Tag Archives: Convention

Signed Star Wars Clone Armor Helmets to be Auctioned!



Los Angeles, CA – November 15, 2011


On Black Friday, November 25, 2011 the “Fan Days 2011” autographed Star Wars Clone Helmets will be put up for auction on ebay at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. The auctions will be listed under the seller name JaingSMandoMercsPO and will run for 10 days. All proceeds from the auctions will benefit “Princess Leah” and her family. This is your opportunity to own a rare, unique piece of Star Wars memorabilia.

The Republic Commando and the Animated Clone Trooper helmets were made and donated by Nick Bishop and his Thylacine Squad of the 501st in Tasmania.

Over 45 Star Wars actors, directors, editors, writers, artists and more signed each helmet. To document and authenticate the signatures, a photograph was taken of each person signing. These photos have been made into two photo collage posters and will be a part of the ebay auctions.

Kevin Ward of the Clan Murraan Mandalorian Mercs and his wife, Kelli, created one of a kind stands for each helmet. The base of the stands are engraved with the logos of four costuming groups who have been instrumental in helping raise awareness and donations for Princess Leah. They are: 501st Legion, Mandalorian Mercs, Rebel Legion and The Dark Empire.

A video documenting the signing of the Fan Days 2011 helmets created by Taylor Andriotis, aka LadyVader66, is available for sharing and viewing online via youtube.

Baby Leah Esquenazi and her parents, Zev and Frani, have spent most of the last 8 months in the PICU at UCLA hospital. “Princess Leah” as she has come to be known in the Star Wars community was struck by a mysterious illness that causes uncontrollable movement and breathing problems. She has had multiple surgeries including the removal of cataracts in both eyes and has to spend much of her time on a ventilator. Over 60 doctors, hundreds of tests and $2.5 million later, little Leah continues to struggle for survival.

For auction updates and more information via Facebook please visit:


To view the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFWV_aVNMDU&feature=youtu.be

For more detailed information on Princess Leah and other ways you can help please visit:





Fan Days IV Recap

Fan Days IV Recap

On October 8th and 9th the Irving Convention Center in Irving Texas hosted the 4th iteration of Fan Days.  Fan Days this year was a mostly Star Wars focused convention featuring special celebrity guests, fan groups, Q&A panels, and numerous vendors.  Fans from around the country, and even from other countries, gathered together for two days to celebrate their love for the Star Wars franchise.  As with most conventions, there was not enough time to do absolutely everything, but here are my memories of what I did get to see and do.

Stephen Stanton, Catherine Taber, Meredith Salenger, and Tom Kane at the Clone Wars panel

Author Panels
I was sad to see there wasn’t much of a representation from Star Wars authors at Fan Days.  Luckily, they did have two of the best.  Aaron Allston, who has written books in the X-wing, New Jedi Order, Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi series, and Tim Zahn, who has written numerous Star Wars books and is considered by some as the “godfather of the modern Expanded Universe.”  I was excited to hear from both of these authors and attended the two panels that they were on together.  The first of these panels was called “Ask the Authors” and was exactly that.  In a small but crowded room, fans got to get up and ask their questions and get them answered by the two authors.  You can actually watch the entire panel over at YouTube thanks to our friends at TheForce.net.  Here are some of the highlights.

Allston said that much of the direction of the story in Fate of the Jedi is dictated by Lucasfilm and Del Rey and not just the authors.

Tim Zahn doesn’t like the idea of time travel or “flow walking” in Star Wars.  He really really doesn’t like it.

Aaron Allston’s favorite Star Wars film is Empire Strikes Back. “…it has the best character development.”

Tim Zahn on the subject of rebooting the Star Wars Expanded Universe – “A reboot would be very messy.” “There would be immense pressure from the fan community not to do a reboot.”

Awhile back, Allston pitched the ideal of a novel about the events of the Original Trilogy from the perspective of Darth Vader.  Zahn thinks he should repitch the idea to Del Rey and the crowd heartily agreed.

When asked what he would have done differently with the Prequels, Zahn said he would have done Jar Jar differently.  “The most irritating thing about Jar Jar is that he doesn’t grow.”  Zahn also said the Yoda/Dooku battle in Attack of the Clones would have been better if it wasn’t as acrobatic. Have Yoda stand still and show his mastery.

Zahn – “Now that certain of my characters have been offed, there is less incentive to write in that era”

The other panel they did together was called “What Not to Put in a Story.”  This panel was less Star Wars focused, and more advice to aspiring writers.  Still a great panel, it was very enjoyable to listen to the two authors critique modern movies and books.  Two things I learned from this panel were they don’t like Clive Cussler’s writing too much, and Zahn is a big fan of Doctor Who.  Star Wars literature did eventually come up…

Zahn – “Maybe before they kill Han, Luke, and Leia they should destroy the Falcon and see what kind of fan reaction they get”

Allston said that at the beginning of The Clone Wars animated series there was not much communication between that team and the books department.  He said now communication is much better.  They actually had to change some things in the Fate of the Jedi series because of some things that were coming up in The Clone Wars show.

Allston was in talks with Del Rey to possibly continue the Republic Commando series. He ended up doing the Wraith Squadron book instead.

Author Aaron Allston

Hughes the Force
One of the big events at Fan Days was a screening of the fan made film Hughes the Force, written and directed by J.C. Reifenberg.  The film is basically a mash up of Star Wars and John Hughes films, specifically borrowing from the plot of Weird Science.  At the end of day one of the convention, they invited everyone up to an auditorium to watch the short film followed by a Q&A with the crew of the film.  I have to admit that I haven’t seen too many John Hughes films, so some of the humor may have been lost on me, but the film was very well made and funny.  Tons of Star Wars references and even cameos by some of The Clone Wars voice actors.  I definitely recommend checking this film out.  I even had a chance to talk to J.C. Reifenberg and the producer of the film Ruark Dreher while on the convention floor.  They are both extremely nice, talented guys and I look forward to seeing what they can come up with in the future.


