Friday, April 17, 2015

Star Wars Celebration Day One: Fully Armed and Operational

This day's a little bit of a cheat - I covered the first half of it in our Day Zero Report. But there's still a whole half a day left, and we saw some really cool stuff, from a panel with Ian McDiarmid, to brand new Star Wars arcade games, so sit back and enjoy our Day One Report!

Panel - The Emperor Strikes Back, with Ian McDiarmid

James Arnold Taylor is a fantastic host, and brings a totally different feel than the usual con interviews - he breaks it up into segments, accentuated by photos, video clips, and hilarious breaks. Having McDiarmid as as guest only helped make this panel one of the highlights of the day. McDiarmid tells hilarious stories, and is absolutely not bound by the usual PR burdens of a guest interviewer. While fans had a ton of questions about his motivations, and the backstory to his character, McDiarmid gently kept reminding us that George Lucas never gave him a backstory, or anything to work with beyond the script. Ultimately, he views it as a good thing - the ambiguity of the films allows for fan interpretations, such as the suddenly popular theory that Palpatine was responsible for Padme's death.

The funniest story from the whole panel was about Palpatine's chair. During the pivotal scenes in Return of the Jedi, the chair's motor would constantly miss its mark. So instead, McDiarmid would tiptoe the chair into position just off frame. In other words, every time Palpatine dramticially turns around during the films, McDiarmid is doing a little dance you can't see to get the chair in the right place.

Star Wars Battlepod

We covered the Battlepod a little bit in our IAAPA reports, but this is the first time we've gotten our hands on one to play it ourselves. It's a small, plastic pod with a wrap around screen - when you sit inside, you get a throttle and a flightstick, and a choice of five missions. The Battle of Yavin, Hoth, Endor, a speeder bike mission on Endor and a special mission where you play as Vader are all available. The game is technically an on-rails shooter, but you have such freedom to manuever within the rail that you actually feel as if you're flying the ship. The wrap around screen and semi-soundproof booth really add to the immersion, making you feel like you're actually in teh cockpit of an X-wing or the Millenium Falcon. It's a lot of fun, and apparently at every Dave and Buster's in the country right now.

The New Stormtroopers!

After their big debut that morning, the new Stormtroopers were wandering all over the con, letting everyone get a look at the Empire's newest version of their shocktroops. 

Cosplay, cosplay cosplay

My favorite part of a con is all the cool cosplay you run into on the street, and this con was no exception. Check out all of our favorite cosplay right below!

....Waiiiiiit a minute.
Mike Fatum is the Editor in Chief and Podcast Co-host of the Ace of Geeks Podcast.

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