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UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2013
Hi there everyone
Here is an update on our trip to Essen which deserves a blog
of its own. Earlier in the year we were contacted by James Burns
and Mark Newbold of Jedi News regarding a possible charity drive
to Celebration Europe in Essen. This was approved by Lucasfilm
(now owned by Disney) and the wheels were set in motion (ha ha).
It was very well planned and the sponsors were very generous.
First of all Hyundai provided us with two very comfortable 7
seater cars. Holiday Inn helped with hotel expenses and P & O
Ferries organised our sailing to and from Calais. Toys ‘R’ Us
and Vodafone also very kindly sponsored the trip. All monies
raised were for the ‘Make a Wish’ charity. This was to be quite
an adventure – we were going to be on the road for five days
before arriving in Essen on Wednesday 24th July at 5.01pm to
meet the 501st. Our companions for the trip were James and Mark
along with Matt Booker owner of Automatic Comics in Corsham and
Dave Tree owner of All the Cool Stuff in Fordingbridge. Maureen
was going to have her work cut out looking after this lot! We
were collected on Friday morning and whisked to Excel where the
first Celebration Europe took place in 2007. We were joined by
members of the 501st, The Rebel Legion and the R2 Builders Club.
There was a surprise in store – we were going to be allowed
into the studios at Elstree where they filmed most of the
After the excitement of Elstree it was on to Toys ‘R‘Us in
Brent Cross for the launch of the Star Wars Black Series. As we
were travelling by car it was the ideal opportunity to have my
Boba Fett costume with me. With the help of Stuart from the
501st (who also has a Boba Fett costume) I managed to get into
it despite the heatwave we were having. To start with the fans
lining up for autographs had no idea it was me in the costume
and were very amused when I took the bucket off my head!
We had packed a lot in on Friday, and on Saturday drove down
through Kent, chilled out and explored the lovely old town of
Rochester. The 12th century castle is opposite the magnificent
Cathedral. The architecture is amazing.
On Sunday morning we set off for Dover – it was quite
exciting getting on a cross channel ferry as the normal way we
get to France nowadays is through the tunnel. Boarding the ship
gives you a real sense of travelling and as we had club class
tickets the complimentary glass of champagne was an added bonus.
On our arrival in France we drove straight through to Lille to
meet up with member of the French Garrison – they made us very
welcome and we spent a couple of happy hours there taking photos
We stayed in a very nice Holiday Inn that evening set in the
French countryside and set off the following morning for a trip
to the ‘Caves of Han’ in Han-sur-Lesse, Belgium. When we arrived
we were greeted by a wonderful view of the gardens, and the
restaurant where we would later have lunch. A charming gentleman
called Albert met us – he was going to be taking us through the
caves on a personal tour – how lucky one is.
We would be taking a 100 year old tram 4km to the entrance of
the caves. We were warned that it would be quite chilly inside –
so from the extreme heat it was quite nice to feel cool. The
walk from entrance to exit would be around 1hr 30m. Words cannot
really explain the wonder of the sights that we saw – each one
more magnificent than the previous one, and Albert gave us
brilliant descriptions of what we were looking at. A surprise at
the end of the tour was walking into the 145m high Salle du Dome
to the sounds of the Star Wars ‘Imperial March’ and a laser
light show. We were then shown to a table and offered a glass of
Kir Royale. We really felt we were on holiday now. The time went
really quickly and we were then back to the restaurant for a
Back in the cars and then off for the hour long drive to
Brussels. We were going from the bowels of the earth to the 102m
high ‘Atomium’ Built in 1958 for the World Fair, it was not
intended to survive, but its spectacular views over the city and
amazing sculpture have made it an international tourist
attraction. We were taken to the restaurant at the very top and
met with the Belgian Garrison for refreshments, and later had
photos beneath the Atomium.
