BBC Radio are fully invested in the 40th anniversary of the saga and over the coming days bring a trio of programs looking at various aspects of the saga. You can also listen to our very own James Burns around the 1hr 24m mark on yesterday’s BBC Hereford & Worcester Local Radio show here.
Yasmeen Khan dresses up as a radio presenter to talk to the people who put on the costumes and make-up of their favourite TV and film characters and gather together in halls and hotels for cosplay and costuming.
Many of these events, or Comic Cons, are huge with thousands of people flocking to mingle with each other and with some of the film and television stars who turn up to sign autographs, pose for photographs and top up their incomes.
But what do the so-called cosplayers get out of this? Costumes can be time-consuming and expensive, particularly as many cosplayers take pride in making their outfits as close to the real thing as possible. The bigger events can also be expensive. Yet many cosplayers will insist the costume world has changed their lives they have become more confident, have a secure social circle and all have a great deal of fun.
Yasmeen follows Star Wars cosplayer Beth Gourlay as she and her eight-year-old son Alexander son get ready for Digi-Con in Doncaster. Mum and son talk about what cosplay means to them as Beth helps Alex into his armoured Batman costume, making running repairs with needle and thread – and superglue. We also meet Kerry who is dressed as Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid and Julian – a perfectly terrifying Darth Vader.
A few weeks later, Yasmeen travels to Margate to meet Thanet Cosplay founder Victoria Johnson and cosplay mover and shaker Scott Mason. She also talks to a principal Dalek, Barnaby Edwards, and C.A.T.S. Eyes actress Roz Landor, who made one appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Forty years ago this week cinema audiences were introduced to the Galactic Empire, Death Star and Tatooine as the very first Star Wars film – A New Hope – opened in the US. With it’s Academy Award winning score by John Williams it heralded a new era in music for the movies.
Today Matthew Sweet celebrates it’s 40th birthday and explores what other scores were making waves in 1977; the year that saw James Bond save the world from Karl Stromberg and his toothy henchman Jaws, Alvy Singer woo Annie Hall, and Tony Manero disco dance his way through his Saturday nights.
The story of Dave Prowse, the Bristol born actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films.