Day 2 of Awesome Con, like most events, was the busiest so far and there was a big bump in crowd size and celebrity fan fare. Star Wars is not immune to this and there was a significant increase in fans and celebrities.
The day kicked off with a great panel called Star Wars Multimedia Storytelling Empire and was hosted by members from the Book Wars Pod and other popular sites. They discussed that fateful day when Disney purchased Lucasfilm and everything changed from a storytelling perspective. Since 2013, the Lucasfilm Story Group has focused on making the Star Wars saga a cohesive story that spans films, TV shows, novels, video games, and comic books. For the first time ever, franchise media overlap in timeline, characters, and plots, allowing for truly multimedia storytelling.
The group had a very lively and deep discussion about Star Wars' integrated storytelling methods, their favorite stories from the franchise to date, and what media they thought Lucasfilm should experiment with in the future and the effect on the fans. It was great discussion about current state of Lucasfilm and what direction the franchise is headed in.
The next big panel was hosted by ET host Ash Crossen and featured Matt Denton and Josh Lee, the production team behind everyone's favorite droid BB-8. We learned all about the history of the BB unit from conception, to birth, to reality and much more. We learned all about the technology behind all of the BB droids from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi plus other droids and animatronics from Rogue One as well. Denton who is the Electronics Design and Development Supervisor, and Lee, the Senior Animatronic Designer, shared many great stories, pictures and videos from their personal experiences working on these films.
Each shared personal stories from the sets of these last three Star Wars films including what it was like shooting with Daisy Ridley in Abu Dhabi on the very first day of shooting, including very humid and sandy conditions. Denton in particular shared an interesting story involving Harrison Ford and how the actor was very accommodating on set when it came time to shooting with BB-8 on Takodana. They also showed us the original sketch given to them by J.J. Abrams when describing what he was looking for with the new droid.
All in all it was a very interesting discussion and the fans in attendance were witness to a great peak behind the scenes and the tremendous amount of work that goes into making these droids come to life on screen. Denton and Lee were engaging and clearly enjoyed discussing their work, especially when BB-8 himself came rolling out on stage to the delight of all in attendance.
But Saturday was John Boyega day and the huge crowd was more than amped up for the actor by the time he hit the main stage in Hall E. The extremely affable and genuine Boyega was a pleasure to listen to and his many stories involving not just Star Wars but Pacific Rim, Detroit and Attack the Block as well. Attack the Block in particular was a crowd favorite and Boyega mentioned that it was his favorite film to date. One thing that came up was his true love of anime and time and time again proved this by answering fan questions that clearly showed the actor was no slouch on the subject. The man knows his anime.
Ash Crossen was hosting the event and the two of them covered a lot of ground, including a surprise visit from Joonas Suotamo! Some of the highlights were:
-Being egged on by a fan, Boyega did a bang on impression of Oscar Isaac as was a panel highlight.
-In response to a crowd question, Boyega said he would like to see a Boba Fett and a Yoda stand-alone film. Says he would also love to see an Old Republic film at some point.
-He mentioned he would love for Finn to meet Lando Calrissian but when pressed about who Finn's father should be, he answered Mace Windu.
-There was a large roar from the crown when John mentioned his favorite Star Wars movie to date is Empire Strikes Back.
-He reaffirmed that, although he knows the general outline of Episode IX, he hasn't read the script, but did say that it's going to be an "all out war".
-He confirmed after speaking to Daisy Ridley, who has read the script for Episode IX, that we can expect to see a lot more of Finn and Rey fighting side by side.
-When asked about the possibility of playing a superhero, he said if he was to play a superhero it would be in the MCU, but he didn't have one in mind.
The panel was full of wonderful anecdotes and life affirming messages from a young man on the cusp of greatness but clearly has his head still firmly attached to his shoulders. When asked how he felt after the backlash he faced when the casting of a black Stormtroooper was announced, his answer was poignant and truthful. He simply said that while it did catch him off guard after working so hard for the part, including 9 months of auditions, his response to the naysayers was, “Get used to it”. Wonderful.
So, the John Boyega was the highlight in a day full of highlights and tomorrow should be just as exciting. Check back here for the full lineup of Star Wars action including a great Q&A panel with Chewbacca himself, Joonas Suotamo!
For the full Awesome Con schedule, click HERE .
Till next time...MTFBWY.