Something amazing happened within our Star Wars community in the fall of 2010. A little girl named Katie was bullied for carrying a Star Wars water bottle to school. Her mom Carrie, wrote a blog post about her daughter’s experience with being bullied. The Star Wars community immediately rallied around this little fangirl in support and Katie’s story went viral. Unanimously, we all banded together to announce to the world that bullying was not OK.
Archive for ‘Fans and Community’
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.
After the golden age of Star Wars that was the ’90s — a return to the public consciousness that rivaled its heyday of the late ’70s and early ’80s and banished the shadow of the Dark Times — Star Wars was ready to enter a new era of prominence that would both unite and divide an increasingly broad fandom. By the late ’90s, that fandom crossed multiple demographics and encompassed followers of various formats of media including roleplayers, computer gamers, action figure collectors, book readers, and comic fans. It was the era of the prequels.
The TeeKay-421 Quizmeeting is an annual event, feared by all contestants. We thought Star Wars Celebration Europe would be an excellent opportunity to offer fans around the world a taste of what our trivia contests are made of.
After our idea was approved by Mary Franklin, our core team created a series of questions. Before we decided to go with the final selection of questions, we had several debates about which should be included and which shouldn’t. Since every member of the core team had his preferences, we found a great balance between movies, television, source, Expanded Universe, merchandising and behind the scenes. Some of our most difficult questions were abandoned, because we feared nobody would know the answer (the name of the last Snivvian dictator was among the deleted questions). We also immediately decided that the challenge should not be an easy one. There’s just no fun in answering easy questions, is there?
Star Wars Celebration Europe kicked off its three day series of panels by focusing on the very reason why we are here in the first place: our shared international love of all things Star Wars, specifically through the forum of international Star Wars clubs. Gerald Home, Tessek, and a Mon Calamari officer from Return of the Jedi were joined on stage by Tim Veekhoven of Belgian fan club Teekay-421, Ates Cetin of Turkish site Yildiz Savaslari, and a handful of other international webmasters and sites from across Europe.
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.
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.