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Star Wars at Wizard World Philadelphia

Star Wars at Wizard World Philadelphia 2012

Some costumers with Chewbacca

This past weekend Wizard World came to Philadelphia.  Being a fan of all things pop culture and since Philly is right in my back yard, I of course had to attend.  I went to Wizard World Philadelphia last year as well.  Last year’s con was fun but not the huge event that cities like Chicago and New York get.  I think the biggest celebrity we got was Bruce Campbell of the Evil Dead movies.  This year promised to be a much bigger event with celebrities like Chris Hemsworth and Stan Lee attending.  All five of the Star Trek Captains also appeared together for the first time including legends William Shatner and Patrick Stewart.

There wasn’t a huge Star Wars presence at the con but we did get a few celebs.  Sam Witwer, from The Force Unleashed video game series and most recently the voice of Darth Maul in The Clone Wars, was in attendance and had his own Q&A session.  Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), and Nick Gillard (stunt coordinator) were there as well and had a joint Q&A.  Nick Gillard also did his lightsaber master class at various times throughout the convention.

Mayhew, Bulloch, Gillard Q&A

This Q&A started out as just Mayhew and Bulloch and Gillard joined eventually.  Here are some of the highlights.

Mayhew and Bulloch recounted how they met for the first time at a supermarket, “…above the shelves there was only one head going around and I went up and said, ‘Hello Peter.’  Little did I know that a few weeks later I was gonna be cast as Boba Fett.”

When asked about what it was like to be a part of something as big as Star Wars Mayhew said, “Half the time you can’t believe that there are hundreds even thousands of people waiting to get your autograph, talk to you.  It’s a really wonderful experience.  Something that changes your life.”

In reference to changes that Lucas has made to the films Bulloch said, “Some I agreed with like Cloud City opening up and some I didn’t… I don’t think he needed to touch again.”

Bulloch said in Empire Strikes Back he was told that Boba Fett was a human.  He also said that it was nice that Fett got a backstory in the movies but they never should have shown his face.  He did not like the idea that Boba Fett was a clone and thought he should have stayed an individual.

Bulloch and Mayhew

Who shot first?
Bulloch immediately said “Han.”
Mayhew said, “I have no opinion on this… but it does make an interesting conversation.”
Gillard said, “I wasn’t there but I would always shoot first.”

What was your favorite movie to work on?
Bulloch, “I think Empire Strikes Back had everything you wanted.  Perfect film.”
Mayhew said that Empire was also his favorite and gave a lot of credit to Irvin Kershner.
Gillard said “Sleepy Hollow” which got a big laugh from the crowd.

When asked to comment about George Lucas retiring to his garage to make small independent films Nick Gillard said, “I’ve been to his private garage… Last time I was there he said ‘Look what I just bought for Christmas’ and he pressed a button and two of the doors came up and there was a yellow Ferrari and a red Ferrari.  There’s not much room to make a movie, it’s full of Ferraris.”

Nick Gillard was the stunt guy inside of the alien queen costume in Aliens.  He told a story about how hot and claustrophobic it was inside of the costume and how one day James Cameron was drinking tea in front of him and Nick used the arm of the alien costume to knock the tea all over Cameron.

Mayhew, Bulloch, and Gillard

Gillard talked about how much of the choreography gets cut out of the films.  He said he had choreographed a fight where Obi-Wan “fought against six guys with double ended lightsabers” (I think he may have been referring to Grievous’ magnaguards).  It took 3 weeks to choreograph and Lucas decided to cut it and just have Obi-wan pull a crate down on them.

Sam Witwer Q&A

Sam Witwer has a number of Star Wars credits but is probably more popular for his roles in shows like Smallville and Being Human.  Much of his Q&A covered other parts of his career but there was some talk about his Star Wars roles.

Witwer spoke very fondly of his time working on The Force Unleashed games.  He also said you will have to ask Lucas Arts about if there will be a third game in the franchise.

