Jedi News: Gathering Star Wars News From Across the Galaxy



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About Us


Jedi News: Gathering Star Wars News From Across the Galaxy.

Jedi News is the UK's #1 Star Wars fan site covering all things Lucasfilm related including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, ILM, LucasArts, Skywalker Sound and more.

Jedi News was launched on May 4th 2007 (by James Burns and Adam Lamping) with the purpose of bringing the latest Star Wars news and views to the multitudes of fans in the UK. On August 12th 2010 Lightsabre.co.uk merged with Jedi News and Mark Newbold joined the team.

Just so you know who we are, we've decided to give a little background to explain what got us started and how we got here. We're certain that many of you will identify with our experiences along the way and will relate to the lengths we've gone to at times to satisfy our obsession!

James was first taken to see Star Wars by his aunt when he was 6 and from then on he was hooked. His father supplied double-glazing to one of the workers on The Empire Strikes Back and James was rewarded with a signed Ralph McQuarrie Christmas card from George Lucas. His passion for Star Wars increased and by the time Return of the Jedi was released James was lucky enough to go to the premiere at the Dominion in London. As James grew up his fascination for all things Star Wars, including his favourite figures, dwindled as his attraction for girls grew and then unfortunately his collection of original loose figures was destroyed in 1986.

James got married in 1996 and has his wife to thank for his rekindled passion in Star Wars. Sarah was an avid reader and was reading all of the new Star Wars literature being produced. James took an interest too and read the Heir to the Empire trilogy and consequently Sarah bought James a loose vintage Ewok in December of their first year of marriage; something she has come to regret, a little!

Since 1996 James has eagerly collected the Hasbro line of 3 3/4" figures, which are kept mint on card. Over the last few years his collecting habits have branched out to include items from Gentle Giant, LEGO, Master Replicas, Sideshow and others. This has led to the building of an extension, aptly called the X-Wing, which has now been fully furnished and features in an upcoming BBC2 programme called 'Collectaholics'.

From 2003 until January 2007, James worked as news editor on UK site The Private Universe. During this time James was lucky enough to meet and get to know people from various UK licensees including representatives from Hasbro, LEGO and many others. He has also attended and reported from the UK Toy Fair (for the last 11 years) and the US Toy Fair (for the last 4 years) as well as attending numerous conventions on a regular basis and is widely known within the Star Wars community.


Since 2009 James has written for the Star Wars Insider, appearing in numerous issues interviewing the stars from Star Wars and also contributing to the regular feature My Star Wars! with Mark Newbold. Since 2012 James has looked after the ‘Incoming’ section of the magazine where he gets to reveal the latest products from all the Star Wars licensees. James also contributes regularly to the blog at StarWars.com writing with Mark Newbold and in his own capacity for a feature called ‘Collecting the Galaxy’ where he covers collecting from around the world – past and present. In Jnauary 2014, James and Mark Newbold started writing regularly for the on-line blog at UK newspaper Metro.

At Celebration V in 2010, Jimmy Mac and Jason Swank put James together with photographer/writer Dan Curto to co-host the Collector's Edition podcast. From September 2010 and for 18 months James co-hosted the show alongside Curto. The last of almost 30 shows as part of the ForceCast network was broadcast in early March 2012 and featured news from February 2012's US Toy Fair. On April 1st 2012 Curto and Burns appeared on the April fool’s day 340th episode of ‘Star Wars Action News’, with special guest Steve Sansweet from Rancho Obi-Wan. Their podcast, Curto Burns Collectors Cast, ran from June 2012 to December 2013 and featured Steve Sansweet every month. This show ended in December 2013 but continues under a new name, Star Wars Collectors Cast, now part of RebelForce Radio and still features Sansweet every month. Radio 1138 podcast was launched in November 2013, also as part of the RebelForce Radio network, and features James and Mark Newbold talking specifically about Star Wars in the UK.

James was inducted into the 501st as an Honorary Friend of the Legion at Celebration VI by his own good friend Steve Sansweet; at Celebration Europe II he was inducted, alongside Mark Newbold, into the Rebel Legion.

James lives in London with his very understanding and supportive with Sarah and their three children, Daniel, Jonathan and Miriam who are all Star Wars fans too!

You can contact James at here and follow him on twitter @planetburns

Marks Star Wars journey started at the Cannock ABC cinema back in early 1978 and through the weekly Marvel UK Comics, Read-Along-Adventures, Palitoy figures and his imagination he's continued on the Jedi Path for well over three decades.

