In praise of Star Wars Rebels

I'm changing the name of this blog, and #WeWantLeia is why

I spoil it for Siri

Guest Post: How I came back to Star Wars action figures by YASWB

Beatrice and I watch Star Wars together

[Review] William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher 

Star Wars oil painting exhibit "Sandstorm" opens

Breakneck boredom: an old time Star Wars fan's thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness

They put me on the news to talk about Star Wars

More from Steve Sansweet on Star Wars and gay marriage

Carmine Infantio has died

I can die happy: I've been interviewed by Dungeons & Dragons

Star Wars Episode 7: All My Children?

What JJ Abrams needs to really succeed with Star Wars 7

Star Wars: The Old Republic is gay--on one planet at least

Tongal and Pringles bring us DYI desecration of Star Wars

Reminiscences about West End Games' Star Wars Roleplaying Game

Here's the biggest Star Wars news of 2012

Stephen Quinn interviews me about Star Wars on CBC Vancouver

Star Wars: modern myth or global franchise?

Parents turn child's 1st birthday into extended Lucasfilm/Hasbro advert

Me reading from A Long Time Ago

Highlights and lowlights of the upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI

Grown men (mostly) dressed up as Lando Calrissian

Beggar's Canyon Toys offer Star Wars toy "restoration" service

Blog's t-shirts banned by Zazzle

Will the real David Prowse please stand up?

LaserSaber: Unlicensed, dangerous and yours for only $99

Is this the future of Star Wars?

Is Star Wars link bait?

Dissent not tolerated at the Prequel Appreciation Society

TSOT discovers its nemesis

Comme des idiots: Star Wars teams up with poncy fashion house

US Christian activist attacks SWTOR for being gay

Yodaphone--the latest product pitch from Star Wars Inc.

Attention tortoise-fanciers: do you like Star Wars?

History of Star Wars as related by a bot

Is Star Wars a travesty of science fiction?

Luke Skywalker and company on the Muppet Show

Yoda now shilling instant soup in Japan

Commander who?

$6000 for a toy you can't even play with

Star Wars underwear

Retro Star Wars decor in my son's bedroom

Phantom Menace 3D: Now With Plot

Star Wars and disco: the forgotten love affair

Will Muschamp: What a guy!

Oi, fanboy: grow up! A reply to Darren Franich


aaction figures aboriginal action figures admiral ackbar Advertising Afghanistan ai alderaan Alec Guiness amazon Apple Architecture artoo Arts and crafts atari AT-AT a-team AT-ST auction Australia AV Club bad feeling bar mitzvah Beatrice bedding beeb Ben Affleck bib fortuna birds birthdays blogs bloopers blu-ray Boba Fett Boing Boing Bonnie Burton Books boxing Bryzgalov bullying Burger King burlesque c-3po calgary herald Canada candles candy cantina Carmine Infantino carrie fisher cars cartoon cell phones Chewbacca China Chris Woods christmas Clone Wars Clothing & Fashion cocktails coffee cold war Colin Mochrie Collectibles Comics comics conspiracy copy red leader copyright corrupting youth Cory Doctorow costumes Crime cufflinks Culture Cyndi Lauper D&D dark horse Darth Vader darwin Dave Banks david prowse ddark horse death star deathstarpr diapers diary Dick Cheney dinosaur comics Disco Disney diy documentaries doll Dr Seuss dr. who dresses droids early bird easter egg eBay eepisode 7 effects elstree Empire Empire Uncut Endor episode 7 etsy Events ewoks expanded universe extras Ezra fanboys father first viewing Food food football Frozen Furnishings Games gamorrean guard Gary Gygax Gary Kurtz gawthrok geekdad geeks gene siskel George Lucas gifts graffiti Grand Moff Tarkin Greedo Grenadier growing up Halloween han solo Han Solo harmonica harrison ford Hasbro helmet high definition hockey holidays hologram homophobia honeymoon Hot Problems humour Humour Hygiene Ian Doescher iron-on transfers izzard jabba james last Jamie Benning jar jar jawas jaxxon jedi Jefferson Starship Jesus jewellery JJ Abrams john booth john williams Joseph Campbell judaism jumping the shark Kanan kari maaren kdp Kelowna Kenner kids Kobo Lando Calrissian language laundry Law Lawrence Kasdan Lego leigh brackett Life Day lightsabers lincoln little free library lollipops Los Angeles Times louvre luke Malaysia mark hamill marvel masers may the fourth Mayfair Theatre Meco memes michael arndt middle ages midichlorians millennium falcon miniatures Minnesota mMy book Mona Lisa money montreal canadiens Movies Music My book myth nasa Navajo needlecraft nelson mandela New York New York Times New Zealand nostalgia obama Obi-Wan Kenobi Ottawa paedophilia pants Parenting pee Pen-Mar Penticton Peter Cushing pets Pets physics plasticine please stop Politics porkins porn posters pranks prequelitis Prequels prequels Princess Leia princess leia pringles prop psa pulp novels puppetry purim pussy riot quotes R2-D2 radio ralph mcquarrie ratherchildish reddit Relationships Religion reviews Rick McCallum right on brother Rob Lang roger ebert RPGs rumours Sam Witwer san francisco sandcrawler Sandstorm Science & Tech science fiction Scribd sculpture sellout shakespeare shoes silence sillof siri smells snowspeeder sorry Spaceballs special editions speeder bike sperm Sports star trek Star Wars Celebration star wars detours Star Wars Holiday Special star wars logo Star Wars Rebels star wars rebels Star Wars Uncut Star Wars Uncut Starlog starwarsremix steve nash Steven Sansweet stormtroopers stupidity tattoo tauntaun Tel Aviv Television terrariums The Board of Education The Emperor the force The Muppets thermal detonator Threepio Threepio TIE fighter toilet Topps tortoises Toys tractor beam trading cards trailer tuna tupac Turkey twitter underwear USSR vader valentine's day vancouver violin Volkswagen wales wampa Warwick Davis watermelon wedding West End westerns Whedon William Wordsworth wired women and girls wtf wygant xkcd x-wing yaswb yoda yoga zazzle

