Tag Archives: Convention

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

 

Interview with Sam Witwer

The following is a transript of our interview with Sam Witwer at Dragon Con 2011. Huge thanks to Aaron Goins for writing this up for us!

You can listen to the audio version on episode 14 of the Star Wars Report podcast at about 14 minutes into the episode.

Riley: We are here with Mr. Sam Witwer aka Starkiller aka Davis Bloom.  You were even a sparkly vampire yesterday.

Sam Witwer: Oh yeah. So I’m doing a bunch of pictures and stuff and Sam Huntington, my costar on Being Human, is getting glittered up by this lady, this woman, and there was a bunch of people over there and so they are calling me over.  It’s my turn to get glittered up, and I really don’t want to you know.  “No no no no,” and they are pulling me over and then I look and Carrie Fisher comes right up to me and starts glittering me up and I’m like “Oh ok.”  Well I guess I can’t say no to Princess Leia, so I got heavily glittered.  I was covered in it.

Riley: Something I’ve kind of wondered is, a lot of roles you take, say with Smallville Davis Bloom and your current role in Being Human and Starkiller, a lot of those are characters you can really relate to and like often but they kind of have this dark core to them.  How do you get into character and how do you portray someone who might be considered pure evil.  How do you maintain that likability?

Sam Witwer: I think you have to play them all as good guys.  Davis Bloom was sold to me as a good guy when they offered me that part.  I think you have to think of these people as people who all have good intentions but are dealing with various challenges.  Starkiller for example was a good kid deep down but was a guy who worked for a terrible organization.  He worked for Darth Vader and he did all these bad things.  Vader raised him badly so he was confused I think that’s something we can all relate to in terms of a character and the challenges they face.  We all want to be better than the way we are right?  I think that’s it.  The character always has to be reasonable to the actor that is playing them.

Bethany: I know I have many favorite characters and I can never pick which one is my absolute favorite, but do you have a favorite character to play?

Sam Witwer: Aiden. Being Human is an extreme challenge because I not only have to play this addict, this guy who is trying to recover from being an addict, but there’s also this vampire thing that makes it so that I have to reinvent the character at various times, periods in history.  When they gave me the script he talked like a normal guy and I’m like great he talks like a normal guy, but then you have to ask yourself “why?,” because a guy that is 257 years old is not gonna talk the way that we do.  He has so much more life experience.  He’s so much more, um, so much more stuff to draw from and a command of the language that’s so much greater than ours.  So then I reasoned, well he’s hiding.  He’s learned to disguise himself based on the time that he lives in.  Depending on what a 25 year old is like in 2011, that’s what he’ll give you, or in the 70’s or in the 50’s, that’s what he’ll give you.  We get to go this season into the 30’s, so we get to see an entirely new version of the character.  We get to keep adding layers and layers and layers to this guy which is really really fun.  But then also from a pure fan perspective, I love Starkiller.  I really love that guy.  I think he’s cool.

Riley: He’s a very unique character and I think fit really well into that time period between Episode III and Episode IV, because it was a very dark period in the history of Star Wars.

Sam Witwer:  The interesting thing about Starkiller, I always conceived of him as a photo negative of Luke Skywalker, right, and I think the reason that character caught on to people these days, back in the day in the 70’s we had Luke Sky walker who was this well-meaning bright eyed farm boy.  He had a good upbringing and he goes off and he’s naïve and he has challenges, but he goes off and he goes on his hero’s journey.  The thing with Starkiller is, this is a guy who was raised by a terrible terrible man.  He works for this awful organization, he basically works for the Empire.  Look, in the 70’s I wasn’t there.  They were definitely cynical, they had things to deal with, but I don’t know that they had the media machine that we have these days where we just have this blanket of white noise that covers us, and we don’t know who to listen to.  We don’t know who our friends are, who our enemies are, who’s lying to us, who’s telling us the truth.  We just have this sickening feeling that we are being manipulated, and that’s Starkiller all over.  So in a weird way Starkiller is Luke Skywalker for the 21st century.  I think we all relate to this feeling of not knowing what we should be doing.  If you really break down that character it’s brilliant.  Hayden Blackman really nailed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bethany: We were in your Smallville panel the other day and you mentioned that something you geek out about was Star Wars.  I was wondering, why do you like Star Wars?

