For the past couple of days I have had some very heartfelt conversations with Steve Sansweet, the official fan liaison of Lucasfilm.
Long story short, I can no longer solicit any kind of support for the AT-AT for America project in its current form. Seeking financial donations to build a piece of Lucasfilm intellectual property goes far beyond what is considered proper.
I’ve thinking all day about what to say to everyone who reads this blog, our Facebook and to everyone who has emailed me in support of the project. I’ll try to get all of those thoughts down and then we can see where it leaves us.
* First, all of the donations will be returned. I did spend some money working on the Kickstarter video, but that isn’t going to happen now. Everyone who donated something from $100 to $1 will get it back.
* I can’t thank all of you enough for the offers of support and the work that so many did from helping with the websites to the social media and offering to do so much more. It felt good to be able to inspire such quick and exciting movement into action and I think there is still something we can do with that (more on that later). I was so often reminded of the Parable of the Widow’s mite (For those who aren’t familiar, here it is on Wikipedia.) Fans who didn’t have money but still offered to do anything moved my heart.
* There are so many smart people in our world. This project would have been a great example of what Clay Shirky calls our nation’s “Cognitive Surplus”. As I write this I just got an email from a former Naval nuclear sub officer. If some bum from Oklahoma can get those kind of volunteers, why can’t we solve the real problems of our country?
* Steve Sansweet pointed out many flaws in this plan, the first being that I didn’t let Lucasfilm know from the start what we were doing. It sounds as if they aren’t the bogeyman when it comes to giving the blessing to fan project. So I don’t want my mistakes to make anything think they are the bad guy in this. I didn’t think ahead and have as firm a plan as I should of. And again, for that I am very sorry.
* All of this grew so fast. I don’t know what to say. Maybe there’s a lesson in there about our age of internet journalism. I appreciate all of the blogs and hard-working writers who spread the word. I will follow up with everyone. I don’t want anyone to feel that this was a hoax or a stunt. I genuinely felt that we could do this. With so much help, I was sure of it.
* I have a tiny kernel of a idea with what we could do going forward with AT-AT for America that I will discuss with Mr. Sansweet and Lucasfilm once I get a plan together. I think there is something that can be rebuilt from this. We have more than 2,000 facebook fans and hundreds of volunteers who have emailed us. They all want to do something and I think we still can. I ask for your patience as I try to put that together.
* I also ask for you ideas. What do you do with hundreds of passionate people who want to do something to make our country awesome?
* Finally, I ask for your prayers. I feel like I let so many people down, not just all of you, but my friends and my family who supported all of this craziness for the past two weeks. I still think the fan (nerd, geek, whatever you want to call it) community and culture has been such a blessing to me, my kids and the world.
Don’t stop being awesome and don’t stop believing that dreams can come true.
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