Dragon Con 2015 Recap

Just one week ago, Dragon Con 2015 was wrapping up and Brian, Nanci, and Bria were on their ways back to their respective homes. We posted a whopping twelve panel recordings, ten of which at least one member of Tosche Station participated in. We also got to meet awesome people like Chuck Wendig and Vanessa Marshall, and hang out with the awesome Star Wars fan community.

Nanci will be writing a post soon about her experience moderating the Aftermath panel. For now, here’s a breakdown of all our coverage from the convention itself.

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Tosche Station at Dragon Con!

Dragon Con logoThis week, Brian, Nanci, and Bria are off to Dragon Con! The annual convention, held each Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, is a highlight of the con season. The Star Wars at Dragon Con track, led by Brandy Roatsey and a team of intrepid volunteers, puts on the best Star Wars panel content outside of Celebration. And we at Tosche Station are lucky enough to participate in some of these panels.

Here’s where you’ll be able to catch us at the convention!

Brian and Nanci:

  • Speculating on The Force Awakens (Friday, 11:30 am, Hilton Grand Ballroom West)
  • Force Friday Finds (Friday, 1 pm, Marriott A706)
  • Star Wars and Disney Parks (Saturday, 11:30 am, Marriott A706)
  • New Canon (Sunday, 10 am, Marriott A706)

In addition, Nanci will be moderating the Aftermath panel with Chuck Wendig (Friday, 8:30 pm, Marriott A706).

Bria:

  • Fan Discussion of Rebels (Saturday, 2:30 pm, Marriott A706)
  • Evolution of Costumes for The Force Awakens (Saturday, 5:30 pm, Marriott A706)
  • Strong Women of Star Wars (Sunday, 8:30 pm, Marriott A706)
  • Palpatine’s Plan (Monday, 11:30 am, Marriott A706)

You will likely be able to find us hanging around or near the Star Wars track room (Marriott A706), so stop us and say hi! We’ve got buttons, wristbands, and other neat swag for you.

For those of you who can’t make it to Dragon Con, don’t worry. We’ll be recording panel audio and posting recaps throughout the convention, so keep an eye on the Twitter feed and be sure you’re subscribed to Tosche Station Radio on iTunes and Stitcher.

The Force Awakens at San Diego Comic Con

The Force Awakens panel happened last night at San Diego Comic Con. Harrison Ford was there, and then they brought everyone to a concert that ended with fireworks.

They also showed a Behind the Scenes video, which you can find on YouTube.

The entire panel is also now on YouTube.

There’s also a ton of galleries, live blogs, and analyses online: Variety, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Tor.com, io9, The Verge, and screenshots from Star Wars New Zealand and Collider.

Edit: Added articles from Vanity Fair and a photo gallery from Entertainment Weekly.

Awesome Con 2015 – Convention Report

AC_2015_LOGO_DC_DARKAnother year, another awesome Awesome Con. As promised, this still relatively young convention headed by Ben Penrod pulled together another great show that left attendees happy and content by the end of Sunday. When you look around the hall, it’s hard to remember that Awesome Con is a mere three years old and that it was mostly confined to a hall perhaps a quarter of the size of its current location in its inaugural year in 2013. While it’s true that DC was thirsty for a convention just like this, what has really helped Awesome Con succeed is its willingness to listen, learn, and correct its mistakes. Last year, the biggest complaint was over registration. They were prepared this year and no one was forced to wait outside in the heat thanks to a combination of changing their precise location within the convention center, mailing out 3-day badges to those who preordered in time, and having a huge area dedicated to registration and entering. Panel lines also appeared to be managed much better this year with some rooms actually being dedicated line spaces for the larger rooms.

One of the great things about Awesome Con is that it’s hard to get bored. The convention hall was even bigger then last year, featuring tons of dealers, lots of great artists, and even a corner for all things Star Wars. The aisles are adequately wide enough so that one never felt claustrophobic trying to get through the crowds. The convention also made good use of the expanse convention center building. What fascinated me was how freaking huge that convention center is. I thought there was only the building used the previous two years but oh no. There is way more then that which is great news is Awesome Con wants to keep growing larger and larger. Space won’t be an issue any time soon.

Detouring back for a moment, the Star Wars corner was a great addition to the convention as a one stop shop for all the GFFA action. The local 501st, Rebel Legion, and Mandalorian Mercs groups all had tables set up as did the Artoo Builders and the local DC Collectors. The corner also featured Rob and Leanne Hannah; creators of the Blue Milk Special web comic. As someone who was fresh off a Star Wars centric convention, I loved this area of the floor because it felt like home.  The Star Wars corner also hosted ‘Blast a Trooper’ for charity which is exactly what it sounds like.  My hat is off to those brave souls who were willingly shot at with nerf guns in the name of charity. Continue reading

Star Wars Weekends Episode I: The Humidity Menace

May 15-17 marked the first weekend of Walt Disney World’s annual Star Wars Weekends, held during five weekends in May and June at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Given our love of both Star Wars and Disney World, our close proximity to the parks (about 10 minutes from our garage to the DHS parking lot), and our status as annual passholders, it’s a no-brainer that we spend at least some part of every weekend at the park.

This year Brian and I decided to take off work on Day 1 in order to kick off the festivities with a bang. Week 1 also marked the first ever appearance of Ian McDiarmid at Star Wars Weekends!

