Générations Star Wars et Science Fiction

Générations Star Wars et Science Fiction
Photo: genstarwars.com
Générations Star Wars et Science Fiction (“Star Wars and science fiction generations”), also known as Gen SW, is an annual fan convention held in the French commune of Cusset since 1999. The main focus of the event is the Star Wars franchise, but it also covers comics, science fiction and fantasy in general.

Gen SW is a free-admission, non-commercial event run by the non-profit organization Les Héritiers de la Force (“The Heirs of the Force”), which is not affiliated with Lucasfilm and has no official relationship with the Star Wars franchise. The event is supported by the City of Cusset and the General Council of Allier. It also has several major partners in the entertainment industry, such as Delcourt (the official publisher of Star Wars comics in France) and toy manufacturers Hasbro and Lego.

The inaugural edition of Gen SW took place on October 10, 1999 and attracted 550 attendees. The name “Générations Star Wars et Science Fiction” was borrowed from the supplement to the magazine L’Express dedicated to the release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. In 2002, the convention switched to the current two-day format.

The first three editions of the convention were held in September. In its fourth year, the event was moved to May to coincide with the release of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Since then it has been held in late April or early May, on the weekend closest to May 1, which is a public holiday in France. The 2021 edition was an exception because the convention had to be postponed until September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even though Gen SW is no affiliated with Lucasfilm, it has featured many major Star Wars actors, including Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Daniel Logan (Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones), Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker), and Dave Prowse (Darth Vader). The convention has hosted at least one Star Wars actor since its second edition in 2003, except for 2007, when Kenny Baker (R2-D2) had to cancel his appearance due to health issues.

Actors are not the only guests who have helped to make the convention incredibly popular. The event has also featured Star Wars book and comic authors, stunt performers (including Nick Gillard, lead stunt and lightsaber fight coordinator of the Star Wars prequel trilogy), photographers, and illustrators.

Like most fan conventions, Générations Star Wars et Science Fiction has a diverse programming that includes meets and greets, Q&A sessions, signings and photo ops with actors, comic book authors and other guests, various exhibitions, a shopping area with merchandise, cosplay and fan art contests, quizzes, and more.

Gen SW is the main event organized by Les Héritiers de la Force, but the organization’s members also attend monthly meetings and participate in other fan events to promote Gen SW. The organization is also actively engaged in charity work on behalf of sick children. It includes costumed visits to children’s hospitals and fundraising events to benefit the pediatric department of the Vichy hospital during Générations Star Wars et Science Fiction.

Gen SW

Photo: genstarwars.com




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