Gathering News From Across the Galaxy….
Jedi News was launched on May 4th 2007 by James Burns and Adam Lamping with the purpose of bringing the latest Star Wars news and views to fans in the UK. Lightsabre was launched on 28th June 1999 by Mark Newbold, Louis Turfrey and Jonathan Hicks, and primarily focused on interviews and fan fiction. On August 12th 2010 at Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando, Lightsabre and Jedi News merged. On September 1st 2016 Jedi News unveiled a brand new web site. Now the original content of both sites dating as far back as 1982 is available in one place for the first time.
Here is a look at #teamjedinews members old and new. Click on their profile image to find out more, or on their social media links to message them direct.
Team Jedi News
James was first taken to see Star Wars by his aunt when he was 6 and from then on he was hooked. His father supplied double-glazing to one of the workers on The Empire Strikes Back and James was rewarded with a signed Ralph McQuarrie Christmas card from George Lucas. His passion for Star Wars increased and by the time Return of the Jedi was released James was lucky enough to go to the premiere at the Dominion in London. As James grew up his fascination for all things Star Wars, including his favourite figures, dwindled. His collection of original loose figures and other Star Wars memorabilia were unfortunately destroyed in 1986.
James got married in 1996 and thanks his wife for rekindling his passion in Star Wars. Sarah was an avid reader and was reading all of the new Star Wars literature being produced. James took an interest too and read the Heir to the Empire trilogy and consequently Sarah bought James a loose vintage Ewok Paploo in December of their first year of marriage; something she has come to regret, a little!
Since 1996 James has eagerly collected the Hasbro line of 3 3/4″ figures, which are kept mint on card. Over the last few years his collecting habits have branched out to include items from Disney, EFX, Gentle Giant, JAKKS, Mattel, LEGO, Master Replicas, Sideshow and others. This has led to the building of an extension, aptly called the X-Wing, which has now been fully furnished and was featured in the BBC 2 programme Collectaholics. His collection contains almost 40,000 unique pieces.
From 2003 to January 2007, James worked as news editor on UK site The Private Universe. During this time James was lucky enough to meet and get to know people from various UK licensees including representatives from Hasbro, LEGO and many others. He has also attended and reported from the UK Toy Fair and US Toy Fairs as well as attending numerous conventions on a regular basis and is widely known within the UK and international Star Wars community. He has attended Star Wars related conventions and events in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the States (Atlanta, Dallas, Florida, New York and San Francisco).
At Celebration V in August 2010, Jedi News and Mark Newbold’s decade-old site lightsabre.co.uk merged to form a new entity, retaining the Jedi News name. During the weekend, Jimmy Mac and Jason Swank put James together with photographer/writer Dan Curto to co-host the Collector’s Edition podcast as part of The ForceCast. From September 2010 and for 18 months James co-hosted the show alongside Curto. The last of almost 30 shows as part of the ForceCast network was broadcast in early March 2012 and featured news from February 2012’s US Toy Fair. On April 1st 2012 Curto and Burns appeared on the April fool’s day 340th episode of Star Wars Action News, with special guest Steve Sansweet from Rancho Obi-Wan. The Curto Burns Collectors Cast ran from June 2012 to December 2013, featuring Steve Sansweet every episode. The show ended in December 2013 and continued under the new name, Star Wars Collectors Cast as part of Rebel Force Radio. Curto left the show in late 2014 and Burns continued alone along with regular monthly guest Sansweet.
RADIO 1138 launched in November 2013 on the Rebel Force Radio feed and featured James and Mark Newbold talking about Star Wars events in the UK. In January 2016 both RADIO 1138 and Star Wars Collectors Cast were part of the launch of the Jedi News Network, later joined by literature show Take Cover and Galactic Fashion, focusing on fashion from across the galaxy.
Since 2009 James has written for the Star Wars Insider, at first interviewing the stars from Star Wars and later writing the Incoming column since 2012 where he reveals the latest products from Star Wars licensees. In addition, he also wrote for DeAgostini’s Build the Millennium Falcon award winning part work, which included new canonical Star Wars content. James also contributes regularly to the blog at StarWars.com and wrote for the on-line blog at UK newspaper The Metro. James has appeared internationally on TV and radio and is a regular in the UK when new Star Wars news breaks. He has also written or been quoted in numerous UK newspapers.
James was inducted into the 501st Legion as an Honorary Friend of the Legion at Celebration VI in Orlando by his friend Steve Sansweet, sponsored by Mark Newbold. At Celebration Europe II in Essen he was inducted into the Rebel Legion UK (Elstree Base) and at Celebration Anaheim was inducted into the Rebel Legion as a Friend of the Rebellion alongside Mark and The Force Awakens droid builder Lee Towersey. In 2016 James became an Ambassador for LEGO, making Jedi News an official LEGO User Group (LUG).
James lives in London with his very understanding and supportive wife Sarah and their three children, Daniel, Jonathan and Miriam.
Mark’s Star Wars journey started at the Cannock ABC cinema back in early 1978 and through weekly Marvel UK Comics, Read-Along-Adventures, Palitoy figures and his imagination he’s continued on the Jedi Path for almost four decades. In 1982 he wrote his first Star Wars fiction, the short story Quest For Freedom. That spawned the creation alongside Jonathan Hicks of the Setnin sector through 17 audio stories recorded between 1985 and 1987, countless weekly D6 West End Games RPG sessions between 1987 and the present day and almost 200 short stories, novellas and novels.
In 1998, after three years online with a variety of sci-fi sites including The Q-Continuum and FantaWar, Mark and Louis Turfrey launched Wirezone, which changed its name and URL to become lightsabre.co.uk on 28th June 1999. During his decade running Lightsabre alongside Louis, Jonathan, Paul Squire and Jason Brown he conducted well over 140 interviews, oversaw the compilation and development of the fictional setting of the Setnin sector and co-hosted 17 episodes of the Setnin Radio podcast during 2005 and 2006.
