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The Star Wars Philippines Holocron

Saturday, January 03, 2004


If Master Archivist Jocasta Nu faithfully recorded every detail of this past year for Fanforce Philippines, her accounts would take up a whole volume in the Jedi Archives. For a fledgling group that has been in existence for just a little over a year, Star Wars
Philippines (SWP) has done a lot to bring Filipino Starwoids together.

The year 2003 started with a perceptible bang when we were approached by (surprise, surprise), Via Astris - The Star Trek Club of the Philippines. Their Captain sought an audience with our Jedi Council to discuss plans for the 1st Philippine Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. This unlikely tandem helped to bring about the New Worlds Alliance, a network of local fangroups that also include The
Philippine Tolkien Society, Pinoy Harry Potter, Pinoy Slayers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel), Pinoy X-Philes, The Talon (Smallville), Matrix Philippines, and Pinoy Fremen (Frank Herbert's Dune).

The first two months of the year were then spent preparing for this momentous event in Filipino fandom. There were countless volunteer meetings, brainstorming sessions, and even occassional media appearances and interviews.

On March 12, 2003, at "New Worlds - The 1st Philippine Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention", Star Wars Philippines rocked the fandom by introducing two unforgettable performance groups: The Stormballs - The Ultimate Sci-fi Fantasy, and the Saber Suicide Squad. Amidst squeals, screams, gasps, and laughter, SWP's parody of Stormtroopers doing the Full Monty, danced their way into the hearts
of local fans. This initial performance would mark the start of a year of event appearances, newspaper writeups, and even their very own website ( Likewise, the Saber Suicide Squad, SWP's lightsaber fight demo team, impressed the fans with their well-choreographed fight sequences complete with sound effects.

To celebrate its first year in existence, Star Wars Philippines held its 1st Anniversary Party on April 5, 2003, exactly one year to the day it was first established at Yahoogroups.

The 1st Out of Town trip to Cabangan, Zambales, on May 17 and 18, placed the Starwoids in a totally different setting, and served to establish a different level of friendship among those who attended.

To encourage the other members to become active and participate in activities and in forum and mailing list discussions, the SWP Jedi Council initiated a Merit Point System. Members earn merits for attending assemblies, for volunteering during activities, for coming to events in costume, for contributing to the website, posting in the forums and mailing lists, or for joining group contests. Their merit points allow them to move up the ranks of the SWP Hierarchy.

The Stormballs made their second public appearance on June 21 at the 2nd Philippine Toys and Collectibles Convention, halting sales and trading, and generally causing quite a stir among the attendees.

Many of the talented members of Star Wars Philippines are part of their own bands, and it has long been their dream to put together an event incorporating Star Wars and music. Through the initiative of Fanforce Chapter rep Adrian Arcega and local geek event master Azrael Coladilla, "Mos Eisley Night" came into fruition last August 31 at the Millenia Cafe. Featuring fanfilm screenings, fan art exhibits, Star Wars merchandise, fans in costume, and performances by the country's most promising emergent bands, this event was attended by Star Wars fans, music lovers, and allies from other Filipino fangroups.

Sometime during the planning stages for "Mos Eisley Night", the Council decided to implement the optional Premium Membership for all existing and new sign-ups. This is to help fund the different activities that the group will be involved in. Premium Members are of course entitled to special privileges during events, library privileges, merchandise discounts, and more.

On October 18, during the We Are Anime Cosplay Party, The Stormballs once again made their presence felt in the cosplay and convention circuit with another well-received performance, at the same time promoting their website and the upcoming premiere of "Star Wars: Clone Wars" on Cartoon Network.

Halloween is THE holiday for fandoms, as it is a good excuse to wear costumes! Star Wars Philippines, along with the other members of the New Worlds Alliance celebrated Halloween in their own way on the night of October 31 with a costume contest, games, food, and fun!

On November 17, SWP was invited by Dream Satellite TV and Star Movies to discuss the possibility of collaborating on an event to celebrate the exclusive Asian Television Premiere of "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" on Star Movies.

