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Title - Extra Norfolk

Monday 10th June, 2002
Star Wars mania: Norfolk feels the power of the force

Members of Norwich & District Star Wars Club

As Attack of the Clones mania sweeps across the world, Star Wars fans in Norwich caused their own tremor in the force at the weekend.

Hundreds of the Lucas faithful gathered to savour the taste of inter-galactic excitement at a special science fiction fair held at St Catherines Church Hall in Mile Cross.

Organised by the Norwich & District Star Wars Power Of the Force Collectors Club, visitors to the fair were in for a treat as actors from the epic movies signed autographs and answered questions.

Kenny Baker, better known to moviegoers across the world as R2D2, said he still meets up with other key characters from the original 1978 film.

Picture: R2D2

"We don't meet each other all the time. Chewbacca now lives in Texas, Darth Vader of course David Prouse lives in South London, we see each other."

Event organiser David Frost is hoping the weekend event will encourage more people to join the local society.

"We started the club in October 2000," he said. "There are a number of other events that go on around the country and we decided as a club we decided to expand our horizons a little bit."

"We've got around 60 members at the moment and we'd like to expand that to three times the number. This was one way of gaining interest and bringing new members in."

Jerome Blake played seven characters in Episode One, the Phantom Menace including the cowardly Neimoidian official, Rune Haako.

"One of the pre-requisites of the job as far as I'm concerned is hopefully to give the character some sort of physical attributes that suggest that it's not an actor with a rubber head on," said Blake.

"I think a lot of mistakes have been made in the past when people have these fantastically lavish costumes, but the person inside them just walks and talks like they do in their normal every day life so basically what the audience sees is a man with an alien rubber head on."

Merchandising is a huge money spinner. For Attack of the Clones alone, Lucas Licensing expects to rake in over £1bn.

Chris Smith, a stall holder at the fair, has handled some of the more sought after merchandise over the years.

Picture: Darth Vader and Strom Trooper.

"The most expensive would probably be a Storm Trooper costume which I purchased and sold on for £950," he said. "A little birdy has told me it's now selling for £2,500 which I'm a little bit upset about."

With the release of Episode III in 2005, the Lucas legacy is set to continue with the power of the force likely to touch the lives of generations to come.

Internet Links

BBC Films - Review of Attack of the Clones

Norwich & District Star Wars Collectors' Club

Official Star Wars Website

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

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