Some of the hottest temperatures on record hit the UK last week, and to coincide some of the hottest stars from TV and film headed to London for LFCC 2019.

A large contingent of Fantha Trackers were on hand (but in single file to hide their numbers) to bring the Star Wars Zone to eager fans attending the event, so once you’d had your audience with Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), bargained with Enfys Nest (Erin Kellyman) or discussed how irritating sand is with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) you could head over and kick back for some fun and games with the team.

The Star Wars Zone comprised several different elements – appearances from the UK Garrison, the Rebel Legion, Mando Mercs and Joker Squad costume groups, demonstrations of the X-Wing tabletop game, a variety of the now legendary Fantha Tracks sideshow games, photo ops inside giant Topps trading cards, Star Wars goodies galore to buy from All the Cool Stuff, charity signatures from Jeremy Bulloch, Gareth Edwards and Anthony Daniels, the Phantom Toys of Episode 1 as debuted at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, and a Q&A stage featuring special guests and your Fantha favourites with interviews and discussions across the three-day event.

If you made it to London you’ll know what a great time everyone had, but if not look no further than our team round-up….

Andrew Mortimer

This was my first time at LFCC in any capacity; I’ve been to a few comic and toy conventions over the years around the UK and New York but this one was easily the biggest. I think it helped to be based in the Star Wars Zone and kept busy otherwise I would have been quite overwhelmed by the sheer volume of guests, vendors, costumes and props! And we certainly were busy – over the course of the weekend I got to spend time running the Invasion of the Killer Porgs, Kessel Run and Play Your Sabacc Right games and there was barely a moment without someone having a go, especially on Saturday. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and really got into the spirit of the games whether for the personal challenge or to compete against their families & friends. I think I was having as much fun as the people playing and despite being long days the time passed at hyperspeed.

While I have been helping out with Dave Tree’s All The Cool Stuff events for a while, this was also the first time I have worked alongside the full Fantha Tracks team and it was an absolute joy. The creativity, enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring everyone at the show had a good time was infectious amongst the team and, I hope, to the people who came and met us. Give me a few days to recover from bending down to pick up Porgs and Nerf darts, then I can’t wait to get into whatever we’re doing next!

Mark Newbold

Our second year overseeing the Star Wars Zone at London Film and Comic Con was a huge step up from last years show, thanks to the many things we learned from Star Wars Fan Fun Day, Fantha Day, New York Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, Capital Sci-Fi and Comic Con at Film New Forest. We took that extra knowledge and focused it all on making The Star Wars Zone a memorable Star Wars experience that was comprised of a number of elements.

While my Making Tracks co-host Dave Tree and his All The Cool Stuff team were overseeing the MonCal Carnival and the ATCS stand, I was hosting the Star Wars Q&A Stage along with many of my fellow Fantha Trackers. The weekend saw a plethora of guests join us on the stage.

Corey Dee Williams, Ross Sambridge, Nelson Hall, Pam Rose, Ron Hone and Rusty Goffe joined us on Friday.

Alan Fernandes, Steve Grad and Alan Harris were on the stage on Saturday, and we also recorded a live episode of Making Tracks (available on Tuesday 6th August) when man of the moment Ross Beadman joined us on stage.

On Sunday Neil Ellis and Derek Arnold were our guests, and not forgetting Topps, Star Wars Insider, Virgin Holidays and representatives from the Rebel Legion, Joker Squad, Mando Mercs and the UKG.

It really was an amazing weekend, that went unusually smoothly considering the vast number of potential problems that can arise at events of this size, and most importantly, we had an absolute blast doing it. I’m eager to start planning The Star Wars Zone for 2020.

Paula Mortimer

London Film and Comic Con 2019! What an absolute blast! I had the pleasure of helping run the games in the Star Wars Zone and it was an enormous amount of fun. I was pleased that we were able to offer such a wide range of free family-friendly activities and content for everyone.

Watching a family play a game together and having fun and cheering their chosen Bantha on, friends laughing and trying to put each other off when attempting the Kessel Run and watching a little kid’s face become set in the challenge when you ask for their help in the Porg Shoot was absolute gold. (“Thank goodness you’re here! Can you help, lots of Porgs have escaped the cargo hold of the Millennium Falcon and we need your help to round them up so we can release them back into the wild!“). Can’t wait for the next one!

Carl Bayliss

I have been to many conventions over the years, but London Film and Comic Con has eluded me, until now – and what a way to experience it!!

Travelling down on the Thursday (the hottest day on record in the UK) I met up with some of my fellow Fanthas and we set about turning the space we had into an interactive experience for Star Wars fans to enjoy across the weekend. First up we set about building the Q&A stage backdrop – sounds simple enough but with the owner of said backdrop en route and no instructions it was left to us to figure out how it went together! We then set up the sideshow games we were running which proved a great hit with fans, young and not so young, throughout the whole weekend. These games were simple and free to play, but they provided hours of fun for attendees and the look on peoples faces when they won a token prize was priceless.

We also had some photo ops courtesy of Topps, so you and your friends could be part of your very own trading card, either on a speeder bike or in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. Topps also provided another freebie in the form of an exclusive trading card featuring BB-8, part of the ‘Journey to The Rise of Skywalker’ set.

Another hit with fans were the charity signatures – Black Series card backs signed by Jeremy Bulloch, some Rogue One posters and postcards signed by director Gareth Edwards and a couple of extra-large Topps cards signed by Anthony Daniels after his one man show in London last year.

