There are two ways to work with Costumed Fan Groups;
- Open fan invite to attend an event Costumed fan group members can be invited to attend an event in or out of character costume. No direction for any involvement at the event can be given and no payment to be made, they are to be treated as ordinary guests. E.g. invitations to our Star Wars-themed events such as sporting events, Star Wars Weekends, Legoland Star Wars Days, Comic Con etc.
- Promotional appearances Costumed fan group members are cast via Lucasfilm to attend a promotional event and are paid for their time. These requests can be from Disney, Lucasfilm, Star Wars Licensees or Promotional Partners. E.g. request for a Character to appear at a retail event, conference, agency visit, photo-opportunity for promotional use.
APPEARANCE AREA / SUITABLE LOCATIONS
It is preferable for Star Wars Characters to always appear within their own themed environment. Although they can ‘wander or mingle’ with guests it may be preferable depending on guest numbers and crowd flow to set up one branded area for a meet & greet photo opportunity.
It is recommended that the appearance area should be a minimum of 3meters wide by 3m deep, be distinct and have a background which features an appropriate themed environment for the Characters. All backdrops and appearance area designs must be approved in advance by Lucasfilm. Only Disney and Lucasfilm signage should appear in the appearance area and although Characters can appear in front of images of themselves, it is recommended that the backgrounds do not contain an image of the Character that is appearing.
We also recommend additional themed decoration and music to enhance the area and the atmosphere for the photo opportunity.
A secure changing room will be required that is lockable and private. Any windows should be covered with curtains or blinds so that no one can see in. The changing room should be as close to the appearance area as possible and please note that toilets or washroom are not appropriate. Water and appropriate meals and snacks should be provided.
Planning security for a special event requires a tailored approach that balances effective, non-excessive security measures against a realistic assessment of the likely threats to the event. Crowds should be properly managed by security and guest relations personnel.
Star Wars Characters appearance times can be flexible but sufficient breaks should be factored into the day. It is not recommended to have the Characters appear for longer than 45minutes without a rest period. Costumed fan groups will need to arrive at the event a minimum of 1hour before an event in order to have sufficient preparation time.
CHARACTER APPEARANCE USAGE
- Characters must always be presented as entertainers and not salespeople. They should never be used to sell, promote or endorse anything including Lucasfilm & Disney properties or products.
- Characters should always be presented in keeping with their unique personalities and should remain in Character for the duration of their appearance.
- Characters should remain true to their unit and timeline. Care should be taken when mixing Character groupings to ensure it is suitable to do so from their storyline.
- Star Wars Characters cannot handle merchandise or distribute giveaways at appearances or convey any commercial messages.
- Star Wars Characters should not be positioned near to, or be seen to hold or point to merchandise, even their own merchandise.
- Star Wars Characters should never appear with any other costumed Characters including Disney & Marvel Characters, clowns, Santa’s, company or school mascots. At multiple Franchise events there should be clear separation of any Star Wars Characters from Disney or Marvel areas.
- Star Wars Characters should never be photographed in association with alcohol, tobacco products, or vulgar or “adult” images, logos or slogans and should be insulated from religious, politically sensitive, or controversial context.
Availability differs per country however as most Costumed Fan Group members have full time jobs events should be requested as far in advance as possible. In the case of no availability of requested Characters in your area – Characters can be brought in from elsewhere however travel and associated expenses along with pment for travel days should be covered.
There are many approved members for ‘Helmeted Characters’ such as Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and other forms of troopers, bounty hunters along with various generic Characters like Jedi and Rebel Pilots and Astromech Droids like R2-D2.
‘Face Characters’ such as Princess Leia, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and others are challenging to cast accurately however there are a few approved globally.
Chewbacca and C-3PO are rare and there is no approved walk around costumed character for Yoda.
HINTS AND TIPS
- Certain Characters will require a larger changing space than others & some require handlers to help the fan’s dress. Droid handlers may also request a site visit prior to the event to assess access points and routes.
- Stairs and narrow hallways are also a challenge for most characters – it is recommended that for all events the route between changing room and appearance space is wide and clear of any narrow or steep staircases.
- The approval by Lucasfilm for the cast for each event is on a case by case review. Not all of the approved costumed fan group members are approved for TV appearances & events that involve stage direction and or choreography – please highlight this in your request if this is relevant to your event so that the appropriate cast can be found.
- Depending on the sensitivity of your event, NDA’s may need to be signed and can be requested in advance of the event.