Sam Witwer: Why do I like Star Wars?  Because it’s an amazing parable for not being a @#$% (Nerfherder).  It’s like six movies, the theme of it is, don’t be a @#$%.  But no, it really breaks down mythology but also morality in some very easy to work with terms, and I really enjoy that.  If it didn’t have that heart to it I wouldn’t be interested in it.

Riley:  Speaking of Star Wars, another project that you have done is Clone Wars where you voiced The Son.  What were the differences between The Son and Starkiller in the way you approached the characters?

Sam Witwer: I was afraid that The Son was gonna sound too much like Starkiller so I said to Dave Filoni,  “Yeah I don’t know man, I’m afraid,  is it ok if he sounds like Starkiller?  Cause it’s my voice.  How should I do this?”  And he goes, “You know, Starkiller had a connection to the Dark Side of the Force and you are basically playing the Dark Side of the Force as The Son.  So it’s ok if a little bit of Starkiller is in there.”  When he said that I was like well then if Starkiller’s connection to the Dark Side means we can hear a little bit of him in The Son, then we should also hear Darth Maul, we should also hear Darth Vader, we should also hear the Emperor.

Riley: All with very distinct voices by the way.

Sam Witwer: Oh absolutely, and never to do a full on impression of those characters, but to give a moment where it dips in, where he says (in The Son’s voice) “Anakin, join me and together we can end this destructive conflict” or whatever he says.  It’s very Vaderesque.  You dip into the Vader rhythm.  (in The Son’s voice) “Join me.”  There are moments when he dips into the Emperor.  He says something like (in The Son’s voice) “How simple you make it light and dark as if there is one without the other”

Riley: Kind of has that Ian McDiarmid cadence there.

Sam Witwer: Exactly.  And I did the Emperor for Force Unleashed so I was really happy to just dip into these different characters.  Little Darth Maul moments and little things that weren’t necessarily in the fan’s faces.  That was subtle enough that it would evoke these feelings from the other movies, you know.

Riley: I know you probably can’t answer this, so I won’t get you in trouble.  I’ll phrase it this way.  Would you like to return to Clone Wars, even if it’s not The Son, but return to do voiceover in The Clone Wars?

Sam Witwer: I’ve already returned to The Clone Wars to do voiceover.

Riley: Oh really?

Sam Witwer: I am currently, as we speak, working on episodes, many episodes for a character that I have not played… well… it’s… what can I say without getting fired?

Riley: We don’t want you to get in trouble or anything.

Sam Witwer: I’m told the announcement is gonna happen in a couple months.

Riley: Nice tease!

Sam Witwer: It’s an amazing character.  It is an amazing, amazing character.  I’ll put it to you this way.  I was driving over to a buddy’s house and Dave Filoni calls me up, gets me on the phone, and he says, “Listen, so we want you to come back to work and we need you to play…” and he tells me the character’s name.  And I almost had a car accident.  And he says, “Can you do it?”  And I’m like yes.  And then I worried about later whether I could do it or not.  But I was like yes, yes, I will do that.  So it is a tremendous opportunity and I can’t wait for you guys to find out about it.

Bethany: Awesome.  We are really looking forward to that.  I’ve played piano since I was very small.  You went to Julliard and you are a musician yourself.

Sam Witwer: Well I went to Julliard for drama.

Bethany: Ok, I was wondering why did you choose drama over music?

Sam Witwer: Well, I’m a little bit of a jack of all trades.  I do everything a little bit good.  For example I am not the best musician, or I am not the best this or the best that.  Really as an actor you have to be able to pretend.  At any one point you may be playing a musician so you have to pretend that you are an incredible musician, or you must pretend you’re this guy or pretend you’re this athlete.  So if you can do everything a little bit well, that fits better for an actor.  As a musician I am very second rate.