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Celebration Anaheim: Interview with Jason Fry

jace-hed2During the first day of Celebration Anaheim, Brian and I were fortunate enough to run into author Jason Fry and he graciously allowed us to shove a microphone in his face. Unfortunately the recording quality was too poor to upload as its own podcast, but you can read a transcription of the interview under the cut. We chatted about Servants of the Empire and writing in the Star Wars universe, his original Jupiter Pirates series, and, of course, the new The Force Awakens teaser.

Note: This interview contains spoilers for the Servants of the Empire series. 

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Star Wars Celebration Anaheim Updates!

celebration_keyart_wideWe’re less than a week until the start of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, and we’ve been getting a bunch of updates just in time to finalize all your plans.

From starwars.com:

From Her Universe, a sneak peek of exclusives coming to Celebration, including dresses, cardigans, and t-shirts for women and girls.

Think Geek exclusives, including:

  • Star Wars Celebration Pin Trading Exclusive – Lando Calrissian
  • Star Wars Celebration Exclusive ThinkGeek Pin
  • Russell Walks Retro Star Wars Poster Set (only 250 made)
  • Russell Walk 8×10 Propaganda Prints, featuring the 501st – Vader’s Fist
  • Limited-edition Star Wars Celebration Patch with purchase of Con Bag of Holding

sw_celebration_badge

Finally, Amy Ratcliffe has tips and tricks regarding general convention-going, Celebration, and the Anaheim Convention Center.

Star Wars Weekends Guests Announced!

SWW2015_MerchandisePoster (1)In all the excitement for Celebration, it’s easy to overlook that other event that happens every May and June at Walt Disney World — Star Wars Weekends! The event will take place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from May 15-June 14 at (soon to be renamed) Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Earlier this afternoon the Disney Parks blog and The Official Site announced the Star Wars celebrities appearing this year, including the first appearances of two very special guests, Ian McDiarmid and Frank Oz!

Weekend I (May 15 – 17)

  • Ian McDiarmid: Senator/Emperor Palpatine (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Amy Allen: Aayla Secura (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Tiya Sircar: Sabine Wren (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend II (May 22 – 24)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Silas Carson: Ki-Adi-Mundi, Nute Gunray (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones;Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Vanessa Marshall: Hera Syndulla (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend III (May 29 – 31)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Daniel Logan: Boba Fett (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones)
  • Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend IV (June 5 – 7)

  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend V (June 12 – 14)

  • Frank Oz: Yoda (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

James Arnold Taylor will be hosting the event, with Ashley Eckstein on hand to host the Padawan Mind Challenge (in addition to her Weekend IV guest appearance).

Also of note this year: a new complex of shops for Darth’s Maul on Streets of America and a new inside location for celebrity autographs just off Commissary Lane.

In addition to celebrity appearances in “Stars of the Saga” and “Star Wars: Rebels”, Ray Park and Warwick Davis will be appearing in their own one-man shows. No work yet if Ian McDiarmid and Frank Oz will be appearing as part of “Stars of the Saga” or a separate interview like last year’s “Conversation with Mark Hamill”.

Who’s excited? I’m excited!

Katsucon 2015 Convention Report

Even Baymax came to Katsucon!

Another February and therefore another Katsucon have come and gone.  Two weekends ago, geeks from around the country descended on National Harbor, Maryland for a very frozen convention weekend.  The convention didn’t play host to the US’s round of the World Cosplay Summit this year but that certainly didn’t seem to put a dent in attendance numbers.  In fact, the convention seemed bigger this year both in terms of attendance numbers and the scale of the con itself.  There was a nice variety of programming that ran through a good 2/3 of the day if not more.  One of the best programming selections were the various cosplay construction lectures that covered everything from basic cosplay advice to how to build armor.  There’s always something for everyone.

The dealer room was especially good this year and much larger than in years past both in terms of the number of vendors (or so it seemed) and there being enough aisle space to move comfortably.  One of the best additions though was definitely the space set aside for the Men at Arms: Reforged folks.  They have a YouTube show in which they recreate fictional weapons, often with a twist.  One of their latest was the scissor blade from Kill la Kill which they decided to make out of actual melted down scissors.  How cool is that?  They even brought the blade with them and let con-goers pose with it.

Unfortunately, registration continues to be an issue.  The lines to get badges seemed to be an eternal fixtures on the lower level with the line usually going to the other end of the corridor.  Wait times were measured not in minutes but rather in hours.  It is my hope that for the sake of the con goers that Katsucon sits down and reevaluates their badge system.

On the cosplay front, the costumes worn by so many attendees were amazing as always.  The best costume of the con was, without question, this gorgeous La Muerte from The Book of Life.  The pictures don’t even do her work justice.

Picture by Rich and Strange Photography

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Geek Girl Con 2014 Convention Report

geek girl con logoGeek Girl Con is not a very large convention, only taking up the atrium of the Seattle Conference Center, and this year it happened to fall on the same weekend as New York Comic Con. Understandably, there were not a lot of big names present at Geek Girl Con 2014. But GGCs fourth year (and my third year attending) was, once again, a very fun time.

What makes Geek Girl Con stand out is its focus. It doesn’t specifically emphasize comics or anime or games or any particular medium or fandom like that. Instead, it is focused on celebrating geeky women and creating a safe, inclusive space for people of all types to enjoy the things they love and you could really tell, both from the make-up of the attendees and from the panel topics. Not only were a very large portion of the attendees women, but throughout the conventions various forms of non-traditional gender presentation were on display, even beyond the cosplay. The whole convention just has an open and friendly atmosphere and there really does seem to be a sense of community. Continue reading