Force is strong with Darth Vader star surprise visit at Yorkshire Cosplay Con
The force was strong in Sheffield this weekend when new Darth Vader star Spencer Wilding made a surprise appearance at Yorkshire Cosplay Con.
Bugs Bunny voice actor Billy West and Japanese anime star Josh Grelle were amongst other guests.
But the most spectacular stars of the two-day event at Sheffield Fly DSA Arena were cosplay fans themselves dressed as their favourite TV, film and comic book characters.
Thousands turned up in home-made or bought costumes ranging from Batman and Ironman, Darth Vader and Storm Troopers to Pokemon's Pikachu, Doctor Who and even the Daleks.
Many created their own characters including robots and fantasy characters.
Highlights include more than 250 exhibition stalls, live stage performances, contests, games areas, TV and film prop photo opportunities, workshops, panels and special guest signers.
TV and film props on show will include a special Star Wars area, Doctor Who's Tardis plus Daleks, a Jurassic Park interactive dinosaur, The Star Throne and a pirate zone.
Organisers Jon and Kitty Higson thanked fans for turning out in huge numbers and the 250-plus stand owners, plus special guests, for helping to make it happen.
Jon said: "It's about making people smile and happy. That's what we do it for. We should definitely be doing it again next year. It's been a terrific weekend - cosplay is short for costume play and fans made a fantastic effort, with great costumes on show both days."
Star Wars fans were not the only force who had photos with new Darth Vader actor Spencer Wilding, a last minute announcement,
The 6ft 7in man mountain also posed with South Yorkshire Police officers at the event.
He joked: "The force really is with us. This has been a great event."
In a 17-year acting career he has also played a werewolf in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, various Doctor Who creatures, was a guard in Guardians of the Galaxy, Frankenstein's monster in Victor Frankenstein and a minotaur in Wrath Of The Titans.
He is now following in the boots of original Darth Vader star Dave Prowse, who has retired from signing at conventions after many appearances in Sheffield and around the world.
"Dave is the man. He's spread a lot of love around the world. Everybody has met Dave. I hope he's good. I've nothing but respect for Mr Prowse." said Spencer, who shared the Darth Vader role with Daniel Naprous in Star Wars Rogue One.
"I now like to go all around the world doing this, meeting fans. doing charity work and spreading the love.
Of getting the chance to play the greatest screen villain of all time he added: "It was awesome.
"It's out of this world. Literally. He's a great character. Between us, me and Dan played him and the fans are happy with our work. I think we smashed it."
He added: "Darth Vader chooses you. You don't choose Darth Vader. Thank you very much to the Empire for bringing me on.
"It tarted with an audition. At the beginning it was very secretive. We didn't know what we were being auditioned for."
It also remains top secret as to whether he will return as Darth Vader.
Spencer added: "Who knows? If I knew I couldn't tell you If I didn't know I couldn't tell you. I don't know what's going on and I'm sure I would be the last to find out.
He revealed he will next be seen in new Amazon TV series Carnival Row - described as a "fantasy-noir" set in a neo-Victorian, where a serial killer preys on mystical creatures in a dark futuristic city, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne.