Incredible new Suicide Squad film posters

In a world that seems to be overflowing with superhero films, one stands out this year for me, that being Suicide Squad. Starting life as a comic book, as most superhero films do, Suicide Squad brings together a group of misfit criminals who are recruited by a secret government organisation to take on secret missions that require their special set of skills and personalties, and so these activities can’t be tracked back to those in charge. The catch? If any of them deviate from the plan then their heads get blown off thanks to a specially implanted chip. At least that’s how I understand it from reading the New 52 Suicide Squad comic story arcs of recent years, which have been my introduction to the story and characters.

The new film comes out in August, and of the cast it’s Jared Leto and Margot Robbie as Joker and Harley Quinn respectively, that both intrigue me the most and look the best from photos and trailers, of which the latter we are due a second any day now. Harley Quinn is a character I’ve read quite a bit of recently, with the latest set of comics written by Jimmy Palmiotti and beautifully drawn by a group of artists, led by Amanda Conner and Chad Hardin, being a fantastic mix of humour and utterly ridiculous adventures based in reality and beyond.

So to the title of this post, and these great posters that were revealed online yesterday by director David Ayer and some of the cast members. Once again it is Harley Quinn and Joker that are the stand outs, but the style is so different to what you’d usually see from film posters, but definitely in keeping the ethos of the Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad film poster

Suicide Squad Slipknot film poster

Suicide Squad Katana film poster

Suicide Squad Diablo film poster

Suicide Squad Rick Flag film poster

Suicide Squad Killer Croc film poster

Suicide Squad Killer Enchantress film poster

Suicide Squad Killer Harley Quinn film poster

Suicide Squad Joker Enchantress film poster

With the probable exception of Star Wars: Rogue One and Fantastic Beasts, Suicide Squad is the my most eagerly anticipated film of 2016, and everything so far seems to indicate it won’t disappoint, and is in keeping with the what makes the comics such a great read.

Finding Star Wars actors in the strangest of places

It was last weekend in Cambridge when we walked inside a shop called Gifted – a rather nondescript gift shop that did have one redeeming feature, a large display of Funko Pop! figures. As a family of casual collectors this drew us in, and it was only then that the Harley Quinn glasses presented themselves to me, but that’s another story for another time.

Gifted store in cambridge

It was my wife who overheard one of the staff talking to a customer, and the fact that he’d been an extra in a Star Wars film… Um, what? I was in a shop, just a random shop in Cambridge, and all of a sudden I find out I’m in the presence of someone who appeared in one of the greatest films that has ever been created – mind blown.

We get chatting, and it turns out he was an extra in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking and you can stop right there, bucko. I happen to like The Phantom Menace, a lot, and I know that’s not a popular opinion, especially for someone who grew up with the Original Trilogy but you see that? Yeah, well that’s me not caring. The way I see it I have 7 Star Wars films to enjoy and naysayers only have 4, including The Force Awakens, so who’s the unlucky one really, hey?

Brain Watkins - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace extra

Anyway, back on track and we had a great chat with Brian Watkins, the name of this fine chap who traveled over to Tunisia to be in the presence of acting royalty such as Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor. He told us a few stories of his time on set and spoke very fondly of the actors and the cinematic deity that is George Lucas. He may have been just a man in the background when Qui Gon Jinn and Watto were talking, but to my son and I that Sunday he was our hero du jour. Thanks for chatting Brian, and posing for a photo with some people for which Star Wars is more than just some films. I get the feeling you got quite kick from the attention, and why not, you had quite an adventure and were kind enough to share it with us.

Brain Shaw wins World’s Strongest Man 2015 in thrilling final

I’ve always had my favourites when it comes to World’s Strongest Man, a sport I’ve been following for almost 4 decades, and since he burst onto the scene in 2009 it’s been Brian Shaw. I say 2009, but Brian was actually in the heats of the 2008 competition, but lost out to Arild Haugen and eventual winner Mariusz Pudzianowski in heat 3 of the qualifiers. That’s something I don’t recall, which for me is quite puzzling given my of almost encyclopaedic memory of World’s Strongest Man competitions, and deems a rewatch in the near future.

