Until the 13th century, Ghent was the second largest city in Europe and it was even bigger than London. Silent (but popular) witnesses of Ghent’s glorious past are medieval buildings like Gravensteen Castle, built in 1180. But during rare occasions you can still find noble knights and evil warlocks lingering around in Ghent, only now they are better known as Jedi Knights and Sith Lords. The 20th and 21st of October was not a weekend easy to forget for Belgian Star Wars fans. It was the weekend of F.A.C.T.S. (Fantasy, Animation, Comics, Toys and Space), the largest convention in the Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxemburg) and one of the largest conventions in Europe.
I didn’t visit Paris to watch the conclusion of the Tour de France and I wasn’t planning to spot Quasimodo at the Notre Dame either. This time I had an appointment with history: an appointment with Star Wars toys. As president of TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars Fanclub, I received an invitation from a respected Belgian newspaper to visit the exposition called “Les Jouets Star Wars” (”The Star Wars Toys”) at the Les Arts Décoratifs museum. I went by Thalys from Brussels to Paris, armed with the latest Dark Horse comics and The Essential Reader’s Companion.