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Star Wars Experience – 2007 F.A.C.T.S.
by Joris DeSmet
October 13-14, 2007 in Ghent, Belgium

FACTS is an annual convention taking place in the beautiful Flemish city of Ghent (Belgium). As tradition demands in the meantime, the International Congress Center (I.C.C.), located in the lush green City Park of Ghent, is the host location for the event. The I.C.C. offers ample accommodation for events such as FACTS, with restaurants, pubs, banks and parking space within walking distance.

 

FACTS is short for Fantasy, Anime, Comics, Toys and Science-fiction and that immediately provides a summary of the program for the convention: it’s a collectibles fair and meeting place for the terminally-contaminated fans of cult films. It is called, quite correctly, the biggest Science-Fiction convention in the entirety of the Benelux.

 

This year, 2007, FACTS was already up to its 17th edition; it took place in the weekend of 13 and 14 October 2007.

 

Every year, the FACTS organization invites a number of guest stars, who will spend their time at the convention socializing with the visitors and selling autographs.

 

This year’s guest list included …

 

Ralph Brown aka Ric Olié

 

If you ever see English actor Ralph Brown in a movie, chances are that you’ll remember him: according to some on-line sources he’s famed for reciting his dialogue with a relaxed, slow voice and very precise enunciation of words.

We saw Ralph in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace as Naboo Fighter Pilot Ric Olié.

But being Ric Olié is certainly not the only exploit on Ralph’s CV; when we browse his career we see, among others but certainly not limited to, roles in “Alien³”, “The Crying Game”, “Wayne’s World 2”, “Buster” and then various appearances on TV shows such as “Coronation Street”, “Nighty Night” and “Life on Mars”.

If that doesn’t already illustrate that Ralph is a versatile man, we can also add he’s an award-winning play writer and an avid musician.

His attendance of the FACTS Convention was his first Con appearance on the European mainland.

 

Alan Ruscoe aka Lott Dod aka Daultay Dofine aka Plo Koon

 

Monsters, aliens and androids seem to be the trademark of British-born actor Alan Ruscoe. If the Neimodians Dod and Dofine don’t ring a bell, you will certainly recognize Ruscoe as the methane-breathing Jedi Plo Koon in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.

As in the case of his fellow countryman Ralph Brown those roles were not Alan’s first work, though. Alan will be known best to TV watchers as he features in a number of popular TV series such as “Dr. Who” and “Hex”. But he also performs in blockbuster movies such as “the Fifth Element”. Except for his exploits on the white screen, Alan is also a blessed theatre man.

Also for Alan, his appearance at FACTS was the first step outside of the Britt convention circle.

 

David Bowers aka Mas Amedda

 

David was discovered by talent agents in a small coffee shop in his home town, who were there to film a low-budget movie about talent agents finding new faces in small coffee shops for high-budget movies.
Next he knows he's the actor portraying Mas Amedda in the Australian takes of Star Wars Episode 2, Attack of the Clones and Star Wars 3, Revenge of the Sith. Jerome Blake filled in the role for the British takes, but went strangely unaccredited for his efforts. Political ploy?

Other non-Star Wars artists and actors on the guest list this year were: comic artists LECTRR, Adam Hughes, Allison Sohn, Joe Jusko, Olivier Ledroit, Mario Boon, James A. Owen, Stéphane Leroux, Moonkey, Jerôme Alquié, Lildragon, Mangafique and actors Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Timecop; Universal Soldier) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters 1 and 2).

 

The official website of the organizers is www.FACTS-convention.com.

 

Most of the cosplayers you could see in the pictures of our article are proud members of the Rebel Legion Benelux and the Belgian 501st (www.FanWars.be), the fantastic life-size dioramas were made by the Prospectors Squad (www.Prospectors.be or www.501Prospectors.be) of the same Belgian 501st and the Artoo units were by the hand of the French R2 builders (www.R2-D2.fr).

The mentioned charity event was in support of none other than the Make-A-Wish Foundation (www.wish.org), a wish-granting organization that has given hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

 

None of this could have been possible without the aid of one of the most fantastic Jedi ever: Mark Dermul, proud owner of the Autograph Bounty Hunter website (www.BountyHunter.be) and chairman of the Star Force Events organization (www.StarForce.be).

 

Thanks again, Mark!

 

 


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