On 12th August 2010 Lightsabre and Jedi News merged, forming a new entity which retained the Jedi News name. In August 2016, after 6 years of waiting, this new entity finally arrived home on a new custom-built site.
Since issue 90 in 2006 Mark has contributed to the Star Wars Insider magazine with well over 130 articles published including overseeing Red Five and My Star Wars! features (now both retired) and contributing to Launch Pad as well as providing numerous interviews and cover articles.
He has also written canon approved material for DeAgostini’s Build The Millennium Falcon partworks magazine. In November 2016 he began writing for Geeky Monkey magazine and in March 2017 will have his first article published in issue #187 of Star Trek The Official Magazine. Online articles have also appeared on FHM online, Sequart, Jedinet.com, The Bearded Trio and other sites as well as contributing to the online blog of the UK’s largest free newspaper The Metro.
He was first featured on the official Star Wars website in 2009 with a piece on the premiere of Star Wars: A Musical Journey and since 2013 has been a featured blogger on the official Star Wars site with over 70 articles published.
In print, he has had articles and reviews published in Model and Collectors Mart, TV Film Memorabilia Magazine, TeeKay-421 magazine and has written reviews for The Force Awakens and Rogue One in the Lichfield Mercury. He has been interviewed by The i, The Irish Times, The Express and Star, The Lichfield Mercury, The Shropshire Star, The Voice and Micromart.
On television he has appeared on BBC News 24, BBC Breakfast News, BBC Talking Movies, Big Centre TV‘s Brummywood Yammywood, Made In Birmingham’s The Lowdown and The Week and Channel 5’s How Star Wars Changed The World as well as the Sky One quiz show The Fanatics, winning the episode on his chosen subject the Star Wars saga. He also appeared on The Weakest Link on BBC 2 and Don’t Sit In The Front Row on Sky One.
He’s also appeared on over 30 different radio stations, many of them multiple times as an expert commentator on the subject of Star Wars. In late 2016 he was a guest panellist on the pilot episode of Radio 4’s comedy film panel show Gaby’s Talking Pictures alongside host Gaby Roslin, John Thomson, Sarah Hadland, Lee Mack, Stephen Tompkinson, Ronni Ancona and Alistair McGowan:
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 4*
BBC Radio 5Live*
BBC Radio Berkshire*
BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire*
BBC Radio Cumbria
BBC Radio Gloucestershire*
BBC Radio Guernsey
BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester
BBC Radio Jersey
BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC Radio Leeds
BBC Radio Lincolnshire
BBC Radio London
BBC Radio Merseyside*
BBC Radio Newcastle
BBC Radio Northampton
BBC Radio Nottingham
BBC Radio Scotland*
BBC Radio Stoke
BBC Radio Surrey
BBC Radio Sussex
BBC Radio Three Counties Radio*
BBC Radio Wales
BBC Radio WM*
BBC Radio York
BBC World Service*
BBC World Service Radio USA
BBC World Service Radio Worldwide*
Virgin Radio Breakfast With Edith Bowman
Voice of Russia World Service
Mark is the co-host of RADIO 1138 and a panelist on Take Cover on the Jedi News Network. He is a regular guest in the Star Wars podcasting world having appeared on over 50 different podcasts to date as either guest or host, many on multiple occasions*:
A Few Good Clones*
Assembly of Geeks
Big Kev’s Geek Stuff
Boring Conversation Anyway
Brews And Blasters
Chicken and Beer
Coffee With Kenobi*
Curto Burns Collectors Cast*
Dark Empire Radio*
Fanboys Guide to the Galaxy*
Fandom Awakens Radio*
Fangirls Going Rogue
Far Far Away Radio*
Full of Sith*
Full of Sith: Trailer Council
Galactic Escape Pod*
Get Your Geek On
My Star Wars Story
Now This Is Podcasting
RADIO 1138 (host)
Radio Free Endor
Radio Free Tatooine
RebelForce Radio’s Clone Wars: Declassified
Scum and Villainy
Setnin Radio (host)
Skywalking Through Neverland*
Star Wars Book Report*
Star Wars Bookworms*
Star Wars Collectors Cast*
Star Wars Forum UK podcast
Star Wars In Character
Star Wars Report*
Star Wars Tonight*
Star Wars Underworld
Take Cover (host)
Teach Me You Did
Thank Book For
The Bald Solo podcast
The Bothan Report*
The Cantina Cast*
The Forcecast Clone Wars Roundtable
The Kessel Run
The Sarlacc Pit*
The Wolfpack podcast*
Tosche Station Radio
We Talk Clones*
Who Shot First
He has reported from numerous conventions in the UK, Europe and North America including:
Binding the Galaxy (2013)
Dinner With The Stars (2014, 2016)
Disney Store Force Friday Event (2015)
Elstree Empire Day (2013)
Empire Big Screen (2012)
Empire Day IV (1996)
Fan Days IV (2011)
Farthest From 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Fordingbridge Film and TV Festival (2009, 2010)
LEGOLAND Windsor Star Wars Event (2012, 2013, 2015)
London Film and Comic Con (2010, 2012, 2016)
MCM London Expo
Medicinema Star Wars Charity Dinner and Quiz (2012)
Megacon Florida (2016)
Memorabilia (1994 to 2016)
MonCalCon (2014, 2015, 2016)
New York Comic Con (2015)
New York Toy Fair (2015, 2016, 2017)
One Man Star Wars Trilogy (2008, 2011)
Rancho Obi-Wan Annual Gala (Guinness World Record Night 2013, Annual Gala 2014, Galaween 2015, 5th Annual Gala 2016)
SFB Reunion 2, 3, 6, 7
SFBall 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 23
Star Wars Family Fun Day (2015)
Star Wars Fan Fun Day (2014, 2016)
Star Wars Celebration (Orlando 2012, Anaheim 2015)
Star Wars Celebration Europe (London 2007, Essen 2013, London 2016)
Toys ‘R’ Us Black Series launch (2013)
Toys ‘R’ Us Force Friday (2015)
Toys ‘R’ Us Summer Madness (2010)
UKG Annual Gala (2014, 2015)
UK Games Expo (2009, 2010, 2011, 2015)
UK Toy Fair (2016)
Xbox 360 Kinect Star Wars launch (2012)
He has also reported from a number of press conferences, film and television premieres including:
E.T 20th Anniversary Edition (2002)
Exclusive UK screening at Disney’s European headquarters in Hammersmith, London of the final 3 episodes of Season One of Star Wars Rebels (2015)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Raiders of the Lost Ark IMAX (2012)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Red Carpet premiere at Tate Modern (2016)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story London Press Screening (2016)
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek Insurrection (1998)
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Star Wars Rebels Season Three premiere (2016)
Star Wars Rebels Season Two premiere (2015)
Star Wars Rebels Season Two press conference (2016)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie (2008)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 premiere (2012)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens London Press Screening (2015)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens London Premiere (2015)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens After Party at Tate Britain (2015)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens London Press Conference (2015)
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D (2012)
The Hulk (2003)
Mark is a Friend of the Elstree Base of the Rebel Legion and was inducted at Celebration Europe in Essen 27th July 2013. He was also recognised as a Friend of the Rebellion on 18th April 2015 at Celebration Anaheim and is an Honorary Member of the 501st UK Garrison, inducted at the UKG’s annual Ball on 22nd November 2014. On 17th July 2016 was made a Friend of the 501st Legion at Celebration Europe in London. He is married to his amazing wife Ruth and lives in Burntwood, Staffordshire where his 25,000 piece Star Wars collection — Echo Base — is housed.
