|| 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?
|| 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
| 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
||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?
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!"
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.
| 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.
author of many Star Wars novels and comic books, including Rogue Squadron
and I, Jedi.
R2-D2's operator and Industrial Light & Magic modelmaker, who was intimately
involved with the making of Episode 1.
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.
host of the ABC's The 10:30 Slot, former host of Recovery,
and all-around Star Wars nut (seen here impersonating an alien).
All content (P) & (C) Primordial
Productions / Clint
All web pages (P) & (C) Warwick