After graduating college and spending a year working on a local newspaper, Bill Slavicsek found a job editing at West End Games, where he went on to develop the Star Wars roleplaying game, which was oddly influential:
I was a self-proclaimed (at the time) expert on the Star Wars universe. I saw the original film when it debuted, and actually went back to the theater thirty-eight times that summer to see the movie again and again. I like to say that 1977 was a formative year for me. That was the year that Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and The Sword of Shannara ignited my imagination. Who knew at the time that those imagination igniters would turn into an amazing career? So, when fact-checking and lore questions began to come up around the office, I usually knew the answer or knew where to look to find it. Remember, this was before the Internet, when research had to be done by scouring back issues of Star Log, flipping pages of novels, and forwarding and rewinding the VCR until the tape snapped. But my knowledge paid off, and soon I was assigned as the co-designer of The Star Wars Sourcebook. That tome full of back story and world material earned me my first Origins Award for game design and set the stage for the expanded Star Wars universe that would begin to emerge a few years later.
There were a lot of firsts in those early Star Wars RPG products. They were the first RPG products to incorporate color printing. They were the first products to add to the Star Wars mythos since the original trilogy had wrapped up three years earlier. And they were the first Star Wars products to give names and back stories to the various aliens that inhabited the background of the films. Suddenly Hammer Head was an Ithorian, Bib Fortuna was a Twi’lek, and Greedo was a Rodian. The universe was more real. Later, novelists and comic book writers and action figure makers and creators of the animated series would use the names I had come up with. But at the time, all I was trying to do was add context and believability to the universe we all loved so much.