Jim Swearengen

Principal Conceptual Designer, Kenner

Jim Swearingen

Spend too much money on vintage Star Wars toys? Blame Jim Swearingen. In 1976, after every other toy company turned down the Star Wars license, Jim was instrumental in pushing Kenner to make Star Wars toys after reading the script.

He started at Kenner in 1972 as a product designer for their pre-school toy lines. In 1976, Jim worked as conceptual designer on 11 of the first 12 Kenner Star Wars figures. He also developed the prototypes for the X-Wing and TIE Fighter vehicles. He was one of the first people to see Star Wars at the first public showing in San Francisco.

Jim also worked to develop the trap door mechanism found on Kenner’s Dewback and Taun-Taun. He was one of the first people outside LucasFilm to see a sneak preview of the prototype Boba Fett costume at Skywalker Ranch. "They brought a guy out in the Boba Fett costume so we could photograph him and get enough stuff to get started on development," Swearingen recalls. "My boss had wandered off with a producer, and I was left alone to have lunch with George Lucas and his dog."

We’re excited to have Jim Swearingen join us at May The Force Be With You to share his tales of Star Wars lore.

9.30 - 12.00 PM

Saturday Oct 22

Panel Discussions

Panels featuring early Kenner employees Jim Swearingen and Stephen Geddes. More info to come...

1.30 - 5.00 PM

Saturday Oct 22

Panel Discussions

Exploring the history of Kenner Canada with George Irwin (Irwin Toy CEO), Brenda Young (Irwin Toy Translator), Scott Bradley (Canadian Star Wars Gallery) and Jim McCallum (Author). More info to come...