lazypadawan: (Default)
On August 30,, a web site for WPLG 10 in South Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach) posted a slideshow of photos from Celebration VI with mocking captions like “here are thousands of men without a date." Several cosplayers and fans standing in line to see Mark Hamill were the most common targets (not to mention Hamill and Jake Lloyd). Not all of the captions were bad per se, but many were definitely beyond gentle humor and were quite insulting and mean. For some reason it took a few days for people to notice but when they did, hoo boy. Condemnations flew from all quarters of fandom, including from the 501st, Mandalorian Mercs, The, and Ashley Eckstein. Just to give you a taste, Geek Mom on has captured for posterity one of the captions: took down the post, reinstated it, then took it down again, reinstated it, then took it down again. When I saw it, there was no byline on the piece and no comment section. Gee, you think this might upset some people? The worst thing about it was a disclaimer of sorts at the end claiming the “author” (whoever that may be) was really a fan too. Somehow, I doubt that. They tried to respond as well with kind of a faux sorry-if-you're-offended apology but that was taken down too. Local 10 started scrubbing its Facebook page, then shut it down.

I’ll get straight to the point here. Local 10 owes an apology. There’s no way in hell Local 10 or any other so-called mainstream media site would have covered a gay pride event with mocking photos of participants. Anyone who had done the same thing on a slideshow of the Special Olympics would have been strung from the nearest tree. It doesn’t occur to anyone to post mocking photos of fans going to see a football, basketball, or baseball game. Yet fans like you and me remain targets.

Local 10 isn’t some fandom or media or geek culture blog where I’m not at all surprised some loser wants to show how cool he is by trashing other fans. It’s supposed to be a professional outfit where there’s supposed to be professional standards. Was there an editor home? Why laugh at attendees instead of focusing on the gal with the gorgeous meadow picnic gown she made herself or the cute kids in Ewok costumes?

The San Diego Union-Tribune and the local t.v. channels do not make fun of Comic Con attendees. EVER. They all know those wacky kids and crazy geeks dump craploads of money on our town every year. From what I've seen of the Orlando media coverage of Celebration, it was respectful.

Whoever went from Local 10 to Celebration IV did a lousy job representing the credibility of his news organization and said organization’s poor reaction to complaints doesn’t reflect on it very well either. Lucasfilm and Reed MUST get involved. The PR departments need to get on the horn with WPLG's management and insist on a full apology immediately. Local 10 violated what fans consider a safe space in order to expose people to ridicule. This was a hit job, not reporting the news or covering an event. If WPLG management does not apologize, then I think that Lucasfilm and Reed should deny them access to future events and interviews.

I found this meme on Facebook:

lazypadawan: (Default)
It was the last day of the con and they ended it with a couple of big announcements at the Closing Ceremonies: AOTC 3D is slated for 9/20/13 and ROTS 3D is set for 10/11/13; while Celebration Europe II is set for next July in Messe Essen, Germany.

Also, I saw this interesting tidbit on TFN: it looks like they showed exclusively to a family audience (kids and their parents) a Clone Wars Season Five arc called "Young Jedi" that focused on six padawans. Given that Lucas had apparently mentioned during the Detours panel on 8/25 that there's a third show aimed at young audiences in the works and given that they seemed to test market this story arc makes me (and TFN) think that just maybe this third show is in fact a spinoff from Clone Wars. Read and see what you think:

A safe trip back home to everyone at the con!
lazypadawan: (Default)
Well, obviously the big news of the day was George Lucas's surprise appearance at the convention. He toured the exhibit hall first and my friend Debbie, undoubtedly the first person in line to get in, managed to snap a lot of pictures of him wandering around.

Lucas then went on to make surprise appearances at the Clone Wars panel with Dave Filoni and Joel Aron, and at today's Detours panel with Seth Green and Matthew Senreich.

