'Star Wars' Universe Just Another Day at the Office for New Kensington Native Anthony Breznican

By Sciullo, Maria | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), December 14, 2017 | Go to article overview

'Star Wars' Universe Just Another Day at the Office for New Kensington Native Anthony Breznican


Sciullo, Maria, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


He's been called the "Walter Cronkite of Star Wars," but really, Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican is at heart, a fan. He might know there are certain spoilers in "The Last Jedi," but like Uncle Walt, you can trust him.

"My goal is not to spoil your movie. These movies are cultural landmarks. People mark their lives by these films. People wait to have kids, so they can share these movies with them.

"I wonder how many kids exist because Mom or Dad wanted to share 'Star Wars' with another generation," he said, laughing.

Mr. Breznican, 41, grew up in New Kensington. His Catholic education informed background for his 2014 novel, "Brutal Youth," and he earned his college degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

His background was in Associated Press news reporting in Los Angeles before he began picking up entertainment stories. Now the go-to guy in EW's vast galaxy of "Star Wars" coverage, he not only writes about the making of the films, but has moderated panels with the cast, including a recent worldwide press conference at a "secret" location in the Hollywood area.

News from the sets of these films (including last summer's big switch of "Han Solo" directors) is just part of the job.

In between the whos and whys and wheres, Mr. Breznican excels in literary deep dives into what these films are trying to say.

"In this case ["Last Jedi"], it's about the perils of meeting your heroes," he said. "What does it say about the here and now? I think all of these movies are timeless in their ways, but they also connect to things in our lives, whether it's political or personal, father-and-son relationships, that's the kind of stuff I try to mine out of it.

"And if we hit upon a spoiler, I think 'OK is that a spoiler?' Is this something we shouldn't talk about? And it's not just because I want to protect Lucasfilm. I want to protect the reader."

As the father of a young daughter, he said, he's pleased there also is a growing presence of female power in the "Star Wars" universe.

The joy of playing "Star Wars" with his childhood friends, collecting the action figures and, later, the Burger King glasses, he said, was something he never expected to experience as an adult.

Seeing his own children play with Han Solo or Princess Leia toys adds a richness to his own memories. …

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