Following several disruptions caused by the Galactic Empire, we must now leave Earth to strengthen the rebellion. Tell no one.
Above is the meeting location. Coincidentally, I had lived there for a good few years not that long ago so this had come in pretty handy. The building utilised used to be the printing factory for Daily Mail & Evening Standard and had only closed down a few years back. It is amazing to know it is being put to good use - little did I know how good. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I'd spend an evening roaming around this factory as a Rebel Refugee. (I have a thing for machines & tools).
The Rebellion is coming to an end, but I will still try my best to avoid spoilers and offer tips for those of you who have yet to leave Earth before it's too late!
"Heels must not be worn" says the invite. Ladies, this is the most precious piece of advice for the evening. It is a secret escape mission. There will be light running, and on a day like mine it was wet, muddy, and puddly. Even indoors there are plenty of grated surfaces. Sounds mighty fun doesn't it?
Each attendee is assigned an identity. Try your best to dress the part even if you don't buy the outfits from the Rebel-X store off Brick Lane (not maked in Earth language and will disappear once the mission is over). This actually sounds a lot easier than it sounds, for most characters white/sand/khaki colours work wonders. Think hobo chic and you'll fit right in. Unless you're Han or Leia; which then it's really a no brainer isn't it? There were people on my night who blatantly made no effort and went in human attire (reds, blues, most non-earthy colours would really stand out) which I thought really spoiled the atmosphere. I guess it was a Tuesday after all...?
I had my camera very openly hanging off my neck from the start and been at front of queues again and again. Then I got to 'immigration' to enter Tatooine and the immigration officer came to me and confiscated the camera right off of me. I carefully inspected all the signs and none said no photography! Even at the beginning when they inspected bags (my tiny one was inspected by "The Force" pahah) or at the gates where "all communication devices must be sealed in these silver bags" - noone had warned me. Anyway, feeling like a sad fool, I moped with my mighty strong cocktail in Cantina that was enough to floor me if I sat down with nibbles from the market stalls of Mos Eisley.
Side but very important piece of advice - remember your name. Not the one you use on Earth but your real Galactic one. Trust me. I witnessed a bewildered woman in human clothes being marched away by stormtroopers for not having her "papers".
The schedule gives you an hour before and after the screening to explore Mos Eisley and to find out what your secret tokens will get you. My bag of crystals gave me...curry seeds. Hang around town for reinactments of our favourite scenes, especially near Luke's Landspeeder. I will say no more! I will say though, brace yourself for some epic goosebumps while a life-size x-wing flies above you right before the screen room opens!
The movie playing was disappointing. We first had sound issues, then focus issues, it just kept coming. The women behind me didn't help, in full human clothes, calling scenes cheesy, and literally did not stop chatting like they were in their own living rooms the entire time, crunching the loudest foiled snacks from Earth. Then ended with "are they playing the entire movie?!" and left. Was it too nerdy of me to want to genuinely indulge in this re-watch of The Empire Strike Back?
Trivia aside, it was a fun night and definitely a bucket-list experience for all Starwars fans! The passion and effort behind the whole production is what hope & dreams are made of!
P.S. All photos here are from official Secret Cinema - my camera got confiscated remember? lols