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Get To Know Leland Chee At Wired.com

Posted By Mike on August 19, 2008

Wired.com has a great feature up on their site highlighting Leland Chee, continuity database administrator for Lucas Licensing. See the intro below and then click here for the full 6 page piece! Think of Leland as the Jovial Jay Shepard of Lucas Licensing.



"On the wall behind Leland Chee's desk is a portrait of an Ithorian, an alien with a hammer-shaped head that you glimpse briefly in the famous Star Wars cantina scene. In its leathery, foot-long fingers, the Ithorian holds a cube decorated with elaborate metallic tracings, a device known as a holocron. Think of it as a Force-powered hard drive, capable of storing an enormous quantity of information. "It's a piece of Jedi technology," Chee says. "It tells you ... everything."

To Star Wars fans, Chee is the Keeper of the Holocron, arguably the leading expert on everything that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. His official title is continuity database administrator for the Lucas Licensing arm of Lucasfilm—which means Chee keeps meticulous track of not just the six live-action movies but also cartoons, TV specials, scores of videogames and reference books, and hundreds of novels and comics.

Keepin' it canonical: Leland Chee, continuity database administrator at Lucas Licensing, maintains the Holocron — a vast FileMaker database that's consulted to make sure that any new elements added to the Star Wars franchise fit within the existing mythology.

Of course, Chee's Holocron isn't a Force-sensitive crystal. It's a FileMaker database, a searchable repository of more than 30,000 entries covering almost every character, planet, and weapon mentioned, however fleetingly, in the vast array of Star Wars titles and products. The Holocron isn't just for fun—when Lucas Licensing inks a deal with a toy company or a T-shirt designer, it vets those ancillary products to ensure they conform to the spirit and letter of the continuity that has come before and will continue afterward. In the past 31 years, Star Wars movies have grossed in excess of $4 billion worldwide. But retail sales of merchandise stand at $15 billion, and 20 percent of that has been earned since 2006, the year after the final film was released. Careful nurture of the Star Wars canon—thousands of years of story time, running through all the bits and pieces of merchandise—has kept the franchise popular for decades.

So Chee spends three-quarters of his typical workday consulting or updating the Holocron. He also approves packaging designs, scans novels for errors, and creates Talmudic charts and documents addressing such issues as which Jedi were still alive during the Clone Wars and how long it takes a spaceship to get from Dagobah, where Yoda trained Luke Skywalker, to Luke's homeworld of Tatooine. The Keeper of the Holocron takes this very seriously: "Someone has to be able to say, 'Luke Skywalker would not have that color of lightsaber.'"





Source: Starwars.com


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