He was asked if he ad libbed any of his lines as Darth Maul in The Clone Wars.  He gave an example of a line where he was supposed to say “Your Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. I killed him while you stood helpless and watched. How did that make you feel, Kenobi?”  Witwer decided to change it to “Your Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. I gutted him while you stood helpless and watched. How did that make you feel, Obi-Wan?”  He thought that adding the word “gutted” and calling Obi-Wan by his first named made it more personal.

Witwer mentioned a number of times during the Q&A that he would love to eventually work in the Star Trek franchise. “I’m not sure how to get that done. Maybe ask Simon Pegg.”

A couple of times he did his Darth Maul voice and it was very impressive to see and hear it in person.

There was a funny moment when an enthusiastic fan asked if Sam had considered ever doing voice work for The Clone Wars.  Sam played along and said he would love to do it someday before finally coming clean to the fan and informing him that he had already done and is still currently working on The Clone Wars.

Lightsaber Master Class

Of the four Star Wars celebrities, Nick Gillard was the only one that I had a chance to talk to one on one.  Very nice guy and as you can tell from the Q&A answers above he has a great sense of humor.

Lightsaber training

Seven different times throughout the weekend Nick taught his Lightsaber Master Class.  This class was an extra cost above the convention ticket price and I decided not to spring for it.  The class was taught right in the middle of the convention floor so I was able to watch it.  His skills were very impressive to watch.  I was surprised to see that in a very short amount of time he was able to show his students complicated lightsaber moves and they were able to successfully complete some of the fight sequences.  In the end they could almost pass as Jedi.  Almost.

Other Highlights

Wizard World Philadelphia obviously had a lot going on other than just Star Wars and there were many highlights for me personally.

I’ve never watched an episode of Lois and Clark but Dean Cain’s Q&A was very entertaining.

Chris Hemsworth’s Q&A was packed and he was great with the fans.  He was by far the most current big celebrity in attendance.

I had my picture taken with someone in a very official looking Chewbacca costume.

I found a Jango Fett to add to my Mighty Mugg collection.  I failed to find a Hulk one for my friend.

The 5 Captains Panel

The Five Star Trek Captains panel was great.  As a Trek fan myself I was excited to see all five actors together in the same place.  Three of the captains were engaged with the audience (Mulgrew, Bakula, Stewart), another not so much but was funny when he talked (Shatner), and the other (Brooks) looked like he wanted to be anywhere else.

Overall the convention was great.  A lot bigger than last year but also a lot more organized.  I can only imagine that next year will be bigger and better.

Aaron Goins

 

Star Wars Celebs to Appear at Wizard World Philadelphia

If you are a Star Wars fan the Pennsylvania Convention Center is the place to be from May 31st to June 3rd for Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con.  Star Wars celebrities will be in attendance including Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Nick Gillard (stunt coordinator for the Prequels), and Sam Witwer (voice of Darth Maul in The Clone Wars).

 

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On Friday, June 1st there will be a Star Wars Q&A featuring Mayhew, Bulloch, and Gillard at 3pm.  Sam Witwer will have his own Q&A at 6pm on the same day.  Nick Gillard will also be doing a “Jedi Lightsaber Master Class” at various times throughout the convention.

There are a number of other guests who will be of interest to pop culture fans including Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) and Stan Lee (creator of Spiderman, Hulk, X-men…).  Star Trek fans will be excited to see 5 Trek Captains together in one place.  William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, and Scott Bakula will appear together (for the first time ever!) for Q&A’s on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information check out the Wizard World Philadelphia website.  See the official press release below.

-Aaron Goins

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Chris Hemsworth, William Shatner, Stan Lee, WWE® Superstar CM Punk™,Patrick Stewart Top Stellar 2012 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con Lineup

Five ‘Star Trek’ Captains Together For The First Time; Paul Wesley, Bruce Campbell, ScottBakula, 60 Other Celebrities, Dozens of Top Creators Set For Pennsylvania Convention CenterMay 31 – June 3

NEW YORK and PHILADELPHIA, May 2012 – For more than a decade, Wizard WorldPhiladelphia Comic Con has brought standout celebrities, comics creators and more to thePennsylvania Convention Center as one of the highlights of the city’s pop culture scene. Butthe 2012 lineup, set for Thursday, May 31, through Sunday, June 3, featuring mega-starsChris Hemsworth, William Shatner, Stan Lee, WWE® Superstar CM Punk™, PatrickStewart and more than 60 others, may be the best and most diverse ever.

