Star Wars Fan Days 2 in conjunction with the Sci-Fi Expo recently took place October 25th and 26th in beautiful Plano, Texas. Managed by the fine folks at C2 Ventures this show is quickly becoming the place to be for Star Wars fans of all ages!
I arrived in Texas on Friday, along with Jimmy Mac ( From the Force-Cast ), and settled in with a nice afternoon of drooling over the collection of Rebelscum.com & TheForce.net webmaster, Philip Wise. Steve Sansweet was there as well as the crew from The Dented Helmet, who were putting the final touches on a static Boba Fett display even more acurate than the film version itself. At least it seemed that way when you view their work up close, kudos to those guys! Also there was Hasbro's legendary Mark Boudreaux, who was helping setup a new display for the Big Millennium Falcon. Sansweet made me laugh as he was cruising the collection room making a list of things he thinks he doesn't have! Kind of ironic, but shows the true collector he is. Onto the show!
The event is a two day show, and attendance was between 2,000 and 3,000 fans. The smaller venue fit the show perfectly as the only line I saw was the one to get in the door. Once inside fans could check out Hasbro's own Mark Boudreaux showcasing the new and improved Millennium Falcon. The interactive display case allowed fans to hear and see the electronic features of this HUGE and very impressive collectible. Check out the video of their display right here on our You Tube channel! Plus check it out in our photo archive!
The Official Pix booth was set up directly across from the main autograph hall and launched a new photo format for this show. New widescreen shots on 10x20 pearl laced paper that gives the image a very cool metallic look and feel. Don't get this confused with the metallic "foil card" look that we see from Topps or other CCG cards. This combined with crisp new images from The Clone Wars animated series made these the hot collectibles of the weekend! Also, Steve Sansweet and Amy Allen ( Aayla Secura ) were in the booth at various times signing autographs for fans.
In the main autograph hall the following actors were in attendance signing.
Jewel Staite - Serenity/Firefly: Kaylee Orli Shoshan - Star Wars: Shaak Ti Leeanna Walsman - Star Wars: Zam Wessell Erin Gray - Buck Rogers: Col. Wilma David Acord - Clone Wars: Rotta the Huttlet & more! Ashley Eckstein - Clone Wars: Ahsoka! - CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO INTERVIEW! Matthew Wood - Clone Wars: Grievous & More! Tom Kane - Clone Wars: Yoda, & more! - CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO INTERVIEW! Robert Watts - Producer ESB & ROTJ, Producer Indiana Jones, Lt Watts in ROTJ Al Lampert - Star Wars: Commander Jir David Prowse - Star Wars: Darth Vader Peter Mayhew - Star Wars: Chewbacca - CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO INTERVIEW! Frank Henson - Star Wars: Skiff Guard, Biker Scout Jack McKenzie - Star Wars: Cal Alder
The voice talent from The Clone Wars animated series were pretty busy most of the weekend signing autographs, but did do a Q&A with Lucasfilm's Steve Sansweet. It was great to hear their side of the story as they are now leading the charge for a new generation of Star Wars fans. It was great to meet Ashley Eckstein, the voice of averyone's favorite new padawan, Ahsoka! Ashley mentioned this was her first show and she was having a blast meeting fans and getting great feedback on her new character in the show. Hopefully she will return next year for those of you who missed out.
Here's a quick clip of the vendor and artist room.
The collecting panels by Gus Lopez and Duncan Jenkins were very entertaining and informative as usual. I look up to these guys not only as Star Wars collectors but Star Wars historians. If you ever get the chance to catch one of their panels do it!
Gus covered both Star Wars film locations & Star Wars prop & costume collecting. It was interesting to hear his tales of visiting set locations worldwide, and what he found, like the Kryat Dragon bone piece as shown above. Gus also brought along several props from the films and discussed how to find legitimate pieces for your own collection. I have to admit I was super jealous when he busted out the R2-D2 items!
Here's a video clip showing a portion of Gus's Star Wars film locations panel.
Duncan Jenkins tackled two panels as well over the weekend. First up was humorous Star Wars collectibles, check out a portion of his panel in the video clip below!
Duncan also covered Star Wars food collectibles in another panel. It's amazing to see just how many different food packaging variations there are around the globe, all for Star Wars! From cereal boxes, to cheese, to glow in the dark gogurt, it's simply amazing to see and hear about these products. Check out Duncan's panels if you ever get the chance, you will not be let down.
Gus & Duncan also announced their new "Gus and Duncan's Comprehensive Guide to Star Wars Collecting" book that will be available soon from Completistpublications.com. Boasting to be the largest and most complete guide on Star Wars memorabilia ever assembled, covering over 75,000 unique Star Wars collectibles with over 36,000 photos, it's priced at $64.99 and ships in December 2008. You do not want to miss this one folks! Stop by Completistpublications.com for more info.
The Dented Helmet and The R2 Builders groups were both at the show on Saturday. These guys amaze me with their attention to detail and dedication to a hobby that is extremely time consuming and not for those with little patience ( like me ). Kudos to members of these fine groups for continuing to push, and grow their respective communities. While at same time reaching out to other fans who share the same interest, Star Wars. Check out that Ahsoka costume, too cute!
I have to say the highlite of the weekend was meeting Robert Watts, producer of The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones, and played Lt. Watts in ROTJ. Robert reminds you of an old friend you haven't seen in years, and is full of great stories he's eager to tell you. It was both and honor and a pleasure to meet him and should you get the chance, don't pass it up! We'll be posting our Robert Watts interview soon, so stay tuned!
Like always these shows are like family reunions for many of us. With as frequent as we've had Star Wars Celebrations in the past, it's not quite clear on when another may occur. There's been no official confirmation from Lucasfilm, and the only thing we have heard is that it won't be in L.A. again. With that being said I want to invite you to next year's Star Wars Fan Days. I'm pretty confident there will be another. This show is perfectly laid back, not packed, not too rushed and simply a blast to attend. We should make this our annual Star Wars family reunion. I'll be back next year, will you? I hope to see you there!