Brian has written for quite a number of Star Wars sites since 1998, including guest articles for TheForce.net and JediNet.com before forming his own Lost Spoilers website which ran for seven years, but he found his particular kind of hive of scum and villainy in April 2013 as part of Team Jedi News!
By day he literally counts sheep, cattle, and hens, well it beats being a bean counter…
In 2016, beans were added to his farms crop….
He does however deny having ever milked a moof, or herded a nerf.
Brian travelled to Skellig Michael in 2015, and is proud to say he was physically sea sick at the exact spot that Rey meets Luke. Before he knew that Rey meeting Luke there was a thing!
He hosts the the Star Wars literature podcast, Take Cover for the Jedi News Network with Mark Newbold, and Matt Booker.
His ancestor Dr Archibald Cameron was the last man to be hung, drawn and quartered in the UK and was the inspiration for the scene in Braveheart. He fears if he says anything more, he will be next…
He rarely smiles, but takes great joy in people not getting his humour, Planes, Trains and Automobiles (the movie, not necessarily the modes of transport) and of course Star Wars… but most of all he is impressed you read all this!
Brian is an obsessive collector of Star Wars books, comics, and magazines. With a collection extending into the tens of thousands, the more obscure a publication the better.
The year was 1983. The movie was Return of the Jedi. The scene was a high-octane speeder bike chase thru the lush woods of Endor. The result? The birth of Star Wars fandom in a 6-year old boy that continues to grow and develop with each passing year.
Justin’s contributions to the Star Wars fan community have been numerous over the years. From providing reports from conventions including Star Wars Celebration, New York Comic Con, New York Toy Fair, and other Star Wars-related events, to snapping pictures of various Star Wars products located on retail store shelves, Justin does his best to try and keep his finger on the pulse of the Star Wars galaxy and share his findings with his fellow fans.
His other passions in life include the New York Jets (he would run to make a deal with Darth Sidious in a nanosecond if it resulted in a Super Bowl ring), New York Rangers and the Indiana Jones franchise.
A man with a Boba Fett-ish…
Aaron did not grow up watching Star Wars, in fact it was the Special Editions that swept him up into the Galaxy Far Far Away. In 1997 he went and saw the Special Editions because he had heard that the Prequels were coming and this was his chance to learn about Star Wars. After seeing the Special Editions he wanted to learn more about the universe and went to his local library to get a list of all the Star Wars books they had. His first novel was The Courtship of Princess Leia, and from there he travelled backward to Truce at Bakura and started reading the books in chronological order. While the films initially brought him into Star Wars it was the Expanded Universe that would capture his imagination and turn him into a lifelong fan.
While he was making his way through the novels he also found himself interested in Star Wars comics. He began by reading the Dark Empire series and Tales of the Jedi. He has been reading comics ever since and especially loves the Republic series from Dark Horse.
And when the Prequels did come out he went to each one at midnight and got to share in the excitement of the new Star Wars films with many other adoring fans.
Aaron is now involved in the Star Wars fan community using his skills as a writer to blog for the Star Wars Report as well as Jedi News. He began podcasting by being a guest on shows like the Star Wars Report, We Talk Clones, and Tosche Station. He now co-hosts Star Wars Bookworms, a Star Wars literature podcast with Teresa Delgado and hosts a podcast all about Doctor Who called Bad Wolf Radio. Aaron has had the privilege to write for the Official Star Wars Blog doing coverage from different conventions such as Celebration VI, New York Comic Con and DragonCon.
Aaron’s Star Wars heart lies in the Expanded Universe (or Legends) and his favorite EU character is Quinlan Vos. He loves Return of the Jedi the most of the Original Trilogy. Luke Skywalker and prequel Obi-Wan Kenobi are his favorites to watch from the films while Ahsoka, Rex and the clones and Jedi in general are his favorite part of The Clone Wars. You can find Aaron at conventions on the East Coast of the United States especially at panels about Star Wars books, so keep an eye out for him.
Adam D. Bram (a.k.a. The Nilbog) is an aspiring writer, actor, and director. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance, and wrote extensively for his college’s newspaper.
For many years, all Adam knew of Star Wars was the Jabba’s Palace sequence from Return of the Jedi, which was one of many omnipresent films on the Betamax his parents had when he was a toddler.
In 1997, at the tender age of 11, Adam used the release of the Special Edition to finally see what this Star Wars thing was that everyone was talking about, and his life was changed forever. He ate up every second, bought up every toy, even cast his fifth-grade class as characters from the then-trilogy (Protip: Never cast your crush as Sy Snootles. She will not understand).