Shatner (“Star Trek,” “Boston Legal”) will appear on Saturday and Sunday, while Hemsworth(The Avengers, Thor), Stewart (“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “X-Men”) and WWE®Superstar CM Punk™ will be on site on Saturday, and comics legend Lee (“Spider-Man,” “XMen”)on Friday through Sunday.

The event also marks the first gathering of all five “Star Trek” captains from the five TV seriesin the iconic franchise: Shatner (“Captain Kirk” in “Star Trek”), Stewart (“Captain Jean-LucPicard” in “The Next Generation”), Avery Brooks (“Captain Sisko” in “Deep Space Nine”),Kate Mulgrew (“Captain Janeway” in “Voyager”) and Bakula (“Captain Archer” in “Enterprise”).

Other hugely popular stars scheduled to attend include Scott Bakula (“Star Trek: Enterprise,”“Quantum Leap”), Paul Wesley (“The Vampire Diaries,” “24”), Kate Mulgrew (“Star Trek:Voyager,” Remo Williams), James Marsters (“Buffy: The Vampire Slayer,” “Torchwood”),Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness, Evil Dead), Sam Witwer (“Smallville,” “Being Human”),Sean Patrick Flanery (Boondock Saints, Saw 3D), Melissa Joan Hart (“Sabrina, the TeenageWitch,” “Melissa and Joey”), Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,”“90210”), James Hong (Blade Runner, Kung Fu Panda), Hayden Panettiere (“Heroes,” BringIt On), Jason Priestley (“Beverly Hills, 90210,” Tombstone), Kristy Swanson (Buffy theVampire Slayer; Dude, Where’s My Car?) and Juliet Landau (“Angel,” Ed Wood).

VIP tickets are available now for fans who want to secure their opportunity to meet many of thestars at the event. Fans can visit http://www.wizardworld.com/philadelphia.html for links to VIPpackages for Hemsworth, Lee, Campbell, Ryan, Panettiere, WWE® Superstar CM Punk™,Bakula, Wesley, Shatner, Marsters and group experiences with Boondock Saints, “Buffy: TheVampire Slayer,” “Spartacus/Legend of the Seeker” and “Star Trek” Captains.

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, produced by Wizard World, Inc. (WIZD.PK), will bringtogether thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies,graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles,contests and more.

Children and adult attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite villain,superhero or pop culture personality for the chance to win special prizes in costume contests.Event-goers may also try their hand at interactive product exhibits and shop for collectiblecomics, movie and television memorabilia, toys and games at scores of dealer booths.

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con will also feature special children’s programming onSunday, June 3, with face painting, art projects, workshops, costume contest and other youthactivities. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with adult paid admission (up to two childrenper adult).

For more on the 2012 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, including hours, celebrities,creators, vendors, programming schedules, evening entertainment, autographs, sponsorshipand volunteer information and more, visit http://www.wizardworld/home-pa.html

About Wizard World: Wizard World produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America thatcelebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and socialnetworking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, andevents such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

***** SAVE THE 2012 DATES *****

April 14-15 – Wizard World Toronto Comic Con
May 31 – June 3 – Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
August 9-12 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
September 29-30 – Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
October 26-28 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con
November 30 – December 2 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con

The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 20 and 21 Review

Hello and welcome back to yet another The Clone Wars review here on the Star Wars Report!

This week we’ll have not one, but two reviews (since I’m slightly behind on getting these out). First, we’ll cover Asajj’s epic bounty hunter team up in the episode “Bounty”. Then we take a look at Savage’s journey to find his long lost Sith brother in “Brothers”!