Most of today's panels were of the You Had To Be There variety and less breaking news. But here's what I managed to glean:

Clone Wars Season Five Panel

*Great news fangirls...we get to go inside Anakin's bedroom at the Jedi Temple ;). Anakin has decorations, stuff he tinkers with, and other tchotchkes, which are unusual for a Jedi. There's a Ben Quadinaros podracing poster on his wall, heh heh.

*Clones are as much a symbol of tyranny to many in the Republic as droid armies.

*It's Anakin's idea to train rebels to fight against the Separatists, marking the zillionth time Anakin does something that brings about the fall of the Empire later on.

*Obi-Wan reveals just how aware he is of Anakin and Padmé's relationship. He confronts Anakin about Anakin's jealousy of Clovis and Padmé. Anakin is going to be quicker to anger this season. The war is wearing down on everyone.

*Anakin figures prominently in the season finale and Filoni said he was proud of Lanter's performance in that episode.

*Ahsoka is the balance point between Anakin and Obi-Wan. Filoni says casting Ashley Eckstein was one of the best decisions he's made. He praised Eckstein for engaging female fans; almost 40% of Clone Wars's audience now are girls.

*There are new character models of Artoo and Yoda.

*A clip with old school Star Tours-type ice comets was shown.

*Artoo is going on a mission with other droids.

*Many types of clones will be featured on the show, including more Republic Commandoes.

*There will be a trip to Mustafar.

*Darth Maul and the Mandalorians will hook up with Black Sun. There will be Falleens but not Prince Xizor.

*Maul gets new legs

The Future of Star Wars In 3D Panel

This was mostly technical stuff with Dennis Muren and John Knoll about the process of turning a 2D film into 3D. There was footage of AOTC 3D shown and there was much rejoicing. Many Tweets have said the film looks incredible, even better than TPM 3D.

There was no release date given although Muren noted the process takes about a year. Since work began on AOTC in January, I figure that we will see the film at the earliest in February 2013.

Clone Wars Press Conference

This was closed to the public but the IGN guy got to go. Season 5 is mostly four-part arcs that are like an 88-minute movie each. Dave Filoni would love to have Mark Hamill guest on Clone Wars but it has to be in a meaningful role (make it happen!).

In other news: There was a packed house to see the NASA panel, ironically the same day the world loses Neil Armstrong. Several Clone Wars cast members performed a radio-style audio drama by Kyle Newman called "Smugglers Run" to many accolades. Newman would love to have the cast come back to do a prequel-themed story. James Arnold Taylor performed his show "Talking To Myself" and then sat down to interview Carrie Fisher. Sheesh, this guy's going to have no voice left! Carrie is well, Carrie, and this time she talked about punishing her daughter with "The Star Wars Holiday Special," choosing either purple or magenta for a lightsaber blade, and at the end spanked James Arnold Taylor.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Addenda from 8/22

An Evening With Kevin Smith—Read Big Shiny Robot’s recap here:

He defends the prequels once more.

The TPM screening Thursday night was in 3D and people got exclusive 3D glasses!

Del-Rey Panel

*There will be a new series featuring Han, Luke, & Leia called “Rebels,” with each book focusing on a different character. The Leia POV novel is by former Star Wars fan fic author Martha Wells. Wells wrote mostly Han and Han/Leia fan fic for zines back in the '80s before she turned pro. She should do a really good job with Leia. I'm actually looking forward to this.

*There's a new Jaina trilogy called “Sword of the Jedi” by Christie Golden that takes place after the Fate of the Jedi series.

*Paul Kemp’s duology is still a secret.

*Current “Mercy Kill” X-Wing novel a NYT bestseller.

*Drew Karphyshyn’s Old Republic novel due out Nov. 2.

*Troy Denning's "Crucible" kicks off a new post-FOTJ series and it starts with Han shooting first in a cantina.

*There's an upcoming book based on the Dawn of the Jedi comics.

*"The Last Jedi" is supposed to follow up on the Coruscant Night series.

*There's going to be an e-book prologue to "Scoundrels" about a sabacc match by Timothy Zahn

*Del Rey is going to have a points program for pimping their stuff on social media.

