Andrea Wickman-Miller
Jawa (A New Hope)
Interview: December 2019

How did you get cast for Star Wars?

When I was 7 years old my family lived in Death Valley, California. I attended a small school called Death Valley Elementary School. There were only about 60 students K-6 grade. In 1977, a film crew came to our school and asked if they could get 8 kids for the film. They measured the students and choose the 8 that were the height they needed. I happen to be one of the lucky ones chosen!

In which scenes can we see you?

My specific scene is carrying R2-D2, after he had been zapped, to the sandcrawler.

What do you remember about the filming of your scenes?

We had one day of getting fitted in our Jawa outfits and the second day was the actual filming. It was really hard to walk in the Jawa outfits, they were big, heavy and awkward. R2-D2 was really hard to carry. They had to take him apart to lighten him up.

Can you tell any remarkable, unique, strange or funny things that happened?

At one point, during filming, R2-D2’s head falls off!

Mardji the elephant was brought in from San Francisco. She was one of the banthas. It was pretty amazing watching her walk through the town of Furnace Creek. The film crew was there for 2 weeks doing several different types of scenes, CP30 was also there. We were paid a whopping $25 for 2 days work.

What was your reaction when you saw the finished movie for the first time?

During filming, all the adults thought, this looks like a ridiculous and cheesy movie. Our teacher actually said “I know how excited everyone is about the movie, but please remember not all movies make it to the theater.”

My whole family couldn’t believe how amazing it was! We were all just blown away!

Do you keep up with Star Wars? The new movies, TV series?

I do keep up with all things Star Wars. My husband and 3 kids are huge Star Wars fans too, so we have all been enjoying The Mandalorian.  We’re also heading to the theater on the first of January 2020 for our second time to watch The Rise of Skywalker.

I bet you have a Jawa merchandise/memorabilia collection in your house?

I know it’s hard to believe, I actually don’t have a lot of Jawa merchandise. Since I’ve started going to convention in the last couple of years my collection is starting to grow more because people have generously gifting me with Jawa items, and I love it!

You have attended conventions, signing photos and other memorabilia. What is your general feeling to signing things and meeting fans?

I have done a few private signing, one convention in Birmingham UK and one in Los Angeles, California.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from my first con, and I absolutely loved it!! They are so much fun and I really enjoy getting to share this common love of Star Wars with fans of all ages! I just love chatting with everyone and hearing their stories of what Star Wars means to them.

What are you currently up to?

I live in San Francisco, California and my husband and I own and operate a gym called The Firm SF. Fitness has always been my true passion. I’ll continue to do a few conventions here and there when I can make it work with my schedule.