Bethany: I think I would probably disagree.

Sam Witwer: I don’t know.  Check out The Crashtones on iTunes.  The Crashtones is my band.  I’m trying to kick out a second album.

Bethany: Hear that guys.  Check it out!

Sam Witwer: Check it out!

Riley: Well Sam Witwer, thank you so much for coming on.  Appreciate it!

Sam Witwer:  Thanks a lot guys.

 

Fan Days Update!

Riley, Aaron and I are really looking forward to being at Fan Days, and the time is getting closer!
This update almost makes me wish I was still a child and could attend the Lightsaber Training Academy.

Hopefully we’ll meet a lot of you there!

– Bethany

 

C2 Ventures, Inc.

Lewisville, Texas

Press release

 

Star Wars Fan Days tailor made for kids

 

What young Jedi hasn’t dreamed of honing his or her skills with a lightsaber, shaking hands with Yoda or going one-on-one with Darth Vader?

Kids will be able to do all those things and more at this year’s Star Wars-themed Fan Days Oct. 8 and 9 at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas. A $5, two-day pass admits children ages 5 to 12 with a paid adult admission. There is no extra charge for the kids’ activities.

“We’ve always presented our shows as family oriented, and we’re working hard to bring in more events with kids in mind,” said co-producer Ben Stevens, who organized his first convention in 1994. “We want the younger fans to have just as much fun at our shows as their parents.”

At the Lightsaber Training Academy, kids ages 5 to 10 will learn basic Jedi moves, do battle with Darth Vader and receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Youngsters also can vie for prizes during Shoot-a-Trooper sessions as they take aim at a Stormtrooper or other Star Wars characters with a Nerf gun.

Young fans of the Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series can meet the actors who provide the characters’ voices, including Tom Kane, who does double duty as “Yoda” and the narrator. Mr. Kane and Stephen Stanton (the voice of “Tarkin”) will sign Fan Days exclusive photos for free, and will take part in a Clone Wars panel discussion with voice actors Ashley Eckstein (“Ahsoka”), Catherine Taber (“Padme Amidala”) and Meredith Salenger (“Jedi Barris Offee”).

Also offering free autographs during Fan Days are Timothy Zahn and Aaron Allston, best-selling authors who have penned dozens of Star Wars books. The pair also will answer questions and offer writing advice during special author sessions both days.

For kids who love to dress up, there is a special Kids Costume Contest for ages 16 and under with lots of cool prizes. And, of course, there will be lots of costumed fans throughout the convention center who love posing for photos with kids.

Fan Days also will feature a long list of media guests signing autographs for a nominal fee. Topping the list is actor Billy Dee Williams, best known among Star Wars fans for playing the roguish “Lando Calrissian” in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). Also, George Takei, who played“Sulu” on the original Star Trek television and movie series, and is the voice of “Lok Durd” on The Clone Wars.

Fan days also welcomes living legend Jim Steranko, whose work as artist-writer on Marvel Comic’s S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America and X-Men revolutionized the comics form. He’ll be joined by almost 40 artists, including Herb Trimpe, Spencer Brinkerhoff, Joe Corroney, Scott Harben, Tom Hodges, Lawrence Reynolds, Cat Staggs and Denise Vasquez.

A complete list of guests and a schedule of events can be found at www.fandays.com along with detailed information on tickets. Cost to attend Fan Days varies depending on level purchased.

Hours for the two-day show are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9. The Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., is at the intersection of SH114 and Northwest Highway in Irving, Texas.

For more information, please visit the website at www.fandays.com.

 

Media contact:

For more information, to schedule an interview or to obtain press passes, please contact Kathy A. Goolsby at k_goolsby@tx.rr.com.

Images:

Downloadable images for use in promoting Dallas Comic Con, including images from past C2 Ventures’ events, are available at www.scifiexpo.com/DCC/press-pix.html

 

About C2 Ventures:

C2 Ventures is a partnership of long-time STAR WARS fans Ben Stevens and Philip Wise. Since 2001, C2 Ventures has been the most trusted name in STAR WARS autographs, providing more authentic autographs to fans than any other provider worldwide. We produced the massive autograph program at the official STAR WARS Celebration II in 2002, Celebration III in 2005, Celebration IV in 2007, Celebration Japan in 2008 and Celebration V in 2010.