With 2 World’s Strongest Man titles under his belt already, he was one of the odds on faviourites for the 2015 competition and halfway through the final it looked like he was going to run away with it. A slight hiccup in the Super Yoke to start the final saw Shaw lose handily to Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, but wins in the Deadlift and Truck Pull put Shaw at the top with a 3 point lead, and saw 4 time winner Žydrūnas Savickas languishing back in 3rd place. I turned to my wife and said this is when Big Z usually starts to take it up a gear, and true to my prophetic words he won the Power Stairs and Log Press, with Shaw getting beaten by Björnsson in the Power Stairs too.

With just one event to go I did think that Big Z was on his way to title number 5 rather than Shaw to title number 3. Add into the equation that Björnsson has been the King of the Stones in the last 2 years and a poor performance could even see Shaw relegated to 3rd place, I was a little worried. As much as I wanted Shaw to win, I wanted Big Z to win more than Björnsson, who seems to have lost his likeability factor in the last 12 months, replaced instead with an arrogance that has maybe come from his time starring in Game of Thrones. Does ‘Thor’ now think he’s above World’s Strongest Man? I have no problem with a cocky attitude, as long as it’s warranted and isn’t so much that it starts to grate. See the late great Jón Páll Sigmarsson for the perfect combination of personality and talent. It could of course all be a case of lost in translation, so on with the show.

Shaw v Savickas in the Atlas Stones Photo Credit: theworldsstrongestman.com

Back to the final and we have just the Atlas Stones to go, as is traditional. Björnsson is up against 4th place Eddie Hall who has been a sensation in in his first appearance in the final, and can you believe it – Eddie Hall beat him! It wasn’t close either, Eddie Hall trounced the King of the Stones by almost 8 seconds, which at this point in the competition is huge. It’s now down to Shaw vs. Savickas, and whoever wins, takes the crown. On the first stone it looked pretty close, but then Shaw pulled ahead, only for Big Z to catch up. It couldn’t have been closer going into the final stone, but Brian Shaw managed to beat the legendary Lithuanian and take the title of World’s Strongest Man 2015. Worth noting that while they were battling to be champ, neither man posted a time faster than Eddie Hall, who is the 2015 King of the Stones and came 4th overall. Can this guy go all the way and give the UK it’s first World’s Strongest Man since Gary Taylor in 1993?

I watched the final with my 7 year old son, much like I did with my father at the same age, and we were both jumping off the sofa as the final came to its climax. A tradition I enjoyed as a child is now one I can enjoy every year with my own son, and maybe he’ll do the same his own children one day too. It turns out that Savickas may have been carrying a back injury into the final, which is scary considering how close he came to winning the whole thing. But don’t let that take anything from Brain Shaw, who showed once again that he is on his way to becoming one of the very best of all time, and has now equalled Bill Kazmaier’s 3 victories and joins him as the most successful American in World’s Strongest Man, as well as one of the nicest and most intelligent. I eagerly await the 2016 competition, and my annual ritual of avoiding any spoilers for months on end until the traditional holiday period broadcast.

Jean-Michel Jarre and the Yellow Sony Walkman

Though the title of this post might have you thinking otherwise, this is not a slightly bizarre children’s story. Last week in Cambridge my wife and I entered Fopp after accepting the CD challenge, which required us both to buy a CD, no excuses. This shouldn’t be such a hard task, given their range and how much music is out there, both old and new. I have to be in the right mood though, and what might seem like a must buy album one day, won’t even get a look in the next. Last Wednesday seemed like one of those days, until I was about to leave the store and spotted a new Jean-Michel Jarre album in the section of recommendations near the door.

Jean-Michel Jarre - Electronica 1: The Time Machine

I had no idea Jarre has a new album out, having not released anything since 2007 he’d pretty much dropped off my radar. Needless to say it was an instant purchase, along with my wife’s choice of Disney Princess Christmas Album, a CD she was just as happy to get as I was with an album with someone I’ve admired for almost 30 years, and why not. Some music makes me happy, some makes me sad and some sparks transports me right back to specific times in my life. Jean-Michel Jarre has the unique ability to not only elicit all kinds of emotions, but his music takes me to a completely different world, somewhere in the future, a place of fantasy, but most importantly away from whatever may be on my mind.

