Reading the press coverage of Celebration Europe I can't help getting a bit fucked off with the stereotypical attitude of the mass media. Once again they dredge up the old "nerd" stereotypes, and make out like we are all a bunch of freaks who don't live in the Real World (well the state the Real World is in, who'd want to live in it??)
The Sun did a one page article featuring a close-up photo of a Vader helmet with a fag in his mouth, and various shots of Sandtroopers and the Police, with the usual captions about "being short for a Stormtrooper" and "not the droids we're looking for" (I was one of the Sandies in the shots, wooo!). The screaming headline was "TAR WARS" with a tagline about how "Movie fans light up the UK". In the centre page was an article on David Prowse and Mark Hamill who were meeting up again for the first time in 25 years at CE. Thankfully, the article was not as scathing or mocking as the "Tar Wars" spread.
Then we have the Daily Mail who sent a total non-Star Wars fan to CE, and naturally she wrote a sarcastic article politely calling us all freaks (read it here). Lines such as "And then there are the drooling fans, standing in queues with their carrier bags. The whole impression is of the world's wackiest refugee camp" help to paint a picture of nerdy negativity.
What do the paper expect from a reporter who'd rather be out having a manicure than being photographed with a bunch of Sith Lords? Where was the article written by a Sci Fi movie fan, to offer a balanced view to this daft cow's bias?
She failed to question what it is about Star Wars that has helped it survive for 30 years, surpass other bigger budget Scifi movies, and is now inducting a whole new younger generation of fans that will carry the mania into the future.
She poked fun at the costumers and Stormtroopers, people who spend the earth building their outfits, then use them to attend events that raise a considerable amount of money for Charities all over the world. The Medicinema stand alone raised £6000 on the CE weekend, a great achievement. Nothing was mentioned of the skills of the costumers, the seamstresses, the prop builders who make the outfits, or the guys who build life size mock-ups of the Death Star corridor or the Falcon walkway or the Tantive Hall corridor - awesome achievements that took hours of work and dedication. Nothing was mentioned of Artist's Alley, containing some brilliant artwork from world renowned Star Wars illustrators, or the graffiti competition with some stunning colourful creations.
She poked fun at the ageing actors, admittedly some of whome have had small careers since SW, but who are still heroes and icons in the fans eyes.
Fair enough, there are some SW fans who take it a bit too far and get rather scary with their Zeal. But that's a small percentage, and EVERY re-enactment group has it's nutjobs, NOT just SciFi people. So why do we always get held up for a public bashing?????
Out of all the fantastic sights and photos that were taken at CE, the only pics to be published in the UKs biggest tabloid were negative and mocking. I wish a thermal detonator was real, I'd sure as hell use one against the mass media.