A Whitby Star Wars fanatic’s dream of having his book on the space epic film series published is about to come true.
Craig Stevens hit the headlines in 2015 when an auction of items from his Star Wars collection led to an unopened Boba Fett figure selling for a recordbreaking £17,000.
The proceeds from the sale at an auctioneers in Thornaby helped Craig and his wife buy a house in St Mary’s Crescent, Whitby.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to raise so much money from an auction of my Star Wars figures,” he said.
“I bought them at the time because I liked them, not as an investment.”
Craig was writing a book about Star Wars at the time of the auction, and said that his dream was for it to be published. The world-wide coverage of the auction led major American publisher McFarland Books to pick up on Craig’s passion for the outer-space saga.
His book, The Star Wars Phenomenon in Britain: The Blockbuster Impact and the Galaxy of Merchandise 1977-1983, is being released in February but is available now as pre-order from online booksellers.
“My book is unique,” said Craig. “Books on Star Wars always based in America but my book is based on British experience. A unique Star Wars culture developed in Britain and I set out to capture it all.
“Even people who think they’re experts on Star Wars will be surprised by the book.
“There’s a decade of research and a lifetime’s worth of fandom there.
“I would not have got anywhere though without the fifty plus people who recalled their memories and supplied photographs, so I owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
The timing of the book could not be better - the newest Star Wars film from Disney is being released on December 10, with the 40th anniversary of Star Wars later in the month.
Craig started out as a fan of Star Wars in 1977 and eventually became a world-class collector.
He helped found The UK Star Wars Fan Club which took over when the official club closed down in the late 1980s, becoming the magazine editor and then the chairman.
Craig was among the delegation invited to the official Lucasfilm re-launch of Star Wars in Britain. He then ran a series of collectors shops, specialising in Star Wars and other modern collectible toys.
Spending several years as a professional Lego builder, he has built some impressive Star Wars creations and has made a name for himself with lifelike portrait busts.
Star Wars opened at the Empire cinema in Whitby on July 16, 1978, more than a year after it was released in America. The Whitby Empire received The Empire Strikes Back on August 14, 1980 and Return of the Jedi on July 14, 1983.
Craig is hoping to stage a major exhibition of his Star Wars collection in Whitby in 2018, perhaps to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the film arriving in the town.