Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the Silicon Valley Comic-Con (SVCC) in San Jose, California. Unlike past events, where events of Star Wars nature were limited, this year had a strong Star Wars presence. We got to attend the ‘Everybody’s Wookiee’n for the Weekend” special event that had the most interest in terms of Star Wars. As expected, fans started lining up early to attend it.
The panel event featured the following Star Wars Actors:
- Rey Parke who played Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I,
- Daniel Logan who played Jango Fett’s son in the Star Wars Prequels,
- Mads Mikkelsen who played Galen Erso in Star Wars: Rogue One and,
- Temuera Morrison who portrayed Jango Fett and multiple clone troopers in the prequels.
The event coordinator was Gary Whitta who was a writer at Star Wars: Rogue One and did an amazing job asking questions and sharing tidbits of information.
Absent from the panel was Ian McDiarmid who, of course, played Emperor Palpatine but managed to make it for the second day of the event.
From left: Ray Parke (Darth Maul), Mads Mikkelsen (Galen Erso), Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett), and Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett). Sitting up front is panel host and Star Wars: Rogue One writer, Garry Whitta.
Highlights from the ‘Everybody’s Wookiee’n for the Weekend” panel
Here are some stories that caught our attention as they were narrated by the special guests.
Ray Park (Darth Maul), Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Impact: Ray revealed that got into martial arts after he watched Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back. During the movie, he specifically enjoyed seeing Yoda training Luke become a powerful Jedi. In turn, he wanted to have a similar experience and he discovered that by starting his martial arts training.
- Using his head: During his infamous fight scene with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, he asked George Lucas if he could use his horns to attack the Jedi. Lucas turned down his idea.
- Losing his head: Park also advocated on cutting Maul’s head off as the way of eliminating Darth Maul. As he later admitted, that probably wasn’t the best idea. As we know, Darth Maul eventually returned in Star Wars but in the animated series this time. It’s good that George Lucas decided against Ray’s idea (again) because it would have been pretty difficult to make a comeback.
Ray Parke (left) and Mads Mikkelsen after getting inducted into the Rebel Legion.
Mads Mikkelsen (Galen Erso), Star Wars: Rogue One
- Mads gone mad: After Rogue One came out in the theaters, Mads wasn’t happy. The reason? He never got his own action figure! After a lot of discussions with Disney (i.e complaining), they eventually did!
- A villain nonetheless: Speaking of his character he (jokingly) said that he considered himself as a villain. He argued that, after all, he was the creator of the Death Star.
- Mads favorite scenes: Mads admitted that his favorite Rogue One scenes were with Felicity Jones.
- Galen Erso’s original name: Gary Whitta (writer for Rogue One) who was hosting the panel, revealed that Galen’s name in the original script was Walden Erso. Luckily, they decided to go with Galen Erso.
Daniel Logan (right), aka young Boba Fett, sharing a story under the watchful eye of his movie dad, Temuera Morrison.
Daniel Logan (Young Boba Fett), Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the Clone Wars Animated series
- The George Lucas effect: Daniel revealed what a profound impact Star Wars had in his life. It was because of George Lucas’ invite that he was able to immigrate to the United States as an actor. To this day, Logan is extremely grateful to Lucas for the impact he had in his life.
- Clone Wars Animated Series: Lucas also managed to get Logan to voice young Boba Fett in the Clone Wars animated series. According to Logan, in a visit to Dave Filoni (the director of Clone Wars), Lucas demanded that Filoni uses Logan. Filoni agreed.
- Filoni has some fun: When Daniel Logan started working on the animated series, Filoni started teasing Logan. He told him that he didn’t have to pay him since he had already done so many years ago. A confused Logan asked for some explanation that Filoni gladly provided. Apparently, after Episode II came out, Logan had a booth at a comic con where he was signing and selling autographs. Since he was still a young actor, his booth wasn’t getting too much traffic as compared to other stars. Filoni and his wife felt bad about him so they ordered 100 autographs of his. Needless to say, when Logan heard the story he was speechless and humbled.
- The Fett connection: Garry Whitta who was hosting the panel, also revealed that in the first version of the Rogue One script, Jyn Erso would meet Boba Fett. The scene didn’t make it into the movie.
The panel ended with the Rebel Legion (a costuming fan club), coming on stage and making Mads Mikkelsen and Gary Whitta honorary members of the club.
An impressive-looking Revan at SVCC
Star Wars presence in SVCC
This is the 3rd year we attended the SVCC but the first year the event had a strong Star Wars flavor to it. The panel described above helped to set the tone, however, there were a lot more areas of interest on the exhibition floor. We were immediately attracted to this full size-figure of Revan carrying two impressive lightsabers by lightsaber maker Saberforce.
In addition, the R2-D2 builders club, was out in full force showcasing their droids interacting with fans who were waiting in lines to view panels. Other than the usual R2-D2 sounds, the droids were also playing music so they served as entertainment on wheels. Fans certainly had a lot of fun interacting with the droids which also made the wait more interesting.
In the midst of everything, we saw a lot of cosplayers dressed up as stormtroopers, clone troopers or variations of those. Most of them would very patiently stop every two-three minutes to take pictures with fans and interact with them. We certainly saw a lot more shore troopers than before which certainly adds to the variety.
R2-D2 entertaining the crowds at SVCC
This is the third year that we attended SVCC. Every year, its organizers adjust the event’s theme to match what’s occurring in various fiction universes. Even though we were keenly interested in all things Star Wars, there were a lot more events, stars, writers and personalities who attended the show. David Tennant (Dr.Who, Jessica Jones, etc), Krysten Ritter (star of Jessica Jones), Sean Austin (Lord of the Rings), Christina Ricci (Adams family), Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) and more.
What’s unique about SVCC is that the event still has a very family, grassroots feeling to it. You can still get to all the panels, engage with the stars, walk around, browse the exhibition floor without too much hassle. It’s not only about the big stars and their panels, but also about all the small pop-up stores, fan costume groups, comics and competitions taking place during the event. There is something for everyone, it’s well-organized, and lacks the staggering crowds of bigger conventions like San Diego, New York and Emerald City (Seattle). In addition, it also comes with reasonable ticket prices. For reference, a three-day pass costs $99 USD, something you won’t find with other “Cons” mentioned above.
If you ever find yourself in Northern California during the month of April, you owe it to yourself to stop by SVCC. We’re certainly looking forward to the next one!
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