In today’s world, when communication is conducted largely by the tapping of a keyboard and the click of a mouse and deletions are executed by the pressing of the backspace button, excitement over erasers — or rubbers, as we commonly call them here in the UK — may seem odd. But back in the day, when rubbers were among the many cool branded items you could grab at a cheap price that had the characters and vehicles of Star Wars on them, they were an essential purchase. And importantly, they were a great way of showing your love of the movie to your fellow fans at school while pretending to focus on the teacher at the front of the class. We had pencil cases, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, stationary sets, and more, but back in the days when fragrant erasers were still allowed to be sold in the UK, Star Wars erasers were an essential tool in one’s school supplies pouch.
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The eyes of sci-fi and fantasy, anime, and comics fans across the UK turned to Birmingham, the nation’s second city, over the weekend of 23rd and 24th November as Memorabilia returned to Brum for the second time this year, bringing with it stars of screens both large and small, voice actors, sports stars, cult heroes, comic artists, and writers and cosplayers of every ilk. And, as ever, it made for a fascinating two days of fun, color and vibrancy celebrating every facet of fandom.
I told you ’bout the dino and me. You know that we’re as close as can be. Well, here’s another clue for you all…
While no man has ever seen a dinosaur from the mesozoic era, other animals from the Star Wars universe are actually very familiar to us. The absence of Earth is an important element in Star Wars‘ status as fantasy and space opera. Jocasta Nu would say: “Earth simply does not exist.” But several elements from our own planet have nevertheless slipped into that galaxy far, far away. Indigenous lifeforms from Earth (humans for example) are one of these elements.
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?
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.