Juli’s Star Wars Moment #14: Even Darth Maul Needs an Umbrella

We haven’t done a My Star Wars Post for a while but I’ve also never written one myself. Now it is the eve before Star Wars Celebration Europe and I have a memory that I myself would like to share. As always, if you would like to submit a My Star Wars Memory do email me at juliwitte@clone-corridor.uk!

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Even Darth Maul Needs an Umbrella

Like many other Star Wars fans I have never really attended an official convention before, whether it’s specifically for Star Wars or for other fandoms. They are mystical events that happen in faraway places like San Diego which completely take over my Twitter feed for a few fays. But I have been to one kind of convention, when I was a small child at the tender age of 9. When I was young we lived in the Netherlands, Nieuwegein to be precise. And in 2002 and 2003 the Echo Base Charity Con was organised in a big convention building near our home. (Echo Base was a Dutch fan club for Star Wars which unfortunately no longer exist.)

As a little girl in the ’00s it wasn’t always easy to come out as a Star Wars lover without being chased away to the Barbie section of the toy store. (Yes, this happened, frequently.) Thankfully my father never stood for this and 2002 was the year I saw my first Star Wars film in the cinema. Seeing how excited I was about the whole saga, my father bought us tickets to the Echo Base Charity Con. I had no idea what a convention even was, I had no idea who would be there, what would be happening and yet I was excited.

My memories of the Echo Base Con 2002 are unfortunately incredibly blurry. I remember one moment incredibly vividly however and it is one of my favourite Star Wars memories ever. When we got the conference building we joined the queue to get in. Since it was the Netherlands it was raining and most people were hiding under umbrellas. Once we made it inside I saw a massive figure, shrouded in a black cloak. When the figure turned around I was staring at the face of Darth Maul and I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor. It was amazing cosplay and I was even slightly scared. That was the moment the man’ wife walked around him. She was shaking the umbrella that she had been holding over her husband’s head so the rain wouldn’t ruin his make-up. She saw me and my father admiring the Darth Maul costume and jokingly said :

‘Who knew Darth Maul would need someone to carry an umbrella for him! That’s Sith for you.’

What made the whole thing even better was that she was quite a bit shorter than her tall husband and was cosplaying as an Ewok. That’s how my Echo Base Con started, with seeing other people be as passionate about Star Wars and me and being incredibly friendly. The whole day after that was a blur of Kenny Baker on stage, costumes everywhere and more merch than any fan could dream off. It was such a happy and positive experience that I have wanted to attend a “proper and big” convention ever since. Now that SWCE is happening and I am actually going I can’t wait to again share one of the biggest passions of my life with so many other people and to make memories together that I’ll remember for years to come.

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