Adam’s favorite film in the saga is unabashedly The Phantom Menace, the only Star Wars film he was lucky enough to see on opening day. While Yoda is his favorite character of the saga, he identifies most with Jar Jar Binks (his fourth favorite).
Adam lives with his wife in Providence, Rhode Island USA (a wife who was gracious enough to allow “Across the Stars” as their wedding processional). When not immersed in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, he works as a Job Coach for young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome (after being diagnosed with the disorder himself in late 2010), plays World of Warcraft, writes and manages the self-indulgent blog “Nilbog’s Storybook Land”, and attempts (often in vain) to complete his novel. He secretly hopes that the production of the new Star Wars films will lead to open auditions.
Chris Daly first saw Star Wars back in ’78 when it made its way to the cheap theaters out in the Chicago ‘burbs. Following some 40-plus viewings in the theater ($1 movies were good for these things), he’s been hooked for life. At this point, he’s pretty sure his spirit animal is either a Wampa or possibly a Wookie. In addition to a basement full of SW merchandise and memorabilia, CD sports a nifty Samurai Darth Vader tat on his left calf, owns no less than a dozen lightsabers, is a five time attendee of Disney’s Star Wars Weekends (and genuinely hopes the Mouse revives those), has been to Celebration twice (’13 in Orlando, ’15 in Anaheim) and even took his mother to stand in line at midnight for the most recent TFA toy releases. For Jedi News, CD has covered SW comic books, local themed events, movie screenings and various SW goings-on. Additionally, he is a proud member of the Rebel Legion’s Freedom Base as a Rebel Trooper. CD also covers the music industry for such renowned sites as Passion of the Weiss and Odd Bloggings.
Residing in New York, Dianna Bates shares the same deep love for the GFFA as her husband Justin LaSalata. In addition to posting news articles on our website, Dianna assists with providing photographs from various conventions and Star Wars-related events including NY Comic Con, “Force Friday” and others.
My first memory of Star Wars is not the typical experience for most that are my age and are old enough to have actually seen them in the theaters. I grew up in a very strict household and was not allowed to watch much TV and we never went to movies, so my first actual interaction with anything Star Wars was in 1981 playing in the dirt with a neighbor kid who was slightly older than me but who had most of the original Kenner collection of action figures. The first figure I picked up was Hammerhead, (now known as Momaw Nadon but will always be Hammerhead to me.) The look of this figure was so riveting to me. I had never seen an alien of any sort up until this point. Along with Hammerhead there were also other memorable alien figures such as Walrus man and Greedo. All these characters were really interesting to me and made my mind race with questions and intrigue. The only humanoid character that I remember was Big head Han and of course He was with his trusty companion Chewbacca. To add to all this The Millennium Falcon was the centerpiece of this new playworld. From that point on, despite the fact that I still had not seen any of the movies I never stopped thinking about Star Wars because I was creating my own stories.
The first time I actually saw Star Wars was on the last day of school before Summer vacation in 1983. I was in the third grade and the teacher brought in her personal copy of Star Wars that she had bought during the holiday season the year before. I was finally seeing what I had only imagined in my mind. The aliens and characters I had only seen in plastic form were coming to life on screen right in front of my eyes. It was absolutely exhilarating. That was where it all started.
My first real experience with the Star Wars fan community and the collecting community was at Celebration V in Orlando back in 2010. Just prior to that I had no knowledge of Celebration. I first became aware of Celebration in 2008 when I purchased a Ralph McQuarrie 30th Anniversary Threepio and Artoo and a Celebration II Commander George Sacul at San Diego Comic con. After doing some research I found out about these incredible gatherings every few years. Fortunately for me I lived about 3 hours south of where Celebration V was going to take place. My wife and I attended in the summer of 2010 and we were so blown away. Wehave not missed a Celebration in the U.S. since.
I manage a small commercial printer in Jupiter Florida of which I have worked at for over 20 years. It is here where most of my contributions to Jedi News occur. Although I have written for Jedi News, I utilize my printing knowledge and capabilities to produce promotional materials for the Conventions that The Jedi News Team covers.
Force for Change Spotlight girl Joelle discovered Star Wars when she was 6 years old, after being encouraged to watch “Attack of the Clones” by her friends, who told her that her sister looked like Natalie Portman.
Since then, Joelle has gone on to watch all of the space saga’s offerings, including a modest 7 sittings to see “The Force Awakens” at the cinema. She has even interviewed Executive Producer of “Star Wars Rebels”, Dave Filoni for a national news outlet.
Having fallen in love with “A New Hope’s” scene on the Death Star, where Han and Luke change back into their clothes with Stormtrooper belts on hip, Joelle has since flaunted many fashion looks, incorporating her very own TK belt.
Finding her love for singing at a young age, Joelle developed a distinctive vocal sound. Combining this love for music and Star Wars with her various charitable initiatives, she has created her own project for Force for Change. Joelle is soon to be seen performing an original charity record “Skoobie Dootle”, in a music video showing her parading around New York, whilst wearing her Stormtrooper belt. All proceeds from downloads of the track will be donated directly to Lucasfilm’s charitable movement.
In 2014 Joelle became a Young Person’s Ambassador for the UK’s leading alopecia charity, Alopecia UK, having lost all of her hair when she was 8. Appearing on national TV and radio and being covered by press around the world, Joelle is no stranger to the public eye.
John appeared in A Bridge Too Far (1977), in the 1980 hit sequel film Superman II as an astronaut named Nate, also that year he appeared in Flash Gordon. He was featured in the BBC television series Oppenheimer (1980). He portrayed Dak Ralter, Luke Skywalker’s Gunner during the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. When Jeremy Bulloch played an Imperial Officer, he needed someone to cover him as Fett. Morton being similar in height was a body double for two days in costume. He filmed with another unit, the sequence when Fett confronts Darth Vader in the Bespin hallway during Han Solo’s torture – while Bulloch filmed his scenes as the Imperial Officer. Afterwards he left Hollywood and eventually settled in public relations work back in Annapolis.
