Central York teacher writes out of this world stories

The story of Luke Skywalker, and his daring escapades through a galaxy far away from ours, is as much a part of American culture as baseball and hot dogs. The tales of the great hero are highly acclaimed and well loved. But there is always another story behind one of success. A hero is someone who also has a tale of a past life, of emotional struggles and hidden feelings that a fan might never get the chance to explore. And this is what intrigues “Star Wars” writer Patricia A. Jackson the most. Her interests delve deep into a story in which she searches for answers to questions that have never been asked. Jackson resurrects the lives of minor characters who have never had more detail than a few printed words, and gives them an entire life story. Even when writing about a hero, she strays from normal plot lines in order to give readers a further look into the souls of someone who might not even want to be the subject of such admiration. “I wanted to write about the deeper thoughts of the hero, the ones that readers have never gotten the chance to learn about,” she said.

Currently, Jackson is teaching English at Central York High School and divides her time between her work, writing and caring for her beloved horse. Her advice for aspiring writers is simple: “study your literature.” The works of Nathaniel Hawthorne aided in inspiring her as she created and developed the characters of her own stories.

Jackson has written one book, twelve short stories and is currently working on a second book. Her first published story was “Out of the Cradle.” Jackson didn’t immediately rise to this level of success. It all started during a role playing game in which she met an assistant of George Lucas. She showed the assistant one of her short stories and he loved it.  However, the assistant told Jackson that it couldn’t be used for publication because elements of the “Star Wars” video game she wrote about had been published in previous stories.

Nevertheless, Jackson had caught the publication’s attention and submitted a second story. Three days later, she had a signed contract with West End Games. With this new position, Jackson wrote her book, “The Black Sands of Socorro,” which was published in the late 1990s. It was this work that caught the attention of Lucas himself. In this book, she created a new planet called Socorro, where pirates lived. But these pirates weren’t your typical cutthroat souls. They believed they were thieves of honor. The planet of Socorro soon found a permanent place in the galaxy after it appeared in two Star Wars video games. Lucas also created a character named Lando Calrissian who later was established as a native of this planet.

Jackson’s work shows that even the most accomplished heroes, even in a galaxy far away from earth, must learn to fight eternal struggles and always strive for victory. Perhaps, the real lesson behind this is that even a minor character can become a true hero. All they have to do is never give up.

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5 Responses to Central York teacher writes out of this world stories

  1. B Wesley says:

    Wait…so an English teacher at Central created Lando Calrissian’s home planet?
    Wow.

  2. Patricia Jackson says:

    Sarah, what a great article. Thank you! Someday, I shall be reading about you and your writing exploits.

  3. Chelsea Snyder says:

    She was an awesome English teacher too! :)

  4. Sarah Crawford says:

    Thank you all for your great feedback!

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