Entries in My book (38)


My cousin Rory wrote a book about Star Wars

Pretty good for a six year old. Writing books about Star Wars seems to run in the family.


I talk Star Wars on Following the Nerd

I was recently on Ireland's Following the Nerd podcast talking about A Long Time Ago. It was a great time. Check out the Following the Nerd web site, and click below to listen to the podcast. My interview starts at around the 8:30 point. Thanks to Marc and Jay for having me on!

The Following the Nerd Podcast Ep 87


Talking #starwars and #indiepub with AD Barker

Andrew David Barker, author of The Electric and ardent supporter of A Long Time Ago (thank you thank you), has published an interview with me on his blog. In his introduction, Andy is nice enough to say:

Gib Van Ert’s memoir is a beautifully written book – touching, and very funny; for anyone whose childhood was shaped by George Lucas. It will bring back many happy memories for any fan of the original Star Wars films, and have you saying, ‘Oh, I remember that!’ over and over again. It is also about how childhood can slip through our fingers, and with it the obsessions of that shimmering age.

If you're interested in Star Wars and self-publishing (as Andy and I both are), I think you'll enjoy this interview. 

Andrew David Barker: Interview with Gib Van Ert: Author of Star Wars Memoir 'A Long Time Ago'


A Long Time Ago featured on the great YASWB blog

Look at this beautiful photo of my book--with the two Star Wars figures I always wanted as a boy but couldn't have because Kenner didn't make them! The photographer is also the man behind one of my favourite new Star Wars blogs. If you haven't visited the YASWB Tumblr blog yet, go do it. YASWB puts a lot of thought into his photos and posts. I have sung his praises before here. If you're an old-time Star Wars fan, this blog is a real pleasure.

YASWB posted this terrific picture of my book, together with some very kind words for it, on 4 September, but I've only just seen it now. Here's a quote:

The book is written in a very humorous way and contains many smart and beautifully written statements about Star Wars and its impact on our lives. I consider this book a mandatory reading for everyone who grew up with the original Star Wars and its toys in the 70s and 80s and for everyone who wants to understand and learn about the beauty of the Star Wars of yesterday.

You can read the rest here.

Thanks for the kind words and the thoughtful photo!


The Pen-Mar cinema is no more

I went away to the Okanagan last week for a vacation with the family on Vaseux Lake. Most of the time we were in the Oliver/Okanagan Falls area, but we went into my hometown of Pentiction for a day and happened to drive by the cinema in which I saw Return of the Jedi. It's closed, replaced by a newer facility a few blocks away.

From A Long Time Ago

I saw Return of the Jedi at the Pen-Mar cinema either on opening night or shortly thereafter. The Pen-Mar was Penticton’s only movie theatre since the drive-in had shut down. (The Pen was for Penticton and the Mar was for Martin Street, or so I assume.) There was a murmur of anticipation as we queued for tickets and milled about the Pen-Mar’s small concession area, full as fire department regulations would allow, waiting for the doors to open. There were only two screens in the complex, and both were showing Jedi. While I remember these moments before seeing the film quite well, I draw a blank on most everything else. I cannot remember who I saw the film with. I cannot remember any immediate reactions I had to it. I loved Return of the Jedi and felt none of the ambivalence about it that I heard other Star Wars fans express many years later. Yet there may be something telling in the fact that my initial viewing of the film was my least memorable film-going experience of the three. But I say that with nearly thirty years of hindsight; though I do not specifically recall leaving the theatre raving about the best movie I had ever seen, I’m sure I did. 

Farewell, Pen-Mar.


