You know you just can’t win with Astromech Droids…
Keen to get the little-barrel shaped buggers Five Year event out-of-the-way, the familiar turf of Hamleys was always going to provide a safe environment; lift access for moving him about, a level floor throughout and if worse came to worse and he failed to perform all that we needed to do was be able to man-handle him to the stage area and (nightmares about him picking up a stray frequency and taking off at speed through the glass barrier surrounding it aside) have him sit at the photo stand in the one spot all day.
On the day though he performed like a champ, with none of the battery problems which have plagued his previous outings, which is slightly unfortunate then that the number of members of the public who attended and the resulting size of the queue to have a photo with him mean that he was pretty much parked in the one spot for the reduced amount of time he was out in-between having to be shuffled into a corner to clear the shop floor lest a rammy break out.
With my single day attendance, being isolated from the other costumers, and even isolated from Sundays centre of attention by dint of standing at a distance with his remotes, I can’t really speak for how the weekend went.
Certainly on the handful of occasions I was free of my charge and could navigate round the snaking 2 hour queue for the prop talk to venture elsewhere in the shop, the crowd was massive for the opportunity to have a photo with Vader, his attendant TKs and Snowy and showed no sign of diminishing, so all credit to the members stood under that greenhouse-like roof for the whole day with the sun glaring through it.
As I say, you can’t win with Astromechs. Clearly he’d have performed happily for a much longer stint, probably even the whole weekend if it’d come down to it, but with his notorious unreliability in the past at events it seemed like a good idea to keep his attendance a minimum levels, but in hindsight it seems a bit of a waste to have spent the best part of three days charging batteries and have his Uncle Ian chauffeur him about for the small amount of hours. Sods law that he’ll get signed up for a full weekend at some point and explode within the first five minutes though!