John and I had a blast yesterday - I had about seven people take my picture and I found lots of other fellow Jedi! There didn't seem to be near as many Jedi last year. I thought there were fewer Doctor Whos, but John corrected me. I only saw about four, but he said he saw a whole CONGREGATION of them in one spot - tons and tons! I wish I had seen this - it would have been hilarious!
My Favorite Costumes
My favorite costumes were 1) the Han Solo and Indiana Jones that were walking together and 2) the family that dressed up as characters from the movie Epic - a leafman son, a new queen daughter, the husband was the crazy scientist dad with the goggles and the wife dressed up as the girl in the red jacket - they looked ADORABLE!! They win the points of most adorable costume ensemble ever! (see picture notes below)
John's Favorite Costumes
John really enjoyed this well done Master Chief from Halo. There were two and I think I missed the really good one that he saw. There were so many costumes I wished I could have taken pictures of and didn't get a chance!
Miscellaneous Costume Discussion
I had fun taking pictures with all the Jedi and the storm troopers I found. I learned - Jessica needs to learn how to hold a lightsaber properly! *hides face* I do a bad job at that. Must read up on my Jedi lore. I gave out one of Tom's cards to a couple who asked about my belt. I hope more people ask so I can give more out!
Panels We Attended
Star Wars: Introduction to the Extended Universe (EU) Panel
I actually enjoyed the panel quite a bit! They recommended books you could start reading without knowing a lot of background information at different points along the timeline. The panel members consisted of various people who wrote, produced or edited for official Star Wars blogs, radio shows and podcasts, along with last year's Star Wars trivia winner.
Star Wars: What We Know About Episode 7 Panel
This panel was right after the EU panel and it packed the room! No surprise there - we're all dying to know what's what with episode 7. The panelists discussed first what they did know for sure, which was not much - J.J. Abrams as director, John Williams doing the score again (YAYYYY!!), and a few other tidbits, such as it was most likely to be released summer of 2015, filming in early 2014, and takes place 20 years after The Return of the Jedi. (The prequels are about 20 years apart from the originals.)
Adventure Exploring the Dealer Rooms
They expanded the dealer rooms this year and moved them to a different hotel. My favorite places were the tribble booth, the steampunk trinket booths found everywhere, leather items, etc. A dealer photographer even asked to take my picture and gave me his card to find it online: geektography.
John found a board game booth that he checked out for a while and started playing a trial game with a dealer. While he did that, I looked around. I found a large book booth (Baen books, largest of the book booths in the place) and picked up Star Wars: Kenobi, a new Star Wars book that came out recently, and heard about on the Star Wars EU panel.
I saw a new epic series by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson called Hellhole. It said it was about a military genius, was a militaristic SF space opera, something fans of Honor Harrington and Star Wars would like... I decided that sounded cool and something I'd actually read. Military genius strategists stories and space operas are both two of my favorite book flavors. I bought book two because the first was sold out.
Then I happened to run across a book booth with Kevin J. Anderson in it! And he wasn't even being mobbed! He said hi and I asked him if he had the first book in his series and he said in fact he did! (Of course - it's his book after all. He he.) He signed it personally along with the other book I had by him and Brian. That was one of the highlights of the day.
John's game finished up (he won, bought the game and got the expansion for free) but I misdirected him because I didn't really know where I was. He eventually ran into me though. While he was trying to find me, I looked at handcrafted pottery and bought a really awesome looking chalise that I just love - lots of blue, wavy lines in it. I'm going to beautify my desk in lab with it. I love blown glass and hand-crafted anything.
Unexpected Surprise, While Waiting for Author Panel
We sat down in the main Star Wars room for the author panel, while the previous panel was wrapping up. One of the guys in the front said out-of-the-blue that I had a nice costume and why don't I join the Star Wars costume contest? I was like ... Sure! I've never done that before. So he gave me a card with a number and instructions on where and when to show up (12:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon). He had me fill out a form.
Then he looked at my costume more closely and said - hey! Have you ever thought about joining the Rebel Legion? You're almost canon! You just need one more pouch! I said absolutely! So, he introduced me to the GA Garrison Leader of the Rebel Legion, who was still up on the panel platform and I said hi. They gave me further instructions about how to take my photos for the application - front, back, side shots and action shot on neutral backdrop - and how to make it official. They said hurry and apply! We want to see that application by next week! This made me very happy. I'm extremely eager to join them and be an official Jedi. I ordered my last pouch Saturday night from Tom. It's an Obi-wan style upright version that is large enough to hold an iphone - perfect!
Star Wars: Authors Panel
Timothy Zahn, Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston headed up this panel. The four of them have authored a large majority of Star Wars books. Kevin J. Anderson has written 54 so far and Zahn has written 10. Zahn is single-handedly responsible for restarting the Star Wars franchise, after it was declared "dead" with his Thrawn triology, book 1 of which is Heir to the Empire (which is completely *amazing* and has one of the most compelling and mind-numbingly awesome characters and militery geniuses in it, I might add, Grand Admiral Thrawn). Before his triology, no one realized just how many Star Wars fans still existed.
They had a great time of question and answers, jokes and fun about their books. They speculated some about what the movies would do to the book market, but the general answer right now is nobody knows, but they were all just excited as the next person to see the movies, whatever they turned out to do.
At the end, they had a raffle. The room was quite packed, but somehow, I managed to win the last book! I was SO excited! (Even though I already have a copy - it was Heir to the Empire by Zahn.) I came up to claim it and Zahn asked me how I wanted it signed, and Kevin who was sitting next to him, leaned over and said, "It's to Jessica!" He remembered me from the booth earlier. I was quite happy about all this. John and I met Zahn at the last Con as well, and Kevin. They are both so awesome and nice.
We went home to the hotel not long after that. I started reading Hellhole by Kevin J. Anderson. It's pretty good so far - I'm about on page 70 or so. I was finding it a bit frustrating that almost every chapter has switched to a completely different character (of about twelve chapters), but I'm guessing that's because it's the start of his and Brian's own epic series. Unforunately though, as good as Kevin is, he's not a Sanderson. Sanderson is just *better.* If you read Sanderson, you'll see what I mean. Sanderson and Rothfuss are TOP NOTCH. I have yet to read anyone in the fantasy/SF genre whose writing quality is higher.
Thus ends the fun, awesome Day 1 account! Forgive its verbosity.