Family’s Star Wars collection started with 20p purchase from boot sale - and now their Ixworth home is like shrine to the cult film
- Credit: Gregg Brown
One of region’s biggest Star Wars collectors is inviting fans of the sci-fi blockbuster to ‘Come to the Suffolk Side’.
Jason Buxton, 44, who has been collecting Star Wars items for nearly 30 years, is hoping to found the Suffolk branch of an East Anglia based Star Wars club to share his enthusiasm and knowledge of the hit sci-fi movies with other local fans in the area.
Jason, from Ixworth, near Bury St Edmunds is one of the region’s biggest Star Wars collectors and every room of his four-bed house, even the loft, is packed with Star Wars memorabilia including original 1977 Star Wars chocolate bars, rare figurines, light sabers and countless Luke Skywalkers.
Jason will be dressing up along with other enthusiasts from the Norwich Star Wars Club to help get the Time & Space Sci-Fi exhibition at Moyse’s Hall in Bury St Edmunds off to a flying start.
Around 15-20 Star Wars fans from the club will march, known as ‘trooping’, through the town to honour the much awaited visit this Saturday and Sunday of actor David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy.
Jason’s wife Maria, 36, and children Ajay, 13, and Lucas, 11, (named after Star Wars creator George Lucas), will also be dressing up for the event, as they are Star Wars fanatics, too.
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“We’re completely Star Wars nuts,” said Jason, a printer. “Not a day goes by when we don’t watch a Star Wars movie clip either on TV, online or even sometimes using a wall projector.
“All our holidays are booked around Star Wars events, our family dog is called Chewy, we dress up for events once or twice a week and our house is jam-packed with Star Wars items, from Star Wars figures, to full costumes, games, videos, Star Wars lego, statues, T-shirts, clothes, bed linen, books and magazines.
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“Even my van has Luke SkyWalker on the side and our white Ford Kia looks a bit like a Stormtrooper. In fact, we have so much Star Wars memorabilia, we had to move to a bigger house recently to fit it all in.”
Jason began collecting all things Star Wars after first buying an Ewok figure at a car boot sale for 20p, when he was 16. His collection now includes ‘tens of thousands’ of items.
“I’d seen, and loved, the first Star Wars movie when it came out in 1977 but it wasn’t until I bought the first Ewok, I got the collecting bug,” said Jason, who’s known locally as Mr Star Wars.
“After that, my collection just grew and grew and I couldn’t stop buying anything with Star Wars on it.
“Originally, the fun was hunting down rare items like the original figures but it’s a lot easier these days because of the internet. I now buy and sell collectables all over the world.
“My prized items are a full size replica R2D2, signed by Kenny Baker who sat inside the original during the Star Wars movies, a full size Darth Vader outfit and some original toy figures, still in their packaging, all of which can be seen at the Moyse’s Hall exhibition.
“As a family, we go trooping every weekend, to conventions once every other month, and abroad to places such as Germany, Orlando and Florida once a year, for larger international events.
“We’ve now met most of the Star Wars actors and actresses but it’s still as fascinating as ever.”
The Norwich Star Wars Club has over 1,000 members worldwide. Over 30 East Anglia based members regularly go out ‘trooping’ for charity and fundraising events. Since 1999, the club has helped raise over £120,000 for various local and national charities.
Members also swap, sell or buy collectables, take part in Star Wars competitions, quizzes and light saber training classes.
“The attraction of Star Wars is that it brings people together. There are Star Wars fans of all ages and types, from businessmen to school children, all over East Anglia, as there are the world. We thought what better place to meet new faces than at Moyse’s Hall’s Sc-Fi exhibition to help start a Suffolk branch,” added Jason.
“When the new Star Wars film comes out next year, we expect a whole new legion of fans and we want to have different meeting places for people to celebrate the movie and talk all things Star Wars.
“For the Moyse’s Hall exhibition, we decided we would go ‘trooping’ in Bury and people can see everyone from Luke Skywalker, R2D2, Chewbacca, a whole host of Ewoks, and of course Darth Vader. We’ll even have two Princess Leias.”
Last year, Moyse’s Hall attracted over 2,500 visitors for its 5th Sci-Fi exhibtion. Apart from meeting David Prowse (Darth Vader), people will also be able to see a whole range of sci-fi costumes, props, toys and memorabilia from classics including Star Wars, Judge Dredd, Star Trek, Terminator and Cyberman.
Louise Jameson, who played Doctors Who’s assistant, Leela, in the Tom Baker era will also attend on Nov 1 while Jason’s wife, Maria Buxton, a firefighter, will be attending the Moyse’s exhibition opening as amphibious humanoid, Jar Jar Binks.
The Buxtons’ sons, Ajay and Lucas, will be there as Ewoks.
“Looking back, when Jason and I got together 15 years ago, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for,” Maria said.
“When he invited me back to his house for the first time, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was packed with Star Wars figures, toys, light sabers, costumes, videos and anything Star Wars related you could think of.
“My first reaction was: what a geek! but Jason’s enthusiasm is so infectious that after a while, and especially after the children were born, I got hooked, too.
“It’s not so much the movies as the social side I enjoy and we now have friends from all over the world who all share our common interest.
“Our house is literally overflowing with Star Wars items including everything from Star Wars bedroom slippers to shampoo and toothpaste, chocolate bars, biscuits, cutlery, BBQ tongs in the shape of light sabers, coffee cups, beakers and chairs.
“You come across Star Wars items everywhere from charity shops to jumble sales, corner shops and even farmer’s markets.
“And if it has Star Wars on it, who can resist The Force?”
Anyone interested in joining or helping to found the new Suffolk branch of the Norwich Star Wars Club should visit www.norwichstarwarsclub.co.uk or pick up an enrolment form during the Time & Space exhibition at Moyse’s Hall in Bury St Edmunds this weekend October 25–26.