In 1999, after over four years online with various sci-fi sites, Mark launched lightsabre.co.uk with Louis Turfrey, Jonathan Hicks, Paul Squire and Jason Brown. During his decade running Lightsabre he conducted well over 140 interviews, oversaw the compilation and development of the fictional setting of the Setnin sector, co-hosted 17 episodes of the Setnin Radio podcast and two episodes of the Setnin Video show. In 2010 Lightsabre merged with Jedi News (retaining the Jedi News name) and becoming co-owner.

Since 2006 Mark has written for the Star Wars Insider, first in issue #9090 and since 2010 has regularly provided interviews and guests for the My Star Wars!, Launch Pad and Red Five features as well as providing numerous feature articles.

He was also featured on the Official Star Wars website in 2009 with a piece on the premier of Star Wars: A Musical Journey and is a featured blogger on the The Official Star Wars Blog with his Star Wars In The UK articles.

In addition he has had articles published in Model and Collectors Mart, TV Film Memorabilia Magazine, TeeKay-421 magazine as well as contributing to the online blog at The Metro.


Mark is the co-host (alongside James) of RADIO 1138 on RebelForce Radio and is a regular guest in the Star Wars podcast world having appeared on RebelForce Radio, Fangirls Going Rogue, Tosche Station Radio, Full of Sith, the Curto Burns Collectors Cast, The Kessel Run, A Few Good Clones, Galactic Escape Pod, The Sarlacc Pit, Dark Empire Radio, The Cantina Cast, We Talk Clones, Star Wars Book Report, Coruscant Cast, Fanboys Guide to the Galaxy, The ForceCast, The Bothan Report, Galactic Holofeed, Scum and Villainy, Boring Conversation Anyway and Star Wars in Character to mention just a few.

He has reported from over a decade of conventions including Celebration Europe 2, Celebration VI, Celebration Europe, Fan Days IV, Farthest From, Binding the Galaxy, Elstree Empire Day, Empire Big Screen, Medicinema Star Wars Charity Dinner and Quiz, StarFest, SFB Ball, SFB Reunion, Starmania, ClaudiaCon, GammaCon, UK Games Expo, London Film and Comic Con, Collectormania, Autographica, One Man Star Wars Trilogy and Memorabilia as well as the Xbox 360 Kinect Star Wars launch, Toys 'R' Us Summer Madness and LEGOLAND Windsor opening. He's also reported from a number of film and television premieres including 'Star Trek: First Contact' (1996), 'Star Trek Insurrection' (1998), 'E.T 20th Anniversary Edition (2002)', 'The Hulk' (2003), 'The Clone Wars (2008)', 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)', 'Star Trek (2009)', 'The Phantom Menace 3D' (2012), 'The 'Clone Wars' Season 5 premier (2012), 'Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark' IMAX (2012) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

Mark is married to his ever-understanding wife Ruth and lives in Burntwood, Staffordshire.

You can contact Mark at here and follow him on twitter @jedinews2010
Beth has been a fan of Star Wars since she was very young, after watching the original trilogy countless times with her father growing up. She was not lucky enough to have been around when they first came out at the cinema, however as she was growing up she got to experience the prequels on the big screen, and that helped her Star Wars fandom grow exponentially. This lead to discovering the LucasArts video games based on the movies, such as Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and the various prequel titles. Becoming a Jedi became her dream from that point.

Since then, her love for the Star Wars galaxy has expanded and continued to flourish, especially via her passion for their video game offshoots. This has included many, many (many) hours playing the LEGO Star Wars games, and more recently discovering the Knights of the Old Republic series (and in turn, the Old Republic MMORPG). She has an appreciation for the depth of the older titles, as well as an excitement for what is to come in the future.


Beth lives in England, and when she's not playing games she is a photographer who enjoys astronomy and viewing the stars.

She is particularly fond of droids.

You can contact Beth at here

Adam D. Bram (a.k.a. The Nilbog) is an aspiring writer, actor, and director. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance, and wrote extensively for his college’s newspaper.

For many years, all Adam knew of Star Wars was the Jabba’s Palace sequence from Return of the Jedi, which was one of many omnipresent films on the Betamax his parents had when he was a toddler.

In 1997, at the tender age of 11, Adam used the release of the Special Edition to finally see what this Star Wars thing was that everyone was talking about, and his life was changed forever. He ate up every second, bought up every toy, even cast his fifth-grade class as characters from the then-trilogy (Protip: Never cast your crush as Sy Snootles. She will not understand).


