Entrepreneur, actor, writer, editor, publisher and publicist – Dan Madsen has been involved in many aspects of the entertainment industry with a focus on the sci-fi/fantasy genre. He is a recognized expert on fan relations and the world of fandom.
In 1979, at 18 years old, he founded The Official Star Trek Fan Club with Paramount Pictures and friend, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. He oversaw all aspects of his fan club/publishing/merchandising company from new business development, contract negotiations, marketing and merchandising to hiring and management, product development, editing, design as well as interviewing the stars and behind-the-scenes crew and writing for the official fan magazine, the Star Trek Communicator.
Over the course of the next twenty years, Madsen’s company handled several other fan clubs, official magazines and merchandising empires. In 1987, George Lucas asked him to take over the Official Star Wars Fan Club for Lucasfilm and all its entities of which Madsen ran for almost 20 years before selling his company to Hasbro subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast. During his tenure, Madsen created and launched the official publication for Lucasfilm, the Star Wars Insider magazine. He has overseen the fan club, publishing and merchandising aspects for New Line’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Universal’s Back to the Future films. At its peak, Madsen’s company employed over 120 people and generated millions of dollars of business each year. During this time, he published three national bi-monthly magazines with a combined circulation of over 2,000,000 copies annually and produced over 200 collectible products from the beloved Star Wars and Star Trek franchises.
Madsen was the face and voice of the Official Star Trek and Star Wars fan clubs and, as such, was a requested guest at many Star Trek and Sci-Fi conventions and has been interviewed for numerous documentaries on both of the popular sci-fi franchises. He is a known name within the fan communities for each of the fan club franchises he has been involved with.
He has developed personal relationships with many of the familiar faces associated with these legendary properties and, in fact, had an entire chapter on him in William Shatner’s book, Get A Life! In 1999, he produced, at the request of Lucasfilm, the first-ever official Star Wars convention in his hometown of Denver, Colorado called the Star Wars Celebration which attracted over 30,000 attendees from around the world and permanently brought the life-size X-wing fighter which is on display at the location, Wings Over the Rockies museum, to this day. He was recently a special guest at 2019’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago where HE was celebrated as the founder of the massive official Star Wars events (with this year being the 20th anniversary of his first event in Denver in 1999), was interviewed on stage by actor Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and did an autograph signing in Steve Sansweet’s Rancho Obi-Wan booth.
In addition to running his own business, called FANtastic Media, he has also been an interviewer and writer with over 500 interviews to his credit including Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Harrison Ford, George Lucas, Leonard Nimoy, Ron Howard among many others. He has written for many Sci-Fi related publications including the official websites for Star Trek and Star Wars and authored the book for Lucasfilm on the Making of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles television series. He has spent time on the sets of all of Lucasfilm’s major productions from Star Wars to Indiana Jones and all of the Star Trek films.
Madsen’s past career has also included several acting stints including commercials for Dodge and JC Penney among others, the independent film Free Enterprise with William Shatner and a cameo role as Dams Denna, the Kaadu Handler, in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
For the last 9 years, he has been overseeing marketing and publicity for actress Ashley Eckstein’s (the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels) apparel and accessories line for female Sci-Fi fans called Her Universe (www.heruniverse.com) working with Lucasfilm, once again, for Star Wars as well as with other properties such as Star Trek, Doctor Who and Marvel.
As a little person who stands 4’2” tall, Madsen came up with an original story and vision for a feature film entitled, Short Story, which is currently in development. Married to his wife, Des, who stands 5’ 2” tall Short Story was inspired by their true-life love story