Launched in 2004 and initially taking place at Wembley Exhibition Centre, London Film and Comic Con quickly established itself as one of the top-tier events in the UK, bringing guests from every corner of the genre and entertainment world to the capital every year. The event has moved around London, from Wembley to Earls Court and now Olympia.
No matter where it calls home, LFCC brings the stars with it. In years past, Star Wars luminaries such as Ray Park, Simon Pegg, Carrie Fisher, Jake Lloyd, Julian Glover, Daniel Logan, Bob Anderson, Femi Taylor, John Ratzenberger, and Robert Watts have attended and signed at the show. This year’s event brought another huge swathe of guests to Olympia covering the width and breadth of the Star Wars experience: Peter Mayhew, Rogue One‘s Mads Mikkelsen, Ian McDiarmid, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz, Dave Prowse, Jeremy Bulloch, Star Wars: The Old Republic voice actor Neil Kaplan, stunt legend Vic Armstrong, the sons of the late stunt co-ordinator Peter Diamond, Warwick and Frazer Diamond, General Cracken Mike Stevens, A New Hope protocol droid Wendy Leech, Mon Mothma actress Caroline Blakiston, Rebel soldier Alan Tomkins, Imperial officers Jasper Jacob and Mike Havord, Royal Guard Quentine Pierre, First Order officer Pip Torrens, stormtroopers David Field, Stephen Bayley, and Alan Austen, and signing for the first time stormtrooper John Galvin. And of course, R2-D2 himself, the late Kenny Baker, in what would be his final convention appearance.
Attending from the world of comics was Mara Jade: The Emperor’s Hand artist Carlos Esquerra, along with Boba Fett writer John Wagner and Dark Times artist Dave Ross. As always, Team Jedi News were present to record, catch up with a number of stars, and cover the event for the Jedi News Network and our social media feeds.
First, we caught up with our long-time friend Jeremy Bulloch. Back in 2013 on the way to Essen for Celebration Europe II, four members of #TeamJediNews were accompanied by Jeremy and his wife Maureen on our charity drive, Caravan of the Force, traveling through France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany and meeting up with 501st garrisons on the way. We couldn’t miss the chance to say hi and record some audio for RADIO 1138, and so it was I thrust my ZOOM H4N into the hands of our reporter Zak Portlock-Thorogood (who had never met Jeremy before) and told him to think of some questions on the spot. He kicked off by asking Jeremy about the event:
“So far there’s a nice mixture of people here, really enjoying it,” Jeremy said. “All in all, very good.” Zak asked how many times Jeremy had attended and appeared at LFCC. “About eight million, three hundred and twenty. No seriously, about eight times. My favorite one? Well, I think they’re all good. The atmosphere is always good. There was that one year, it was so hot, people could hardly move but people just got on with it. Everybody’s so nice.”
Zak also took the opportunity to ask a quick question about July’s Celebration Europe at the ExCeL. “I think Celebration was manic, it really was, but it was still good and the people, they make a huge effort to go to these places from all over the world,” Jeremy said. “And people are really kind, that’s the one where people come up to you and say, ‘Thank you for being here.’ Hoping to go back next year.”
Later on in the day Jeremy, ably assisted by Matt Booker among others, was kitted out in his Boba Fett armor and took part in a photoshoot to raise funds for Great Ormond Street. Imagine that — having your photo with the original Boba Fett and in costume, to boot.
A massive event such as LFCC serves a number of purposes. Not only is it a great reason for fans across the country to congregate and share their love of their favorite film and TV properties, but it’s also the perfect place to snap up some of those collectibles you might have missed along the way. LFCC is noted for always having a great selection of dealers present and anyone hoping to find some rare and nostalgic Star Wars vintage products would have been in hog heaven.
Comics, photographs, jewelery, you name it — LFCC had it there from vintage to POP! vinyl to Power of the Force figures.
Away from the guests, one of the increasingly prevalent aspects of any big convention, be it Star Wars or any other focus, is cosplay. LFCC was no exception, with a plethora of colorful costumed creations walking the floor and posing for photographs. Costume competitions were a feature of the show, pulling characters from every conceivable property onto one stage.
Perhaps the most impressive Star Wars cosplay was this mighty Vader Titan. I’m 6’ 4” (see above), so this serious Sith must have been nine-feet-tall. If you wouldn’t mess with him at seven-feet-tall you’d have no chance with this guy!
Rogue One’s Mads Mikkelsen was also attending the show, representing his long and storied career, as well as his forthcoming films: Marvel’s Doctor Strange on October 28 and Rogue One on December 16.
With a wide variety of talks covering many of the shows represented, there were plenty of places to head for across all areas of the convention floor. As with Celebration Europe, three days just isn’t enough.
Thanks to the team at Showmasters for their hospitality!
Photo Credits: Zak Portlock-Thorogood, Paul McQue, Matt Booker
Mark was first caught in the Star Wars tractor beam back in late 1977, when Star Wars finally arrived in the UK. He launched Lightsabre in late June 1999, and after a decade as one of the UK’s best known Star Wars sites, merged with Jedi News in August 2010. He has written for Star Wars Insider since 2006 and has contributed to Build The Millennium Falcon magazine. He is an Honorary Friend of both the 501st and the Rebel Legion and is co-host of RADIO 1138 and Take Cover on the Jedi News Network.