Episode Excerpt from Skywalking Through Neverland 306: Catching up with Rusty Miller
Back in 1982 when every kid thought they were a ‘Star Wars’ expert, along came ‘The Jedi Master’s Quizbook’ to test your knowledge. That book was written by 11-year old Rusty Miller, who was the envy of every Star Wars fan.
Thanks to friends at Lucasfilm, we were able to contact Rusty, who now goes by Matt, to ask him if he’d like to be a guest on ‘Skywalking Through Neverland’. He answered back very quickly and said he’d be very excited to come on the show.
How did ‘The Jedi Master’s Quizbook’ come about?
The inspiration came when I saw a trivia book about the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, of which I was also a big fan. And since a trivia book hadn’t been done for ‘Star Wars’ I spent the Summer of 1981 coming up with over 600 questions. After finishing the book, my parents sent a manuscript to Del Rey who in turn sent it to Lucasfilm.Matt (Rusty) Miller
Unfortunately Del Rey had to break the news that Lucasfilm was not going to go through with the book. But then George Lucas heard about it and thought it was a great idea coming from an 11 year old. Thus the book was put into production! George Lucas personally told Rusty that he thought it was so cool that a kid wrote this.
There was talk of doing a follow up book after the release of ‘Return of the Jedi’, but then Lucasfilm decided against it. People magazine then approached Rusty to write 16 questions about the 3rd installment in the ‘Star Wars’ saga.
According to Matt, The Jedi Master’s Quizbook sold over 1 million copies. In its first week of release it debuted in the #10 spot on the New York Times Bestseller’s List.
Since then, Matt got a degree in history at Covenant College. Then fell into firefighting in Georgia while in college. After college he went to paramedic school and worked as a paramedic. Currently he works for the Center of Disease Control. As for the future of his writing career, Matt has a few novels in different stages of development that he’s been working on for years. Now’s not a bad time to bring out the typewriter with which he wrote The Jedi Master’s Quizbook during that fateful Summer of 1981. Yes, he still has it!
Check out the full discussion with Matt “Rusty” Miller, including a quiz on ‘The Jedi Master’s Quizbook’. Find out how well he did on episode #306 of ‘Skywalking Through Neverland’.