Norwich Star Wars club will not draw weapons in public because of Paris terror attacks

Christmas shoppers in Castle Mall getting a visit from Norwich Star Wars Club.

Christmas shoppers in Castle Mall getting a visit from Norwich Star Wars Club. - Credit: Steve Adams

Members of a Norwich Star Wars club have agreed not to draw blasters and other weapons in public at the request of the space saga's creator in light of the recent terror attacks in Paris.

The Norwich Star Wars Club UK received a memo from George Lucas's company, Lucasfilm Ltd, asking them not to take weapons out of their holsters when costumed characters, like Stormtroopers, are involved in events or posing for pictures in the community.

The request, which was made via social media, was made following co-ordinated terrorist attacks across Paris last month in which 130 people died.

Richard Walker, president of the Norwich Star Wars Club UK, said: 'George Lucas put a memo out asking all groups world wide if they would refrain from taking their blasters out and posing with them as it might make people a bit jittery - it's because of what happened in France.

'It's only an ask but when we've been out we've respected that.

'We've put an email out to everyone that we've been asked by Lucasfilm Ltd to refrain from using blasters or weapons of any sort.

'We're not taking the blasters out of the holsters but we still have pictures taken without the blasters. People like characters. They're not here to have pictures with the blasters but to have pictures with the characters.'

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Mr Walker said most groups he had spoken to agreed to support the ban on withdrawing weapons - although there had been some disquiet from groups in places like America.

He said: 'There's a bit of animosity between one or two groups who say it's not right, the kids want to see the weapons and that it makes a better picture but we're doing what Lucasfilm asked us to do.'

The club, which has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the past 16 years, is busier than ever with the eagerly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hitting cinemas later this week.

Members of the club were at Castle Mall in Norwich on Saturday helping to raise money to buy Christmas presents for the children at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and youngsters supported by the Mall's chosen charity, The Umbrella Housing Association.

Mr Walker and other members of the club, which meets at the aptly named New Hope Christian Centre on Martineau Lane in Norwich, will be at the Odeon cinema on Riverside in Norwich from 8pm on Wednesday December 16th with the film being released in the UK at 12.01am on December 17.

To find out more about the club call 01603 461828.

Have you got an unusual Star Wars story? Email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk