If you are anything like me, seeing the words ‘Star Wars’ and ‘midnight launch’ in an email means you are hitting the reply button faster than you can say ‘Han shot first’. This is basically how I ended up heading to John Lewis on Oxford street way past my bedtime to experience my first ever Force Friday event.
Force Friday is an event which started last year and is not to be confused with Star Wars Day (May the fourth, obviously) or Star Wars Celebration. Force Friday is the day when my fellow Star Wars nerds get their first peek at the new merchandise for the year, coming just in time for the Christmas countdown. In fact you can buy it right then and there at midnight and be one of the first to get your hands on these exciting new products.
Now as you know us Star Wars fans love a midnight launch, I myself have attended both the last Star Wars films at midnight on the day of release and this proved to be no exception. This is the first time John Lewis had joined in with the Force Friday celebrations so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as I passed the impressive queue of eager fans (many wearing amazingly detailed cosplay) I could feel my excitement building. We had been invited to explore the new products early with the press, so I got to skip the queue and head right on inside.
We didn’t really know what to expect, would it just be a regular display of merchandise, would there be extra theming? Well imagine our excitement when we were allowed in and found a replica Cantina bar! Oh yes, and filled with all your favourite Star Wars Characters, so the selfie opportunities were plentiful! The attention to detail was incredible, from the lighting, to the wanted posters, everything was really accurate and the performers were all amazing, they really knew their stuff and we’re totally in character. The bar staff were particularly amazing actors, really adding to the excitement and atmosphere. We were served mysterious sci-fi cocktails to drink as we browsed.
Product wise there was everything from the latest lego creations (something we already have a lot of in our flat) to VR games, to TVs and even electric shavers. There’s even a whole range of toys for kids and big kids alike! My personal highlight was the new range of remote control drones, the 47-Z Speeder bike being my particular favourite. It flew so smoothly and I was really impressed with how much control the user had with it, it was seriously impressive to watch and I’d love to get my hands on one. It was great to get the chance to play with these products and try before you buy, it gave me some great ideas for Harry’s Christmas presents as well as making my own Christmas list much longer!
Of course this wasn’t all, there was tons of entertainment to keep the fans happy, including a Cantina Band and some seriously impressive homemade droids. I had a great chat with some of the creators of said droids who’d made them all at home in their spare time, I was gutted you couldn’t purchase them they were so cool and amazingly well made, it’s a testament to those who put the time and effort into creating them.
Overall a night well worth staying up late for! Have you taken part in Force Friday before?
Some pictures provided by PR company for use in this post.