IN a galaxy not so far, far away Jamie Stangroom embarked on the ultimate journey.
The self-confessed Star Wars nerd has taken his love of the sci-fi films to an all new level by auditioning former Star Wars actors who don’t appear in the new films to show producers Disney what they’re missing out on.
He is hoping to get some of his favourite characters included in future films in the franchise, as well as getting to meet the actors behind them in his YouTube series ‘These are the actors you are looking for’.
The 30 year-old from Kenilworth set out on his quest at the start of 2015 ahead of the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens – believing vital characters had been forgotten.
From searching for bounty hunter Boba Fett, who seemingly saw his end in the sarlacc pit, to the bumbling Gungan, Jar Jar Binks, Jamie has traveled across the country to conventions and even to actor’s homes in a bid to have them included in future films.
Now living and working as a broadcaster in London, Jamie enlisted the help of friends to film his adventures and even converted one of them into a fully fledged fan.
As well as clarifying the 39 year-old argument of who shot first between Han Solo and bounty hunter Greedo (it was Han) Jamie has also met Mike Edmonds, the actor responsible for Jabba the Hut’s tail-wiggling as he was strangled by Princess Leia.
Celebrities who aren’t involved with Star Wars have even wanted to be a part of the project – Austin Powers’ Mini Me Vern Troya and WWE star Chris Jericho are both set to appear in the coming installments of the series.
But the highlight for the former pupil at Leamington’s Trinity School was coming face to face with cinema’s ultimate villain.
He told the Observer: “It was the most surreal experience to have met the real Darth Vader – David Prowse. I don’t think anything will top interviewing him in his cabin.
The success of Jamie’s videos is growing rapidly and Ahmed Best, who brought Jar Jar Binks to life, has even been re-interviewed after his appearance in the series went viral and Star Wars fans had unanswered questions about his character.
Jamie added: “I have tweeted a lot of the actors in the new films about my auditions in the hope it may result in them being cast again.
“Mark Hamil – Luke Skywalker – favourited a tweet I sent him with the video link which said ‘is the force still strong with your old colleagues?’ I’d say that is recognition of the need for these characters.
“I think having Peter Mayhew who plays Chewbacca acknowledge my work would be the best thing to happen other than succeeding in my mission to get the characters back on the big screen.
“All of the actors were great sports and we had some real fun – Jeremy Bulloch played Boba Fett who was a clone, so we played on that throughout. And Paul Blake, or Greedo, finally got his chance to shoot Han Solo!”
The one actor which has eluded Jamie is the infamous Stormtrooper who hit his head during Episode IV: A New Hope.
Extras playing Stormtroopers just had fit into the one-size suits and tracking this particular actor has proved all but impossible – so far!
Visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiMdSM2PgeQ to watch Jamie’s videos.