Salt Lake Comic Con’s FanXperience: Star Wars Recap

From Carrie Fisher to cosplay, Star Wars was everywhere at Salt Lake Comic Con.

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Late last month, More than 50,000 geeks of all stripes descended on Utah’s capital for Salt Lake Comic Con’s “FanXperience” and Star Wars had a major presence. Fans were well-represented on panels hosted by me, where we did everything from dispel rumors about the new films to have in depth discussions about Star Wars Rebels and a love of the prequel trilogy.

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Perhaps the biggest event came when three members of the Star Wars cast made appearances.

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First, Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia herself, made an appearance and I was given the great honor of interviewing her on stage.

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Obviously, she wasn’t able to give us any details about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but she did tell us about her time working on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and how she hooked Indy up with Mata Hari, and she talked about the time she and George Lucas had a cameo together in Hook.

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And she did give one lucky fan a kiss for a can of soda.

But, her faithful dog Gary did crash the interview.

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Ray Park, the man behind Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, came out to answer questions about his time as everyone’s favorite double-lightsaber wielding Sith Apprentice.

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He got distracted by the TARDIS on stage and couldn’t help but pretend to be a Doctor rather than a Sith Lord.

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After we talked, he gathered all the young children in the audience onto the stage and taught them some Sith moves.

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And as much as everyone loved to see Ray Park and Carrie Fisher, the best time I had was when Hondo Ohnaka (or Jim Cummings, the man who provides his voice) crashed the panel for the Full of Sith podcast that StarWars.Com’s Matt Martin and I were doing.

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He talked about how much he loved Hondo, but also who he would team him up with in an Odd Couple-style TV show and proceeded to give us a preview of what that would sound like. (Spoiler: Hondo took Winnie the Pooh as his first mate.)

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But more than the panels, there were more costumes on display than you could shake a gaffi stick at, which speaks to the creativity of Star Wars fans all around the world.

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The local chapters of the R2 Builders Club, the Rebel Legion, and the Mandalorian Mercs were out in full force, raising money for charities and taking pictures with fans of all stripes.

My favorite costume picture from Salt Lake, though, might just be this candid photo snapped by artist Dave Styer of an impressive balloon Jabba and a bearded Slave Leia.

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The best thing about going to conventions across the country is that there are always a lot of passionate Star Wars fans that will make you feel welcome in a crowd. The only place you can get a better experience as a Star Wars fan is Star Wars Celebration, and that’s only a couple of quick months away.

I’m counting down the days!

Bryan Young is an author, a filmmakerjournalist, and the editor in chief of! He’s also the co-host of the Star Wars podcast, Full of Sith.

You can also follow him on Twitter.