Full recap here:

My two cents' I said, I'm looking forward to seeing something written by a former Star Wars fan author. As for the rest of it? Whatevs. It's nice they are taking Fangirl Blog's advice and finally putting heroines up front and center. I've wanted a Leia-centric book for over 20 years. But they still cancelled the Nomi Sunrider novel. And Padmé still gets the shaft.

Clone Wars voice actors panel

*Tom Kane not into Tweeting

*Matt Lanter and Ashley Eckstein had recorded a session with everyone else kicked out…hmmm…I don't know if this was for Season Five or Six.

Star Wars Detours panel

*The Detours Facebook page is here:

*YouTube has the same trailer, clips that are on the Facebook page

*Will feature (surviving) characters from all of the movies; takes place between Eps III and IV

*Three settings: Death Star, Dex’s Diner (!!!), and Jabba's Palace

*Leia’s the Paris Hilton of her time, Han and Chewie are like an old married couple, Palpatine is just like the Palpatine from Robot Chicken

*Voice actors include Zachary Levi (as Biff Tarkin), Catherine Taber (as Leia), Dee Bradley Baker (as clone troopers), Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Ahmed Best, Todd McFarlane, Donald Faison (who made a surprise appearance), Breckin Meyer, Felicia Day, Weird Al Yankovic, and Todd Grimes

*Todd Grimes serves as the show’s “Dave Filoni”

*Writers include Jane Espensen

*Detours panel tomorrow will have more new clips!

My verdict: It's Robot Chicken You Can Show Your Kids. There's some funny stuff in there and I'm glad they're embracing the whole saga.

Clone Wars Season Five Premiere

*Clone Wars will get a new day and time on Cartoon Network: Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. (God, why????)

*Season Premiere is on 9/29

*Overflow crowds, people had to be turned away even with scores of fans simultaneously lining up for Mark Hamill

*No replacement yet for Ian Abercrombie, who passed away earlier this year. Most of his work for Season Five is already done.

*Overwhelmingly positive Tweets on premiere itself and on new trailer shown.

*On premiere episode, Snaggletooth makes an appearance and Hondo steals the show.

*Maul and Mandos possibly team up during the season?

*Obi-Wan will continue to get his butt kicked.

Other stuff: The big 501st banquet got a visit by the Emperor himself along with every BNF in Star Wars fandom. Not a lot was said at the Hasbro panel; most of the news came out at Comic Con. Disney is going to put out merch mashups of Star Wars and Cars (now those are two kids' licensing powerhouses) and Star Wars and the Muppets. Mark Hamill said at his chat that he'd LOVE to guest on Clone Wars (ya hear that, Filoni?).

Tomorrow: the general Clone Wars panel, the future of Star Wars in 3D (please God, let them announce a release date for AOTC), and the James Arnold Taylor/Carrie Fisher doubleheader.
lazypadawan: (twisted by the Dark Side)
Okay, it's not quite the same as being there but here's what was culled from many a Tweet on what went down in Orlando today...

Clone Wars Tech Panel

Mostly technical stuff and evolving ideas. There were doodles shown, like of Krell ripping off clones' arms. Lucas came up with the idea of bringing Maul back with mechanical legs and the original design was with even more robotic-looking legs. Filoni was asked about Kitster and Ben Quadinaros, likely the first of many times this weekend. It ended with a clip shown at Star Wars Weekends, the one with Embo chasing Anakin, Padmé, and Clovis in some snowy environment. Panel

This was mostly about how they're continuing to revamp and its accompanying blog. There are going to be new games, including one called Ewok Village that's now in Beta mode for CVI attendees. will bring back the forums, so bashers will have a new home soon! They plan on making the blog the Star Wars "Huffington Post." They also plan on hosting old episodes of "Droids" and "Ewoks," the animated shows from the 1980s. The shop will be back in "some capacity." Tosche Station has a detailed rundown here:

Dark Horse Panel

Randy Stradley initially said there would be no major announcements until New York Comic Con in October. BUT they did talk quite a bit about current and upcoming titles, including the ongoing Darth Maul series, Knight Errant, a new Dark Times story arc with K'Krukh (the guy with the hat), a new Purge story arc with Darth Vader, and more info about the new Star Wars imprint. It will be about Luke becoming a leader, Leia grieving for Alderaan, etc. and it will feature Wedge and Mon Mothma. It is not a reboot, it will respect current continuity. Stradley seemed to drop hints that "Legacy" will be back. No new Old Republic or Invasion comics are in the works. There might be a Dark Empire back story and there's a comic "they can't announce until Sunday." There's going to be more cooperation between Dark Horse and Del Rey in the future.