He is also an accomplished musician (guitar player) and a writer (Backstory in Blue, 2008).
Johnamarie is the Apparel Editor for Jedi News as well as the co-host of Galactic Fashion, an apparel centric podcast on the Jedi News Network.
Jonathan Hicks was born in 1971 and by the time Star Wars appeared in the UK in late December 1977 was already a huge science fiction and fantasy fan. He began writing stories inspired by Star Wars in the early 1980s. This love of the written word progressed into all kinds of writing which includes short stories, novels, novellas, scripts, game design and magazine articles.
After co-creating the Setnin sector, a playground for his Star Wars creations, Jonathan fleshed it out with the West End Games Star Wars D6 roleplaying game. He had already been involved in the roleplaying hobby since 1983. His writing credits include an article in Arcane magazine, he has been published twice by the British Science Fiction Association’s writer’s magazine Focus, written reviews for RPG.net, edited and published the free online RPG magazine ODDS, designed the missions and wrote the dialogue for a video game of Universal’s re-imaging of Battlestar Galactica, published the short story collection Those Dark Places and the book The Book Of Roleplaying Hints, Tips and Ideas, written articles for various online websites and runs the small RPG company Farsight Games and its accompanying blog Farsight Blogger.
Jonathan is currently working on a major RPG property Stellar Adventures, an Adnavced Fighting Fantasy RPG, due for release in 2017.
Jonathan is the Roleplay and Gaming Editor of Jedi News and is also the founder of the GammaCon roleplay convention which held it’s first event in January 2012.
Jonathan lives in Lichfield, England with his wife Lisa and his son Bruce.
Marc was born in 1985, so his first experience of the original trilogy was on VHS. Being such a young age his dad would have to read the opening crawl to him, Marc continues the tradition of the reading it aloud in the ìepic movie voiceî to this day. Even though he was terrified of the rancor and the evil Emperor Palpatine he fell in love with everything Star Wars. In 1997 he finally was able to experience the films on the big screen with the release of the special editions and a few years later the prequel trilogy. The Phantom Menace introduced him to two new ways of enjoying Star Wars, Novels and videogames, his two favorite parts of the franchise today. Videogames really give him the chance to become a part of the story, to be the Jedi, or in his case the Sith. While other things come and go in life, to him Star Wars has been there throughout the years. While being an only child, Marc is very happy to be a part of JediNews, since he has found so many brothers and sisters in the force.
Marc lives in the Chicago land area and helps run a family owned paper recycling company. For 13 years he worked at different haunted houses doing construction, make-up, acting and actor training. While working at the haunt he met his wife who also worked there.
Besides Star Wars his other passions include the Chicago Blackhawks, professional wrestling, reading and playing all different types of video games. Marc has a very large family who he enjoys spending a lot of his free time with.
Max is a regular reviewer for Jedi News. His earliest Star Wars memory is of seeing The Phantom Menace with his Dad and step-grandfather. He remembers thinking that the Gungan and droid armies assembling were visually amazing and also remembers asking his Dad if the movie contained ìbad guysî. Ah, the ignorance of youth!
Max has contributed to the site for 4 years and reviews both canon and non-canon comic books and also review the short stories in Star Wars Insider. He has interviewed such authors such as Kevin Hearne and Jason Fry. He is yet to attend Star Wars Celebration but hopes this will change in 2017 with Celebration Orlando. Max one day hopes to write for StarWars.com and Star Wars Insider magazine.
When Paul isn’t working on a ship in the North Sea he likes to travel to as many Star Wars (and LOST) events and locations as possible.
He’s often found roaming convention floors cosplaying as Bad Robot. His love for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot started when he became addicted to the TV show LOST and when his two fandoms collided to make The Force Awakens he had to pinch himself. When he wore his Bad Robot costume at Star Wars Celebration Essen for the first time Kathy Kennedy stopped a Lucasfilm meeting to have a picture taken with him. Kathy then told Paul that she was going to email the pictures to J.J. Abrams. Paul may or may not have wet himself a just little bit.
The sight of Bib Fortuna still freaks him out the same as it did when he was 6 years old watching Return of the Jedi in the cinema. Only these days he doesn’t need to run out of the room and miss all of the first act.
His love for R2-D2 (the true hero of the Galaxy) and now BB-8 influences what clothes he puts on each day.
There’s nothing that makes him happier than enjoying a few drinks with friends he’s met through social media at conventions and events. If you see him at a bar tell him you read this and he’ll buy you a blue milk.
Paul Naylor is a lifelong fan of the Star Wars saga, having first seen the original movie at the Clifton cinema, in Wellington, Shropshire, back in 1978.
Paul grew up in Newport, Shropshire and spent most of his formative years either role playing with his friends on the school playground during breaks, recreating scenes with his action figures or reading Marvel comics about his favourite characters. Yep, he was pretty much immersed in that galaxy far, far away.
Nowadays, Paul is Supplements Editor for the UK’s largest regional newspaper, working for both the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton, and Shropshire Star, based in Telford.
In addition to editing property, education, entertainment and lifestyle products, he has built up a portfolio of business magazines for various Chambers of Commerce and manufacturing groups, such as Made in the Midlands. However, he loves nothing more than writing about his favourite subject.
When the call comes in for Star Wars content his desk makes the jump to hyperspace at the drop of a hat.
Biggest regrets – selling much of his Kenner/Palitoy collection in his teens. “If only I still had my cardboard Death Star and Jawa with vinyl cape,” he winces.
Paul first saw Star Wars back in 1978, starting an affection for the galaxy far, far away that continues to this day. He wrote Frayed at the Edge, his first Star Wars story back in 1988. Already a lifelong friend of Mark, Paul then regularly role-played with Jonathan and Mark developing the Ryath Centaur character and integrating his creations into the fabric of Setnin. As well as playing a character, Paul was the groups second most prolific GM, running many campaigns in a style totally different to Jonathans and adding a hard, tough edge to Setnin that helped define the sector and the famed Setnin Way.
