December 2016~ RIP Carrie Fisher

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The news of Carrie Fisher’s death has hurt a lot. The last time I was this upset about a celebrity was Leonard Nimoy.

Like Grandpa Leonard, Carrie played one of the most iconic characters in arguably the biggest sci-fi film franchise ever. Again, like Spock, Leia was one of my favourite characters.

I’ve always been drawn to two types of character. The odd/out-of-place/alien character (Spock) and strong female characters such as Leia (Uhura, Ripley, Sam Carter etc) and I think this is because I have always felt that good female characters have been, until recently few and far between.

Having spent a big part of my life surrounded by strong female characters (cue sarcastic comment from workmate) it seemed natural that I follow them with interest. Yes, they are on the whole also very good looking but it is deeper than that. The characters have been very well written and very well portrayed by the actresses that played them.

What makes it more real is when you meet these people in real life. You are able to engage with them on social media etc.

Occasionally you meet an actor or actress and you wish you hadn’t but on the whole it is a wonderful experience. It makes you love them and the characters even more.

If you were to take a time machine back 39 years and visit my bedroom in Whistler Tower in Chelsea you would find lots of Star Wars memorabilia (among other things like Trek etc.) but at that time my pride and joy was my Princess Leia poster (above). She was my first big idol/crush whatever you want to call it. This 5 year old was besotted (I’m sure my dad will verify!). I always wanted to meet her at some point.

I missed her a few times at conventions but finally got the chance, however brief, to do so. She was incredibly funny, quick-witted and genuinely warm with all her fans. There was nothing fake about her. Just like you see her on TV/Twitter she is open about who and what she is and there is no nonsense. She gave out freebie autographs to kids (which pissed off certain con-organisers to no end) and made sure everyone had a memory to take away with them and cherish.

It was great to see her again in The Force Awakens and I look forward to seeing her again as Leia in Episode VIII.

She will always be royalty to me ….both Hollywood and Star Wars.

My thoughts go out to her daughter Billie, her mum Debbie and all of her friends, family and fans around the world.

So long Princess. May the Force be with you….

Carrie Fisher

December 2016~ Rogue One Opening Night

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first anthology film to come out of Disney/Lucasfilm studios.

Set prior to the events of Episode IV, the film tells the story of how the Rebel Alliance stole the plans for the original Death Star. It’s basically what you see in the opening crawl of A New Hope.

I won’t give any spoilers. Suffice to say it is awesome and fits in well with established canon. It ends minutes before Episode IV begins and is pretty seemless!

I saw the film on opening night at Vue Westfield. Luckily enough, The Symphonic Brass Ensemble of London were there playing music from the films beginning with my personal favourite, The Star Wars Disco Mix. Click play on the video below….

December 2016~ Star Wars Identities

The Star Wars Identities exhibition opened at The O2 on November 18th and runs through until September 2017.

The exhibition consists of 2 parts that run side by side. The first is a display of over 200 props, costumes and art from the first 7¬†films. Some of the props and miniatures are original whilst some were recreated for the later films. That doesn’t stop them being awesome. I had two highlights. The display of Imperial and Rebel spacecraft and the Jedi hall at the very end.

The second part is very interactive. Using Anakin and Luke as a starting point, you get to look at father and son and see what influenced them and did that have an effect on the path they chose. You are given a digital audio guide and a wristband. As you go around you start by choosing if you are human or alien and if so which alien are you. You choose your home planet and your desired occupation. The further along you go you more of your traits you get to build up until at the very end you have a complete character in the Star Wars universe. It can even be displayed on a big screen.

Well worth the money and I would recommend going during quiet periods so you can spend time with the exhibits!