At Home with the Droids

  • Harry Rose

Nestled away in the South London there is a household of droids. The proud owner Jason has been building droids in his spare time to create screen accurate replicas of R2D2, BB8 a Trade Federation Droid and soon to take form, a pit droid. But these are no ordinary droids who live amongst us, they have a much deeper purpose. In 2010, Jason’s wife Tayo was given the devastating news her 15 year old brother Zac had been fatally stabbed. The ripple effect of grief ran through the entire family, yet through this tragic loss of life, Tayo and her mother Sarah set up Operation Forgiveness. A non profit programme where Jason, Tayo and Sarah travel to schools up and down the country discussing the prevention of knife crime and how to forgive to turn those negative ripples into positive ones. Once pupils complete the course, the droids are rolled out for the kids and young adults to interact with. Whilst speaking to Jason about Operation Forgiveness he recalls the first time he was aware of Star Wars and the impact it's had on him; “It was actually the first film I ever saw and it had just been released, I was only 7 years old so my memory is vague but I do remember my Mum bought me a Luke Skywalker 12” action figure.So I am an old head and grew up with Star Wars mania everyone wanted to be Han Solo when we played at school but I always wanted to be Luke. On a personal level Star Wars is still the greatest film ever made, it has stood the test of time like nothing else and I hope that they continue to make more movies and spin-offs from the Star Wars universe. I never really considered myself as a fan or a Superfan but I guess just looking around my house it’s quite clear I am.” But how do you go from a Star Wars fan to wanting to build your own? After seeing fans build their own droids from various styles and appearances, Jason felt like this was an adventure worth going on and went about connecting with the members of the droid building community to put him on the right track for creating his own droid. It took Jason a year to build, tinker and improve R2D2 in the lead up to The Force Awakens. And since then, BB8 has rolled out onto the scene. Jason's story of his love of Star Wars is a passionate one that highlights that Star Wars has the ability to impact peoples lives far beyond the movies.