Sep 5, 2010

Star Wars Celebration V Review: Day 4 - Part 2: Finally, Panels

While waiting for the panels to begin, I got to kill some time by myself wandering the trade floor. Next to the Force in the Flesh was the Clone Wars chalk drawing. Through the weekend, artist Eric Maruscak had been working on an amazing chalk drawing that would have a big reveal on the last day of the convention, and boy was it big. Savage Oppress was revealed by George Lucas during the Main Event and Eric was adding him to the mural.

I also ran into Steve Sansweet again with this AWESOME custom Star Wars suit. He was at the Commitment Chapel reading the vows to couples wanting their own Star Wars themed weddings. I later found out that he had been holding on to that material since 1980 when he got hold of a roll of fabric that was being used for kid's Osh Kosh B'gosh overalls. Now that my friends is why he is the greatest Star Wars collector, to hold on to something like that for 30 years and to finally have a use for it is amazing. Check out this article about his collection better known as Rancho Obi-Wan. I did get to pick up some stuff for the boys, for my oldest son who was with me on Thursday, he got the new Boba Fett helmet from Hasbro. For my youngest who is about to turn 2, he got a plush Wampa of course.

After my son left at 5pm on Thursday, I had either been in costume, pulling a costume or talking about my costume. It felt nice being somewhat anonymous for the moment and sit among everyone in a panel, though people still recognized me and we struck up a conversation. Who knew I would make such an impression as myself! My first stop was to a 501st costume building panel featuring Jason "Torment" Rucci - 8581. Jason was with me on my first troop and walked me through everything and made me feel right at home. He was hosting a panel on building movie accurate Clone Armor. Now how can you make clone armor when they were computer generated? That is where Jason can talk your ear off about how clone armor is superior to stormtrooper armor because it is that challenge to make it seamless and perfect! This panel changed my opinion big time about the clones and before my tenure with the 501st is done, I want a set of clone armor... yeah so what that I am short, but now I have a new attitude, it's for the kids.

(Here is a sample of the Armor panels, this one was the Animated Clones)

Next up was a panel with Star Wars sound guru's Ben Burtt and Matt Wood, hosted by LucasArt's lead sound designer David Collins. Little do people know is although they are sound guys they also have voiced some characters in movies and games. This brought up a fun scenario, where Proxy from the Force Unleashed (Collins) was interviewing Wall-E (Burtt) and General Grevious (Wood). People may remember the infamous video of Ben Burtt hitting guide wires to make the blaster sounds from Star Wars. He spoke to the crowd about how it is amazing that with any other movie sound editors never get any publicity but with Star Wars it lead to an Oscar and being treated like a celebrity, just as much as the stars of the films. He even brought some rare super 8 footage from the filming of Return of the Jedi. Who knew he was the last person to fly the Millennium Falcon before the set was destroyed.

Next up was the big finale for me, Dave Filoni and the Clone Wars Season 3 . This to me was one of the can't miss panels of the convention. I have been addicted to the Clone Wars since the movie came out in theaters. Some don't feel this is "real Star Wars" because it is a kid's cartoon. I beg to differ. I would actually go as far as saying that this series is more like the Original Trilogy and far superior the Prequels. All of the heart that was in the first 3 movies that was lost in the computer generated confusion that was the prequel movies is back in these 22 minute episodes. They really make you see Episode 3 and the whole Order 66 in a whole new light, because now the clones aren't just computer generated masses, they are individuals with names and dealing with the issues of being at war. From the brotherhood between the troops, to questioning the war and becoming friends with the Jedis. Also they are not shy of killing them off after just getting to know them, yep the reality of war packaged in cartoon form.

So back to the panel. Dave Filoni was telling what it is like making the Clone Wars and how characters develop, but he understood that many people were there to see video clips from the upcoming season. People want spoilers! Of course there was the Q&A where people love to make him squirm. There was the typical what happens to Rex and Ahsoka but someone brought up Hoth. It was sad to hear that there was no plans of going to Hoth, which probably means no Wampas in the Clone Wars, oh well. But we will get a new Zabrak warrior named Savage Oppress seen in the chalk drawing above, an attack on the cloning facilities on Kamino (which sounds like it will be the season opener) and a fun twist in using the force with the Sith Witches. Yep there isn't only the light side and the dark side, the Sith Witches use the force in their own way like using magic.

Then just like that Celebration was over. I met back up with Genna who was wandering the trade floor with new friends and we left the Orange County Convention Center. It seemed like we left as we came in, as regular fans, no costumes no hoopla and it felt right.

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