Ian McDiarmid

It was a packed house and fans lined up just over two hours beforehand. Unfortunately they didn’t hustle anyone into the theater until 5 p.m., when the panel was supposed to start! The panel started about a half hour late.

*McDiarmid was told "great nose" on his first meeting with Lucas. He was the second choice for the role, getting it only after the first guy couldn't handle the contact lenses.

*He seemed to know quite a bit about the live action series and would really love to be in it if the Emperor is on the show. (I second that!)

*He's apparently really good at imitating other folks' voices: he delivered impressions of Lucas, Spielberg, and Christopher Lee.

*He was jealous Lee got to use Force lightning in AOTC and he couldn't.

*Liam Neeson had no idea Palpatine and Sidious were the same character until he saw a screening of TPM.

*He felt more evil playing a Senator because it was so reminiscent of contemporary politicians.

*A fan said McDiarmid deserves knighthood and he replied he already has an Imperial crown.

*He spoke highly of the prequels and said, "Hayden's performance was greatly underrated."

*Anthony Daniels got up and asked McDiarmid if he was coming to Daniels's panel tomorrow.

*He planned on knocking back a few with Mark Hamill later that evening.

Other stuff: It looks like tomorrow’s Top Secret Panel with Seth Green will be about the new animated comedy series “Star Wars Detours.” I forgot to mention this one as a potentially HUGE panel. There was a storytelling panel with Dave Filoni that ran concurrently with Ian McDiarmid’s chat session; nothing real new there, just seems to be the bare bones of having to visually tell a story. The only shocker was Filoni removing his hat and revealing he had hair after all. Some positive things about the upcoming Star Wars 1313 game but with some grousing about its limited game play potential (not a gamer, so…). Timothy Zahn’s panel seemed to be a big hit with expanded universe fans; he mostly chatted about previous works and about his upcoming Ocean’s Eleven type caper “Scoundrels.”
lazypadawan: (Default)
Going to Celebration is no longer an excuse to miss church...worship with James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan on Clone Wars) and your fellow Christian Star Wars fans at the Celebration Of Worship Sunday August 26:

Even though it's not an official con event, I'm kind of surprised it's taken this long before somebody did a fellowship meeting/non-demoninational Sunday service for Celebration attendees. There are a lot of religious people in Star Wars fandom, maybe a higher concentration than you'd find among other groups of media fans (which isn't to say there aren't religious folks in other fandoms).
lazypadawan: (Default)
Okay, here's what I'm psyched for at Celebration thus far:

1. Ian McDiarmid.

2. Temuera Morrison and Bonnie Piesse--finally I'll get Morrison's autograph and Piesse will complete my Aunt Beru collection (a friend got Shelagh Fraser's for me years ago, before she passed away).

3. The chance to maybe see a full episode of Clone Wars from Season 5.

4. Brent Woodside's lovely print--I guess to avoid the lines I'll have to bring enough cash to buy it so I don't use my credit card.

5. Going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal and hopping on the East Coast's answer to Star Tours 2.0 at Disney Hollywood Studios prior to the con.

I don't know what they have planned with this Closing Ceremonies (Sunday 2:30-3:30 p.m.) business, but given how unimpressive the Opening Ceremonies were for Celebration IV, I predict it will be lots of hype over nothing. Really, what could they possibly do other than show a new episode of Clone Wars that would be all of that exciting? Give everyone $50,000? And you can fit at most 2000 people in that auditorium so 90% of us will miss it anyway.

