When the Turbine Hall gates close on Sunday evening, calm will return to the galaxy. Thousands of fans of the "Star Wars" saga made the pilgrimage to Oberhausen on the first weekend in August to present their costumes, expand their armories or simply exchange ideas with like-minded people. The second edition of the Power of the Force Convention in Oberhausen was a complete success. For many visitors, the family fan gathering was like a trip to another galaxy - and thus exactly what you expect when you visit a Star Wars convention. We have summarized the highlights of the Power of the Force Convention 2018 for you.

In 1977, George Lucas began an intergalactic journey that fans continue to this day. For more than 40 years, "Star Wars" has inspired people all over the world. For many it is enough to watch the movies – and recently also series – over and over again. Some read comics or books that focus on locations and characters from the films, or invent entirely new characters. Few, on the other hand, slip into the roles of their heroes and villains themselves, make fan films or spread the teachings of the Jedi. At conventions like that Power of the Force you can find everything.

Thousands of fans of the "Star Wars" saga visit Oberhausen

When fans of completely different age groups talk about their hobby with shining eyes, the listener's heart opens at the palpable passion. What shouldn't be missing at a fan convention are stars from the films, even if most of them played supporting roles. Michael Culver, for example, who worked in The Empire strikes back played the Imperial officer Lorth Needa or Paul Blake, who in the role of the bounty hunter Greedo definitely shot slower than Han Solo.

For fans, the appearances of their idols, who are now mostly elderly, are one of the highlights of a convention. So also on the Power of the Force in Oberhausen. For a photo with them, the performers call for prices of around 25 euros. In addition, there is the normal admission ticket, which was available from 20 euros per day.

Especially nice for families: children up to 10 years of age can dive into foreign galaxies for free when accompanied by an adult. Combined with the opportunities to visit the Jedi School, to be photographed with the numerous disguised figures and to marvel at detailed spaceship models, this is the Power of the Force Convention is the ideal destination for an entertaining family outing.

On the days of the first weekend in August, thousands of fans flocked to the turbine hall in Oberhausen, which with their "quaint charm“ corresponds exactly to what organizer Thomas Hartz imagines as a location for such an event. Despite the summer temperatures of almost 33°C, the organizers of the Power of the Force Convention very satisfied with the number of visitors. Around 1.400 visitors were guests in Oberhausen on Saturday, Thomas Hartz expected a similar number for Sunday, which should also ensure better conditions with significantly cooler temperatures. 

The star guests were particularly well received by the visitors. “Some of them are busy non-stop. They give autographs and, despite the high temperatures, are in a great mood.", so Hartz about his selected stars for the Star Wars Convention. Most of the time, the actors don't have real starry air: working with them is mostly unproblematic. Many negotiations were completed within a few days, but some deals took several months.

On the move into hyperspace: the Millennium Falcon. The iconic spaceship has accompanied fans of the saga since 1977. Photo: André Volkmann

On the move into hyperspace: the Millennium Falcon. The iconic spaceship has accompanied fans of the saga since 1977. Photo: André Volkmann

Compared to the previous year Power of the Force according to Thomas Hartz, has grown noticeably. Not only are the number of visitors (around 2017 in 2.000) higher than the first edition of the event, the event area including exhibitors has also increased by around a third. Over the years the “rocked“Turbinenhalle has become a home for the experienced event organizer that offers ideal conditions as a location: the central location, good travel and parking options are enormously advantageous, especially for visitors.

You could tell how gigantic the dimensions of the turbine hall are Power of the Force Convention on. The around 10 stands were well attended, but in the large hall they looked partly lost. But that will probably change with every additional year in which the fan meeting could become a fixture for the region. More exhibitors, more guests, more visitors: the future plans for them Power of the Force sound promising.

Meanwhile, the plans are running Power of the Force Convention next year. Back in Oberhausen. Again in the turbine hall. The organizer provides details on ticket pre-orders on the official website poweroftheforce.net ready.

Visitors came from all over Germany

The visitors of the Power of the Force have come from all over Germany to meet their stars - and like-minded cosplayers. Some came from Bavaria or the Saarland and spent many hours on the go to hear about the saga at the family convention Star Wars to participate. Others, like Markus (30), come from the surrounding area. The man from Duisburg has been a fan of George Lucas' epic since he was five years old. He is particularly fascinated by the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. The mystical surrounding this character makes the character interesting for him.

Fans come from all over Germany. Photo: André Volkmann

Fans come from all over Germany. Photo: André Volkmann

Markus has been a fan since 1993 and came up with the for the first time war of stars in contact when he accidentally, but above all secretly, watched the film at the tender age of five. Markus finds the cosplayers with their lightsabers “really awesome". Overall, his impression of the Power of the Force Convention extremely positive. He found out about the event relatively spontaneously, but is so enthusiastic about what is on offer that he would like to come back next year. He will probably have the opportunity to do so. As soon as the date has been confirmed by the Turbinenhalle, planning for 2019 will begin. In addition to the enthusiasm for the movies, Markus is particularly fond of collectors' figurines. It is therefore no surprise that he bought a Darth Vader at the convention. Markus is a fan of the dark side anyway - even if other iconic characters like Obi Wan Kenobi or Luke Skywalker have an effect on him. Perhaps the Jedi will be able to convert him by next year. 

What fans should definitely bring with them to a convention is a big wallet. The regular admission prices are comparatively moderate, but VIP tickets in particular are extremely expensive. This does, however, include a comprehensive fan service: preferred places at the panels, photos with all the star guests present and special souvenirs. This is pure luxury that some passionate Star Wars fans like to indulge in. 

A must-have at any Star Wars convention: the dark Lady of the Sith and her stranglehold of power. Photo: Andre Volkmann

A must-have at any Star Wars convention: the dark Lady of the Sith and her stranglehold of power. Photo: Andre Volkmann

Otherwise does on the Power of the Force every visitor has what he likes: he visits the detailed spaceship models, maintains contacts with old and new acquaintances from the scene or rummages in the offers of the dealers. From funny plush porgs to deceptively real-looking weapon replicas, fans will find everything their hearts desire. Walking through the individual stands is fun, but it can also cost a lot of money. But that is also part of a convention.

When everything revolves around the saga in an area of ​​around 6.000 square meters Star Wars turns, action-packed lightsaber fights are a must. Usually the duels are interrupted by amateur photographers who want to get very close to the heroes and villains for the best snapshot. The cosplayers are experienced: they patiently maintain their fighting poses until the last mobile phone filmmaker has his recordings in the can. 

The friendly interaction with one another characterizes small conventions like this Power of the Force out. You like to come into contact with other fans, exchange ideas about a common hobby and create memories for yourself that have to last at least into the next year. In August 2019, fans of the saga will have the chance to share their passion with each other again.

Picture gallery for the Power of the Force Convention