November 19 marked the first shooting day for SWP's very own fanfilm, "Star Wars: Checkmate". Using just basic filmmaking materials, director Gary Mayoralgo led the cast and crew through a sequence of shots that will be used for the fanfilm's trailer,
scheduled to make its debut during "Mos Eisley Night Strikes Back". A second shooting day was then held a few days later on November 22, after a group General Assembly. Shooting for the trailer wrapped up that evening, and plans for editing were then scheduled.

The idea for a 1st Philippine Star Wars Convention was brought up during the first meeting with Dream Satellite TV and Star Movies on November 25. Initial plans and suggestions were studied and the partnership between the three organizations was formalized during this meeting.

Amidst planning for the 1st Philippine Star Wars Convention, Mos Eisley Night struck back on November 29, also at Millenia Cafe. This time, four new bands regaled the audience with their performances, and everyone had fun participating in trivia contests, and watching the Stormballs! The trailer for "Star Wars: Checkmate" also debuted during this event.

A series of meetings, planning sessions, and assemblies followed, in preparation for SWP's biggest event to date.

Member volunteers roamed the Alabang Town Center Mall on December 14, giving away flyers advertising the event.

On December 15, Dream Satellite TV and Star Movies hosted a Press Luncheon to formally announce the 1st Philippine Star Wars Convention to the media. After this, press releases were printed in different newspapers, and footage from the Press Luncheon was aired on Dream Satellite TV's channels.

The 1st Philippine Star Wars Convention formally opened with the inauguration of the Star Wars Fan Art Exhibit on December 18, at the Cinema Lobby of the Alabang Town Center Mall. The Exhibit featured the works of well-known Filipino names in the international comic book industry, and promising artists who also happen to be big Star Wars fans.

On December 20, younger convention attendees eagerly enrolled in the Jedi Academy, were they underwent a series of tests of their Force abilities. After completing the tests, they were rewarded with exclusive merchandise from Star Movies, a diploma, and a photo session with Master Yoda! Collectors were treated to a wide selection of merchandise courtesy of The Hobby Shop, Collectibles Unlimited, and SWP Master Toy-darian, Ryan de Guia's Toy Store. Fans also learned collecting basics through a seminar entitled "Bounty Hunting: On Star Wars Collecting", given by SWP member and collecting enthusiast, Borgs Segovia. Other attendees got a glimpse of how "Attack of the Clones" must have been made, as members of Furball
Productions talked about "The Power of Pixels", an introduction to Digital Filmmaking. Artist Lyndon Gregorio of "Beerkada" fame graced the event and obliged attendees by drawing Star Wars caricatures. The braver fans also had Star Wars symbols and characters tattooed on them by henna artists.

The kids were out in full force on December 21, as more of them participated in the Jedi Academy. Three budding young artists made their mark during the "Create Your Own Jedi" On-the-spot Art Contest, while comics fans were treated to an art demonstration by Ariel Atienza and Ryan Orosco. Several lucky attendees won Star Wars posters and Timezone Powercards during the trivia game held at the
convention area. The Saber Suicide Squad later impressed the audience with their show of swordsmanship. Fans interacted with fellow fans as they mingled to talk about merchandising, the artworks, lightsabers, and even about the fanfilms which were being screened.

Despite the short preparation period and relatively small manpower, the 1st Philippine Star Wars Convention was a success. It is the most appropriate way to end a year where friendships were formed, alliances were strengthened, milestones were achieved, lessons learned, and Rachel and Gary joined the Jedi Council.

As we look forward to another year, The 2nd Philippine Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in January, and to the big event in 2005, may we all remember that although it is the Force and love of the saga that brought us all together, it is friendship that binds Star Wars Philippines as a group, and makes it what it is today.

On behalf of the Star Wars Philippines Jedi Council, I thank you all for a wonderful year, and for helping to make the dream of Fanforce Philippines come true. Have a blessed and prosperous new year, everyone. I think the Ewoks have taken care of the party preparations. If that's the case, then only one thing's for sure... it will be FUN. :)

data entered at 6:56:00 PM by ginnyskywalker

December 28 - Master Aids helps out Star Movies and Cablelink by serving as Jedi-in-costume for another "Episode 2" event at Festival Mall in Alabang

December 31 - Asian Television Premiere of "Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones" on Star Movies
data entered at 6:50:00 PM by ginnyskywalker