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Updated: Jul 13, 2023

“Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery, hmm… but weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes, failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is.”

"The Fans Strike Back, the hugely popular, fan-created exhibition is landing in London on April 17th. Fans of one of the world’s most beloved franchises will be immersed in the saga like never before, as they explore a selection of iconic objects from the largest private collection of official Star Wars items, assembled by some of the most dedicated enthusiasts across the globe." Excerpt from Press Release

After my trekkie experience two weeks ago at The Excel, which coincided with the 40 year celebration of The Return of the Jedi, there was more celebrating to do. Myself and fellow Star Wars adventurer, Maya Chewaluza, headed to the Press launch of 'The Fans Strike Back: Fan Curated Star Wars Experience' organized by EMS Entertainment at 81 Brompton Road, on Wednesday 19th April for what turned out to be a memorable and fun event and we were plied with breakfast as well. It was so good I went back for seconds and um....thirds, what a great way to start the day.

I particularly enjoyed this exhibition because it was small, intimate and easy to navigate. We were able to amble around enjoying the exhibition, without feeling our space was being invaded by over-zealous Star Wars Fans, living out their fantasy, kitted out as their favorite Star Wars character. Or tripping over Jawas who are meter-tall humanoids hidden behind rough, hand-woven robes their faces concealed within the dark folds of a cowl, from which peer their sickly glowing yellow eyes.

I had to do a double take several times, as something pink or green waddled past me 'Hey Yoda! Is that you?' I'd shout.

“Patience you must have, my young Padawan.”

I'd like to gently remind those of you who are not, hand on heart, Star Wars die-hard fans that it is sacrilege not to love Star Wars. It is also detrimental to your galactic well-being not to have sworn some sort of coded, personal secret oath, between yourself and other Star Wars Fans. A bit like a 'till death do us part' type of thing. Hence why I nearly got my good self kicked out of the exhibition.

So for instance, to test my theory. I made the deliberate error whilst talking to a Luke Sky Walker imitation, of saying goodbye, after our conversation about all things Star Wars. But then I did the most blasphemous thing one could do in the presence of a FAN, I used the Volcan Star Trek sign ' Live Long and Prosper'. My fellow Star Wars comrade, well I thought he was until I made such an error, heaved with

OOOs.....Wrong Movie Esther. Put that Vulcan Sign away Now.

indignation and looked at me with feigned disgust threatening to help me exit the exhibition, rather swiftly out the front door, whilst using his light saber to prod the life force out of me. His comrade (friend) and Maya, both laughed hysterically and heartily as they too joined in the banter, as myself and pretend arch-enemy continued our friendly tirade. I certainly was beginning to feel at home. I think I might have found my...tribe!

However, all was done in good jest and humor, as I showed him a few Ninja karate moves I had mastered from watching 'Enter the Dragon' and we both continued on our merry way around the galaxy.

Even if you are not an avid Star Wars fan, this exhibition is worth seeing. A wonderful space that also inspired my own creativity and imagination even more. That was when, I had my ahha moment when I poignantly realised that the force was truly with me, and the child in me, came out even more. I wanted to be Princes Leah, then Luke Sky Walker, even Chewbacca. Hush people, let an ole girl live out her dreams. My friend, Maya started to act as if we were on set. Our adventure then started to become a theatrical game of sorts, with both of us acting out of character!!! (Well, hmm,,,maybe not so much out of character, but let's leave that opinion to those who really know us). Giggling, and pretending we were on set with very important roles to play.

"I Dare you Darth Vader" Esther on her get away Maya, claiming her Throne A very brave Maya

The exhibition featured hundreds of items from the Star Wars Universe. These items had been collected by and displayed by loyal fans and no Trekkie should go throughout 2023, without indulging in something as sacred, as joining in the celebrations.

Imagination is an incredible tool. Who would have thought George Lucas' idea for the space adventure that would become Star Wars in 1971, would have become such a successful and influential franchise in motion picture history?

This exhibition is a definite must-see. 'The Fans Strike Back showcases 600 unique Star Wars collectable items including life-size figures, models, one-of-a-kind sculptures, figurines, photos, posters and costumes. Highlights on display include: a Snowspeeder, Sandcrawler, Naboo Fighter, Millennium Falcon, X-Wing Fan-Cockpit, an R2-D2 Collection, a Clone Trooper Collection and more. ' Excerpt

Maya trying to hide...Really?

Guys, It's not what it looks like - It's a throwback from my teenage years. Always had a thing for guys with big eyes.

Spot Which one is CP30? For Heavans Sake, Esther! There she goes off & away

Tickets can be purchased from:

Thursdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (& Wednesdays until 3 May) 81 Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 3LD The exhibition is on until 18th June

Esther Austin is a Freelance Journalist and CEO of an international lifestyle magazine Turningpoint: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-Being.

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