Along with more short stories, Paul continued to develop his own batch of characters which revolved around the ex-Imperial Centaur, and by 1999 and the launch of Lightsabre was a regular contributor to the fiction section, adding many flourishes to the Chronology with his great memory of roleplay games from days past.
As a collector Paul has focused on the Kotobukiya range, building an army of armour that is tough to beat.
Paul consults on story and character content and was a part of the Lightsabre Celebration Europe team that raised over £1000 for Cancer Research UK.
Paul lives in Heathcote, England with his wife Georgina.
Richard Hutchinson was born in 1976 and cannot remember a time without Star Wars in his life. His highlights of visiting his relations in the early 80’s include taking action figures to have space battles with his cousins and watching endless reruns on Star Wars on pirate VCR.
As with most children in the North, he had to grow up fast and his toys were given away to younger relations. However, this led to an evolution of his Star Wars enjoyment and toys were replaced by the Expanded Universe books, comics and video games which are his pride and joy to this day. Of course there were also the prequels which he loved from first viewing and many hours were spent wasting time on the Internet in the mid 90’s chatting to fans online throughout the world getting involved in the growing online community.
It wasn’t until a brave eBay purchase around 2011 that he started vintage toy collecting again, telling anybody who would listen that he only wanted one of everything loose. Like most collectors, he was immediately hooked and now has a diverse collection of vintage and modern items together with a lack of space to display it properly.
Outside of Star Wars Richard is a school teacher who teaches Computer Science to pupils aged 11 to 19. He can also be found wandering the hills and moors with far too many groups of pupils in his role as a Duke of Edinburgh leader.
His love of the community side of Star Wars is infectious and he can often be found supporting toy shows, such as Farthest From, and Celebration. He is co-host of The Vintage Rebellion podcast which is a monthly vintage Star Wars collecting show.
“I don’t want to see Star Wars!” I said back in the summer of 1977. I had my hands full with Planet of the Apes, Batman and Hong Kong Phooey. Then one August night, I gave in and saw THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD – STAR WARS!
That first viewing back in 1977 changed the course of my destiny in so many ways. From working in the creature effects department on features films, to the time I met my Sweetie, Sarah. I was dressed as Anakin Skywalker at a Halloween party and she came over and asked, “Can I dance with a Jedi?” I knew at that moment we would be married. And, just a few years later we were married in Star Wars/Disney style!
Sarah and I have expressed our extreme fandom through all kinds of creative endeavors including the fan film, TPZ, which shows what the tabloid show, TMZ would look like in the Star Wars universe.
Then Sarah and I caught the podcasting bug and in 2013 we created Skywalking Through Neverland. This combined both our passions of Star Wars and Disney into a family-friendly podcast that brings the listener (or Skywalkers as we call them) fun-filled stories from creators and fans! We’ve also created spin-off podcasts like Classic Marvel Star Wars Comics where we look back at each issue of the classic comics from 1977-1986 with artist Randy Martinez. Then we had to satisfy our Disney passion with Step In Time: Remembering Disney’s Matinee Movies. Here, Sarah and I look back at the Disney live-action films of the 1960’s through the 1980’s with guest hosts such as Grand Moff Tarkin voice actor, Stephen Stanton, and Tinker Bell reference model, Margaret Kerry.
Now, I hope you enjoy the fun-filled stories I have here on Jedi News! And always remember, Neverland on Alderaan!
A born ‘n’ bred Londoner, Rutvig Vaid graduated from the Kent Institute of Art & Design in Maidstone with an HND in Graphics & Illustration. He went on to Columbus State University in Georgia, USA for his BFA in Fine Arts before attending the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, for their MFA course.
His early work consisted primarily of non-representational canvases using acrylics, exploring relationships between organic forms and geometric shapes. But his current work focusses on the subtle abstractions found within the human form, primarily through graphite portraits of figures from film and television.
Being a fan, Star Wars has always crept up in his work but now shows up prominently in his portfolio. He has created various pieces for both private clients and conventions, including bespoke Star Wars images for his wife Arti Shah (of TFA and Guardians of the Galaxy fame), Miltos Yerolemou (TFA, Game of Thrones) and Mike Edmonds (Return of the Jedi, Dark Crystal, Time Bandits). A recent artistic venture saw him live drawing Darth Vader, projected on a cinema screen, to an audience of a thousand+ people at WinterKino, an annual event held in Bern, Switzerland.
Vaid has also been working as a writer, actor and filmmaker since 2010, writing and performing his first short play for the London stage in 2015. He’s appeared in various short films and ads (Jameson and Carlsberg), as well as acted, directed and produced various shorts, with his latest, ‘Robbed’ due to hit the festival circuit in 2017.
I’m an 80’s-VHS generation Star Wars fan who grew up on a repeat diet of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi on the small screen. My earliest memory of Star Wars is seeing C-3PO and R2-D2 wandering around in the desert. While Star Wars was always a film franchise I enjoyed, it was the books that sucked me in deeper. First it was The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels which fascinated me with the names, details and histories of all the ships that appeared in the movies and some that didn’t. Then there was The Essential Guide to Characters that opened my eyes to the characters of the Expanded Universe. Years later, I read my first Star Wars novel, starting with all things Dark Force Rising.
Surprisingly enough, skipping Heir to the Empire didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the book, and I soon found myself reading every Star Wars novel I could find.
From there I discovered Star Wars forums and joined EUCantina, where I’m still a moderator and active poster to this day. That in turn led to Star Wars online roleplaying where I wound up creating several sites and wasting countless hours imagining characters in a galaxy far, far away. I even dabbled in fanfic which is still out there in a couple places.
Now I run the Star Wars website Roqoo Depot with my co-admin Geralyn. We cover Star Wars news, reviews, interviews and other sci-fi and fantasy material. I do the Databurst From the 501st covering all 501st events around the world each week, as well as the Podcasts in Review covering various Star Wars podcasts. And you can occasionally spot my Star Wars reviews right here on Jedi News.
