Adventures at San Diego Comic-Con International: “Force Friday”

Comic ConBy: Katelyn Kohane

As “your mission,” “the Force is strong with this one.” You came back to see what I accomplished at Comic-Con on Friday. As I mentioned in part two, I went to all things Star Wars.

Clearly you can see where my allegiance lies in the battle of Star Wars verses Star Trek.

Unlike Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj in The Big Bang Theory; I did not get kicked out of Comic-Con for doing something stupid. Unfortunately, I got in line for Hall H just a half hour too late, and since it only holds 6,5000 people, I did not make it inside. However, I did get into four smaller Star Wars panels.

Left to Right: Ashley, Alex and Tom
Left to Right: Ashley, Alex and Tom

The first panel I sat in on was called “Star Wars Publishing 2015 Part 1.” Ashley, Alex, and Tom lead the panel as three new publishers writing new books.

Ashley is writing her own version of A New Hope with a new twist on the story. Ashley’s story will go deep into the characters past and will be like the Breakfast Club.

Alex is writing his own version of Empire Strikes Back and calling it, So You Want to Be a Jedi. Alex’s story will be in the second person and it will take the angle that you are being trained by Yoda. In the end, you – yes, YOU – will fight Darth Vader.

Tom is writing Return of the Jedi. He mentioned that there would be a lot of footnotes in his story.

The second panel was called “Star Wars Publishing Part 2.” This was my favorite panel of the day because I was actually familiar with some of the authors and their books. Adam Gray, Christy Golden, Frank Parrse, and CB Cebulski rounded out the panel.

Left: a recent book that Adam Gray helped write. Right: a new comic book talked about during the panel.
Left: a recent book that Adam Gray helped write. Right: a new comic book talked about during the panel.

Adam Gray, who works for DK Publishing, is a Michigander! It’s always great to have someone from your home state.

Frank Parrse works for Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Dark Horse Comics. CB Cebulski spends his time in New York working on Star Wars books. They mentioned a lot of new comics coming out on September 4th 2015. They are also making a new comic series about Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Lando Calrissian.

“Hasbro Star Wars” was the next panel on the docket. Basically, all they talked about were the new toys coming out this fall.

Steve Evans, Chris Gollaher, Sam Smith, Chris Dern, and Chris Nadea filled out the table for this panel. Also, Ashley Eckstine – the voice of “Ahsoka Tano” in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Her Universe – was a special guest appearance on the Hasbro panel.

The panel’s big announcement was that their new toys would be coming out on “Force Friday”, which is September 4th 2015. They have a new Force FX Lightsaber and a Tie Fighter that will be coming out at midnight on Force Friday.

Left: Tie Fighter  Right: the new ForecFX Lightsaber
Left: Tie Fighter Right: the new ForecFX Lightsaber

The last panel for the day was called “Star Wars Collectables Update with Lucasfilm.” EFX, General Giant, and Slide Show Collectables all had members represented. General Giant announced that they had a mini bust coming soon of Boba Fett, Jabba The Hutt, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker – just to name a few. EFX is putting together studio scale ships with one being a Tie Fighter.

There was supposed to be a fifth panel, but ILM 40th Anniversary mixed up their flights and didn’t make it to Comic-Con! So, I decided to head over to Hall H to get in line for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

As I waited in line, I quickly realized that there was no way I was going to make it in. People in line had been camped out overnight just to see Star Wars. With Star Wars being one of the biggest draws around with fanboys solely devoted to the films, of course it was going to be almost impossible to get in!

While I tried my luck at getting into Hall H for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I ended up missing a panel I was hoping to catch. On that panel sat director Kyle Newman from Fanboys.

Turns out, that wasn’t the only panel I missed while chasing dreams at Hall H, The Big Bang Theory had a panel with Amy Farrah Fowler and Raj Koothrappali – played by Mayim Bialik and Kunal Nayyar – joining the fun. I suppose Raj was not kicked out of Comic-Con after all!

Kansas City Barbeque where they filmed Top Gun. Pictured is the original piano Goose plays.
Kansas City Barbeque where they filmed Top Gun. Pictured is the original piano Goose plays.

Once reality hit me, that I wasn’t going to be one of the lucky 6,500 in Hall H, I decided to head for some lunch to recover and think things over. I wound up at a small place call Kansas City Barbecue. It’s right across the street from the convention center heading toward Sea Port Village. Not only is it nearby, but it’s also where they filmed a scene from Top Gun where Maverick and Goose sing Great Balls of Fire! It helps that they have some of the best BBQ in town.

I headed back to the convention center and went to the exhibit center to find “Bioworld.” This was the booth of the man I had met in the airport in Texas! They had some really cool merchandise. I also found a “Lucasfilm” booth that Adam Gray, one of the authors from the panel: Star Wars Publishing Part 2, was sitting at. I quickly said hello, and told him that I had enjoyed the panel discussion and reading many of his books over the years.

I toured the exhibit hall. There were many great deals and cool booths. Here were a few that I saw: Future Dude, Mattel Inc., Lionsgate, Dark Horse Comics, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Hasbro Inc, Her Universe, ThinkGeek, and Marvel Entertainment.

Lionsgate for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Lionsgate for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it” is to stay tuned to see what I accomplished on Saturday. As a spoiler, I will mention “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

“Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos.”