125 BGCP Largs Comic Con 2020 – 29th February 2020

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Location
Clark Memorial Parish Church, Largs 10:00 – 16:00

Personnel

Adi Gallia Lynn McDavid Jedi Master
Jey d’Srow Julie Sword Rebel Pilot
Kit Fisto Brian McDavid Jedi Master
Luke Skywalker Mark McCreadie Jedi Master

Mission Report
Last year I remarked about how much I enjoyed this troop as generally with the BGCP events the attendees aren’t quite so blasé about our presence, unfortunately be it down to the weather, change in venue or our being there becoming ubiquitous the needle seems to have shifted in that regard.

The event was pretty quiet all day, that is to say, it was okay in terms of attendance but the punters really didn’t seem interested in us at all, even the relatively unique presence of Kit Fisto seemed to merit little interest. Not that people were unhappy to see us, they just weren’t interested in stopping for photos. Part of this may be down to perception due to the much smaller venue than last year, there was hardly anywhere to stand inside that we weren’t causing an obstruction for someone, be it vendor or member of the public.
The winds were so bad all day that all the cloak wearers were one strong gust away from the danger of kiting over to Millport, so we couldn’t spend any appreciable time outside either.

All in all, slightly disappointing compared to the previous event, but as far encountering the tail end of a storm goes I think we only have ourselves to blame for not having a rule about only trooping between April and September..!

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123 Capital Sci-Fi Con 2020 – 15th February 2020

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Location
Corn Exchange, Edinburgh 09:00 – 17:00

Personnel

DZ-18250 Leo Humphries Jawa
SL-77314 Alan Dalgleish Darth Vader
TD-35500 Brian Hannah Sandtrooper
TI-8322 Mark Billen TIE Pilot
TK-6084 Stuart Thompson Stormtrooper
TK-19767 Douglas Mullen Stormtrooper
UK-6275 Mark McCreadie Spotter
UK-41076 Alisdair Gilbert Spotter
UK-89909 Jenn Mair Spotter

Mission Report
Having arrived an hour early only to find that the wrong start time had incompetently been published on the UKG forums it meant that there was plenty of time to set up the empty table which had been provisioned for us once the PR material was finally delivered. Since no provision had been made for a duty rota for the table it rather meant that Alisdair was stuck there for the majority of the day with his static BB-series droid display. The poor organisation almost meant there was sufficient time to go over the standing orders for the day with new inductee Leo who’d be debuting his Jawa that afternoon after only almost 6 years of wanting to join us.

Despite the majority still being in the middle of getting dressed, the press requested our presence for a 09:30 photoshoot with the two Doctors in attendance, which meant only Vader could take part. I mention this only because later that day one of the photographers would ask for the TKs to pose with products which I wouldn’t allow, leading to him questioning me why it was okay for them to lean on each other shoulders but not hold a box.
When I asked when he’d witnessed this behaviour, he replied he hadn’t, which made it a rather random argument on the whole!

Throughout the morning I heard repeated comments on how the bad weather was keeping people from attending, but the entrance area where we were stood was mobbed consistently and at least one attempt to take the squad round the dealer hall had to be immediately aborted due to how crowded it was (the queue for David Bradley snaked away from his table round the side of the hall and out one of the doors we were positioned near more than once and several autograph tables had to be relocated because of the disruption their queues were causing) so if all these people put off by the rain and wind had turned up, I’ve no idea where the organisers would have put them…

With the lunch schedule having disappeared in a huff of smoke, we took a break at 12:00 to allow Leo to get kitted up for the afternoon and perform his branding. Although slightly reticent at first after a few words of encouragement from Nu-Stu and myself he took to Jawaing like a desert scavenger to a hairy egg, poking his head into the back of pictures, stealing the property of passers-by and generally getting a lot of attention from folks wanting photos.

While the weather didn’t really improve the flow of punters remained consistent through the afternoon, only slightly dying down once a raffle draw in the hall had taken place. This did mean the dealer hall was easier to navigate with the squad, to relive the tedium of standing in the one spot but as the troopers drifted off one by one to dekit due to aches and pains and armour pinching we were left with resident stalwart Chewie from the Filthy Rebel side and our Duracell Powered Jawa as the clock wound to 17:00. With even Paul calling it quits at that point, I’m fairly sure Leo would still be hanging around the Corn Exchange in his brown robe and glowing yellow eyes even now had Jenn and I not forced him back to the changing room.

