David West Reynolds, archaeologist
David West Reynolds, director of the Phaeton Group, earned his Ph.D. in classical archaeology at the University of Michigan, specializing in Imperial Rome and ancient Egypt. His field work has taken him to places as diverse as Anasazi cliff cities in Utah; Inca fortresses in the mountains of Peru; and Swahili ruins in the jungles of East Africa. In addition to his scholarly work, Reynolds has taught college archaeology and guided international tours.
In 1995, Reynolds undertook an unusual quest to relocate the filming sites in Tunisia where the desert scenes for the movie Star Wars had been shot in 1976. Together with Michael Ryan, Reynolds successfully tracked down the remote locations and found 20-year-old Star Wars props in the Sahara. The project led to official location scouting work for Lucasfilm, then to a full-time job at George Lucasí Skywalker Ranch in California. There Reynolds was part of the marketing team behind the record-setting launch of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
In addition to numerous popular magazine articles, Reynolds also wrote seven Star Wars books. Five of those titles became New York Times bestsellers, with one reaching #1 on the list.
Reynolds then returned to scientific work and nonfiction writing, founding the Phaeton Group (where he and Ryan are again colleagues) to support field science projects and bring them to the public.
- Program 117
- Local ties to Hollywood; Louisville fencers; and Jennifer Bielstein, the new managing director at Actors Theatre of Louisville. (#117)