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John Swartz lives in London for the production of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will premiere in December 2016. 

Co-producer of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and OU alumnus to speak with students via Skype

Tune in with John Swartz, OU alumnus who will speak about his experience working at Lucasfilm.


When Joe Weykamp was little, his mom made him watch Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, which actually ended up making him terrified of the Star Wars saga and its characters.

The now senior studying political science said he grew older and became an avid Star Wars fan and even went to Movies 10 in Nelsonville opening night for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December.

Weykamp, Star Wars fans and movie buffs alike will be able to tune-in with an Ohio University alumnus who has experienced first-hand what it’s like working on a Star Wars movie set.

The School of Media Arts and Studies has invited John Swartz, co-producer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, to speak with students Tuesday. He will be speaking at The Athena Cinema via Skype from his office in London about his career at Lucasfilm and his experience working on The Force Awakens.

“It’s really cool that he’s speaking and giving students that opportunity,” Weykamp said.

Swartz, who graduated in 2005 from Ohio University with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications, has worked with directors J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg along with famous producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. He started assisting Kennedy in 2008 at Kennedy/Marshall Company on movies such as Lincoln, The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse.

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“(Swartz) hitched his wagon to the top person in producing, so we really want to leave time for the audience to ask questions and what it’s like to work on The Force Awakens,” Roger Cooper, the director of the Semester-in-L.A. Program in Media Arts and Studies, said.

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Swartz has helped produce Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an off-shoot film based in the Star Wars galaxy with actors Felicity Jones and Alan Tudyk. The film is in post-production and is set to release Dec. 16, 2016, according to its IMDb page.

Cooper said students who were in the L.A. Program in the fall were unable to meet with Swartz because of conflicting schedules, so Cooper said the plan became to have Swartz Skype-in so not only media students but also anyone else interested could benefit.

“It’s going to be a fairly informal event (in which) students can gauge how they want to interact,” Cooper said.


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