Jedi News’ latest recruit Chris Ray, made the journey to Manchester last weekend to attend ‘For The Love Of Sci-Fi’ at the Trafford Centre. So it’s over to Chris for his thoughts on the event: –

By now, I’m sure many Jedi News readers will have either experienced or read the comments and reports regarding last weekend’s ‘For the Love of Sci-Fi’ event in Manchester. My thoughts have been registered with the organisers and we wait to see what happens next.

But here ends negativity.

So I don’t get off to a wholly miserable start in writing for Jedi News, something I’m very excited about, this review will hence forth focus on the abundance of fantastic Star Wars content that I was able to indulge myself in on Saturday afternoon.

Being a relative newbie to conventions, interacting with traders and cosplayers alike on our shared passion was a great joy. Everybody was generous with their time in stopping for photographs, so much so that I wondered how much they’d moved from one hour to the next! One Stormtrooper did take exception to my Girlfriend’s outfit colour choice, you can probably guess which side I took!

My highlight was undoubtedly walking around the Traders Outpost. I’m a great fan of the merchandise and creativity that comes hand-in-hand with Star Wars, as the scene in my living room will attest, so this was like Christmas come early. I could very easily have spent many hours and money at every single stall, but was able to limit myself to two stellar purchases.

First, something I’ve had my eye on for a while, The Black Series: 6″ Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC Exclusive). I was able to get hold of it at £25; having previously considered it at £60, it was too good to say no to!

The second was the below; a quite superb limited edition print from SM-Artworks, which I initially saw within my first two minutes within the area, depicting the already iconic ‘hallway massacre’ from Rogue One. I told the vendor, Solly that it was “an absolute stunner” and that I’d be back. His appreciation for the compliment, and that I did later return to buy it, were both heart-warming moments.

Finally, they say never meet your heroes. In Star Wars terms, my heroes are George Lucas, Mark Hamill and Ian McDiarmid. I was lucky enough to meet the latter over the weekend. He may be the exception that proves the rule.

Amid the chaos and unlike his alter ego, he was very warm with everybody in attendance, taking the time to shake everybody’s hand, answer questions and chat. I don’t get starstruck too often, but I could actually feel my knees beginning to shake as I probed for answers to hard-hitting questions such as “How is the day treating you?” and “What do you get asked most often?”

The next time I watch Return of the Jedi, as the Emperor tempts Luke Skywalker with ‘old green’ on the armrest of his throne, I’ll be able to say “I shook that hand!”

Was ‘For the Love of Sci-Fi’ a great convention? No. But it was littered with a few gems, for which I’ll consider myself to be one of the lucky(ish) ones!