it’s important to me that everything lines up.”

But that “lining up” comes at a cost, both literally and figuratively.

“I read about the first 12 issues of the new Star Wars comic and liked it. But once it started crossing over into other comics and I had to buy those to keep up, I fell off,” admitted Lussier. “I’ll probably read more once they come into trades and all that.

“I think [Star Wars has] done a fair job of keeping all mediums packed and full of Star Wars content,” he said. “The question then becomes, is it too much? Will Star Wars become less special if it’s everywhere? It’s possible.”

Star Wars is Elemental

I am seated for The Last Jedi panel! #SWCO

A post shared by Germain Lussier (@germainlussier) on

It being everywhere speaks to the inherent frustration of Lussier’s job.

“It’s difficult for a ton of reasons,” said Lussier when asked about any negatives to the work. “Disney is doing a great job, but…there’s also a lot of competition.

“No matter what I say or do about Star Wars, someone else is likely saying or doing the same thing. So you have to be smart, and you have to be fast.”

But those obstacles also speak to the inherent pleasure of Lussier’s tough task.

“Any negatives are far outweighed by the fact you are pretty much getting paid to be a Star Wars fan,” he said.

It all comes back to the fandom; his own love of the franchise, and the love of the people he serves have for the saga.

“As a franchise, I think the whole thing boils down to a Toys R Us at midnight the night new toys launch,” he said. “It’s the commercialism of the franchise coupled the with the excitement of anticipation.

“Those two things, to me, to distinguish star wars from every other franchise out there.

I think there are plenty of other universes and franchises that tell better stories. Star Wars is elemental. It’s simple, visceral, but also more than just its stories. Like I said its the community, the collectibles, the anticipation, the excitement. It’s everything all rolled into one.

Celebrating the Saga

Speaking of everything rolled into one, Star Wars Celebration does that as well.

“This year was my fifth Star Wars Celebration I was at ’02, ’03, 2015, ’16 and now ’17. I always have a blast,” he said. “Even when there isn’t a lot of huge news, it’s just wonderful to be immersed in so much Star Wars; to see the cosplay, t-shirts, and excitement everywhere.”

And it doesn’t hurt to have a press credential…

“This year was a good con, but I do have to say, much of my enjoyment comes from working through the convention, because that means I get special access to events other people wait hours in line to see,” he said. “I just have to walk in. Which is very, very nice and I’m very, very grateful.”

The word “grateful” seems to sum up Lussier’s attitude about his work.

“It’s been with me at every stage of my life, especially professionally, and I owe it my all,” he said. “I’d like to think my career became everything I ever wanted sitting, alone, in a room with Harrison Ford for ten minutes talking about Han Solo.

“It was surreal and amazing and beyond my wildest dreams.”

Star Wars is beyond most everyone’s “wildest dreams.” However, for Lussier, whose Star Wars Show livestream at SWCO was interrupted by John Boyega — Finn, for goodness sake — surreal may not cover it. Skip to 38:38 to see Germain, Finn, and Co… JB


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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.
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