This episode we experience a big change of pace and mood from the previous episode’s dark and almost tragic events, in which Asajj becomes an outcast, after the separatists completely eliminate the Nightsisters with the exception of Talzen and Ventress. In bounty however it would seem we’ve goneback to a more basic Clone Wars formula. Our characters are required to carry out some objective and there are bad guys (usually droids) and the good guys win and save the day, right? Well, I found something different about Bounty, and it may have something to do with the fact that it has Dengar, Boba Fett, and Bossk, three of the most classic bounty hunters in the entire franchise. But it also has great character moments, a great situation for the characters we were presented with, not just Ventress, and finally some interesting character dynamics to add to the action, even if the tone reallydoes not fit anywhere near the episodes that we have lined up for the finale.
I think what I loved most about this episode was the western style of the story, especially with an “all-star” bounty hunter team. That’s like every Star Wars fan’s dream, to watch an armored Boba Fett and a witty Dengar protect precious cargo in a Star Wars version of a train heist. Add a rogue Sith Assassin and an army of ninjas and you’ve got Star Wars gold! I also enjoyed seeing how Ventress and Boba work together, with Boba trying so hard to follow in his father’s footsteps, but falling a little short (quite literally) when Ventress sees him basically as a bratty kid, hence her solution to the big problem of the “cargo” at the end. It just goes to show that Boba still has a long way to go to become a legend. I even think it makes the character that much better, knowing how much he’s had to mature to becomethe bounty hunter that we all consider to be the best by the time of the empire strikes back.


A big part of this episode was the dilemma Asajj was faced with towards the end of the episode. Her inner conflict of what to do with the kidnapped ninja-girl (for lack of a better term) was about the only relevant tie to the actual finale which really did strengthen the character of Asajj Ventress, I would say it even changed her. If you look back at season one, the episode where the traitor Capitan Argyus and Ventress spring I think it was Nute Gunray out of jail, she stabs him in the back in order to take all the credit for the job. However at the end of Bounty, she only takes her fair cut, when she could have easily taken the credits for herself, she even left Boba’s cut of the payment. I honestly think her selfishness of taking more money from the attackers was just to cover up her true intentions of wanting to do good. I’m just really excited to see where Ventress’s character will go in the future, now knowing that her storyis yet to be concluded, in fact, I think it may just be warming up.
My final thoughts on Bounty? It was a fantastic episode. They started with something that could’ve beenan average filler episode, and turned it into something much more. It is the biggest example of what I want to see in the Clone Wars. Great characters, great stories, new designs, and great action! This brings us to our next episode, Brothers, our lead up to the finale.


Needless to say that ever since January of last year, fans of the Clone Wars everywhere have been dying to know how and why Maul is back. Some, like myself, have been at least a little skeptical abouthis return, and concerned that his time in clone wars would negatively impact the character, and possibly even the Phantom Menace. I am here to say that there is no need to panic any longer. Maul’s introduction was really cool and lot different than I expected. While watching his arachnid like legs move him around the tunnels of Lotho Minor, I managed to almost forget that his possibility of survivinghis fall down that shaft was basically impossible, and was just drawn in by the crazed character on my screen. “This isn’t Maul!” I thought to myself. This could’ve been Maul, long ago but now he’s something different. A creature that has had only one thing on his mind for the past decade, revenge.

With almost Gollum-like ramblings in place of the silent Sith apprentice who only had a few lines in the entire Phantom Menace, he truly left me with a different outlook on Maul in the Clone Wars. I think we all sort of expected to see the same Maul as we saw in TPM, but I was not disappointed by their ability to take the character to uncharted areas and make something both intriguing and believable with his current state in that era, with the spectacular work of actor Sam Witwer behind Maul’s voice.

