If Luke Skywalker married Alice in Wonderland, their daughter might well be Ashley Eckstein.

OK, that may be pushing the Disney-Lucasfilm cross-branding trend, but consider this: as a baby, Eckstein moved to Orlando, where her dad worked at Walt Disney World, she developed a fondness for also-blonde Alice to the point of designing Alice-inspired dresses, she applied to work at Disney on her 16th birthday, and at her wedding reception, she had theme-park churros and Mickey bars.

She married professional baseball player (and Sanford native) David Eckstein, who was played for the Anaheim Angels, then owned by Disney.

All that makes her quite qualified for the upcoming gig as one of the hosts of Star Wars Weekend, a fan event at Disney's Hollywood Studios that kicks off May 21 and runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through June 12. (It's included in regular park admission.)

"It's like a dream vacation for me. And I pinch myself because I get to call it work," she says.

Among her duties will be hosting a 30-minute talk show called "Clone Wars: Behind the Force," featuring actors and audience interaction.

"We put the audience in the actors' shoes, and they get to see what it's like to be a voice on the Clone Wars," Eckstein says.

Her passion for Disney and for acting bloomed early. At age 12, she played Helen Keller in a Civic Theater production of The Miracle Worker.

"My dream as a child was to be on the Disney Channel -- it was the ultimate goal," she says. "Forget about the Oscar, it was all about being on the Disney Channel."

Years later she became a recurring character on That's So Raven -- on the Disney Channel.

Her Clone Wars role was won in an audition, but she originally read for Padme. She sounded too young for that part but was given another role, a top-secret one.

"I didn't find out why I was playing until my first day of work."

"I showed up in the studio, and they told me, 'Oh by the way, you're Anakin Skywalker's new padawan [an apprentice]. Nobody knows that he had a padawan. You can't tell anyone -- not even your husband,' " she recalls.

She didn't for many months. It was revealed to him later during a visit to Skywalker Ranch, and he was required to a confidentiality agreement first.

Involvement with the Star Wars franchise has made her a bigger fan, Eckstein says, and she attends conventions such as this summer's Celebrations V in Orlando. But she identified a hole in the Star Wars universe.

"I noticed there really wasn't anything for us 'fangirls' to buy," she says. "So I worked with LucasFilm, and we kind of joined forces, I guess you could say, and I started a company called Her Universe."

The Her Universe line will include fashion apparel, accessories and merchanidise for female Star Wars fans. The goods won't be available by Star Wars Weekends, but she plans to show off her work by wearing it during the event.

She designed her first dress at age 10, and while a student at Orlando's Dr. Phillips High School, she would create her own outfits to avoid the fashion faux pas of wearing the same dress as a classmate was.

"I would design my own homecoming and prom dresses and have them made," she says, "My very first homecoming dress was designed after Alice in Wonderland's dress – kind of a modern twist on it."

Ah, it all comes back to Alice.

Her husband, who now plays for the San Diego Padres, agreed they could set aside a room in their house for her all of her Alice gear.

"I never grew out of that fixation," she says. "As I grew older, it became a collection."