Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved Star Wars. I watched the first movie when I was about five years old and was immediately hooked.
So much so, that around age seven my dad gave me a model of the Millennium Falcon for Christmas that was about as big as me. I built and painstakingly applied decal stickers to the ship that summer (a little different to the toys of today but no less awesome to a true fan).
Many years and a whole additional trilogy later, I am still an adoring fan and couldn’t be more excited for the 7th installment of the franchise to come out next week. So when the opportunity to attend a Star Wars fan event featuring the one and only Han Solo came about, of course I was excited!
I don’t line up for much, but for this, I was prepared to wait as long as necessary.
Waiting somewhat impatiently on the Opera House forecourt with my equally excited friend, it was fun to be surrounded but nothing but Star Wars fans, including a couple resplendent in some impressive costumes.
Inside – there was no shame in queuing (again) for photos with BB-8 - the droid everyone is looking for - plus a 3D experience and green screen- snaps with Lightsabers. The last one I liked so much, I went back for a second go for a shot on a different background.
The soundtrack for my four hours in the Sydney sun was provided by none other than a Stormtrooper DJ as we waited for the main event – the arrival of Harrison Ford.
I may have squealed loudly as Han Solo himself (and don’t forget Indy - did I mention that I am a fan?) made his way towards the Opera House.
I grew up with Harrison Ford's stories. I grew up with Han Solo, I grew up with Indiana Jones, how could I not get excited by actually getting to see him in the flesh?
Introduced by Captain Typho (Jay Laga'aia), the star catered to his many adoring fans on the red carpet after a few media chats.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much time he spent walking that red carpet, knowing he has been reticent in the past to talk much about Star Wars.
Even though he was probably, quite literally, paid a boat-load of money to come back to Han Solo, Ford posed for selfies, chatted and signed dozens of autographs with a smile, making it seem like he was genuinely happy to be there.
He even cracked a few droll jokes during the audience question and answer session on stage.
At the event Harrison said he's not surprised new generations are becoming fans of the space saga and this fan is pretty excited Star Wars is sticking around for another wave of people to adore.
My ticket for next Thursday is booked and I can’t wait to see The Force Awakens on the big screen here in Oz – before the rest of the world even gets a chance. Given the film is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi and it has been about 30 years since I first saw it, I am hoping it feels like I have grown with the characters on screen.