Posts Tagged ‘WonderCon’

WonderCon 2009: R2-D2 Builders Team | March 5, 2009

R2-D2 goes where the action is, so it shouldn’t be surprised that he and his droid pals invaded this year’s WonderCon as usual. Fans ran up and hugged, kissed, patted and posed with everyone’s favorite astromech droid. Those lucky attendees who wanted the ins and outs of droid building got a special treat with the “R2-D2 Droid Building Basics” panel on Saturday.

R2-D2 builders Chris James, Ryan Goff, Steve Simmons, and David Calkins shared their experiences and demonstrated working droids. They chatted about materials, tools needed, basic electronics, and radio control information to make your own Artoo beep, move and save the day.

Special guest Don Bies, former ILM model maker and Star Wars Episodes II and III droid wrangler also showed up to encourage fans to channel their inner Anakin (the good one, not the baddie). chatted with R2-D2 builder Chris James about what it feels like to be daddy to his own R2-D2.

Can you describe what the R2-D2 Builders group is all about?

We’re a loosely organized international group of fans who love to build droids and share them with the world. Founded in 1999, the club has continually striven to develop resources to allow others to accurately reproduce their own astromech droids. We know have almost 8,000 members, but I would say there’s closer to 500 active builders at any one time. We make all sort of astromechs, not just R2-D2, but that’s were our roots are. Some of you may have also seen R2-KT (; she was build by members of the club.

What tips did you give would-be builders at your WonderCon panel?

It’s hard to cover much in an hour, but we try and give an overview of what can be done, demo our droids, and cover the tools, different materials and skills needed to get started.

The four top tips are always — planning, patients, do lots of research, and know your limitations. Without following these basic tips you can quickly make some expensive mistakes. Oh! And the fifth tip — Don’t try stuffing the electronics from a Hasbro Interactive Droid in a life-size Artoo. You don’t want a 200 lb droid running you over.


WonderCon 2009: Celebrities Team | March 5, 2009

(Matthew Wood and his inner Grievous)

You don’t have to head to Los Angeles or New York to see your favorite comic book, movie and TV celebs. Thanks to conventions like WonderCon, they come to you. In fact, they sit at a table and wait for you to come by with things to sign. Sometimes they’ll even pose for photos or make small talk with you about their Twitter.

Here’s a selection of some of the famous folks you might have spotted at this year’s WonderCon.

Carrie Fisher:
(photo by Dennis VonGalle)
Princess Leia herself met fans and signed posters, prints, photos and more. In the photo above, Fisher signs a Nagel-inspired print called “The Princess” presented by the artist himself Craig Drake.

Mark Hamill:
Luke Skywalker (or the voice of the Joker, depending on your fandom) signed everything from Star Wars posters to rare Corvette Summer memorabilia. Mark Hamill didn’t sing any verses of “Luke, Be a Jedi Tonight” but this rare appearance at WonderCon did make fans giddy with the Force.

Dave Filoni:
As the Supervising Director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV show, fans follow around Dave Filoni around like the Jedi Pied Piper. Filoni was one of the coolest interviews at the Star Wars presentation on Saturday as he talked about Cad Bane and the bounty hunters who will be invading the series soon. Another highlight for us included watching the 501st Legion induct Filoni as an Honorary Member at their annual WonderCon dinner. He was presented with the coveted badge, as well as one-of-a-kind art from Cynthia Cummens. Here he is posing with Ahsoka’s lightsaber that he signed for a special fan.


WonderCon 2009: Best Costumes

Bonnie Burton | March 5, 2009

Half the fun of going to WonderCon every year in San Francisco is seeing all the costumed fans who dress up as superheroes, pirates, steampunkers, movie and video game characters and even Muppets!

We’ve already profiled our favorite Star Wars costumes this year, but here’s a list of some of the other costumes we couldn’t get enough of.

It’s just not a comic book conventions without fans dressing like characters in actual comic books. Little kids and growups alike don masks and capes to wander through the convention floor looking for crime and photos ops. As an added bonus, Batman actor Adam West attended WonderCon this year and got to see all variations of the masked man he made so famous.

Just in time for the March release of the Watchmen movie, fans dressed up as their favorite characters like Rorschach, Silk Spectre and Sally Jupiter. No Doctor Manhattans were spotted, but then again it takes dedication to show up to WonderCon blue and naked.

Yip Yip Martians:
If you grew up watching Sesame Street, you’ll recognize the interplanetary visitors called the Yip-Yips — nicknamed for their yip yip language. They seemed right at home yipping around WonderCon.


WonderCon 2009: Best Star Wars Costumes

Bonnie Burton | March 4, 2009

Even though San Francisco’s WonderCon is much smaller than the epic San Diego Comic-Con International, you literally can’t walk past a booth without bumping into a costumed fan.

Each year WonderCon gets a little bit bigger which means more and more fans dressed as superheroes, video game characters, horror film icons, steampunkers, vampires, dragons, pirates, manga and anime favorites, and of course, Star Wars characters.

As usual members of the 501st and Rebel Legion were out in full Force. Here’s a recap of some of the best Star Wars costumes we spotted at WonderCon 2009.

What a Trooper!
It just isn’t a convention without spotting 501st Legion members dressed as clone troopers and stormtroopers. The 501st always impress with their custom-made body armor, but it’s their patience with hundreds of people who want their photos taken with them every five steps that make them real troopers. If you want to learn more about the 501st Legion, check out: Inside the Fighting 501st.

