CamdenNewJournal

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Star Wars light saber classes at ‘Jedi Academy’ in Theatro Technis

Phantom Menace actor teaching kids art of power sword at theatre throughout August

13 August, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Andrew Lawden was Liam Neeson’s stand-in double in 1999 Star Wars film 

IT’S nearly 20 years since George Lucas signalled the return of the Star Wars franchise with the hotly anticipated Phantom Menace.

For Andrew Lawden, an actor living in Camden Town at the time and now in Swiss Cottage, the Hollywood blockbuster proved to be a big break.

Originally on set as a Naboo soldier, he became the stand-in double for Liam Neeson who played the lead Jedi Master, Qui Gon Jinn, in the 1999 movie. He learned how to wield a light saber and took part in some of the movie’s most memorable fight scenes.

Mr Lawden has been travelling around the country teaching children the art of the fictional power sword, and throughout August his Jedi Fight Academy will be running classes in Theatro Technis, Somers Town.

Mr Lawden, a cinema buff who once fought to save the Parkway Odeon, said: “One of my claims to fame is in one of the film’s big fights you can see the close-up of Liam getting killed – but it’s actually me who gets killed and ends up lying there for 15 minutes.”

He added: “The Jedi classes are about 30 minutes long. I give them a safe plastic light saber – it lights up in different colours – and I teach them a lot of basic moves and then I teach them a bit of a fight routine and a mixture of moves from the film.

“Then I produce the real McCoy – it is much bigger and heavier. They get to do a lot of jumping around and falling about. This is my job now mainly and I am still acting. I’ve done a lot of fighting in shows over the years. I’m generally the action adventure villain – that’s what I tend to get used as.”
l For more information contact Theatro Technis or Andrew Lawden on 07543 076492.

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