We stayed in Antwerp that evening, but did not have time for
any exploring as we were leaving early the next morning for the
city of Breda in the Netherlands. On our arrival we were
surprised to see quite a gathering and the Dutch Garrison gave
me a rather nice 10th anniversary mug and some pins. Two
enthusiastic young men Martino and Daan were cycling on a 250km
ride to Essen in full costume to raise money for charity. They
must have been so hot, and were forgiven for not wearing their
Our next stop was Amsterdam where we visited the Electric
Ladyland Museum- the first museum of fluorescent art and met
owner Nick who gave us a tour of the museum. It reminded us very
much of the 60’s – it was great fun. Some of the Dutch Garrison
were there to meet us and it was nice to have a relaxing drink
with them by the canal.
Finally The Caravan of the Force arrives in Essen to quite a
fanfare. We were staying at the Atlantic Congress Hotel set in
the Gruga Park and right opposite the convention centre. On
Thursday I attended the press conference with some of the other
guests (I’m sure you know who they all are!) and in the evening
met up with some of the other guest who had just arrived – we
went with Markus Rau and family to an American Diner – a great
We had a sneak preview of the event and saw this amazing tie
fighter and the smoke effect gave it the right feel. We also had
a chance to do some early shopping. One of the highlights of the
event for me was a gathering of the Fetts on stage brilliantly
hosted by Warwick Davis. Again I needed help getting into the
costume and there was plenty on hand – thanks Phil, Stuart et
Celebration Europe was now in full swing and fans came along
from every corner of the earth. We were very surprised when a
group of our Polish friends came along with a painting and gift
that we could not take home on the aircraft when we were in
Torun for a convention in 2011. It was perfect as we were
driving back to the UK – thanks guys. One lovely lady came all
the way from Japan with a fantastic costume.
Ben & Philip from Official Pix did a great job organising all
the actors, photos and getting wonderful volunteers who were
always on hand for coffee, water etc. On the Saturday evening
Markus Rau, CO of the German Garrison along with the members had
put on a wonderful gala dinner in the music pavilion in the
Gruga Park. It was attended by many guests and members of the
501st – its always good to meet all the different garrisons from
around the world. Our last night on Sunday was spent with
another group – the Mandalorian Mercs – we went to a local
German bierkeller and had a great evening – a great way to
finish our trip in Germany.
We set off on Monday morning heading to Calais, and home with
a brief stop at Cite Europe to stock up on croissants, cheese
and wine – as one does. It was a very pleasant sailing back to
Dover and the white cliffs are always a very welcome sight. It
had been a very enjoyable trip and thanks to Mark, Matt and
David for their superb driving skills on the wrong side of the
road and to James for his organisational skills. I had collected
quite a few items on our trip and now need more shelving to
It had been quite an adventure and great fun – speak soon.
My gosh its already August and we need to start the story
with the Star Wars weekend at Disney Smile.
We went to Orlando in mid May which gave us the opportunity
to see the wonderful flower festival at Epcot for the first
It was a great weekend and I had lots of fun on stage with
Ray Park and James Arnold Taylor.
As usual the Star Wars shop was packed with incredible
merchandise and I couldn't resist this model by sculptor Costa
Alavezos. We were also given a lovely gift from our friends at
Disney – many thanks.
After all the excitement of Disney we travelled to a sleepy
seaside town in Italy called Bellaria for Sticcon and this was
the view when we arrived.
Events in Italy are always very relaxed with plenty of pasta
and wine served for lunch and dinner. There were several guests
relating to Star Trek, including Robert Picardo and Robert
Duncan McNeil. Also appearing were the sci-fi writer Michael
Bishop and consultant to Star Trek Richard Arnold. From Star
Wars there was Dave Prowse and my good self.
We were very well looked after by Elena, Elisa and Maria who
helped with translations etc. – thanks for all your help. Many
fans were in costume, some with less costume than others Smile
Many thanks to Jessica and Massimo for inviting us to this
The following four weekends were non-stop in the US and
Canada with a very brief trip back home for two days. We covered
Knoxville, Niagara Falls, Cedar Falls and San Antonio. As you
can imagine we were pretty exhausted.