Adam’s favorite film in the saga is unabashedly The Phantom Menace, the only Star Wars film he was lucky enough to see on opening day. While Yoda is his favorite character of the saga, he identifies most with Jar Jar Binks (his fourth favorite).

Adam lives with his wife in Providence, Rhode Island USA (a wife who was gracious enough to allow “Across the Stars” as their wedding processional). When not immersed in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, he works as a Job Coach for young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome (after being diagnosed with the disorder himself in late 2010), plays World of Warcraft, writes and manages the self-indulgent blog “Nilbog’s Storybook Land”, and attempts (often in vain) to complete his novel. He secretly hopes that the production of the new Star Wars films will lead to open auditions.

You can contact Adam at here

Teresa’s Star Wars journey began when as a child her mom introduced her to the world of Star Wars while she was sick with chicken pox. Teresa is from the new era of Star Wars fans as she was not around when the Original Trilogy was released in theaters. Instead her trilogy in theaters was the Prequel Trilogy. Teresa began truly indulging herself in the Star Wars galaxy by reading the books and comics. Through the literary world she found herself liking the realm of the Expanded Universe and wanting to learn more. She began toy collecting when her nephew was trying to play with her Force Unleashed figures. She knew she needed to find something else Star Wars for him to play with and she found the Galactic Heroes. From there the collecting of Star Wars began to build and she now has collections of the Force FX lightsabers, Williams Sonoma Star Wars line, Force Unleashed, Marbles, Playing Cards, LEGO, Hallmark Ornaments and anything that has to do with Darth Maul, Ewoks or R2-D2.


Teresa is a freelance writer and owner of Fangirl Next Door a fandom website that focuses on the world of girls in fandom. The site primarily focuses on Star Wars but looks at all things geeky. She is also the host of the Fangirl Next Door Podcast. In addition she also is a staff member and writer for The Star Wars Report. She is also the primary writer of a blog for a prominent Orlando, FL wedding photographer. She enjoys writing about the things she loves and sharing it with the world.

Teresa enjoys podcasting, reading, writing, collecting and going to Walt Disney World. Her world of choice is one of fantasy and sci-fi and she tries to find every avenue she can to engulf herself in that magical place. She recently got married and resides with her husband in the great lone star state of Texas.

Teresa is fairly new to the convention scene but she has reported from Star Wars Fandays 2011 where she was able to interview Ashley Eckstein, Catherine Taber and Meredith Salenger from The Clone Wars. She has also reported from Wizard World Austin 2010 and Star Wars Weekends 2010 and 2011.

You can contact Teresa here or follow her on twitter @fangirl_ND
Graham's introduction to the Star Wars trilogy came only through video tapes, but this interest turned into a full obsession with the release of the Special Editions in 1997 and the chance to experience the films on a cinema screen. This sparked him to begin collecting the modern 3 3/4 inch Hasbro figures, of which he buys one of each to open plus too many extra army builders.

Between then and the release of The Phantom Menace, Graham began to read and collect the novels and comics. During 1999, his wallet took a bigger long-term hit when he began to collect the new LEGO line, never expecting that he would ever be tracking down packaging variations and promotional items nearly ten years later.

Graham spent time selling Star Wars merchandise from 2004 to early 2006, both online and at events, learning a lot about the 'other side' of Star Wars collecting and the frustrations of case mixes. On May 16th 2005 he had his finest Star Wars experience when he was fortunate enough to win tickets to the UK premiere of Revenge of the Sith, realising it really was worth going to see Return of the Jedi at about ten o'clock in the morning.

Since the onslaught of merchandise during the prequels, Graham's collection has grown much beyond the initial figures and LEGO to include many of Hasbro's new lines, as well as items from almost all of the different licencees and many promotional display stands. He regularly attends events across the UK, as well as Celebration IV and Celebration Europe, where he saw for himself that Star Wars is forever.

You can contact Graham at here

Jonathan Hicks, born in 1971 and by the time Star Wars appeared in 1978 already a huge science fiction and fantasy fan, began writing stories inspired by Star Wars in the early 1980s. This love of the written word progressed into all kinds of writing which includes short stories, novels, novellas, scripts, game design and magazine articles.


After co-creating the Setnin sector, a playground for his Star Wars creations, Jonathan fleshed it out with the West End Games Star Wars D6 roleplaying game. He had already been involved in ther roleplaying hobby since 1983. As of now his writing credits include an article in Arcane magazine, he has been published twice by the British Science Fiction Association's writer's magazine Focus, written reviews for RPG.net, edited and published the free online RPG magazine ODDS, designed the missions and wrote the dialogue for a video game of Universal's re-imaging of Battlestar Galactica, published the short story collection Those Dark Places and the book The Book Of Roleplaying Hints, Tips and Ideas, written articles for various online websites, written articles and newsletters for a leading motor manufacturer and runs the small RPG company Farsight Games.