While I was very impressed with Maul in this episode, I was not too pleased by a lot of the other aspects of  Brothers. There were times where I felt the whole episode could’ve been summed up in five minutes. All we really needed was the introduction of Maul, and possibly the first act in which the Jedi and theSith alike feel disturbances in the force, which could’ve easily been a part of other episodes. Savage Opress himself isn’t a character I’m really attached to, it’s more the story of Ventress, the Nightsisters and Maul that has me invested. And this episode was just useless to me for the most part. Savage talks to himself a lot, and his dialogue is pretty lame. Plus, “Morley” didn’t really help this episode in mybook, nor in anyone else’s book either from what I’ve gathered. He was a talking snake with a voice that made you cringe, maybe that was the point, but he could have easily broken the episode completely for some people. Brothers was a “get from point A to point B” episode in the strictest sense, there was no character development or any real conflict, just Savage getting angry and strangling people until he falls into a pit and meets his brother. Yes, we were introduced to some cool designs, and things along theway that might be used in the next episode, such as the fire breathers and the Junkers, but it was stillunnecessary and really didn’t need to be introduced with their own episode.
While I was mostly uninterested in what was going on in most parts of Brothers, Maul more than madeup for its flaws. Its purpose was to build up to the meeting of Savage and Maul, but honestly it’s been building up for over a year, I’d rather they just skipped the dots we can connect on our own and leave more time for Maul.

I guess that wraps up my review for this week! What did you think of either ofthese episodes? Also, what did you think of Maul’s return? Leave a comment below, we love reading them! Thanks for the support, and I greatly look forward to this week’s episode! Thanks again forreading and may the force be with you…always
-Ryan

“I ate them! I ate them all!!” – SWR #30

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Welcome back to the Star Wars Report podcast!

On this episode of the Star Wars Report, we talked a little bit about the last episode, and fallout from the RANT OF DOOM! (It wasn’t really a rant of doom, but I’ve always wanted to use the word ‘doom’ in one of these posts. Also, beware clicking on the fiery image of doom below, something might happen!)

We also talked about goal setting, and some of our goals for the Star Wars Report.

We mentioned Ewan McGregor’s surprise upon learning that the Phantom Menace was being re-released in 3D.

Sam Witwer was a zombie soldier in The Walking Dead!?

Sadly, Bob Anderson died at the age of 89, after contributing to some of the best known movie franchises in the world.

On a more upbeat note, the world has gone to the dogs, and the dogs have gone to the Bark Side!

This episode of craziness is brought to you by Toy Hutt! Your source for great Star Wars toys and action figures, games and more!

We admired two different Barriss Offee figures.

Then we discussed Underworld!

Um no, not that one. Star Wars: Underworld, the oft mentioned Star Wars live action series that’s in the works! (Which also shares the name of a little known Star Wars comic made back in the early 2000s.)

George Lucas retires? Or does he?

And finally, we discuss the burgers of the dark side, and much hilarity ensues. Thank you Eric for pointing out this story and the comments! And a thank you to all listeners who email us, we really appreciate it!

Email:         starwarsreport@gmail.com

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Fan Sites, We be Crazy! – SWR #20

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Welcome back to The Star Wars Report!

On this episode, your hosts (Including the Defender of the EU, he’s back!)  talk about a variety of things, including the craziness that is being a Star Wars fan site, interacting with a million other fan sites, (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration) and hunting down/talking about news that’s been linked to through so many sources it’s like wading through mud to arrive at the original.

We thank our sponsor Toy Hutt for their support, and talk about some of the cool Star Wars toys they have! http://www.toyhutt.com/

We speak of our views on the responsibility of claiming to be a news source but not properly sourcing or crediting your storys. (Hot water fan-dom stuff.)

We discuss our plans to watch The Phantom Menace in 3D, get incredibly excited about it, quiz the live chat on when they’ve seen Star Wars in theaters, and had a Q&A with them after the episode. You guys were awesome to talk to!

We don’t talk about half the stuff in our shownotes because we got too excited about TPM in 3D and our various views about fan-dom…..

We discuss some news about The Clone Wars and talk a little about “Darkness on Umbara”.

We announce that we’ll be having another podcast join us at The Star Wars Report! MAJOR TEASE! And tell everyone to come back next week to hear more.

Thanks for tuning in to The Star Wars Report!

Come back next week!

– Bethany

Email:         starwarsreport@gmail.com

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