The 501st UK Garison invaded the National Space centre last weekend for their “Return of the Garrison” event. Being their 10th Year at the National Space Centre the event has become a staple in the UKG Calender!
I’ve never been to the Space centre despite living about 30 minutes away, and I’m horrified to admit that I’ve been missing such a great experience. My nephew is one of the newer generation of Star Wars fans thanks to the new Disney overlords (love you really Disney) and isn’t quite old enough for the original films.
So what was on offer? Firstly the space centre allows you to upgrade your visit ticket to an annual pass. That’s right, £13 for a years worth of entry. The centre was understandably busy due to the UKG event so having the chance to go back when it’s a bit quieter to do the normal exhibits is a fantastic offer. The NSC itself is a not for profit charity so remember to gift your entry to them rather than payment the entrance fee….
Let’s talk about the costumers. The UK Garrison was once again joined by the Rebel Legion to provide entertainment and photographs. These events are for charity so everyone here has invested time, money and effort to be here. The commitment shows in the quality of the costumes and engaging with the crowd. My nephew beamed when a stormtrooper waved at him, and he wasn’t alone in this. Proud parents taking pictures of their children enjoying the characters from what was probably their youth as well. So well done to both parties!
Other events included the galactic academy where the “younglings” could try on various costumes from Star wars. Sadly my newphew isn’t quite outgoing enough to want to partake in this. The same can be said for the “Padawan master class” where the younglings can learn to use the force under a jedi master. I’d love to hear feedback from anyone who got to partake. It looked to me like everyone was having a good time with it. The Padawan master class incurred an additional cost but was for the good cause of Little People UK, a charity that offers friendship and support to dwarfism, the friends and families.
Purely from a feeling very old point of view, the Retro computer was also in attendance showing Star Wars games throughout the various machines. There were Ataris, NES, SNES, Amiga 1200, Gamecubes, PS1 and more! I remember many of these growing up, the youngling I was in charge of wasn’t so impressed but his attention span is limited at the best of times. I personally loved this part.
Next to this was a display from the UK SCi-Fi and fantasy modelling community. The love and attention to detail within these works is once again testament to the affection many people here hold for Start Wars
I’ve already mentioned Little People UK earlier, and they were working with Warwick Davis(Wicket), who was on hand to provide pictures and autographs. Along side him was Dave Prowse (Vader!), Andy Secombe (Watto) and Raymond Griffiths (Gonk Droid, was also in the brilliant episode of Game of Thrones where Joffrey gets his 🙂 ) The wait times were manageable and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
The only complaint I had was not everything was as easily signposted as you would like and the centre itself was amazingly warm, but these are amazingly minor. It was a brilliant day out and even my dragged to the event wife who has never seen a Star Wars film in her life enjoyed it, I know I am a bad person for not subjecting her to them. She did however love meeting Warwick Davis as she loves Harry potter!
I’ll be going again next year!