I first listened to Jarre in 1988, which also happened to be the same year I was given my very first Sony Walkman. Until that birthday in July I’d been using a personal stereo made by budget technology juggernauts Alba, which had been loaned to be my childminder a few year’s previously. The Sony Walkman Sports I had chosen had many features new to me, like the much sought after rewind button and a solar powered clock on the front. I have no idea why I wanted that clock, but unlike the myth about magpies I’ve always been drawn to shiny new things and superfluous features on my gadgets. That’s probably why this particular Walkman being waterproof in hard yellow plastic and rubber seals was also a huge bonus to me, at the time. It also had two headphone sockets, which would be fantastic now as a married man, but at the time I was some years away from having anyone to share my music with, at least in the intimate setting of a duel socket Sony Walkman. In many ways this particular tape player was ahead of its time, my time at least.

Sony Walkman Sports WM-B52

I had a lot of love for that Sony WM-B52 Sports Walkman, and from the previous paragraph it’s evident I still have, but what does it have to do with Jean-Michel Jarre? Well Oxygene was the first cassette I ever played in it, and on that day of my birthday I bought the newest album, Revolutions in the Oxford Street HMV in London. Buying Jarre’s latest album Electronica 1: The Time Machine last week, brought a slurry of memories flooding back, about Jarre’s music and that Walkman, so much so that I am hoping to procure one on eBay as I type. Will I be successful in my quest, and will that lead me to moving from vinyl to cassette as a way to cling onto my childhhood? I’ll keep you updated, at least until the next spark of nostalgic inspiration becomes my latest obsession. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the new album is fantastic.

They beat me, don’t let them beat you

Though I’m certain the majority of people reading this will have arrived via Dedicated to DLP channels, this is at its core about me, not Disneyland Paris. As such I am posting on my little used personal blog rather than on Dedicated to DLP. Right now, as I write this, I should be just a few hours away from getting the train to go to Lille, and then on to Disneyland Paris itself, but I’m not. Is it connected with what happened on Friday in Paris? Yes. Is it solely to do with that? No.

At the start of this year I was diagnosed with anxiety, in particular health and death anxiety. I know, the guy that puts himself on video, talks on a podcast for hours on end and is usually one of the louder people around – how can that guy have problems with anxiety? It’s been there for many years, but it was only recently that I sought help and had a label put on it, which in itself may not have helped, but that’s another conversation for another time. With so many people expecting me to both be in Disneyland Paris, and reporting on the Christmas season (due to my own self-promotion, not because I’m in any way important enough to be on people’s minds), I thought it only right to attempt an explanation, in hope that you may understand or at least be informed enough to make a judgement, should you wish.

What triggers my anxiety and the way it affects me is not something I can pin down and list in a logical way, because logic and reasoning are factors I am very much aware of, and often crave, but are sometimes absent in the way my mind works, at least in these situations. Of course my boundless sympathy for those affected and admiration for people battling through adversity comes first, but ever since the atrocities of last Friday in Paris I’ve not been able to stop thinking about my own trip, and the possibility of something like that happening to me. See, this is where the logic comes in, and I’ve even been telling people myself on social media, that security is at an all-time high and the likelihood of anything happening right now is very small. Does that stop me thinking the worst though? Sometimes, for short periods, but then the doubts start flooding back and soon it’s all I can think about.

I thought I had a handle on it, but last night that all unravelled with a succession of incidents that led to my anxiety peaking to levels it hasn’t for months. In saying good night to my 7 year old son, he hugged me tighter than usual and for longer, saying he didn’t want me to go ‘because of the bombs’. I assured him I would be fine, and in my mind I wanted to stay strong for him and set a good example. The mood was lightened a bit when he said that although he was worried, he did want the presents I’d promised to bring back! At this point I thought it would be okay, until somebody on social media expressed surprise I was still going. They didn’t give any more detail and it was an innocent comment, but from great acorns..well, you know the rest. From there I started to Google questions about the safety of travelling to Paris and along the way, and I don’t even know how this was triggered, I got an image in my head of something bad happening on a train. That was it – the panic set in, the cold sweats came on and my stomach was in knots. This was followed by pacing round the room, and rapid shallow breathing as a nagging doubt had transformed into abject fear. At this point I knew my trip was over before it had started.

The problem is that on this occasion, not only would I be doing exactly what the terrorists wanted, but I was also ruining it for my friend Mark who was going on the trip with me. It’s a problem that has stopped me getting on a plane for 14 years, even though my Mum spends 6 months of the year in Spain. It has also stopped me getting on trains and going to events more times than I can remember. I get in my car every morning, which statistically is the worst form of travel, but as I said, there’s no room for logic and reason here.