I honestly cannot remember a time when Star Wars has not played a role in my life.
My earliest Star Wars memory comes down to playing the Jedi Knight & Dark Forces series of video games in the mid-90’s. Before this, as far as I can remember I’d never seen the movies, but playing these games & immersing myself in a Galaxy far, far away led me to watching the films & ultimately making my first Star Wars action figure purchase.
Which brings us to where we are now! After losing touch with friends Iíd shared the love of Star Wars with through childhood, I decided to share my passion with the world, joining YouTube in 2008 & working hard to develop a channel dedicated to Star Wars toy reviews! Over the years I’ve covered an extensive range of products in my videos, including Hasbro action figures & vehicles, LEGO sets, 1:6 scale action figures, prop replicas & much more! I’m now happy to boast that SithLord229 is YouTube’s largest video archive of Star Wars toy reviews, with almost 850 videos uploaded to date!
You can find me across the web & at www.youtube.com/SithLord229!
Not only has my YouTube channel allowed me to share the passion for Star Wars & collecting with the world online, it has also enabled me to enjoy the hobby with new friends closer to home, via events such as the Star Wars Fan Fun Day, whose team I’ve worked closely with over the years to develop promotional material & cover the events I’ve attended! The event has also allowed me to do my bit for charity, raising a collective £500 for Macmillan Cancer Support & the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, based in my hometown of Sheffield. My love for Star Wars continues through events such as this & through interaction with fellow fans & collectors!
Whilst contributing literature reviews to Jedi News, Steve is also the Social Media Manager for The Fly Casual Podcast, as well as a staff writer of news & reviews for The Bearded Trio website.
When not working on Star Wars websites, Steve is an active member of the 501st & Rebel Legion.
Teresa’s Star Wars journey began when as a child her mom introduced her to the world of Star Wars while she was sick with chicken pox. Teresa is from the new era of Star Wars fans as she was not around when the Original Trilogy was released in theaters. Instead her trilogy in theaters was the Prequel Trilogy. Teresa began truly indulging herself in the Star Wars galaxy by reading the books and comics. Through the literary world she found herself liking the realm of the Expanded Universe and wanting to learn more. She began toy collecting when her nephew was trying to play with her Force Unleashed figures. She knew she needed to find something else Star Wars for him to play with and she found the Galactic Heroes. From there the collecting of Star Wars began to build and she now has collections of the Force FX lightsabers, Williams Sonoma Star Wars line, Force Unleashed, Marbles, Playing Cards, LEGO, Hallmark Ornaments and anything that has to do with Darth Maul, Ewoks or R2-D2.
Teresa is a freelance writer and owner of Fangirl Next Door a fandom website that focuses on the world of girls in fandom. The site primarily focuses on Star Wars but looks at all things geeky. She is also the host of the Fangirl Next Door Podcast. In addition she also is a staff member and writer for The Star Wars Report. She is also the primary writer of a blog for a prominent Orlando, FL wedding photographer. She enjoys writing about the things she loves and sharing it with the world.
Teresa enjoys reading, writing, collecting and going to Walt Disney World. Her world of choice is one of fantasy and sci-fi and she tries to find every avenue she can to engulf herself in that magical place. She recently got married and resides with her husband in the great lone star state of Texas.
Teresa has reported from Star Wars Fandays, Wizard World Austin, Star Wars Weekends and Star Wars Celebration. Her fandom has expanded to the world of podcasting where she is the co-host of a number of shows including Disney Vault Talk, Fangirls Going Rogue, Star Wars Bookworks (with fellow Team Jedi News member Aaron Goins) and Galactic Fasion alongside Johnamarie Macias on the Jedi News Network.
It was my dad who initially introduced me to the saga as he was trying to educate me with as many classic films as possible. However my primary spark of fandom was really born in the summer of 2008 when my Uncle had come over to visit from Zurich, Switzerland, where he used to reside. I was on the summer holidays from junior school from at the time I was 9 years old. A new animated film called Star Wars The Clone Wars had hit the silver screen so it seemed a perfect excuse to go out. My uncle was already a bit of a Star Wars fan and I had only recently been introduced, so after deciding to invite my mum and brother along we set off. My memory from that age is a bit fussy so I can’t quite remember the details of the whole day. But what I can remember on that day is, how my life got changed. I walked out of that cinema feeing like Iíd just been reborn into another universe, another life.
And so it started. From that point on my love of life became Star Wars. My brother and mum always said that ìoh itís just a fadî and ìyouíll grow out of it one day. Grow out of it I asked? The only thing I intended on was growing into it…and thatís what I did.
I’d really try and collect anything I could get my hands on, whether it was the weekly Clone Wars comic releases or the odd find at my grandmaís charity shop. Fast forward through 5 years of dedicated fandom and I start writing for Jedi News which was April of 2013. It was at this point that my obsession turned into a passion and my love of Star Wars started to mature into another level of knowledge.
I started out mainly as a reviewer for the site, reviewing the Dark Horses weekly comic publications. Then I gained access to the Facebook page and started it growing into more Likes, and then over time I have become a general staff writer for the site, while still co-running the Facebook page. Over the past year I have also started taking the role of events photographer for the likes of the MCM comic con expos, Farthest From events and hopefully now future Celebrations and whatever I can make it to.
Currently I am studying A level Media, Film, English Combined and Btec Business with which I hope to go on to work my way into the film and media business. I have a growing knowledge in these fields through completing work experience at Double Negative visual effects, Sunday Express and Black Sun plc.
Every day I feel grateful for being a member of Team Jedi News (despite being the youngest on the team). It has opened up so many experiences and opportunities, where by I’ve met so many people and most important of all what I would consider my second family – Team Jedi News.
That’s what I really love about Star Wars, it’s not just a film, it’s a way of life.
