(Click the mural to see the official Star Wars/Lego promo video Featuring My Wampa)
So we are coming to the end of Day 3, and yes I am milking it for all it was, it was a very eventful day! While I was walking back from Hoth Bar to the 501st photo shoot, Genna was approached about the Wampa. They were begging and pleading with her that we have to go to their booth, they will give us an escort and it will be a big event. They weren't kidding, it was Julie, the Brand Relations Manager with LEGO! As the photo shoot was wrapping up Genna felt a presence behind her. It was the LEGO group. They had a 6 person escort to bring the Wampa to the trade floor. As soon as the legion broke formation I was lead to the Elevator that was being held for me. On the top floor more LEGO folks were there to head to the Mystery LEGO Mural.
For the last 3 days they have been handing out squares and having convention goers fill them out using single colored studs revealing a mystery image by the end of the convention. Well that time had come and the image was none other than their Wampa and Hoth characters with an Empire Strikes Back poster in the middle. The last piece in the mural was the Wampas eye and they had LEGO Master builder, Eric Vaszegi and a lucky Star Wars fan, A little guy named Jake and me as the Wampa to put in the last piece. The press was there and it was a huge hit with the fan. I posed with Jake for the fans and gave him a big Wampa hug. As soon as it was done they took me back to the main hall.
It had been a long day in costume, almost 4 hours at that time but it was pure adrenaline that was fueling me. Something I learned while talking to many 501st members, especially those who troop for 6-8 hours in armor, that sometimes when the fans want you to keep going you get that second, third and fourth wind that keeps you going. I was on my third and I knew if I was going to fulfill any of my appearance requests it would have to be soon. There was about an hour and a half left in the day and up next was the R2 Droid Builders room. The folks with me were trying to convince me that I was done but I had to go, with a 20 minute break without the top, I got back dressed and headed across the hall.
In the droid builders room the Mountain Garrison of Colorado had a display I just couldn't pass up. It was the WAMPA DOOR! If you are a reader of the blog you will know my fascination of this prop. It was part of the script of ESB but cut from the movie because of technical reasons. Now if Lucasfilm couldn't do it, could I... could I possibly accomplish something that uncle George couldn't? The builders of the door wanted me to do some poses in front of it with the R2 and C3PO that were there. Just like the Ice Bar upstairs, they had padded floors and add posing with those 15lb arms up in the air and trying to hold the position I could feel myself fading, but I pushed through. I told my handler that I can probably do 5-10 poses with fans, and she saw some kids up front and told everyone kids only. This was a blessing in disguise because after those kids I needed a break, though I had enough energy to pose with the builders responsible for the display too.
Now with the Droid room down, I got that 4th wind once I downed a bottle of water and got back on to solid flooring. I got thinking, we visited the Rebel Legion Echo Base booth the day before with half the Wampa and it was a hit I needed to go back there with the whole suit. They had a section roped off for a tauntaun costume but that didn't last too long. The person inside that costume couldn't handle more than 15-20 minutes in the suit. I watched them get dressed on Thursday and as soon it was on, she said that was enough and they proceeded to take it off. Well I am now going into my 5th hour in the suit and a jolt of duty I walked to the back of the Expo hall to the Rebel Legion Booth.
On the way I couldn't resist posing with a great Darth Talon costume. People say Slave Leia is the sexiest costume in Star Wars, No way Darth Talon, the Twi'lek sith tattoos from the Legacy series is freakin' hot.
We finally get to the Rebel Legion booth and talk to Lori the head of Ra Kura Base (Florida's RL group). She was excited to see us and thanked us again for coming back in full costume. To my surprise who was in the pen, non other than Chewie! Fans got to pose with not one but 2 - 7+ foot tall costumes. It was nice to be able to talk to someone eye to eye. After about 15 minutes the line of people died down and it was time to suit down.
The day was complete and after almost the entire time with Eric and Geff following us I told them to go enjoy the show. Geff was trying to hunt down show exclusives and ended up with the Gentle Giant 12 inch vintage Kenner Boba Fett. Eric did what he did best, event photography He went around and got some great shots of the full size props and the fans. Afterwards Genna and I agreed for all the work they did today we would treat them to a dinner anywhere of their choice.
So next up, Day 4 - Force in the Flesh and Panels