Don't think I'll be attending "An Evening With Kevin Smith" either. Okay, so he's a fan like us and has valiantly defended the prequels. I'm sure this version of the show will focus on Star Wars since it is at Celebration. But his show is a perennial at Comic Con and well, if you've seen any of his comedy routines or his movies once, you've seen it all.

Not really feeling the party scene. If one of my friends gets an invite, I'll go. Otherwise, meh. In any case, my friend Debbie, in her tireless quest to be the first person in and to grab the giveaways each and every morn, is sacked out by 10 and up while it's still dark. While all of you are hungover, I'm in line for the first big panel of the day.

They are still announcing events and guests, so we'll have to see what happens. I doubt at this point we're getting a huuuuuge surprise guest. It would be great if John Williams or Frank Oz showed up, but I don't think it's going to happen. But it would be kind of nice if Lucasfilm's new prezzy Kathleen Kennedy dropped by to meet the fans and reassure us she's not going to let it go off the rails.

Oh, who am I kidding? They'll bring back that dopey faux wedding gazebo.
lazypadawan: (Default)
That's right, the Emperor himself is paying a little visit to Celebration VI:

Now, THIS is how Celebration can step up its game! I already got McDiarmid's autograph through his recent signing session with Official Pix, so I won't need to spend three days in line for it. But oh, you bet your sweet Sidious I will be in line to catch one of his chat sessions (let's hope there's more than one). This will be his first stateside Celebration appearance.

No word on whether he'll arrive via Imperial shuttle.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Here are the artists who will be hawking their wares at Celebration VI...I'm psyched Tsuneo Sanda is doing a commissioned work. Hope he'll be there!
lazypadawan: (Default)
Got my flights for Celebration done on Southwest; I go through Phoenix on the way over and stop in San Antonio on the way back.
lazypadawan: (Default)
It looks like it's going to have to be on Southwest. Fly through Phoenix on the way over, fly through Kansas City on the way back. Continental's flight times sucked, United was too expensive, and Delta had WTF connections (why the hell do I have to go through Cleveland??). Virgin America was cheaaaap but there were no flights available on the way back until Labor Day weekend. Too bad, because it was a great excuse for a layover in San Francisco's wonderful Terminal 2. Seriously, it's the best place to be stuck in between flights. It's got wifi and places to hook up your laptop/gadget to recharge, a Pinkberry, a great market with some of the best food of the Bay Area, a Kara's Cupcakes, a Mango boutique, and a restaurant/bar owned by Iron Chefess Cat Cora among other things.

Turns out Southwest had the best prices and plenty of flights. I think we have a winner.
lazypadawan: (madaotcani)
Going to Celebration VI? Booked a room yet?

If you haven't, then I'll break the news for you. If you try to book through the Celebration VI site, you'll find there are different "statuses" for attendees: Fan, Exhibitor, 501st, Mandalorian Mercs, Dark Empire. All of those categories but the Fan category have their own special code to enter to get priority in booking a room. That's right, get hosed out of prime locations for the con if you're not part of the fandom elite. Not surprisingly, some hotels are totally unavailable and it's little over a year before the con.

I can understand reserving space for guest stars or even vendors who have to roll into town to sell stuff. An organization like the 501st has every right to block rooms for its members just like say the American Vacuum Cleaners Association would if it were holding a convention.

But fan organizations shouldn't get priority over other attendees when booking through the convention's own site. Why are a bunch of costumers more important than anyone else? The friends rooming with me have been active in fandom for 30 years, long before anyone thought of making his own stormtrooper armor. Where's our freakin' priority?
lazypadawan: (Default)
Got lots of money? Get the red carpet treatment at Celebration VI with the Jedi Master and Jedi Knight packages on sale tomorrow at 3 p.m. EST. The Jedi Master package, limited to 50, is $850. Those on a tighter budget might want the Jedi Knight package for $400, limited to 250 lucky souls.

