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Caravan of the Force Day 11: Return of the Jedi (News)

James Burns & Mark Newbold | August 12, 2013

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Star Wars Celebration Europe was over before it began and Sunday at 5:00 p.m. came far too quickly. We said our goodbyes to all the friends we only see at Celebrations around the world, knowing that the next fan gathering would take place in Anaheim in April 2015. We loaded Slave-2 and squeezed the vehicle out from the stand, made arrangements to pick up Maureen and Jeremy at 09:30 the following morning, and headed back to our hotel to rest our weary heads before the next day’s long drive back to the UK.

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Caravan of the Force: “Here They Come!”

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Day 6: Wednesday, 24th July

After a restful night’s sleep in Utrecht, Holland, we awoke a little later than normal before we started our final day of travel to Star Wars Celebration Europe onboard the Caravan of the Force, in association with Toys”R”Us. We all enjoyed a good breakfast and the hotel management ensured we had provisions for our journey in the form of mini muffins.

We loaded Boba Fett, a.k.a. Jeremy Bulloch, into the cargo hold and once the rest of us were ready and the satellite navigation systems were programmed with the address of Messe Essen, we started the drive. Along the route we found a great Italian restaurant where we all enjoyed rather large pizzas and big bowls of pasta.

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Caravan of the Force Day 5: “We’re Going In!”

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Day 5: Tuesday, 23rd July

Day five of Caravan of the Force, in association with Toys”R”Us, began with a delicious breakfast in our Antwerp hotel, a wobble down two flights of stairs with our luggage to the car park (which the night before was the scene of a 30-minute hunt for a space) and off towards the Dutch border and our first appointment at 11.38 a.m. with the Dutch Garrison. We were timing our visit to also meet Martino and Daan who were cycling to Celebration to raise money for Opkikker, a charity that helps seriously ill children. As every garrison has been on the tour, the Dutch were excellent hosts, posing for photographs, donating to our Make-A-Wish collection and making a huge fuss of Jeremy as he was interviewed by the local media and greeted by fans.

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Caravan of the Force Day 4: “The Cave…In You Must Go”

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Day 4 – Monday, 22nd July 2013

The Caravan of the Force in association with Toys”R”Us started day four with an alarm call, a shower and breakfast before loading up Slave-1 and Slave-2 and heading on out from the hotel. Soon we left France behind and entered Belgium, travelling the two hours from Lille to Han-Sur-Lesse and the Caves of Han. It had been suggested we visit here, not only because of the obvious Han Solo connection but because the caves are a place of outstanding beauty, and boy were they right. Operating Manager Albert Joris welcomed us to the village and led the Caravan down to the entrance to the caves where we were greeted by the national Belgian press, photographers and locals before drinks and an interview with the papers. At noon we boarded the train, which took us through the forest to the cave entrance and a magical two-hour, two-kilometre walk began.

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Caravan of the Force Days 2 and 3: “Prepare to Make the Jump to Hyperspace”

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Day 2: Saturday, 20th July 2013

After the excitement and hustle of Friday’s day one, day two of the Caravan of the Force tour was a far more sedate affair. Starting the day with a much-welcomed breakfast at the Holiday Inn Bexley Heath we left London on Saturday morning and headed the 60 miles southeast towards Rochester and the Holiday Inn, our home for the day. We had time aplenty to enjoy the hotel and make the most of the time to rest, relax and finalize the plan for the following days, which we knew would be packed.

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Caravan of the Force: Day 1 Recap

Friday, July 19 will be a day long remembered as Caravan of the Force, in association with Toys”R”Us, got off to a flying start as our two Hyundai Santa Fes (nicknamed Slave I with Mark Newbold at the wheel and Slave II with Dave Tree driving) took to the streets of London for the very first time.

As we left North London a touch later than planned due to Dave being caught in traffic while en route to meet us, we arrived to pick up Maureen and Jeremy Bulloch just before 10.00 a.m.

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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.

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Caravan of Courage: The Road to Star Wars Celebration Europe II

James Burns & Mark Newbold | October 29, 2012
Photo (from left-to-right): - Mark Mulcaster (Rebel Legion), Suzi Sterling (Rebel Legion), Stephen Smith (UK Garrison), Mary Franklin (Lucasfilm), Gary Hailes (UK Garrison), Steve Buckley (UK Garrison), James Burns (Jedi News) and Oliver Steeples (R2 Builders Club)

Photo (from left-to-right): - Mark Mulcaster (Rebel Legion), Suzi Sterling (Rebel Legion), Stephen Smith (UK Garrison), Mary Franklin (Lucasfilm), Gary Hailes (UK Garrison), Steve Buckley (UK Garrison), James Burns (Jedi News) and Oliver Steeples (R2 Builders Club)

The 30th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi is a landmark too big to go un-celebrated, and if there’s one thing Star Wars fans know how to do better than anyone, it’s how to celebrate and party.

But five long years have passed since the summer of 2007, which saw the dual hit of Celebration IV in May and Celebration Europe, held at the Excel in London over the weekend of July 13-15. Bringing the saga to the country where the majority of the first four movies were filmed, UK and European fans were treated to appearances by Mark Hamill, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and a plethora of galactic stars, as well as the premiere of Fanboys, Charles Ross and the One Man Star Wars Trilogy, the Palitoy 2007 Archive, talks, signings, parties, and much, much more. There was even the infamous Jedi versus Sith battle on the bridge!
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