Starting off in Knoxville – we were attending the Fanboy Expo
along with Billy Dee Williams and a lovely gentleman called Erik
Bauersfeld who voiced the character of Admiral Ackbar (It’s a
trap). I think it was his first appearance at a convention, and
he was modestly surprised how many people wanted his autograph.
The show was very good and we were then treated to a trip to
Pigeon Forge to see the amazing magic show of Terry Evanswood.
When we arrived we were greeted with an upside down house which
is very confusing. Terry’s show was very good especially the
levitation. Thanks to Dave and Adam for putting on a brilliant
Next was a flight to Buffalo, NY then a short drive over the
border for the Niagara Falls Comic Con. We had visited Niagara
before but the sight of the Falls never ceases to amaze along
with the beautiful gardens and what looked like an upside down
Chris & James who were promoting the show took us out for a
delicious Italian meal on our arrival, and the following evening
we were entertained by Larry & Janice and the North Ridge Fan
Force at the Outback. What a good start to the show which was
extremely busy, and for a fairly new event was amazing.
Niagara is a fascinating place with the dramatic view of the
horseshoe falls, then the bright lights of the town. We did get
to ride on the big wheel with great views over the falls.
After Niagara we had just two days back in the UK. When we
arrived very late at London Heathrow our taxi was nowhere to be
seen, and as it got later and later we were the only ones left
on the concourse – our consolation was that we had pretty lights
to look at. Eventually the car arrived, apparently they had
closed the main motorway to the airport for maintenance. We
arrived home finally around 2.00am – exhausted.
We had a quick turnaround before jetting off again – this
time to Iowa for ‘The Core’ shop signing in Cedar Falls. We had
been trying to arrange visiting Mike’s shop for practically
three years and now it was finally happening. We were met by
Mike and his wife Priscilla at the airport and had a leisurely
drive through many cornfields to the lovely town of Cedar Falls
where we staying at the Blackhawk Hotel. We were amazed at how
quiet the town looked, but it was certainly full of lovely
restaurants and coffee shops.
On Friday evening there was a special Q & A for VIP guests –
this turned out to be great fun with everyone firing questions
at me. The following morning we went in an hour before the shop
opening to meet a very special little boy called Jacob. Jacob
was very ill, but loved Star Wars and wanted to meet Boba Fett
and the Mandalorian Mercs. It was very humbling and everyone
made a great fuss of him.
The day began and everyone was in for a treat with the
arrival of not only the Mercs but Trey & Nancy's amazing
'Raptor' which causes quite a stir wherever it goes.
On Saturday evening we had a lovely dinner with the Mercs and
also young Jacob – it was an evening to remember for me as sadly
young Jacob has since passed away.
We had a lovely weekend and Mike’s shop is bursting with
tempting toys, comics and books. We spent the last evening with
Mike and Priscilla, and then met up with their three sons for an
hilarious time impersonating the ‘Marx Brothers’ Well done Mike
and hope to visit again sometime in the future.
On to the next venue which was San Antonio in Texas. We were
met by promoter Kris and his wife who very thoughtfully took us
to an English pub for dinner and a good pint of beer (for Jeremy
that is!) The show was very busy and it was amusing to see so
many Boba Fetts around.
We were lucky enough to be taken downtown to eat at a Mexican
restaurant on the famous River Walk which was very pretty. We
also got a chance to see the Alamo looking very dramatic at
night. Among our fellow guests were Billy Dee and Erik
Bauersfeld who was celebrating his 91st birthday – we joined him
in celebrating on the last evening – what a fun evening and
plenty of cake!
Our month across the pond was at an end and now it was time
to head back to the UK for some more events not too far from
home. We had a lovely drive down to Devon for the Exewing Sci-Fi
Day. The hotel we stayed in ‘The Deer Park’ was rather grand but
unfortunately this was not our vintage car parked out front! –
you can always dream....