As of September 2012 Jonathan is the Roleplay and Gaming Editor of Jedi News.

He is also the founder of the GammaCon roleplay convention which held it's first event in January 2012.

Jonathan lives in Lichfield, England with his wife Lisa and his son Bruce.
Adam was only a few years old when STAR WARS entered - and consumed - his life. His childhood was largely spent renting the original trilogy from his local video store and telling his own spin-off stories with his army of action figures and vehicles, which he now keeps locked away in boxes in his shed. Except for the AT-AT that stands atop his wardrobe. The one he claims is too big for storage.

Today, as a film-maker and entertainment journalist who is best known as Britgeek from Ain't It Cool News, Kelly attributes the franchise with shaping his adult aspirations, turning a childhood passion for a series of films into a desire to tell his own stories, inspired by the rich and boundless STAR WARS universe.


This latest chapter in his life as a professional geek sees him writing reviews of the same products that dominated his childhood, only this time he won't be playing with them. Probably.

You can contact Adam on Twitter @BritgeekAICN
The year was 1983. The movie was Return of the Jedi. The scene was a high-octane speeder bike chase thru the lush woods of Endor. The result? The birth of Star Wars fandom in a 6-year old boy that continues to grow & develop with each passing year.


Justin's contributions to the Star Wars fan community have been numerous over the years. From providing reports from conventions including Star Wars Celebration, New York Comic Con, New York Toy Fair, and other Star Wars-related events, to snapping pictures of various Star Wars products located on retail store shelves, Justin does his best to try and keep his finger on the pulse of the Star Wars galaxy and share his findings with his fellow fans.

His other passions in life include the New York Jets (he would run to make a deal with Darth Sidious in a nanosecond if it resulted in a Super Bowl ring), New York Rangers, and the Indiana Jones franchise.

Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinL81
Paul first saw Star Wars back in 1978, starting an affection for the galaxy far, far away that continues to this day. He wrote Frayed at the Edge, his first Star Wars story back in 1988. Already a lifelong friend of Mark, Paul then regularly role-played with Jonathan and Mark developing the Ryath Centaur character and integrating his creations into the fabric of Setnin. As well as playing a character, Paul was the groups second most prolific GM, running many campaigns in a style totally different to Jonathans and adding a hard, tough edge to Setnin that helped define the sector and the famed Setnin Way.


Along with more short stories, Paul continued to develop his own batch of characters which revolved around the ex-Imperial Centaur, and by 1999 and the launch of Lightsabre was a regular contributor to the fiction section, adding many flourishes to the Chronology with his great memory of roleplay games from days past.

As a collector Paul has focused on the Kotobukiya range, building an army of armour that is tough to beat.

Paul consults on story and character content and was a part of the Celebration Europe team that raised over £1000 for Cancer Research UK.

Paul lives in Heathcote, England.
Stephen has been a fan of Star Wars since 1977, yes, he is THAT old and remembers the long wait between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back and then the long wait again for Return of the Jedi. Plus, he had to endure it ALL OVER again come 1999 with the Prequels. Luckily, this time he had his web site, Galactic Empire, to help pass the time.

Galactic Empire Network (GEN) went `live` in December 1999 via www.galacticempire.net, having been accessible via different URL’s since February 1999 and was a great resource for Images, Fonts, Soundbytes and Star Wars News, forging great friendships from the outset with many fan sites including an enduring friendship to this day with Mark Newbold, who ran lightsabre.co.uk until it merged with Jedi News in 2010.


GEN came to an end in 2010 after 11 years online, happily agreeing to merge with Jedi News as a Correspondant on the UK's premier Star Wars fan site. Stephen, of course, has been lurking in the shadows, waiting for his time to strike and have the Sith rule the galaxy once more....erm, well, okay, he took a break from Star Wars because, although he is a massive Star Wars fan, he also loves all kinds of movies, so much so, he works in a cinema (not as fun as it sounds, he assure us) and runs a movie web site called Cinema Geek, focusing on the UK market. But his first love is Star Wars so expect him to gush about it here at Jedi News.