I wish more than anything I didn’t think like this, and that the anxiety didn’t grab a hold and strangle me like it does, more so the for the people around me that are affected than myself. There’s always a feeling of failure and letting people down associated with it, and especially this time. Maybe in time it will get better, but for now I’m just thankful to have understanding and tolerant people supporting me. It means I don’t get to go to Disneyland Paris this one time – so what. There are families who will have one less person around the table for Christmas dinner this year, they are the people who need our love and attention. What I want to make very clear is that this is just an explanation of my situation and decision; it is absolutely not a plea for sympathy. Save that for the millions of people around the world affected by things that fortunately many of us will never be able to comprehend.

NFL International Series: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins – Wembley , London – October 4th 2015

The last time I went to see an NFL match was when the Miami Dolphins lost to the New York Giants back in 2007. Then we had a baby and my mind drifted from live NFL matches and onto nappy changes and so on. Fast forward a few years and I totally missed the Dolphins beating the Oakland Raiders in 2014 – in person that is, I saw it on TV. I could have gone to see other games, but as a 30 year Dolphins fan they are my team of preference to see live. This year it was the New York Jets who were set to take on the Dolphins at Wembley, and I got tickets when they first went on sale for my Dad and I. Being the weekend of his 70th birthday it seemed rather fitting, given that it was him who I first started watching NFL with back in 1985.

The day before the game I got an email telling us about the Fan Plaza which would have events going on in the Wembley grounds and would start at 9.25am. So that meant a second parking ticket had to be booked, as the first one only allowed me to park from midday. Oh well, such is life, and these opportunities don’t come along very often – once a year in fact. Once there we queued for some merchandise, a rare opportunity to get Miami Dolphins gear in person and not online, where you risk getting the sizes completely wrong. One hoody, cap, programme and mini helmet later and it was off to the NFL Lab, to jump, throw, run and block. All stats would be entered on their system and sent back to the Fan Pass app that we used at various points during the day to give people access to our details, err, I mean participate fully in the activities.

NFL International Series: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins - Wembley , London - October 4th 2015

NFL International Series: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins - Wembley , London - October 4th 2015

Player Card from NFL Lab

More queuing for merchandise came after pizza and drinks, and this time I came away with a keyring, lanyard and t-shirt – didn’t want to risk getting home and regretting not buying anything. Our seats were right at the top on the Dolphins goal line, but the view was fantastic and we could see every play, which as a Dolphins fan that day wasn’t necessarily a positive thing. Growing up a Dan Marino fan it’s unfair to compare subsequent Dolphins quarterbacks, but Ryan Tannehill is not making much of a name for himself in his own right. It doesn’t help that his offensive line left him unprotected for most of the game, so gave him very little time to make any decent plays. Under pressure he did throw two great passes, but for the most part it was all the Jets, and the 27-14 scoreline is a bit flattering to the Dolphins. Hats off to Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who threw a 40 yard pass to Brandon Marshall which ended up being a 68 yard play, their first of the game!

NFL International Series: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins - Wembley , London - October 4th 2015

NFL International Series: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins - Wembley , London - October 4th 2015

NFL International Series: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins - Wembley , London - October 4th 2015

NFL International Series: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins - Wembley , London - October 4th 2015

Result aside, it was a fantastic day and one that both my Dad and I both enjoyed immensely. It’s not just a game of American Football, as the pageantry of the whole day makes it feel more like a festival. The NFL bring so much to London for these games and we only scratched the surface, and I’m very glad I queued 30 minutes to get my photo taken with the 1972 and 1973 Superbowl trophies – could be a while before we see one of those in the Dolphins locker room again.

Miami Dolphins 1972 & 1973 Superbowl Trophies

At first my Dad was a bit unsure of the stop start nature of the game, but he soon got into it and has agreed to be my NFL buddy to any future games I go to. As well as being a great day, it renewed my enthusiasm for NFL to levels I’ve not had since the early 1990s. NFL Now and a variety NFL podcasts allow me to be all consumed in the latest goings on, while I consider the possibility of getting NFL Game Pass. The new weekly BBC round up show starts in early November, so I have that to look forward to, and with the International Series being extended until 2025, there’s a lot to be excited about as an NFL fan in the UK.