The event took place at Pecorama which is perched on the
hillside above the fishing village of Beer. They have a real
model miniature railway and also beautiful gardens. The day was
perfect with brilliant sunshine and beautiful views and most
importantly the event raised a lot of money for two charities.
The nearest show we ever attend is the London Film and Comic
Con at Earls Court which takes us just 20 minutes from door to
door. This is a very popular show and always attracts large
crowds from all over the world. I had great fun trying to
impress some Italian fans with my language skills.
We split the weekend to attend the ‘Octopussy at 30’ reunion
at Pinewood Studios. Pinewood is set in beautiful gardens and we
were had a lovely barbeque lunch followed by a high tea. Some of
the guests included Maud Adams, Kristina Wayborn and Safira
Afzal along with director John Glen. Again people travelled from
far and wide to attend. A great day and to top it all Andy
Murray won Wimbledon ................yeah.
Finally we met up with a long time Boba Fett fan, friend and
501st member for a nice lunch. He presented me with a lovely
framed print he had made especially for me.
Phew – that was a long story – we will be doing a separate
blog soon on our trip with the ‘Caravan of the Force’ to attend
Star Wars Celebration Europe in Essen. Hopefully very soon.
All the best
First of all may I say to to you all many, many apologies for
the long gap in updating the website, but we have had an event
every weekend since March which has given us very little time at
home to write a blog, and as it has to cover so many events I
will write it up in two stages (or possibly three) – here goes
Part 1 Smile After our trip to Dortmund we flew off to
Gothenburg for the Sci-Fi Game & Film Convention. We were
staying at the Gothia Towers – a new hotel complex and were most
impressed with the lego model in the reception.
Joining us were Billy Dee Williams and the extraordinary John
Rhys-Davies. It was Billy Dee's birthday and we all went out to
It was a great show and thanks to Jesper for inviting us –
it's always good to visit Sweden.
The following weekend I was asked to go to Bristol to do a
voice over for the 75th anniversary of 'Mallard' a steam train
that broke all records in 1938 with a speed of 126 mph.
Unfortunately the event in Venezuela was cancelled at the
last moment so we had to quickly rearrange our flights to
Guadalajara in Mexico. We had a few days to relax on our arrival
and our host Eduardo drove us to the ancient city of Morelia. We
had stayed there before at the beautiful Villa San Jose which
has amazing gardens and wonderful views over Morelia.
We visited the historical city of Patzcuaro with its lovely
squares and murals.
The show was very well advertised and I did a spot on the
morning television. On our arrival back in Guadalajara we
visited the venue and saw the huge billboard - wow Boba Fett!
The show was well attended and the Mexican fans are always
very welcoming. Some of the other guests were cosplayers and
Elffi had flown in all the way from Finland! Hector Lee Vargos
who was the voice of Gonzo in the Muppets was also a guest.
No trip to Mexico would be complete without a visit to the
street food vendor.
Back in the UK and we had three one day events in Newcastle,
Burnley and Norwich. We started off with a long drive to
Newcastle for Screen Con which was a brand new show. The
renowned escapologist Chris Cross had challenged Boba Fett to
shackle him in chains and he had to release himself in just 90
seconds – impossible – to my amazement he beat the the great
bounty hunter. This show attracted many people and they all said
how pleased they were to have the event in North Shields. The
promoter Alan and his team worked very hard, and the day was
rounded off with a lovely dinner at a beachside restaurant at
Whitley Bay. Along with Michael Henbury and Laurie Goode was
fellow guest the hilarious Dr Who – none other than Sylvester
On Sunday we had a leisurely drive over the Yorkshire Moors
down to Burnley to attend Neil Livesey’s show 'Star Wars Fan Fun
Day' . This is always a great day for the kids and also a chance
to catch up with news from Star Wars actors. The Charity dinner
at Burnley Football Club on the Sunday evening raised lots of
money. Well done Neil et al.