Stephen is married to Cheryl with an autistic daughter, Alana, who means more than the world to him.
Richard Astill

Richard first saw Star Wars at the Priory Cinema in Royston which has now sadly been pulled down to make way for housing. This film inspired his imagination that all things were possible in in the galaxy far far away and as a result this has led to a love of all things in the expanded universe and the people who are inspired by but refuse to be restricted to the films.

A collector of the books, comics and comics he has even been known to dabble in a bit of fiction himself but this needs a lot of work.

His first Star Wars figure was Chewbacca which he had to share with his little brother and between them they managed to gather a large collection of the original figures and vehicles. A few years after Return of the Jedi came out they gave the whole collection to a neighbour's nephew. If only they had known!

His Star Wars highlights include going to the UK premiere of A New Hope Special edition and being 10 feet away from George Lucas and also getting hold of a cinema display stand for the Special Edition trilogy.

Not a figure collector or autograph hunter Richard prefers to look for the more unusual collectables although his Star Wars toothpaste from the USA may now be a bit dodgy!

Adam Lamping

Adam's fascination with the galaxy, far, far, away, began in 1978 when his Dad took him to see the original Star Wars movie. Soon after, his collecting began, when he bought his first action figure; whilst Princess Leia Organa was not his preferred choice, it was the only one left in Harry Packs and he was desperate to spend his hard-earned pocket money. Such was his eagerness to start re-creating scenes from the film however, that he ripped her off of the card and promptly lost her pistol between the toy shop and home!

Adam continued to collect the action figures throughout the earlier 80s, stopping like most people with the last 17, by which time he had reached an awkward age where toys were for kids and his reputation with the girls was not going to benefit from such behaviour.

His interest was rekindled with the launch of 'Heir to the Empire' and fuelled by regular releases of the Lucasfilm magazine and soon after, 'Dark Empire', once Hasbro released the new range of action figures, there was no turning back. With the impending Celebration Europe, Star Wars has come a long way since the 'Empire Day' conventions held at Elstree and in Watford, when collecting vintage figures was still the order of the day, Q&A sessions were filled with frequent bouts of uncomfortable silences and autographs were free. Looking back on it now, it almost has echoes of the Rebellion in its infancy, getting bigger over time as word got out, and fans re-discovered their love of the original saga and rallied to the cause.

During this time, Adam has focused on collecting the Hasbro line of 3 3/4" figures, which he keeps carded, although he has recently branched out into several other lines, such as the Master Replicas 0.45 scaled lightsabers and Kotobukiya figures.

Adam left Jedi News on the 21st March 2012 citing the need to spend more time with his family and to concentrate more on work. He also felt JediNews.ca (Canadian version of Jedi News) had never managed to step out of the shadows of JediNews.co.uk and he never thought that would ever change. Soon after leaving Jedi News he joined Rebelscum.com.

Watto

Watto has never seen the original trilogy in the cinema, he first saw Star Wars on VHS and grew up watching the Ewok cartoons and playing with the 'vintage' toys. His favourite being the Millennium Falcon which he received as a Christmas present, unfortunately he rather foolishly sold off his toys - forever to be regretted.

During his secondary school and college years Star Wars became forgotten. His interest in Star Wars was rekindled when he was lent the 1997 Star Wars special edition VHS tapes to watch while he was ill.

Then came The Phantom Menace in 1999.

The Phantom Menace has become one of Watto's favourite films and launched his Star Wars collecting passion. His collection started with Hasbro's 3.75" figures and now he concentrates on collecting Gentle Giant Statues, maquettes and mini busts. Watto also enjoys collecting Star Wars autographs and reading the books of the Expanded Universe.

Yamaro

Yamaro is part of the Original Trilogy ilk and collected some of the figures and toys when he was a lot younger. This collection dissipated as he grew older until his passion was rekindled in the early Noughties and he discovered Ebay. Yamaro started off amassing a collection of Star Wars LEGO kits and since then has digressed into anything Star Wars. The main character that he likes to collect is Yoda and so he will tend to look for anything to do with him first, after this if it has the Star Wars (and/or Lucasfilm) logo then he is interested.

He has a passion for the Star Wars computer games and has spent many an hour playing the X-wing and TIE Fighter games, along with the first person shooters (namely Dark Forces) on the PC format and more recently the games released on the Playstation format.

In June 2007 Yamaro set up his own business and in September 2007 'Master Collectables' exhibited at it's first event. He now attends large and small events up and down the country and looks forward to meeting you in person at one near you soon.

Yamaro's other interests in life (that he squeezes in around Star Wars) are raising his family, sport in general but mainly motorsport and martial arts (limited to watching).

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