Rediscovering Photography

I have constant camera envy, and have over the years bought many cameras, and for the most part used them for a short while and then sold them on. At the moment I’ve been pondering premium large sensor compacts such as the Sony RX100 and Canon G7X, with a side of Panasonic GM1 interchangeable lens system thrown in. I love macro photography, which always brings me back to compact cameras such as the Panasonic TZ10 which I’ve had for years and still use. Would a DSLR set up with dedicated macro lens get me much better results? Yes, but at a prohibitively high price unfortunately. I say that, because until I can dedicate enough time to learn the craft of photography properly I won’t allow myself to spend that much.

Only today I was browsing camera review sites and decided that instead of looking at new equipment I should use what I have got and experiment a bit, hone my skills, actually keep it up as a regular pursuit and then look at a camera upgrade down the line, should it be deemed necessary. I put the aforementioned TZ10 in my bag this morning, and so with a banana peel from lunch on my desk, I decided to have a play. The photos weren’t of the best quality, and the focus areas were too tight for my liking, but after a play with colour levels in Photoshop I actually ended up with something I kind of like and dare say am just a tiny bit proud of.

Banana photo taken with Panasonic TZ10

It’s a start, and my aim is to try to take a new and interesting photo every day, or as close to that as I can. With an upcoming holiday in the wilds of Norfolk I should get lots of opportunities, so let’s hope that reignites the spark.

Ranking the 12 Bon Jovi Albums

There have been more than 12 Bon Jovi albums, but live albums and compilations don’t count over at JoviTalk, the biggest Bon Jovi community on the internet where they are currently ranking the albums. Bon Jovi have been my favourite band since listening to Slippery When Wet in 1986, and while I have periods of not listening to their stuff, I always go back to the boys from New Jersey, especially particular albums. Instead of just posting my reply over on the JoviTalk forum, I thought it might be nice to post it here too, with a bit of extra chat too.

Bon Jovi Albums

The number one spot is always hotly contested for me, between the aforementioned Slippery When Wet and the album that came after it, New Jersey. Slippery When Wet was what made me a Bon Jovi fan, but it was also the first album that I ever truly loved, which at 12 years old some may consider quite late. I’d listened to lots of music before then, but more odd songs here and there, and whatever was played in the car by my parents. It was Slippery When Wet that made me appreciate the album, and listening to it from start to end.

Bon Jovi Albums

New Jersey felt like the natural progression, with Bad Medicine being almost as much of anthem for the band as Livin’ On A Prayer. It was a landmark album for me too, being the first I ever owned on CD. I remember putting it in my Step-Dad’s CD player for the first time and hearing the long drum intro, wondering when we were going to get to the meat of the song, full of anticipation and impatience of what this 4th Bon Jovi had in store. Some days I’ll have Keep The Faith jostling for the top spot too, and with songs such as the title track, In These Arms, Bed Of Roses and the fan favourite Dry County, that’s no surprise.

So, on with the ranking..

  1. 7800
  2. Bon Jovi
  3. Bounce
  4. Lost Highway
  5. What About Now
  6. The Circle
  7. Crush
  8. Have A Nice Day
  9. These Days
  10. Keep The Faith
  11. New Jersey
  12. Slippery When Wet

Slippery When Wet just means so much to me to not take the number one spot, but New Jersey is as close that top spot as can be, without actually being there. Crush would probably go above Have A Nice Day if the latter didn’t have Last Man Standing on it, which is one of my favourite Bon Jovi songs. Without that it would lose points for having Last Cigarette and Wildflower, two of my least favourites. Worth adding that if solo albums were included then Jon Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory would be in fourth place, possibly even third.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Richie Sambora going AWOL from the band – will he return, and will we get another Bon Jovi album with him? Only time will tell.

Macro Photography Test: Sony DSC-HX60 vs Fujifilm X10

I used to spend many an hour with my old Panasonic TZ20, rummaging around hedges looking for bugs to snap. I’ve had my Fuji X10 for a couple of years, but never done any macro photography with it, and my Sony DSC-HX60 is a recent purchase, whose cheap price was the decider against the much more expensive Panasonic TZ60. With a nice sunny evening yesterday I decided the time was right to test them both out. First of all, the full photo as taken, straight out of the camera:

Dandelion Taken with Fujifilm X10

Dandelion Taken with Fujifilm X10

Dandelion Taken with Sony DSC-HX60

Dandelion Taken with Sony DSC-HX60

On seeing these photos I was quite disappointed at the lack of sharpness, and wondered if these two cameras, the Sony a lot newer, and the Fujifilm newer and higher spec, were as good as my 5 year old Panasonic TZ10. The depth of field is pretty similar which surprised me somewhat, given the superior sensor of the X10. I cropped the images at 100% in the centre to see what the quality is like at full size.