Rebel, Rebel!
Next up, the Rebel Legion. These fans dress as Jedi, Rebel Pilots, Princess Leias and more. At this year’s WonderCon they could be seen hanging out with the 501st or I suppose infiltrating the Empire depending on how you look at it. If you’d like to find out more about them, visit the Official Rebel Legion site here.

Darth Vader
While The Clone Wars may be taking fandom my storm, Darth Vader still dominates all the photo ops at WonderCon. He’s not called a Sith Lord for nothing.


Report from WonderCon 2009: Lucasfilm Presentation (Part III: The Ryloth Trilogy)

Pablo Hidalgo | February 28, 2009

You’ll excuse me if this next blog post gets a little meta and breaks a fourth wall or something. See, for better or for worse, I volunteered to go head-to-head against Steve Sansweet with the new Uncle Milton Force Trainer. It’s the much buzzed about toy that scans brainwaves to activate a fan within an acrylic tube, that then levitates a Force remote (or, ping pong ball to you terrestrial laymen) to various heights. I tried it out on Friday and, after some practice, got the hang of it.


Not nearly enough practice for the big show on Saturday, though, as I went up against a venerable Jedi Master like Sansweet. He had perfected its performance, launching the remote into the stratosphere while I apparently failed to unlearn whatever it was I had learned. My Force remote barely budged. It’s as if I had a pocket full of ysalamiri jerky or something. And if you get that, you’re as big a geek as I.

Anyway, this was really a lead-in to showcase some of the online Clone Wars comics we have been doing since the launch of the show. I introduced Tom Hodges and Katie Cook, who were in attendance in the audience, and also was able to give a sneak peek (note, correct spelling of peek – you’re welcome) into next week’s webcomic, “Curfew,” by Katie, which introduces the Twi’lek girl character of Numa.


We then segued into discussing the Ryloth Trilogy — the series of episodes that we’re now in the thick of. “Storm Over Ryloth” debuted yesterday. “Innocents of Ryloth” and “Liberty on Ryloth” are still to come.


Report from WonderCon 2009: Lucasfilm Presentation (Part II: Meet Cad Bane)

Pablo Hidalgo | February 28, 2009

Sansweet next moved the subject to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The smash hit series is now running in 166 countries, and translated into nearly 30 different languages. Sansweet reminded the audience that, in addition to a compilation of four episodes being released on DVD in March, this year will bring the entire season in a deluxe boxed set complete with value-added bonus material (and a Blu-Ray release!). Sansweet explained that the audience at New York Comic-Con selected, via their applause, some of the bonus material that ended up on the DVD, and screened the winning piece — a “Show Reel” made very early from rough concept art and paintings that helped explain what The Clone Wars could be.


But that was the past. Fast-forward to the present — and future — of the series. An edgy preview of the March 20th season finale then screened — clips of a bounty hunter-filled episode called “Hostage Crisis,” which introduces a new character — Cad Bane. Supervising Director Dave Filoni took to the stage next to discuss the evolution of Bane.





Report from WonderCon 2009: Lucasfilm Presentation (Part I: Celebrating 10 Years of Star Wars Renaissance)

Pablo Hidalgo | February 28, 2009

In the Esplanade ballroom at the Moscone Convention Center South, Star Wars fans gathered for the annual Lucasfilm presentation, hosted by Steve Sansweet. What follows is a partial transcript of the event, divided into three parts. See part two here, and part three here.


The hour-long presentation began with a viewing of something most people have not seen on a big screen in 10 years: the original teaser trailer for The Phantom Menace. That set the stage for a retrospective of the fan resurgence that accompanied the release of Episode I. With the rise of the Internet and the fan community, a worldwide gathering of Star Wars fans was ready to usher in the return of the saga, proving that Star Wars could indeed last forever.


WonderCon Update: Star Wars Invasion

Pablo Hidalgo | February 28, 2009

At WonderCon (currently underway in San Francisco), Dark Horse Comics director of publicity Jeremy Atkins unveiled new cover art by Jo Chen for the forthcoming New Jedi Order-era series, Star Wars: Invasion (see the original New York Comic-Con story here.)


We caught up with Dark Horse editor Randy Stradley to ask him some quick questions about the new series (below the cut).


WonderCon 2008 Recap Team | February 25, 2008

We came, we saw, we blogged the heck out of WonderCon 2008 in San Francisco on Feb. 22-24!


Report from Wonder-Con: Lucasfilm Presentation (Part 3)

Pablo Hidalgo | February 23, 2008

Steve Sansweet: On August 15th, Star Wars returns to the theaters in all new animated feature film, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, to be followed this fall by a new weekly series of the same name airing on Cartoon Network and TNT. We’ll be announcing international dates for the movie and international partners for the series over the next couple of months. Star Wars: The Clone Wars has an entirely new look and feel and combines the broad scope of Star Wars and the saga with state-of-the-art computer-generated animation. Each week, viewers are going to see really a very exciting half-hour “mini-movie” created by the talented artists at Lucasfilm Animation. From what I’ve already seen, we are in for one heck of an exciting ride. But don’t take my word for it. Take the word of Dave Filoni, Supervising Director for the Clone Wars project.