C2 Ventures continues to work closely with more than 100 celebrities from the STAR WARS Universe, including Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Carrie Fisher, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels and Samuel L. Jackson, to provide or produce special appearances at conventions and retail stores, authentic autograph signings on your product or our licensed photos, special events, exclusives, and more.

 

Fan Days!

Greetings everyone!

In case you’ve missed it, we’re here to tell you a bit about Fan Days!


Riley, Bethany, and staff member Aaron Goins will be attending this year, along with many other Star Wars fans and stars, writers and creators! Fan Days is a yearly Star Wars (although other franchises are represented) convention held in Texas, this year on October 8th and 9th. Fan Days, is, as it sounds, by the fans and for the fans! This will be mine and Riley’s first time attending, and we’re really looking forward to it! Below is the official press release, check it out and consider coming! I’ll keep you guys updated with further information!

Bethany

 

 

Free signings during Star Wars-themed Fan Days

 

Star Wars fans are in for a special treat at this year’s Fan Days where at least half a dozen guests will offer free autographs. Tom Kane, the narrator and voice of “Yoda” on the Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will sign Fan Days’ exclusive photos at no charge during the show Oct. 8 and 9 in the new 300,000-square-foot Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas.

“We have a large, dedicated following of Star Wars fans at our shows, and offering coveted signatures for free is just our way of saying, ‘Thanks!’ to our many customers,” said Ben Stevens, co-producer of the show he started in 1994.

Also signing for free: Stephen Stanton, the voice of “Tarkin” in the Clone Wars series; Star Wars book authors Timothy Zahn and Aaron Allston; memorabilia collector and fan favorite Steve Sansweet; and Kyle Newman and Ernie Cline, director and writer, respectively, of the popular Fan Boys movie.

Fan Days also will feature a plethora of guests who helped create the Star Wars magic both on camera and behind the scenes. Topping the media guest list is actor Billy Dee Williams, best known among Star Wars fans for playing the roguish “Lando Calrissian” in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). In a career that spans more than 50 years, Mr. Williams has logged an impressive array of roles in such movies as Brian’s Song (1971), Lady Sings the Blues (1972) and Batman (1989).

On the artists’ side, Fan Days welcomes living legend Jim Steranko, whose work as artist-writer on Marvel Comic’s S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America and X-Men revolutionized the comics form. Mr. Steranko also is a musician, art director, magician, fire-eater, designer, publisher and filmmaker who has collaborated with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola.

Also making a rare appearance is artist Herb Trimpe, co-creator of Wolverine. He’ll be joined by almost 40 artists, including at least two dozen specializing in Star Wars artwork. Among the latter are Spencer Brinkerhoff, Joe Corroney, Scott Harben, Tom Hodges, Lawrence Reynolds, Cat Staggs and Denise Vasquez.

Fans of the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series also can meet actor George Takei. Although best known for his role as “Sulu” on the original Star Trek television and movie series, Mr. Takei crossed over into the Star Wars realm as the voice of “Lok Durd” on the The Clone Wars. Other Clone Wars voice actors appearing at the show are Catherine Taber, Ashley Eckstein, Jaime King and Meredith Salenger.

Among the guests who worked behind the scenes to bring Star Wars to life are sound editors/specialists Ben Burtt, who has worked for Lucasfilm and Pixar; Matthew Wood, who also provided the voice of “General Grievous” in Revenge of the Sith; and David Acord, whose current work includes The Clone Wars series.

Stunt man Dickey Beer also will appear, along with actors Peter Mayhew (“Chewbacca”), Alan Flyng (an Imperial Officer in Return of the Jedi) and Veronica Segura (“Corde” in Attack of the Clones).