100% Crop of Dandelion Taken with Fujifilm X10

100% Crop of Dandelion Taken with Fujifilm X10

100% Crop of Dandelion Taken with Sony DSC-HX60

100% Crop of Dandelion Taken with Sony DSC-HX60

There’s not much difference in quality, but the Fuji seems to have focused on the stamen (tentacle type things growing out towards the lens) where as the Sony has focused on the centre of the flower and petals, further back. One thing that I will have to look into is setting macro mode on the Sony, as that was not something I could see how to do, and had to rely on automatic settings. One thing the Sony does have going for it over the Fujifilm is more natural colours, with the Fujifilm producing a more orange tinge.

I’m also keen to dig out my Panasonic TZ10 and photograph the same flower. It could be that the new Sony was a false economy at the keen price, and I should have been looking at the new model Panasonic. Overall though I’m quite disappointed, which is not a new feeling during my photography experiences!

I’m off to Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 in London

Even if you aren’t interested in Star Wars in the slightest, you’ll have done well to avoid any of the buzz on social media this past weekend from Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. The new teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens premiered there, and within minutes went viral all round the world. Rightly so too, as it seems to have swayed anyone who wasn’t convinced after the first teaser trailer and turned every cynic into a fanboy once again. As someone who hasn’t been to a Star Wars Celebration since it was last in the UK, when it hit London in 2007, I was thrilled to see the announcement that next year’s event will once again come from London.

Star Wars Celebration Europe

Star Wars Celebration Europe

As I type this right now I’m hoping I manage to get tickets, as it’s only 7.30pm, and tickets don’t actually go on sale until 8pm – I’m confident though, so I am writing this post in advance, hoping I’m successful! The price for the 3 day event, which runs July 15th – 17th, is just £70, which shocked me somewhat. I was expecting a lot more, though if you are lucky to get one of the 200 VIP tickets at £350, you can pay a lot more. The benefits of VIP are worthwhile, but they will go in nanoseconds.

Real Time Update: VIP tickets did go in nanoseconds, maybe less, but I got normal tickets, lanyards, a t-shirt and guide and with added VAT and taxes/shipping (confusing that was added on top of VAT and they are tickets we pick up at the venue) it was a fair but more than I was expecting. But what the hell, this is my Mecca, and I’m on my way to Star Wars Celebration once again – whoo hoo!

Star Wars Cellebration Europe 2016 Tickets

Star Wars Cellebration Europe 2016 Tickets

 

I only went for one day in 2007, and didn’t queue for any talks or signings – the exhibits, market areas and galleries were enough to keep me satisfied. Next year will be a different story though, as I’ll be queuing like a demon for as much as I can, and anyone that knows me knows how much I hate queuing, so this Star Wars Celebration thing must be pretty good! Luckily I’ll be going with my good buddy Mark, who is an expert at queuing from his experiences at the Disney D23 expos, so he’ll kick my lazy butt into gear should I start moaning.

The next thing to consider is cosplay, which is something I have never done, but always thought about. I’d love to go as a Biker Scout, but the armour and helmet are very expensive, and I can imagine queuing in all that would not be particularly comfortable. I think a Jedi would be much more up my street as a virgin cosplayer, and a trip to Jedi Robe in London is on the cards. Maybe I could mix things up and go as a Jedi Trooper – Jedi from the neck down but with a trooper helmet. I have 15 months to get myself sorted, so plenty of time, and I may even get adventurous with my costume, but don’t count on it!

It would be remiss of myself to end this article without including the images of the classic Star Wars inspired trading cards I made from the 2007 Star Wars Celebration Europe in London, featuring yours truly. Just a pity I didn’t design at a higher resolution back then!

Star Wars Trading Card 1/6

Star Wars Trading Card 1/6

Star Wars Trading Card 2/6

Star Wars Trading Card 2/6

Star Wars Trading Card 3/6

Star Wars Trading Card 3/6

Star Wars Trading Card 4/6

Star Wars Trading Card 4/6

Star Wars Trading Card 5/6

Star Wars Trading Card 5/6

Star Wars Trading Card 6/6

Star Wars Trading Card 6/6

By the time Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 comes around we’ll all have seen Star Wars Episode VII and projects such as Rogue One will be well on the way, so it’s fair to say it will be a quite incredible few days. Hope to see you there.