Convention Floor
If you were looking for that hard to find Star Wars toy, a unique Star Wars t-shirt, or are hoping to meet a Star Wars artist or celebrity, the convention floor at Fan Days was the place to be.  The floor was arranged so the celebrities were on the edge of the floor (Billy Dee had his own room) and the artists and vendors had booths organized in the center.  Very easy to navigate and find what you were looking for.  There were more artists and celebrities than I will mention here, but some of the names that stuck out to me were Ashley Eckstein, Stephen Stanton, Tom Kane, Tom Hodges, Spencer Brinkerhoff, Denise Vasquez, Randy Martinez and Matt Busch.  Some were easy to get to and others had long lines, but all of the celebrities and artists were very friendly and more than willing to spend a few minutes talking to the fans that came up to them.

Any mini fig you could ever need

This year I wanted to see what it would be like to be a volunteer at a convention so I signed up to work a shift on the second day.  There are many possible jobs you can get, anything from watching a door to sitting with a celebrity, and I was ready to do whatever they asked.  Luckily for me, I got the job of sitting with one of the guests and helping them as they talked to fans and signed autographs.  The guest that I got to sit with was Jon Berg, who did a lot of visual effects work on the Original Trilogy.  I had not heard of him before but after talking to him for a few minutes I quickly realized how important he was to the Star Wars saga.  He had done design work on some of the most iconic things in the movies including Imperial Walkers, Ithorians (he laughed when people asked him to sign “Hammerhead”), Duros, the holo-chess set, and a lot more.  The conversations I had with him were amazing.  It was like an interactive behind the scenes session.  He was one of the nicest people I have met and very down to earth.  He even offered to get me coffee at one point which is what I was supposed to be doing for him.  This was only his second convention and I hope he goes to many more.  If you ever get a chance to talk to him I highly recommend it.

Jon Berg with a fan

The Convention
This was my first time to Fan Days, and I was very impressed.  It was well organized, well run and spacious.  I never had the feeling that it was over crowded like some of the bigger conventions I have been to.  A smaller convention like this allows you to relax and take everything in.  The best thing about these conventions is getting together with your friends and other like-minded fans, and Fan Days was full of them.  I am not sure when the next Star Wars Fan Days will be (my guess is 2013 since there is a Star Wars Celebration in 2012) but you should go.  Hopefully I will see you at Celebration 6 before then.

-Aaron Goins


Fun from Fan Days – SWR #18

Here’s the latest episode of the Star Wars Report!

This episode features our extensive coverage of FanDays 2011!

We talk about our time at FanDays and play a TON of interviews from the con floor.

We talk to Catherine Taber,

Matthew Wood, and David Accord

Meredith Salenger,

Stephen Stanton,

Steve Sansweet,

J.C. Reifenberg and Ruark Dreher

Aaron Allston and more!

Email:         starwarsreport@gmail.com

Facebook facebook.com/starwarsreport

Twitter:      twitter.com/starwarsreport

Forum:       www.eucantina.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1233




Ask the Authors – SWR #17

Here’s the latest episode of the Star Wars Report!

This episode features a recording of the “ask the authors” panel at Dragon Con 2011.











Sadly, this wraps up our D*C coverage. We really had a great time and we’re hoping to make it next year!

Email:         starwarsreport@gmail.com

Facebook facebook.com/starwarsreport

Twitter:      twitter.com/starwarsreport

Forum:       www.eucantina.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1233

Fan Days Update!

Ashley Eckstein Brings Star Wars “Geek Chic” to Fan Days

September 28, 2011 — Almost half of all Star Wars and sci-fi fans are women who are just as eager as the guys to show their devotion to their favorite movies, television shows and books.

Now actress Ashley Eckstein, a featured guest at the upcoming Star Wars Fan Days in Irving, Texas, answers that call with her new “geek chic” clothing line, Her Universe, which offers female-focused apparel and accessories from the beloved Star Wars saga and other sci-fi genre.

Ms. Eckstein provides the voice of “Ahsoka Tano” in the Cartoon Network’s popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She’ll bring samples of her unique product to Fan Days Oct. 8 and 9 at the Irving Convention Center where she’ll sign autographs, meet the fans and talk about her new clothing line.

Married to former Major League Baseball player, two-time World Series Champion and World Series MVP David Eckstein, Ms. Eckstein grew frustrated with the lack of merchandise available for the growing number of female sci-fi fans. When she couldn’t find Star Wars clothing for herself, she decided to create her own line.

Ms. Eckstein has always expressed herself through her sense of style and now shares her love of all things sci-fi with other geek girls. She’s made it her mission to fight for the underdog and spearhead the call to create a place for female fans in a pop culture community typically dominated by men. Her stylish line of “geek chic” apparel and accessories features fashionable female-focused gear from such powerhouses as the Star Wars brand, and Syfy properties Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13 and Syfy’s original movies.

Some people may think science fiction is a “man’s world,” but Ashley is proving there is more than enough room in Her Universe for everyone.

To view and order Ms. Eckstein’s clothing line, please visit www.heruniverse.com. For information on the upcoming Star Wars Fan Days, please visit www.fandays.com.


Media information:

Ashley Eckstein is available for interviews prior to Fan Days and at the event. Please contact Dan Madsen to schedule an interview.


To download images, please go to: http://www.heruniverseshop.com/syfyimages.aspx