One week later we took to the road again this time to Norfolk
for the Norwich Sci-Fi & Film Convention. This again was a great
show with lots of hard work put in by the members. According the
the BBC news there was some kind of fracas between two rival
members, but we were blissfully unaware of any trouble and had a
So far this update only takes us to the middle of May, so
will endeavour to fill in the gaps soon. Off to Essen next week
with 'The Force of the Caravan' so will have lots of tales to
Have a good summer everyone – the sun is finally shining in
Hope you are all well – we are still battling the cold
weather here, although we did have some respite on our trip to
Orlando. We went in early to relax before the show. Our friend
Jeremy organised a special meeting with Mario the female
penguin! (don’t ask) lots of oohs and aaahs. His girlfriend
Jenna works at Seaworld and kindly took us backstage. The
weather was glorious and it was so good to see some sunshine.
While we were there we went to the aquarium and almost swam
with the sharks....................
The night before Megacon our friend Joe arranged for us to
meet up at Delmonico’s for a delicious supper with some old
friends (and not so old) – thanks for a great evening guys.
Our last visit to Megacon had been a few years back and it
was great to be there again. It was beautifully organised by
Beth along with members of her family and friends. A great
Orlando is becoming like our second home as we visit so often
and have made so many good friends - hope to be back soon.
Back to the cold weather in the UK and then we were off to
Germany where it was even colder..........what is going on with
We travelled to Dortmund for the Movie Days/The Dark Zone
convention organised by Angelo and Eric. This was a show that
has grown immensely since we were there last. It had interesting
themes with a mixture of fans, some from horror and some from
Short and sweet this time folks, but watch out for the
following updates from all corners of the world.
Take care and speak soon.
FEBRUARY 27, 2013
Can't believe its already February - we have sort of
hibernated since New Year, and although our snow has not been as
dramatic as in the US - its been pretty cold.
Nothing much happened in January which suited us as last year
was very busy and it was great to relax for a bit. I say relax
because after the news broke about The Disney/Lucasfilm deal I
was inundated with calls and requests for interviews on my
thoughts. Some were done by email, some by telephone and even
some by filming.
Our first event of the year was MCM at Telford. This was a
one day show, but extremely busy and great to see so many people
dressed up. The themes were many, Star Wars, Star Trek, Merlin,
Dr Who to mention a few. I was rather impressed with this
motorbike helmet (made me wish I had a Harley Davidson). It was
my Birthday while we were at the show, and thanks to everyone
for all my birthday greetings. I was hoping Maureen would bake
me a cake, but it would have been difficult in our hotel room.
If she had I would have liked one like the cake below.
As we were in the beautiful county of Shropshire we spent a
day in the Ironbridge Gorge where Abraham Darby III built the
famous cast iron bridge – the first of its type in the world. It
was built in 1779 and designed by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard. It
is now a landmark and tourist attraction and became part of a
UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its spans the fast flowing River
Severn which has the recurring problem of flooding. We went
round the interesting museum and saw an amazing 12 metre (39 ft)
long model of what the Gorge looked like in 1796. Despite the
fact it was a freezing cold windy day there were many tourists
All for now - our next trip is to sunny Orlando for Megacon -
hope to see some of you there.
All the best as always
Happy New Year to you all. We had a fairly hectic Christmas
with the family visiting from Sri Lanka. I was also working on a
documentary here in London. After the heat of Asia Jossie was
very happy to put on some warm clothes to feed the wildlife in
our local park.
The Lego advent calendar I bought in the auction at the 501st
ball was a huge success with Ned & Jossie who loved all the Star
Wars characters. They made a pretty good job of decorating the
tree with just a few adjustments from us when they had gone to
I made an excellent job of cooking Christmas lunch despite a
few glasses of champagne – which is compulsory on Christmas
morning here in the UK
Getting back to normal now and planning the year ahead which
is shaping up to be quite busy. I have commissioned a limited
edition of my very own patch designed by the artist Kevin Liell.
I will be giving it away free with every purchase of my book
'Flying Solo' as from now. It will only be available from me.
Speak very soon with a list of new dates as they are
confirmed and hope to see some of you in the coming year.
All the best
Jeremy – The Fett
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