Former Team Members:
Adam’s fascination with the galaxy, far, far, away, began in 1978 when his Dad took him to see Star Wars. Soon after his collection began when he bought his first action figure; whilst Princess Leia Organa was not his preferred choice, it was the only one left in Harry Packs and he was desperate to spend his hard-earned pocket money. However, such was his eagerness to start re-creating scenes from the film that he ripped her off the card and promptly lost her pistol somewhere between the toy shop and home.
Adam continued to collect action figures throughout the earlier 80s, stopping with the last 17, by which time he had reached an awkward age where toys were for kids and his reputation with the girls was not going to benefit from such behaviour.
His interest was rekindled with the launch of Heir to the Empire and fuelled by regular releases of the Lucasfilm magazine and Dark Empire. Once Kenner released their new range of action figures there was no turning back.
Adam focused on collecting the Hasbro line of 3 3/4″ figures on card and branched out into several other lines including the Master Replicas 0.45 scaled lightsabers and Kotobukiya figures.
Adam left Jedi News on the 21st March 2012 and joined Rebelscum.com as a media representative and reporter. In July 2013 he became content manager at Cool Toy Review. He lives in Vancouver, BC.
Beth has been a fan of Star Wars since she was very young, after watching the original trilogy countless times with her father growing up. She was not lucky enough to have been around when they first came out at the cinema, however as she was growing up she got to experience the prequels on the big screen, and that helped her Star Wars fandom grow exponentially. This lead to discovering the LucasArts video games based on the movies, such as Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and the various prequel titles. Becoming a Jedi became her dream from that point.
Since then, her love for the Star Wars galaxy has expanded and continued to flourish, especially via her passion for their video game offshoots. This has included many, many (many) hours playing the LEGO Star Wars games, and more recently discovering the Knights of the Old Republic series (and in turn, the Old Republic MMORPG). She has an appreciation for the depth of the older titles, as well as an excitement for what is to come in the future.
Beth lives in England, and when she’s not playing games she is a photographer who enjoys astronomy and viewing the stars.
She is particularly fond of droids.
Dan Curto is a veteran collecting reporter who worked for Rebelscum.com from 2002 to 2012. He also reported on the state of collecting for The ForceCast as the co-host (with James Burns) of The ForceCast: Collector’s Edition.
Graham’s introduction to the Star Wars trilogy came only through video tapes, but this interest turned into a full obsession with the release of the Special Editions in 1997 and the chance to experience the films on a cinema screen. This sparked him to begin collecting the modern 3 3/4 inch Hasbro figures, of which he buys one of each to open plus too many extra army builders.
Between then and the release of The Phantom Menace, Graham began to read and collect the novels and comics. During 1999, his wallet took a bigger long-term hit when he began to collect the new Lego line, never expecting that he would ever be tracking down packaging variations and promotional items nearly ten years later.
Graham spent time selling Star Wars merchandise from 2004 to early 2006, both online and at events, learning a lot about the ‘other side’ of Star Wars collecting and the frustrations of case mixes. On May 16th 2005 he had his finest Star Wars experience when he was fortunate enough to win tickets to the UK premiere of Revenge of the Sith, realising it really was worth going to see Return of the Jedi at about ten o’clock in the morning.
Since the onslaught of merchandise during the prequels, Graham’s collection has grown much beyond the initial figures and Lego to include many of Hasbro’s new lines, as well as items from almost all of the different licencees and many promotional display stands. He regularly attends events across the UK.
Richard first saw Star Wars at the Priory Cinema in Royston which has now sadly been pulled down to make way for housing. This film inspired his imagination that all things were possible in in the galaxy far far away and as a result this has led to a love of all things in the expanded universe and the people who are inspired by but refuse to be restricted to the films.
A collector of the books, comics and comics he has even been known to dabble in a bit of fiction himself but this needs a lot of work.
His first Star Wars figure was Chewbacca which he had to share with his little brother and between them they managed to gather a large collection of the original figures and vehicles. A few years after Return of the Jedi came out they gave the whole collection to a neighbour’s nephew. If only they had known!
His Star Wars highlights include going to the UK premiere of A New Hope Special edition and being 10 feet away from George Lucas and also getting hold of a cinema display stand for the Special Edition trilogy.
Not a figure collector or autograph hunter Richard prefers to look for the more unusual collectables although his Star Wars toothpaste from the USA may now be a bit dodgy!
Watto has never seen the original trilogy in the cinema, he first saw Star Wars on VHS and grew up watching the Ewok cartoons and playing with the ‘vintage’ toys. His favourite being the Millennium Falcon which he received as a Christmas present, unfortunately he rather foolishly sold off his toys – forever to be regretted.
During his secondary school and college years Star Wars became forgotten. His interest in Star Wars was rekindled when he was lent the 1997 Star Wars special edition VHS tapes to watch while he was ill.
Then came The Phantom Menace in 1999.
TPM has become one of Watto’s favourite films and launched his Star Wars collecting passion. His collection started with Hasbro’s TPM 3.75″ figures and now he concentrates on collecting Gentle Giant Statues, maquettes and mini busts. Watto also enjoys collecting Star Wars autographs and reading the books of the Expanded Universe.
Yamaro is part of the Original Trilogy ilk and collected some of the figures and toys when he was a lot younger. This collection dissipated as he grew older until his passion was rekindled in the early Noughties and he discovered Ebay. Yamaro started off amassing a collection of Star Wars Lego kits and since then has digressed into anything Star Wars. The main character that he likes to collect is Yoda and so he will tend to look for anything to do with him first, after this if it has the Star Wars (and/or Lucasfilm) logo then he is interested.
He has a passion for the Star Wars computer games and has spent many an hour playing the X-wing and TIE Fighter games, along with the first person shooters (namely Dark Forces) on the PC format and more recently the games released on the Playstation format.
In June 2007 Yamaro set up his own business and in September 2007 ‘Master Collectables’ exhibited at it’s first event. He now attends large and small events up and down the country and looks forward to meeting you in person at one near you soon.
Yamaro’s other interests in life (that he squeezes in around Star Wars) are raising his family, sport in general but mainly motorsport and martial arts (limited to watching).