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F.A.C.T.S. 2006 - Ghent, Belgium
by Joris DeSmet
October 14-15, 2006

How many facts do you know about Star Wars?

What?

Oh, indeed! It’s the other way around!

How much Star Wars was there about FACTS this year?

And the answer would be … quite a lot!

Europe is always a tad behind the States when it comes to the experience of cult waves and Star Wars is not an exception to the rule. From what your devoted Jedi Temple Archives reporter could perceive, Star Wars has never been bigger in Europe before.

facts2006-01 The salesmen that attended FACTS surely didn’t mind … they dragged in all the most recent toys and collectibles and did golden business!

As further proof of that statement, the dressed-up Star Wars fans outnumbered all the other fan costumes by far. Never before was any other place so tight under Stormtrooper and Clone Trooper supervision! To my surprise I also found out that underneath those rigid, expressionless helmets you could find a lot of long eyelashes and braids … I think I’ll try a "rogue scoundrel" costume myself next year and go bump into some of those "Trooperettes" to see if I can get some to follow me into my Endor bunker. Huh-huh!

facts2006-02 Now, I remember writing in my review of last year’s edition that costumes probably couldn’t get much better anymore, but about that I was definitively proven wrong. True, the armors I saw hardly couldn’t get any better anymore than last year, but never before did I see so many professionally applied make-up outside a film … I caught an extremely convincing Darth Maul in the making, saw at least one version of Rystall, Jedi Master Luminara Unduli and a number of Twi’leki costumes which all required large portions of the body being painted!

The costumed fans had the peak of their fun when a little ceremony was being held to celebrate a couple of newly-weds, who both seemed to be present and in full Star Wars ornate as well. Touching and as the Lord Vader next to me muttered “impressive, very impressive”, but I couldn’t tell from his helmet visor whether he was looking at the assembled ranks of Stormtroopers or peering into Slave Leia’s metal bikini …

facts2006-03 Of course, no FACTS edition would be complete without a Star Wars guest and so the one who attended this year’s show, Anthony Daniels - better known as golden protocol boy See-Threepio - could bank on quite a lot of interest.

Unfortunately, nothing of the golden charm of his on-screen character rubbed off on Anthony: not only were his autographs thoroughly overcharged; he also refused being photographed or filmed during the event except by the organizers.

So if you’ll still see Mr. Daniels figuring in our photo report, it’s only thanks to good-natured Mark Dermul, known to many as the “Autograph Bounty Hunter” and President of the Star Force organization –which was responsible for the presence of all guest stars. Thanks again for that, Mark!

The real Star Wars surprise of the year would be coming from quite an unexpected corner. Cartoonist Lectrr had been present during the previous editions of FACTS, but I never paid him much attention … his cartoons are largely inspired on whatever situations both the local news and the political world scene would yield, so how much can that have to do with Star Wars, right? Right!

facts2006-04 But I was proven wrong (indeed, again! If they continue proving me wrong like this, I’ll just quit writing articles!) … Lectrr or Steven, as the man is called on his passport, proved to be quite a bit of a Star Wars fan himself.

He got inspired to do a number of Star Wars cartoons already in the past and he didn’t remain unnoticed in our little niche world either. The official German Star Wars Magazine, among others, has picked up on his Star Wars cartoons and has published them.

As soon as I found out these shady bits of Lectrr’s background, I arranged to meet him at FACTS.

As I then have been a fan of comics and cartoons and an aspirant draftsman myself, I also planned interviewing Lectrr a bit about the general art of cartooning and such. When I met him at FACTS he was slouched over his table and doing some doodles on a piece of paper. Here’s the ensuing conversation my Cam Droid recorded:

JTA – “Hi, Steven!”
LECTRR – Looks up, startled … “Yes?”
JTA – “I’m Joris, the guy from Jedi Temple Archives?”
LECTRR – “Oh right! I didn’t really expect somebody in plain clothes. Didn’t you feel the urge to dress up like one of them phosphorescent hotties with head tails? Ah!-Ah!”

Lectrr's booming laugh would set the tone of the conversation. Lectrr is an indefatigable joker and indisputable optimist. Maybe that’s what it takes to become a cartoonist? I pop him that question …

JTA – “So what does it take to become a cartoonist?”
LECTRR – “Dunno. I just wasn’t fit for anything else, I guess” … [big innocent smile]
JTA – “So how do you find the inspiration to crank out multiple of these cartoons every day?”
LECTRR – “Well, really anything goes; you just have to keep your eyes open. Having some drinks with a couple of friends usually helps me to quite some material as well”.

facts2006-05 Before I can pop another question, his cell phone rings and Lectrr engages in a conversation with a magazine publisher he sent some cartoons earlier that month. I didn’t really listen in intently, but I couldn’t help catching shards of the conversation: “So you’re saying necrophilia anal sex is not really fit for your target audience? … Oh, you have a knitting magazine … Right!”

As soon as he hangs up I pick up the conversation again and find out that Lectrr does free autographs for his true fans and so I enquire if he fancies doing one for the JTA site.

“Sure! What’s your favorite Star Wars character?” he goes.
“Boba Fett …” I answer.

Lectrr wrinkles a brow and I try to elaborate: “Boba Fett … the Bounty Hunter?”

At that his expression brightens up: “Oh right! The guy with the Greek helmet and the rocket in his backpack! I can do you one, no problem ...”

And so he set to work … you can find back the result in our attached photo report. And for your viewing pleasure Lectrr has allowed that we translated and added his Star Wars cartoons to our article as well.

I was lucky enough to witness the birth of the Lectrr’s latest Star Wars cartoon, by the way. A fan dressed up as a Jedi in long robes with an unlit Master Replica’s saber sparked off the idea for the last cartoon you’ll find in the photo report. I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to discover it for yourself.

And so Lectrr’s words proved true … the humor, the farce and the droll … it’s out there … you just have to open your eyes, look at it and enjoy it!

With that statement of infallible wisdom, I’ll also sign off. FACTS has been the experience quite again.

Rendezvous next year?

You bet!

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