Salt Lake Comic Con was the site of what practically became a mini-Star Wars Celebration over labor day weekend. As the third largest convention in North America, it’s no wonder they’d make sure Star Wars was well represented. Here are some of the Star Wars highlights from the Salt Palace Convention Center!
The costumes are a highlight at any convention and Salt Lake City is no different. All of the fan costuming organizations worked together to create an amazing experience for fans.
Some of my favorites?
E.K. Johnston and Ahsoka, Rebels, The Clone Wars, and the Balance of the Force
Every aspect of Star Wars was explored on panels at the show. I joined Pablo Hidalgo, fellow StarWars.com writer Amy Ratcliffe, and E.K. Johnston, author of the new Ahsoka book, to discuss the life and times of everyone’s favorite Padawan turned ex-Jedi. There was also a panel on how The Clone Wars changed Star Wars with people like author Christie Golden. One of my favorites was an exploration of what the balance of the Force is with myself, Lucasfilm creative executive Matt Martin, fellow StarWars.com writer James Floyd, and super-fan Dawn Pink.
The Full of Sith podcast, featuring myself, Mike Pilot, and Amy Ratcliffe, got together in person to record for only the second time in the podcast’s history. And if that wasn’t already awesome enough, midway through the podcast, James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, crashed the panel and everyone had a great time talking Star Wars. You can listen to that live show at Full of Sith’s website.
LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures
The Holocron Keeper himself, Leland Chee, came by to talk about his work on The Freemaker Adventures and how much we all love it. He talked about the writing process, how it fits into (or saddles alongside, rather) the continuity of Star Wars and why it’s probably the best LEGO Star Wars show ever made.
The Star Wars Trailer Park
In one of the more unique presentations, fans were shown a chronology of Star Wars trailers through the years. Beginning with the very first teaser trailer of A New Hope from 1976 and ending with the most recent trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fans were given a fascinating history of some of the decisions behind the trailers and shown their evolution, start to finish.
The Authors of Star Wars
There was no shortage of authors from the Star Wars universe on hand to discuss the past, present, and future of Star Wars publishing. In a conversation led by “Jawa” James Floyd, Matt Martin discussed the ins and outs of publishing Star Wars, E.K. Johnston talked about the upcoming Ahsoka novel, and Cecil Castelluci and Christie Golden talked about their prior Star Wars work.
The Voices of Star Wars
Hosted by Amy Ratcliffe, the voices of Zeb (Steve Blum), Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor), Kit Fisto (Phil Lamar), and Captain Tarpals (Fred Tatsciore) gathered to talk about their work in a galaxy far, far away. Each of the characters made an audio appearance on the panel, making it one of the most fun, hilarious, and memorable experiences for fans who got to check it out.
Rebels and Rogues
This might have been the most revealing panel at Salt Lake Comic Con as far as Star Wars was concerned. Pablo Hidalgo gave a talk (with lots of video) about what’s coming up with Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He also took the opportunity to reveal some new tidbits. For instance, he mentioned more about Bodhi Rook as a character and how he’s involved in Rogue One — his defection involves a manhunt and knowledge of the space station. He also revealed that Rogue One: Catalyst, the upcoming novel by James Luceno, features Director Krennic and Galen Erso.
Jeremy Bulloch, the man behind the mask of Boba Fett, spent an hour talking to fans about his experiences on Star Wars. He talked about how his half-brother, producer Robert Watts, got him the job as Boba Fett and how much interacting with the fans over the years has meant to him. Aside from his panel, he met with fans and posed for pictures through the entire weekend.
Last but not least, we have Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. The Star Wars star filled an entire arena with more than 10,000 Star Wars fans in Salt Lake City to do the largest Q&A panel in history. His big takeaways had to do with the secrecy of the film. “It might be annoying, but we do it for you. The movies should be experienced in the theater, not on the Internet.”
He spoke of the upcoming Episode VIII in only the vaguest terms, talking about how there were many night shoots and a particularly grueling FX scene he needed to maintain focus for. Most interestingly, he talked of his 2012 lunch meeting with George Lucas about coming back for more Star Wars films.
Hamill’s wife had a feeling that’s what Lucas wanted to talk to him about but he was incredulous. “I laughed and laughed and laughed because George had specifically told me, ‘We’re not going to be doing any more. I don’t want to be doing these things in my 70s.’”
Thankfully Hamill was wrong, he got the offer at that lunch, and a new era of Star Wars is upon us.
Photos courtesy of Salt Lake Comic Con, Bryan Young, Matt Martin, James Floyd, Shauna Rust, Josh Tenny, and Tiffanie McDevvitt.