The full description of the packages are here:

Let's hope Reed can deliver on these perks.
lazypadawan: (seven nation army)
I just bought my tix for Celebration VI. After like what, a month?
lazypadawan: (Default)
Believe it or not, I recently had a strange dream where I was at a Celebration (location unknown) and it was just odd. There was nothing going on and whatever I did see was chintzy and lame. I said aloud, “What ARE we celebrating?”

That’s sort of my reaction to yesterday’s news that Celebration VI is scheduled for basically the same bat time and same bat channel as Celebration V. We knew for a while that there would be a con next year but not necessarily when, though I guess the smart money was on a second trip back to Orlando. I’d hoped for a springtime con, soonish after the TPM re-release to cash in on (I hope) post re-release mania and a new batch of fans.

But noooo, it’s at the butt end of summer, six months after TPM’s February re-release. Almost a year after the Blu-Ray release. ROTJ’s 20th anniversary is in 2013; I guess poor unappreciated ROTJ got hosed on that one. Don’t count on Lucasfilm remembering it’s AOTC’s 10th; its 3D re-release date is still unknown.

Why 2012? One last Celebration before the world ends?

I know what some of you are thinking. It’ll be close to Clone Wars Season Five’s debut. It’ll be an opportunity for fans to come and check out the new Star Tours East. Why, it’s celebrating Star Wars itself! You never need a reason for that!

Yes, but...

Celebration I (May 1999)—The point: Promoting TPM

Celebration II (May 2002)—The point: Promoting AOTC

Celebration III (April 2005)—The point: Promoting ROTS

Celebration IV (May 2007)—The point: ANH’s 30th anniversary (no Celebrations in 1977)

Celebration V (August 2010)—The point: TESB’s 30th anniversary (no Celebrations in 1980)

Celebration VI (August 2012)—The point: ?????

There was always a focus to every Celebration. This time there either won’t be one or it will be split among so many things, it’ll be kind of rudderless anyway. I'd read yesterday that the plan from now on is to have a Celebration every two years. I'm a little concerned that with a con that often, Celebration won't be quite as special. (It also props the door open to it becoming diluted with other "interests." I've seen it happen with other cons.)

Maybe I'm just PMS-ing here and being a crank. Since my East Coast peeps are going, I'll likely be there too.
lazypadawan: (shatterpoint)
Pack that hurricane emergency kit and your bug spray! Celebration VI is back in Orlando Aug. 23-26 2012 and tickets/hotel rooms are on sale like right now. Glad they gave us all of that time to think. And no, this won't be problematic at all for anyone who also wanted to attend Dragoncon the next weekend in Atlanta.

4 day passes are $135 with VIP tickets going on sale later.
lazypadawan: (Pilot Anakin)
We don't know where or when other than sometime in 2012, but visit for a short gif trailer and the opportunity to sign up for updates.

Here are a few early hints for Celebration planners: step up your game! Get some guests we haven't seen before or not in a long time. Deep six tacky, cheesy stuff like the dumb wedding chapel or the speed dating room. While I'm on the topic, for the past couple of Celebrations I get the vibe that it's a small group of Lucasfilm staffers and their friends putting on their own inside-joke party instead of really thinking about what the fans want. The best ideas actually came from fans outside that milieu. Collectors pretty much planned and ran the entire collecting track. Belgian fans built those massive replicas. A fan came up with the idea for the prequel panel. The R2 Builders' room was a hit at both Celebration IV and V. As I keep saying, some of us like to read books every now and then. How about a panel on SW as a myth? Characters as archetypes?

Oh and don't pick Florida in August.
lazypadawan: (wtf)
Reed Entertainment's blog says to expect an announcement in the next 8 weeks and the host city will be "a real surprise."

A real surprise? Like where, Tripoli? Right next to the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan? Detroit???

If they're that close to making an announcement, I think you can safely bet it will be next year, probably during the spring or summer and hoping to lap up fans pumped after TPM's 3D re-release. Poor won't even be on its 30th anniversary. That's okay, I doubt anyone will remember it will be AOTC's 10th anniversary either.

Here's the link:

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