A Long Time Ago & Sandstorm on

Last Thursday artist Chris Woods and I spoke about Star Wars at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The Reach is where Chris's terrific Sandstorm oil painting exhibition is on show. Chris treated us to a slideshow presentation about how he conceived of the exhibition, while I read two excerpts from A Long Time Ago.

Much to my surprise, contributor Adam Lamping (@adamlamping) was in attendance. After the talk, Adam and I had a great chat (with Chris Hamilton and others). Adam then posted a piece about the event on From the post:

The evening consisted of Woods offering insight into his history with Star Wars as well as explaining the theme of the exhibition, bookended by van Ert reading some highly amusing excerpts from his book. The first excerpt described his increasing obsession with Star Wars, and in particular Kenner action figures, as a child, and then following Woods' talk, van Ert detailed his reaction to seeing The Vintage Collection for the first time, and the internal struggles that ensued as he attempted to resist the urge to fall back into a hobby that he had seemingly put behind him many years before.

Adam then kindly directs readers to my book on Amazon and this great Flickr set from Sandstorm. Thanks, Adam! Growing Up With Star Wars


I talk about Star Wars on the Book Guys podcast

Paul Aves, the Book Guy (@PaulTheBookGuy), was kind enough to have me on his Book Guys show recently. It was a lot of fun. Thanks Paul! 

Book Guys: Episode 086 -- A Long Time Ago [video]

Book Guys: Episode 086 -- A Long Time Ago [audio]


A Long Time Ago at Vancouver's newest Little Free Library

Only a few weeks ago, Vancouver's newest Little Free Library (#6034) opened at 2305 McLean Drive. I had never heard of the Little Free Library movement. Wikipedia explains:

Little Free Libraries are a community movement in the United States and worldwide that offers free books housed in small containers to members of the local community.... The idea was popularized in Hudson, Wisconsin when Todd Bol mounted a wooden container designed to look like a school house on a post on his lawn as a tribute to his mother, who was a book lover and school teacher. Bol shared his idea with his partner Rick Brooks who found many efficient ways to spread the word, and the idea spread rapidly.

The way I came to know of it was that one of the librarians, Kate Trgovac (@mynameiskate,, sent me this delightful message on Goodreads: 

I live in East Van and my wife and I just set up a Little Free Library in front of our house.

Right after we opened, a copy of your book appeared (the Star Wars one - I'm not sure if you have others). My brother borrowed it to read. I just got it back yesterday and started reading it. I had read about it on BoingBoing and was super excited to find a copy in our LFL.

At the time, I didn't realise that you, yourself, are a denizen of Vangroovy. So .. what I'm wondering is if YOU put the copy in our LFL. Because a) that would be AWESOME and b) you would be our first author-to-donate-a-copy-of-their-book that I could then brag about on FB and our blog.

I really wish I had been the first author to donate a copy, but in a way it's even more exciting is that it wasn't me--some mystery person, possibly a complete stranger, added the book to LFL's collection. How nice! (I choose to disregard the possibility that someone around here thought my book was crap and preferred to give it away than be in its presence a moment longer...)

To learn more about the LFL movement, visit To learn more about Kate and Rose's library, visit their website or their Facebook page.


Talking Star Wars at The Reach

Next Thursday, 8 August, at 7 pm, artist Chris Woods and I will be at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, BC to talk about--you guessed it--Star Wars.

Chris is the artist behind Sandstorm, a spectacular exhibit of original-trilogy-themed paintings showing at the gallery until 8 September. The show has been a big hit for the gallery so far, and it's not even half way through its run. You can watch my handmade (hamfisted?) film about Sandstorm here.

I'll do a couple readings from A Long Time Ago, while Chris will give a presentation about his paintings--which will be right there in the gallery for you to go see. Audience participation will be encouraged. To steal a nice phrase from a guy I met once, it will be "Nerd Church".

Amazingly, the whole thing is free, so if you're anywhere near Abbotsford (about an hour's drive from Vancouver), you really should come out.

The Reach: Events & Programs | Location


Moshe Reuveni reads my book, shares his Star Wars story

Last week I discovered Moshe Reuveni's kind words for A Long Time Ago on his blog. I thanked him by Twitter, and have now received this lovely response:

Last week Gib Van Ert, author of the recently reviewed A Long Time Agotweeted some warm words for my review. You know me, it always warms my heart to hear an author referring to my review. I therefore thought I would pay him back for his tweet. I would do so using his own currency: I would repay the author of a book about growing up in the shadow of the Star Wars franchise through my own previously untold Star Wars story.

Moshe goes on to tell a funny and sweet story about seeing films in Tel Aviv with his favourite uncle, who would always record their exact running time using his fancy new digital watch. He explains how he considers The Empire Strikes Back to be the first film he ever saw (in significance if not strictly chronology) and how Star Wars is the first film he did not see, in part because his mother told him it was "all stupid". It's a great read. Follow the link below.

The Descent of A Man: The First Movie I Did Not Watch