Outside the Star Wars genre, Fan Days welcomes actors Julie Benz (Angel and Dexter) and Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Attendees also are invited to an after-show party on Saturday night that will include a screening of the new comedy Hughes the Force, a costume contest, and a silent auction benefitting PKDcure.org. Admission to the party is free with show entry badge but limited to the first 1,500 people.

Fan Days tickets are available online through Sept. 15 and at the door. Admission to Fan Days varies depending on level purchased.

VIP passes ($75) give customers admission to the show 30 minutes prior to other ticket holders, first access to the autograph area, and first seating in the Q&A sessions. Passes are good Saturday and Sunday with a limited number available.

Priority passes ($40) also are limited in number, allow customers into autograph areas ahead of general admission, and are good Saturday and Sunday. One-day General admission is $20. Admission for children ages 5-12 is $5 when accompanied by a paid adult; children’s passes are good both days.

Hours for the two-day show are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9. The Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., is at the intersection of SH114 and Northwest Highway in Irving, Texas.

For more information or to order advance tickets, please visit the website at www.fandays.com.

 

Media contact:

For more information, to schedule an interview or to obtain press passes, please contact Kathy A. Goolsby at k_goolsby@tx.rr.com.

Images:

Downloadable images for use in promoting Dallas Comic Con, including images from past C2 Ventures’ events, are available at www.scifiexpo.com/DCC/press-pix.html

 

About C2 Ventures:

C2 Ventures is a partnership of long-time STAR WARS fans Ben Stevens and Philip Wise. Since 2001, C2 Ventures has been the most trusted name in STAR WARS autographs, providing more authentic autographs to fans than any other provider worldwide. We produced the massive autograph program at the official STAR WARS Celebration II in 2002, Celebration III in 2005, Celebration IV in 2007, Celebration Japan in 2008 and Celebration V in 2010.

C2 Ventures continues to work closely with more than 100 celebrities from the STAR WARS Universe, including Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Carrie Fisher, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels and Samuel L. Jackson, to provide or produce special appearances at conventions and retail stores, authentic autograph signings on your product or our licensed photos, special events, exclusives, and more.

 

Dragon* Con! Monday – SWR #13

Our recap episode of Dragon* Con on Monday!

Monday started for us with the Music and Sounds of Star Wars panel! The panelists discussed a number of sounds in the original trilogy, including the Wilhelm scream, the different ways lightsaber sounds were made, etc. Riley and I sat next to Tracy of Club Jade and enjoyed some snark and some Star Wars! We also met Kelly of Big Shiny Robot! (Bryan Young of Big Shiny Robot was one of the panelists.)

Afterwords we attended a Battlestar Galactica panel called “On Your Feet Nuggets!” which was quite funny. Edward James Olmos led the crowd in his “So Say We All!” cry! (And we got it recorded this time!!) This is also where we said goodbye to Nanci, Lane and Shannon. =(

Then we went to the Order 66 panel, which was a sort of feedback panel for the Star Wars track of Dragon* Con. An after action review if you will. It was quite long, but very informative. I learned quite a bit about what being a member of staff at Dragon* Con would be like, and that most staff at Dragon* Con, even the security, are volunteers.

Afterwords I finished my walk through of the Marriott hotel. We also had, for the first time at Dragon*Con, time to browse for thirty minutes in the dealer’s hall! Yay! YAY!! Finally! Then we recorded our Monday recap episode.

I took various pictures of the hotel, the dealer’s room and Atlanta. I’ll put a few here, but look for a lot more on Facebook!

Below is the autograph hall (walk of fame) where the stars sat to sign autographs (or be interviewed) and take pictures with the fans.

Atlanta in the rain.

The dealer’s hall was amazing! I’m really glad we finally had time to browse if for a little while!

Our shirts that we bought at the con, my Her Universe wrist band, and our Club Jade wrist bands. Also our passes and 501st game badges.

This is our handy dandy bag that held our audio equipment! We had the recorder in it, and would pull out the mics when we interviewed someone or recorded a recap episode.

The Marriott hotel. It was quite amazing!

I hope you guys have enjoyed these daily recap episodes! We’ll have the interviews up soon, so look for them!

May the Force be with you!

– Bethany

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