Last night Rebel Empire Workshops held the Jedi Social Gala. It was an evening for everyone to don the personalities and costumes of their own Jedi characters (or at least, a character not aligned with the Empire) and spend an evening together getting to know one another at a friendly social event. I was a little apprehensive because I’m not entirely comfortable with my acting skills, but fortunately for me, my character Jin (my dream character in many ways) was a young padawan on the verge of knighthood who, rather than associating with the other padawans and members of the jedi order, spent most of his time training and with his master on missions. Consequently, I didn’t really know anyone (though I had heard of some of the more infamous masters and recognised others by sight) and spent the first segment of the night by myself at one end of the room. With the coaxing of the sweet Master Benevolence and other friendly Knights, I was introduced to many respected masters, including "Lord" (read: self-proclaimed) Tetsu, Master Kai’h, Master Allana, Master Formal, Knight Na’ir, Knight Val, Knight Odin, Knight Tar’atha, Grandmaster Gadama, the Sabermaster, the Master Healer, the Master Archiver, Knight Dar’rin, the Major General, Padawan Brin and the absurdly French courtesan Eren. At times I found myself losing the role of the solitary student and becoming really interested and friendly (still in a jedi-way, but not in a Jin-way) with the other Knights and Masters, and I had to take a break halfway through to study up on Saber forms so I could appear more knowledgeable when I was speaking to actual Saber practitioners who knew much more than I did.
The hall was transformed incredibly, with the giant emblems of the Jedi on scrolls on the walls. Excellent bartending and waiting by Nat, JP and Adam (or was it Aaron?) who worked tirelessly to ensure we did not go thirsty. There were some stunning looking cocktails which I wish I had been able to try, including Yoda Spit (‘Who was this ‘Yoda’ character?" was a running joke for the night- in the timeline of Star Wars we are set many hundreds of years before the movies) and Bantha Doo. Truly, the ingenuity of the barstaff (and those involved in preparing the setting) must not go unacknowledged.
Another interesting aspect of the night was the tasks that people were assigned. AJ’s character for instance had to accuse JP of trying to poison his spring rolls (which saddened him to no end). Tar’atha (a gentle wookie, but wookie nonetheless) had to get into a fight with someone over being a Wildclaw, Kai’h had to try and get the council drunk etc… How absolutely brilliant, and so much fun!
Special mention must go to Kai’h, who was the character Kaneda played. He was a very convincing actor, and spent the night getting progressively more drunk (though he wasn’t really), leaning a little too close for comfort, telling stories about his family and picking fights with people.
Knight Tetsu (Andy) was amazing. At first a seemingly carefree Jedi Knight who made fun of everyone and had fun with everyone simultaneously, he made a subtle shift halfway through the night and began talking about the ease by which we might be swayed to the Dark Side. Our ignobilities, our fallibilities, how much we stand to lose and our weaknesses as people… Because he was my senior (in the Order) I did not downright argue with him, but I shut myself off from his rubbish- the Jedi are more than petty emotions. We are detached from the temptations that might lead us to Fall. I became a little angry at him (as a Knight, not my friend), and was troubled by what he said, but left him to it. It turns out he was actually a secret Sith Lord that people had to discover. What a brilliant mofo.
Knight Tamanoth was equally brilliant, lacking any emotions and merely speculating on how many Jedi did not receive his inventions and customisations well. He went through fifteen Padawans and a fair few lab assistants before he worked in solitude.
Master Formal was most amusing, inventing stories about everyone present from the days they were young Padawans like myself. He had a brilliant costume, especially his horns. I forget the name of his race, but it was most impressive to see him as a Jedi Master. He later brought up a bet that people were taking on whether Knight Tetsu could best Knight Val (a Mandalorian) in a fight. the odds were 4-1 that Val would lose. After some pressure, I decided to put 50 credits on both of them, and went up to each individually and told them they had my support.
And finally, the courtesan Eren just was freaking hilarious. She put on this outrageous French accent which was, I admit, very sexy. She was flirting with me and getting a little closer than I could sensibly bear. I broke off mid-conversation twice to leave the hall to burst out laughing. When she approached me a third time at the end of the night, I thought I could take it for at least a few minutes, but her presence was too overpowering and I excused myself after we said "Hello". Curse that wily courtesan!
All in all, a really enjoyable night. It saddens me that I have not the heart to take on a Sith character, but it would be a most interesting experience to wait or see what it’s like without participating. I’m looking forward to future "Jedi" events.