A ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ open audition event – in GIF form.


I freaking love Star Wars. Even the rubbish ones.



The first three are my go-to movies when I’m feeling happy, sad, bad, glad, mad, pleased or bored. I believe that the genius of taking a conventional fantasy story and plonking it in space cannot be overestimated, and although the prequels have their faults, they add to and enrich a universe that has enthralled millions. And I am the sort of person that owns not one, but twolightsabers.

Technically three if you count that one of them is double-bladed. Therefore, when the open casting call for ‘an athletic male, 19-23 years old’ came in last week, I was pretty damn thrilled. I knew thousands would line the streets for this chance, and I vowed to be one of them.

Queues hold a special place in Star Wars history. I wish I was old enough to have queued up to watch the originals. I queued up to watch Episode 3, I’m going to queue up to watch Episode 7, and damn it all, I was going to queue up to get my shot at swinging a real, honest-to-god elegant weapon (from a more civilised age), despite my friends and family dutifully informing me that I haven’t got a hope in hell.



So, after some umming and ahhing and almost not going, me and the girlfriend, headshots in hand, dutifully queued up to take our chances.

I’ll be honest, as ridiculous as it sounds, I was actually pretty hopeful that I was going to get a callback. I could quote Shakespeare monologues on cue, and I have swordfighting experience thanks to a decade of martial arts. I was going to crush it.





Job done, three film contract. Next.

We turned up at nine. That was our first mistake. This is a very accurate representation of my face when I saw the queue:

There were thousands of people there, most of which were legitimate, honest-to-god actors that had clearly won the genetic lottery, most of whom knowing very little about the films. The security guys told us to ‘move along’ and I was the only one who sniggered. There were also chancers like me, hopefuls that hadn’t done much acting, but would spend two days inside a Tauntaun for the opportunity of a lifetime. We got in just before the cutoff point, so whatever happened, we were in with a shot!

There were mixed messages in the queue. Some said it closed at three, others said six. Some said twenty-five were going through at any one time, others said thirty. This was the second day of auditions, and I had done a bit of research beforehand. Thanks to that, and me asking some men in hi-vis jackets that may have been working the crowd, but could also have been some local builders screwing with me, I became the font of all knowledge to my neighbouring hopefuls.


 However, the weariness of the sporadic start-stop movement, and the sight of the zigzagging droves of sheeple soon began to drag, and we contemplated leaving the line for a steak.



 After four hours of numb feet, and listening to aspiring thespians tell me the pointlessness of ‘Star Wars nerds’ being there, the queue began to speed up.


This was due to the casting director scouring the lines, pulling out people he liked, and telling others to go home. After four hours, we were told that the wait would be a further five hours. Soon after that, we were told to go home.


 Yep. The dream was over.
They had pulled just three people out of our back two hundred or so: a Donald Glover lookalike, a six-foot-plus young man with dark hair and a considerable jaw, and a short brunette that bore a passing resemblance to Carrie Fisher.

I reacted rather calmly to this.

On reflection, it’s probably for the best. I was thrilled to be a part of the phenomenon, if only for a day. When I’m showing Episode VII to my children, thirty years hence, I can point to Ben Skywalker or Jacen Solo or whoever that character ends up becoming and say ‘I was there. I was part of it, and that could’ve been me’. That sense of community is what makes Star Wars special. More so than any other franchise, it crosses generations and brings people together.


We left that queue after four hours and fifteen minutes. The steak was okay.*beat*

It was a bit Chewie.

By Matthew Evans, http://cheaperthanabook.blogspot.co.uk/