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Written by Devin Leyden, Sacramento Valley Rogue Force
Published on May 30, 2004

A Fan's WonderCon Experience

(click on images to enlarge)

It was very nice to meet and have dinner with Steve Sansweet and Mary Franklin from Lucasfilm and Mike Quin from ROTJ.

It was during the Wondercon event in San Francisco. Friday evening, at 7 PM there was a special dinner held called 'Unity' for all Northern California Star Wars fan clubs. The dinner was held in honor of Chanel Vanecek known in the Jedi Council Forums as padme_skywalkr. She died several months back and this was a chance for all fan clubs to get together and honor her and work together in the future for upcoming Star Wars events. She was the catalyst for all clubs to get together and have fun. Her spirit was present during the dinner and conversation afterward.

In attendance were the host group, San Francisco Fan Force, East Bay Fan Force, Golden Gate Garrison, 501st, Central Garrison, Black Fleet Squadron, Rebel Legion, and Sacramento Valley Rogue Force.

It was fantastic to see Steve Sansweet, Mary Franklin, and Mike Quin. Mike Quin made a brief speech and pointed out a comment made by one of my people Deadpool (JC name) in the JC Forums and we were very surprised to know Quin visited our forums regularly. Quin was followed by Mary Franklin then Steve Sansweet who was very gracious to sign this huge Star Wars fan's Star Wars Encyclopedia. He also commented that he will be working on the Star Wars Encyclopedia Vol. 2 after EP 3 is out.

Saturday, May 1st was filled with fun times, dressing up as a Jedi and walking around the Con having people come up to you just to have their picture taken with you. Must have happened 25 times. I was also interviewed by a reporter for a Berkley Newspaper. Along with the 501st, we had several pictures made outside the Moscone Center where all could see. We brought traffic to a standstill.

After the picture session, we regrouped inside and made arrangements to march into the giant auditorium where Sansweet held his presentation. At the beginning, when we marched in -- the 501st first, followed by Vader and the Jedi, there was a roar from the crowd of over 300. We marched in and stood in front of the stage peering out at the crowd until Sansweet gave us the dismissed order. His presentation was fantastic.

Later, that evening, all the groups had dinner at Chevys, across from the Moscone Center. Sansweet and Franklin sat across me and other member of the Rogue Force. Again, we were delighted to hear of the stories told by Mr. Sansweet and Mrs. Franklin. We even secured a tour of Sansweet's Star Wars collection in June. After dinner, and the departure of Sansweet, us die hard Star Wars fans hung around and waited for Mary Franklin to deliver her presentation at 9 PM of the Lucas Awards for best Fanfilms of 2002 and 2003. There's nothing like watching Pink Five on the big screen. This lasted until midnight which was the end of my experience at Wondercon 2004. It was the most fun I had since Celebration 1. (I missed C2.)

The first picture (above) is of Steve Sansweet, Mary Franklin, Mike Quin and members of the Sac Valley Rogue Force. The second pic (above) is of the entire group of people who attended Unity, in honor Chanel Vanecek and her commitments to groups and Star Wars.

Here is is a link to my web page with several more pics and commentary from different members of my group on there take of the weekend.

Feedback welcome

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