Monday, 4 October 2010

Invasion Belfast III

Hard to believe it's come and gone already but this weekend just passed was Star Wars Invasion Belfast III in W5. Along for the ride this year was fashion photographer Laura Henderson who took some fantastic images for this blog and you can find more of her work at

First off the main reason to go to Invasion is the incredible costumes of the Emerald Garrison. (Check out their website at Too many great costumes to feature them all here but I've posted the highlights.

If you've been on this blog before you'll no doubt have figured out that I love Clone Troopers and it's always great to see that kids also seem to love them. Very cool idea that the organisers had was to have the kids seeking autographs from the characters, just in case the kids weren't already leaping up and down at the sight of Captain Rex or wait, that was me jumping.

The garrison members were all really friendly and patient with everyone looking a photo op with them, a couple actually mentioned to me about joining up, the money is something to consider but more importantly I'm not sure I'd have the necessary skills, their attention to detail is breath taking, I mean just look at these two below.

Couldn't help wanting to see these two go at it, would have been awesome. "Get out of the way Qui-gon, he kills you!"

Not only do you get incredible costumes at Invasion, but the garrison also bring super cool life sized props, seeing an AT-ST in context next to Scout Troopers and speeder bikes is indescribable, if you missed the show, you missed something special.

Of course no Endor scene is complete without Ewoks, "Yub nub!"

The big AT-ST I had seen (and loved) last year at Invasion II but what really blew my mind was this...

For me as a Star Wars collector, and in particular a collector of action figures, it's all about trying to recreate pieces of my favourite movies but arranging a bunch of figures at home pales in comparison, I wanted so badly to sit inside this beauty.

Another great attraction at the show was the ability to have your picture taken with Emperor Palpatine and Lord Vader in the throne room from ROTJ. Laura and I got are picture taken with them as I kneeled before my master (but that's for my private facebook page.)

Not just Storm Troopers and Clone Troopers at Invasion, there's also some love for the Rebel Alliance.

Remember, it's not a Star Wars convention until you've seen a slave Leia. Bonus then when it's a slave Leia on one of Jabba's skiffs complete with Weequay guard.

These guys were great, dancing away to the cantina band music, better yet I was following these guys up to the cantina stage wanting to get some good photos and on the way you could hear kids humming the band music, good to see they know their original trilogy.

More incredible costumes and props. Respect to the guy walking around in the Gamorrean suit all day, he must've melted in there.

There seemed no end to the awesome life sized props, I wish someone had been wearing the Chewie suit, then I could have given him a massive hug, that's probably why.

This replica of Darth Maul's speeder was perfect, I can easily imagine this dipping off the cliff and blasting out across the desert.

That's all the costume and prop photographs I have but that's not the only reason to attend Invasion...

That's right, anyone attending got to meet Jeremy Bulloch and Richard LeParmintier, Boba Fett and Admiral Motti respectively. Mr Bulloch and Mr LeParmintier where there selling autographs and were kind enough to hold a half hour Q&A session in one of the W5 auditoriums.

Some great questions asked, my personal highlight was when a fan asked what it was like to have action figures of yourself. Jeremy's experience was interesting in that he was shown the Boba Fett figure before actually starting to film ESB. Richard however talked about how is figure came out some 20 years after he appeared in Star Wars, he explained that figures essentially go through an audition process and that Motti got the green light since after all it's when Vader chokes Motti that we first see the dark side. Richard when on to describe a battlepack we has in of the entire conference table scene and Laura turned to me saying she remembered me getting that.

After the Q&A we where back down in the main exhibition hall and Jeremy Bulloch called Laura over to talk about her camera. Jeremy talked about liking Belfast and how his son attended Queen's University (where Laura and I also went), he went on to say he had to get back to England on Monday to audition for a Morrison's advert. Laura gave Jeremy her business card to promote her blog and I blushed when she said I had this blog. All in all Laura and Jeremy chatted a good five minutes while I stood their speechless thinking wow my girlfriends talking to Boba Fett, at least I managed a handshake.

Sadly we're nearly finished my write up of Invasion Belfast III but there's one more reason a fan like me has to attend, no prizes for guessing what.

Ok so my longest blog post yet, if you didn't make it to Invasion this weekend I believe the props are still on display in W5 all month.

Thanks to my photographer Laura and thanks to the Emerald Garrison and W5 for another fantastic Invasion Belfast!

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