Caravan of the Force Day 1: Punch It!

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After 11 months of scheming and planning the Caravan of the Force in association with Toys”R”Us, our trek swings into full force tomorrow morning as we leave north London at 7.00 a.m. Our first stop (of many) is to pick up Maureen and Jeremy Bulloch — Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back — and then head to a press conference at ExCeL London, home of the first Star Wars Celebration Europe back in July 2007. It’s all part of our journey to the second Celebration Europe, July 26-28 in Essen, Germany.

Thanks to Hyundai, the cars (called Slave I and Slave II) are prepped and ready to go, our hotels are booked with the help of Holiday Inn, our ferries await our arrival thanks to P&O and our communications systems are ready for phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, powered by our friends at Vodafone. We hope to write a daily blog at StarWars.com, and you can keep up with our progress at JediNews.co.uk.

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After we’ve loaded Boba Fett into the cargo hold and Maureen is safely seated up front, we’ll make our way to ExCeL London where we’ll be joined by several members of the 501st’s UK Garrison and the Rebel Legion for our first public outing. After that, we stop for Wookiee cookiees and blue milk before visiting one of the most iconic Star Wars locations in the world: Elstree Studios.

With the help of Lucasfilm and the management of Elstree Studios, we’re being given unprecedented access behind the scenes at the famous studios where most of the original trilogy was made and at least one shot from every other Star Wars film was also captured. The last time Elstree Studios was used for an official Star Wars project was back in 2009 for rehearsals of Star Wars: A Musical Journey, later known as Star Wars In Concert. We look forward to reminiscing with Jeremy as we walk around the studios and see how they look over 30 years on.

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Following that we head to Toys”R”Us at Brent Cross in London for the launch of The Black Series (a new line of Star Wars action figures in 3.75″ and 6″ scale), in association with Hasbro and Jedi News. The event starts at 7.00 p.m. but since supplies of the new figures are limited to 1,138 pieces of each, we expect there to be a crowd; the fine folks from the UK Garrison, Rebel Legion, and the R2 Builders Club will be on hand to keep it all under control as well as posing for pictures with the crowds. For the younger people in attendance, you’ll be able to get your face painted to look like Darth Maul or Padme Amidala — the choice is yours. We’ll kick off proceedings at 7:30 p.m. with Jeremy opening the store, a raffle and costuming competition will take place at 8:30 p.m., and then you’ll be able to get your Black Series 6” Boba Fett signed by Jeremy. This is the first time the figures will be available anywhere in Europe, and they’ve been stickered as “First Day of Release.” Jedi News have also produced a very limited quantity of badges (buttons) to commemorate the first day sale of the Black Series.

The store closes at 10.00 p.m., at which time we’ll make our way to our first hotel and get ready for what Saturday brings: our last full day in the UK before heading off by ferry for France.

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