The PhanDom Menace - the cast

Shane Morrissey Star Walking Inc's Director, Shane Morrissey, 42, has headed the club from its inception in 1988. But if ever there was a time for his own star to shine, it's the launch of Episode 1. "At the moment it's a full time job… that's brought with it the fame. But not the fortune!" Indeed, we see Shane introduce the film at its opening midnight screening in Melbourne. It may have gone better if his five minute speech started before 12:20am… We follow his fortunes, as both leader and fan, through the launch of the new film, into the Star Walking convention, Force Three, and witness his dramatic reactions to The Phantom Menace..
We also meet Chris Brennan, a man who admits that no matter what his wife says, he's moving to a bigger house "to accommodate all this!" With a collection worth well over $40,000, Chris now offers sagely advice to new players. "It's just impossible to collect it all." At 6'5" he cuts an imposing figure as Darth Vader when Star Walking makes costume appearances. "When that helmet goes on, I cease to exist. I have to become Vader." But is his role as Australia's master of the Dark side of the Force purely show? Chris Brennan
Hugh Quarshie Hugh Quarshie, better known as a star of the BBC's Holby City, is a man relatively new to Star Wars fandom. In his role as Captain Panaka, one of the key characters in Episode 1, he has only just attained the rank of Star Wars celebrity. He recognises the "degree of devotion" that exists within the Star Wars fan universe, but also senses there may be a buck to be made here. When he discusses the rarity of the collector's card featuring Captain Panaka, he notes, "Maybe I'll pick up one of my cards and autograph it, keep it in a vault. Might buy a house with it in ten years time!"
Karen Fletcher's parents have encouraged her hobby from the start, when her Mum bought her a "little Jawa, which is now worth over $300". "But they do think it's a bit… strange sometimes, when they look around the room!" We see how Karen, 26, has turned their basement into a Star Wars shrine, with hundreds of figures lining the wall. Proudly displayed are the plush toys and awards she sews for the club in the likeness of aliens from the series. But perhaps her proudest accomplishments are her costumes - she wears five different ones over the course of Star Walking's three day convention. And she makes such a photogenic Princess Leia that she's starting to get her own magazine covers! Karen Fletcher
Darren Maxwell After 11 years involvement with Star Walking, you'd think Darren Maxwell's enthusiasm might be waning. But Darren, a co-founder of the club, seems to still be one of the most hyperactive members - still hosting the club's trivia contests and auctions. At the opening of Episode 1 he's fit to burst: "Just that moment when the credits start to roll up… it's going to be wicked, man!" But after the screening he's somehow more subdued. Is he just burnt-out, or has The Phantom Menace claimed another victim?
Robbie Hamilton's not sure of how achievable his ambition is. Already he's collected "all of the re-release figures, all of the Episode 1 figures, and now I'm going back to try to get all of the original figures." He admits it's expensive, but when you've filled three rooms of your parents house, plus a storage area in the city, with your collection, when you sleep under an six foot long replica of the Millenium Falcon, when you run seminars on how other collectors should approach their art, money becomes a secondary consideration. When it comes to Episode 1... "it better be a good film, otherwise I've wasted a lot of money on tickets!" Robbie Hamilton
Dave Hankin

Dave Hankin doesn't want his girlfriend's parents to find out that he smokes. Or that he has a Yoda-shaped bong in his garage. Or that he has a tattoo on his shoulder, just like the symbol on Boba Fett's shoulder. (Better hope they don't read this.) However, he's quite happy for them to know that he drives a car with an enormous replica of that same symbol stencilled on the bonnet, and the word Mandalor (Boba Fett's race) across the windscreen. And that he dresses up as the notorious minor character bounty hunter on a regular basis. Such things are a little harder to hide I suppose. Will he like Episode 1? Perhaps not.

Boba Fett's not in it.

The PhanDom Menace also includes thoughts from:

Timothy Zahn, author of the 'Thrawn trilogy' and other Star Wars novels, a man frequently credited with reviving the Star Wars fan culture in the early 1990s. Timothy Zahn
Michael Stackpole Michael Stackpole, author of many Star Wars novels and comic books, including Rogue Squadron and I, Jedi.

Don Bies, R2-D2's operator and Industrial Light & Magic modelmaker, who was intimately involved with the making of Episode 1.

Don Bies
Leigh Whannell Leigh Whannell, at the time known as film reviewer from Recovery and RRR's Breakfasters, but now of course far more famous for being the writer and star of the smash hit horror movie SAW.

Dylan Lewis, host of the ABC's The 10:30 Slot, former host of Recovery, and all-around Star Wars nut (seen here impersonating an alien).

Dylan Lewis

All content (P) & (C) Primordial Productions / Clint Flicks 2000
All web pages (P) & (C) Warwick Holt 2000
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