Only a buffet dinner on offer and bleary eyed drive home after 18 hours now stood between me and my bed…

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122 BGCP Rutherglen Comic Con – 2nd February 2020

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Location
Rutherglen Town Hall, Glasgow 10:00 – 16:00

Personnel

Bril Ziveri Graeme Carmichael Jedi Master
Luke Skywalker Mark McCreadie Jedi Master
Macca Starkno Calum Macqueen Jedi Guardian
Princess Leia Organa Beth Mitchell Senator
Rydo Sarn Michael Murray Rebel Alliance Special Forces

Mission Report
After attending this event a few years back I was slightly wary of the number of costumers attending given the tiny-wee changing facilities from the first time round. Fortunately my fears in this regards were misplaced as we’d been allocated an additional room.

Which was even smaller.

(I mean, excellently appointed, make no mistake, but anyone actually attempting to use the toilet would have ended up peeing over the Rowlf the Dog-style coat Beth had worn.)

On arrival I was welcomed by Michael Murray who had never trooped with me before* and fortunately by only being in the room one at a time we were able to get dressed just about by the time the event opened to the public. It was a fairly quiet start with some persistent rain likely conspiring to keep people away initially, but by mid-morning there was consistent flow of new arrivals into the Town Hall (admittedly some of those were OAPs just in for their morning scone and tea who had to be wondering why all these “Star Trek-people” were blocking the entrance…)

Just before lunch the three Jedi were set upon by a press photographer interested in getting our picture alongside a diminutive Darth Vader (no… not that one…) “outside”. Gamely following him, it quickly became evident that he hadn’t meant “at the front door” as he marched us along the high street, down a lane and into the car park behind the event. Having asked the little Sith Lord to Force Choke us he then had us crouch to his level for dozens of photos before deciding to try it with a different background and walk us across the road to repeat the experience. As a result of this workout my right thigh now resembles Popeyes forearms and I can’t fit into one of my trouser legs.

Not having an “official” photographer we were able to prevail on one of the Cosplayers after lunch to take a suitable photo for the benefit of the Jedi Trials. The rest of the afternoon passed pleasantly and as predicted the venue began to quieten down shortly before the Cosplay Competition kicked off next door in the library giving us the opportunity to de-kit one by one.

The slightly truncated duration allowed time to meet up with Lucienne and her companions just prior to us all being brusquely ejected by the cafe staff who wanted to clear the place. Ah well… By then I only had time to engage in a few hurried goodbyes as I was running late for dinner anyway, apologies to those I missed on my way out…

Visual Archive
*As mentioned, we had no photographer on the day. Instead here are a selection of pictures of Michael and I at previous events…

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121 Force Weekend – Glasgow Science Centre ~ Glasgow – 21st December 2019

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Location
Science Center, Glasgow 11:00 – 14:30

Personnel

Chewbacca Paul Smith Wookie
Jey d’Srow Julie Sword Rebel Pilot
Luke Skywalker Mark McCreadie Jedi Master
Rey Beth Mitchell Jedi

Mission Report
This was a quiet, unremarkable, event with barely a trickle of public throughout the duration although it noticeable was starting to get busier in the last half hour or so before we finished.
Nonetheless I shall remember it, not for doubtless bemusement of whoever will review the customer feedback card singing the praises of Luke and Rey in days to come and not for the priceless reaction of the member of the public who opened the door to our changing area just as we ended a break and got the fright of his life when confronted by Vader, a First Order Trooper, Chewbacca, Luke and an X-Wing Pilot on the other side of it.
While our changing room Porg shenanigans and Team Skywalkers mastery of a cube puzzle will long burn bright in my mind and I won’t be quick to forget Mister McDavid’s constant disappointment that nobody was on the other side of the lift doors all day none of these will remain my overriding memory of the event.

Instead it will be the simple words of newly minted centennial trooper Paul Smith, somehow still fresh from his week of ROS-related events while the rest of us were overly tired and emotional, with his beautiful, wise reminder of why we all do this which brought a lump to my throat and continues even now to moisten my eyes…

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120 Rise of Skywalker – Glasgow Science Centre ~ Glasgow – 20th December 2019

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Location
Science Center, Glasgow 19:00 – 23:00

Personnel

Jey d’Srow Julie Sword Rebel Pilot
Luke Skywalker Mark McCreadie Jedi Master
Rey Beth Mitchell Jedi

Mission Report
This was such an odd event, timing our attendance for the departures from one showing and arrivals for the next then having a massive 2.5 hour break before the public started arriving for the last showing of the day.
Simultaneously alongside, a party night for the staff of some company was taking place in the Science Centre using the same entrance as the cinema meaning that as the night wore on we were getting flybys from people with no interest in Star Wars who were progressively worse for wear.

I’m sure we’ve attended events which have been more egregious over the years, but I struggle to think of any. Not even the option of a free showing was able to jack-knife this one around…

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