I’m writing this five years later and I recall after we check out of the hotel and before we head off on the long drive back to Scotland, we head over to the NEC once again. This time with no squad of Stormtroopers to distracte me and Julie being out of costume we have the chance for a proper look round the event and get some pictures with the costumers.
In hindsight it was an odd weekend all in. Met some people for the first time who would go on to play a large part in my life. Cuddled the astromech droid, who’d go on to take a large part of my bank balance. Met Chris Cherrington, who’d prove to be invaluable in helping with my future costuming and I came throat to glove with my first ever Darth Vader, which made me slightly more giddy than a grown man should be.
And here’s a a weird thing. I had my video camera with me all weekend and took a lot of footage. Stupidly, really, I’d have been better using it for photos as till now I’ve never done anything with the resulting MP4 files all these years, that was until our second visit prompted me to start started running a program to dump every second of footage as a JPG and sorted through the blurry garbage to pick out the best from those early events ofrom five years ago for this blog.
One of the files, number 48, from about 14:50 on the Saturday, is pretty unremarkable footage of a crowd of TKs milling about until just after 1 minute, 20 seconds in when group splits, and there, at the other end of the hall, in frame 89, stands Gary Hailes in his Batsuit. So, by my reckoning that’s Biker Scout from my first attendance, Artoo from my second day and from my third time at an event, hey, there’s the man who’d sell me my Returns outfit and with the the immense amount of assistance and effort on his part effectively be godfather to my own version of the Dark Knight. Who’d have thunk it?
Maybe I’d better check the footage from the John Lewis Christmas Party, cause at this rate if there’s a Dalek in it, I have a lot of saving up to do!
So thanks to my squad, Alex Parsons, Jo Marriott, Scott Phipps, Michael Forrest, Brett White, Matthew Mainwaring, Stephen Chafe, Craig Johnson and Julie Sword for making my weekend all those years ago…