Also debuted in the UK was the ‘Phantom Toys of Episode 1’ exhibition as seen at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. This beautifully showcased some of the planned toys from ‘The Phantom Menace’ that never saw the light of day. And whilst we’re talking exclusives, All the Cool Stuff brought some great bargains from Topps and Bioworld including some lines making their European debut, and clearly popular as they were flying off the shelves.

The Q&A stage was another highlight of the zone with specials guests dropping in to be grilled, panels featuring the costume groups, Virgin holidays as well as discussions covering all aspects of Star Wars – there was a heck of lot crammed in to the three days. I even hosted one of the interviews, a first for me but hopefully not the last!

Our ‘special guests’ from the costume groups – Rebel Legion, UK Garrison, Mandalorian Mercs and Joker Squad – were also on hand in their number to make sure fans could grab pictures with the favourite heroes and villains.

Overall the zone had a great atmosphere and everyone seemed to leave with a smile on their face, so shall we see you next year?

Paul McQue

Having just been over at San Diego Comic Con the previous weekend and checked out the Lucasfilm pavilion, I can honestly say that London Film & Comic Con’s Star Wars Zone surpassed it for family entertainment.

The SDCC Lucasfilm pavilion was set up with one goal in mind; sell merchandise.

The LFCC Star Wars Zone was set up to entertain families with free panels, free photo ops, free games and free gifts as a thank you for playing them.

But the Star Wars Zone was also selling merchandise,” I hear you cry. Correct, All The Cool Stuff had you covered but ATCS was also selling merch not available anywhere else in Europe and that exclusive merch was at heavily discounted prices!

Well done to The Joker Squad, the Rebel Legion, Mando Mercs and the UK Garrison for doing a fantastic job (in very hot and humid conditions) of giving fun photo ops to young and older fans alike with numerous characters spanning the whole franchise from opening to closing over all three days, and did so to raise money for various charities.

A fun personal highlight was being asked if I’d like to share one of my latest adventures on stage at the Galaxy’s Edge panel along with Virgin Holidays (who gave away 3x Galaxy’s Edge goodie bags, a 7 night holiday at Walt Disney World & 10% off their WDW Ultimate Star Wars Experience) hosted by Martin.

So yeah, overall I’d like to thank everyone behind the scenes at LFCC for having a more giving than taking attitude and a massive THANK YOU to everyone that visited the Star Wars Zone, I hope to see you again next year!

Andy Lyth

LFCC was a blast, and The Star Wars Zone felt like our own mini-convention within the event itself. We had games, displays, actors and artists as well as our own Star Wars Q&A Zone stage covering all facets of that galaxy far, far away.

My personal highlights were helping out with the games, seeing so many happy faces as we gave away small prizes to the winners. I also loved appearing on stage to discuss The Rise of Skywalker with my fellow Fantha Tracker Mark Newbold, as well as fielding some genuinely interesting questions and topics for discussion from the audience.

Overall it was an excellent few days in our capital, it’s always a joy to meet up with the rest of the team and make new friends, and I can’t wait for the next event!

Martin Keeler

Well what a weekend! Work hard but play hard was the name of the game and we all did both.  The games went down a storm and the never produced The Phantom Menace toy display got massive amounts of attention.  Richard did an amazing job of running the charity table with autographs from Gareth Edwards and Jeremy Bulloch available to purchase.

Spending time in the company of the costuming groups (Rebel Legion, Mando Mercs, Joker Squad UK and the UK Garrison) was a pleasure and as always they drew a huge crowd.  Talking of huge, that Mos Eisley LEGO display with the Falcon shooting up to the stars was enormous!

I also need to give a special mention to the Star Wars Stage. Some amazing guests appeared and gave some really interesting talks on their Star Wars experience and all of them were absolute professionals (Alan Harris – you 100% deserved that ovation at the end of your appearance, despite your protests).

The best thing for me was sharing the fun (and work) with the wider Fantha Tracks team.  You can’t buy experiences like this and it’s a pleasure to do this with your friends. Thank you to all that came to visit – I hope you had a blast!

Paul Naylor

Those that have already contributed to the article have summed up my thoughts perfectly. A fabulous weekend, spent with good friends and the wider Star Wars fan community.

I particularly enjoyed helping out on the Star Wars Stage. Interviewing folk connected to the fanbase is always enjoyable, none more so than when it is an actor from one of the movies. I love The Empire Strikes Back. I love bounty hunters. I love Bossk.

The opportunity to share the stage with Alan Harris was one to be relished. He may not be in the best of health, but boy is he still feisty. An honour and a pleasure to reminisce with one of my favourite characters from the saga.

For those that came along to The Zone and contributed in any way to a memorable few days, I thank you. For those who helped us raise a phenomenal amount of money for charity, I salute you. MTFBWY all.

Greig Robertson

I arrived first thing Saturday morning to join in the fun in the Star Wars Zone. After a tour of the area and a crash course in the various games we had to offer, it was time for doors opening.

I spent the majority of my time working between the Porg shootout and the genius Sarlacc Pit game. The smiles on the faces of the kids and adults as they selected a Bantha to put on the Sarlacc area and watch it run around the track really made my weekend. Everyone was so appreciative of the work put in and the prizes for taking part in the free games.

I also had the honour to interview Steve Grad from Beckett Authentication and Pawn Stars with my brother in the force Paul Naylor. Steve is a pleasure to interview and a godsend to the autograph collecting commu

My eldest son Elliott spent most of his day in The Star Wars Zone, playing each game numerous times and joining in the fun on the panels. He had a fantastic weekend and the Fantha team made him feel like part of the team. He even contributed to our wrap up meeting 😉

As always it was an honour to work with this incredible team who are all like family!