Star Wars fans from across the country gathered at the Sydney Opera House last night to catch a glimpse of Harrison Ford. While it was billed as a general Star Wars fan event, let's be honest: we were all there for Han.
The line to get in stretched way back along the waterfront at ten to four, with the event due to open at four. Of course, like most big events it wasn't exactly running on time, but Star Wars fans seem to have an ability to queue like no other fanbase can. There were Jedi and Leias and Lukes and plenty of Han Solo costumes in the crowd, with plenty of signs, posters and toys being brandished for the cameras.
The first fans were let in -- after a rigorous security screening -- a little after four, with the first group sprinting down to take the best places in front of the stage. The rest of the pit filled a little more slowly, as the fans wandered over to the 'fan area' to have a look at some of the other attractions on display. There wasn't anything too special -- a couple of photo ops featuring costumes and statues of some of the main characters, and a little booth where you could record a hologrammatic message that BB-8 would display on the screen (think of the message that Leia sends through R2-D2 in A New Hope).
Over on the main stage the host for the evening -- actor Jay Laga'aia, who played Captain Typho in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith -- conducted a quick trivia session with a couple of fans who had been pulled out of the audience. The questions started easy -- who killed Greedo in the Mos Eisley Cantina -- but by the last question the fans on stage had to list the names of every single member of the Jedi Council.
The trivia seemed like a great start to a big old fan event -- but unfortunately that seemed to be the only thing they had organised of that type. The next presentation to take the stage was the BB8 team from Sphero, showing off the life-sized replica, along with a bunch of cute kids playing with the normal sized version. Well, that was probably more than my entire daily dose of cute.
But let's be honest -- this event was really about Harrison Ford, who didn't rock up until around 7pm. He made the rounds of the crowd -- probably made a couple of fans' entire lives -- and then jumped up on stage for the somewhat disappointingly short Q&A. While brief, Ford still managed to display his iconic dry wit, even slipping in a mention of the upcoming Blade Runner project.
When he decided to stand instead of taking a seat at the start of the interview, you could kind of tell that he wasn't planning on staying for long. This is Harrison Ford we're talking about, however, and I have no doubt that anyone in the audience would happily queue and wait another five hours just to get a tiny glimpse of him.
Did you manage to get tickets for last night's event, or are you holding out for the midnight premiere? Tell us in the comments!