February 25, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Feeling the Force of Star Wars Day at Santa Monica Library:

For “Star Wars” author and Santa Monica resident Michael Kogge, the last few weeks have been like a fun, fast-paced adventure aboard the Millennium Falcon promoting his new book “Star Wars: Absoutely Everything You Need to Know.”

Kogge has been all over the country taking part in book signings and on Tuesday, Sept. 15 he made a visit to the Ocean Park Branch Library in Santa Monica to join in a “Star Wars” celebration. A group of enthusiastic fans young and older took part in the event, which included a “Star Wars” trivia contest, a visit by a Stormtrooper and Jedi Master, and a chance to meet the popular author.

“It’s so exciting,” said Karen Reitz, the manager of the library. “We have so many Star Wars fans of all ages.”

With the upcoming new movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” coming out in December, the hype and renewed interest in the franchise has been truly out of this world. The popularity of “Star Wars” continues to soar to new heights and fans can’t wait for the new film to hit theaters during the holiday season.

Like everyone else, Kogge is anxiously anticipating the release of “The Force Awakens.” His interest goes far beyond the typical diehard “Star Wars” fan though.

“I’m in the process of writing the Episode 7 junior novel,” Kogge disclosed. “So it’s quite humbling to be walking in the footsteps of the story laid out by (director) J.J. Abrams and (screenwriter) Lawrence Kasdan. J.J. is a remarkable filmmaker. It’s great that he has been given the chance to do a Star Wars film. It will be very exciting.”

The new “Star Wars” film will feature the long-awaited return of beloved and iconic characters Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).

“I think everyone will be cheering and applauding,” said Kogge of the audience’s reaction to those classic characters. “It will be like a return down memory lane. It will be a grand reunion.”

Kogge’s first memory of seeing the original “Star Wars” came when he was four years old. He saw it in a movie theater during a re-release of the picture in 1981. He also saw the sequels, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” as a youngster, and the movies made quite an impression.

“I remember as a kid being fascinated by the Cantina Scene with all the monsters,” Kogge recalled. “That’s probably my most vivid recollection.”

When he was a teenager Kogge began his work in the “Star Wars” universe.

“I’ve been writing Star Wars since I was 17, for about the past 20 years,” he said. “I started with game books and I kept expanding my repertoire and I do mostly fiction now.”

Back in the summer of 1998, one year before the much-anticipated release of “The Phantom Menace,” Kogge earned a coveted position of an editorial assistant for an internship at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch near San Francisco.

“It was fantastic,” Kogge stated. “Skywalker Ranch was a great place to work. They have a huge theater there for screenings. To get to each building you would jump on these red bicycles as a form of transportation.”

His journey from there has led him to writing the “Star Wars Rebels” junior novelization series (based on the Disney XD animated TV series) and his new book, “Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know,” which came out in bookstores on “Force Friday” in early September.

“It was a fun book to write because it’s a book about all these interesting facts and unknown things about Star Wars,” Kogge said. “There was just so much research involved and it’s just such a massive book to put together. It required four authors to help put it together.”

A “Star Wars” trivia contest was held at the Ocean Park Branch Library in Santa Monica, with such questions like “how many forms of communication does C-3PO speak?” and “what kind of weapon does Chewbacca use?” (note: if you know those answers consider yourself a “Star Wars” expert).

Despite coming up with quirky facts, Kogge knows it will be hard to stump some of the most loyal “Star Wars” fantatics.

“Some of these kids know the trivia better than I do,” he admitted.

Besides his obvious love of the “Star Wars” film franchise, Kogge is also a big fan of comic books and the superhero universe. He is writing the “Batman v Superman” junior tie-in prequel novel for the Zack Snyder film coming out next March.

“It’s such a pleasure to be writing Batman and Superman,” Kogge said. “I’ve always loved those characters so it’s working with another mythology.”

Another fascinating mythology Kogge has delved into involves werewolves. His critically-acclaimed graphic novel, “Empire of the Wolf,” is about werewolves in ancient Rome.

“In high school our teacher told us about the first werewolf story,” Kogge recalled. “It kind of always stuck to me. Years later, the image and story of ancient Rome and a werewolf was still in my head and I just started developing it.”

Kogge recruited two talented artists, Dan Parsons and David Rabbitte, for his graphic novel.

“As I started writing I realized the story of Romulas and Remus, the two children who founded ancient Rome. They grew up under the care of a wolf. It’s kind of a werewolf story in a way. Ancient Rome still has a symbol of the two babies nursed by the wolf. I just thought this is a good foundation for a werewolf story.”

Kogge’s project “Empire of the Wolf” took a couple years to develop before coming out in late 2013. It can be found in bookstores and comic book venues.

As for the “Star Wars” mythology, Kogge still enjoys writing about a galaxy far, far away. As for his favorite “Star Wars” film, he responded:

“It’s really hard to pick between the first Star Wars movie and Empire Strikes Back. Empire is a really great film, but you can’t have that without Star Wars.”

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica Sees Nearly 9 Percent Spike in Part 1 Crimes

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud gives crime update. By Sam Catanzaro Over the past month, Santa Monica has experienced a string...

Man Charged for Murdering Mother

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office files charges on Stephen Lloyd Fader. By Staff Writer The Los Angeles County District...

Fighting Fires, Tackling Homelessness, Saving Lives

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

The role of fire departments in 21st-century urban centers.  By Keldine Hull Do firefighters fight fires? Obviously, but most of...

SM City Defends Temporary Protective Status for Immigrants

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Staff Writer Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously at their January 22 meeting to join an amicus brief to...

SMPD Mounted Patrol Aids in Arrest

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) carried out an arrest on February 1 with the aid of horses....

MDR Oil Well Explosion Sparks Debate

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

Jan. 18 incident sheds light on the dangers of oil wells in the city. By Tor Marom Discussions on public...

State of the City: Climate Change, Communication Among Challenges Facing Santa Monica

February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

Mayor Davis delivers annual address. By Tor Marom This past Wednesday, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce held its annual...

Santa Monica and ‘Big One’ Preparedness

July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019

All it took was 10-20 seconds for the 1994 Northridge earthquake to rattle Southern California in a way no earthquake had done before. Dozens of people lost their lives and thousands more were injured as the state reeled from a catastrophic event that cost billions in damages

Santa Monica Man Arrested for Attempting to Murder Girlfriend

February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019

Kevin Ferron charged with attacking girlfriend Anna Koosman. By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) have arrested a...

Fire Damages Santa Monica High Rise

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Shores Apartments unit catches fire Monday night.  By Staff Writer A Santa Monica high rise by the beach caught fire Monday...

SMPD to Conduct Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Citations and increased enforcement Feb. 15 and 18. By Staff Writer  The Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting bike...

Judge’s Final Ruling Orders Districts, Special Election

February 17, 2019

February 17, 2019

Final judgement calls for July 2 special election to choose new council.  By Sam Catanzaro  A final judgment has been...

Santa Monica Police Seize 29 Guns, Cocaine, Meth and Heroin

February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

By Staff Writer  On February 15,  the Santa Monica Police Department’s (SMPD) Narcotics/Vice Unit along with SWAT served multiple search...

Adapting to Santa Monica’s Single-Use Plastic Ban

February 21, 2019

February 21, 2019

City’s disposable food-ware ordinance under effect. By Keldine Hull When an updated Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance went into effect...

Council Votes Unanimously to Appeal District-Election Ruling

February 22, 2019

February 22, 2019

City of Santa Monica to appeal ruling that elections are in violation of CRVA.  By Sam Catanzaro On February 21,...