The Convention: Part 1

I knew that the convention would be really fast, but man, it blew by. I had an outstanding time while I was there and met some very cool people, as well as some weird ones. I didn't get around to writing things down like I did for Arizona. I was busy. Literally, I got up earlier than I thought that I would and got in later than usual, usually pretty tired. To start, I got on the plane and headed out to Indy, making a layover at Philly, where I met a girl named Lynn, who was also headed to the convention. She was reading the same book that I was, Republic Commando, and struck up converstation, and shared a taxi to the hotels that we were staying at. When I got there, I signed in, got my volunteer badge and walked around the center for a while. (It wasn't open yet) I met the Del Rey people, Shelly and Colleen, who said that they'd need a bit of work later on during the event. They had a nice schedule lined up for signings. Matthew Stover, Aaron Allston, Timothy Zahn, Troy Dennings and Karen Traviss were the big ones, and there were a couple others. From there, I wandered around for a while, running back into Linh, who was on her way to meet a friend, Sarah, at the bus station. We met her, then I went off to go do some work, having nothing to do. I ended up manning a door and directing people to the proper entrance. The next day was the big event. I got up at about 7, got my armor on and headed down. There was already a huge line forming, and people were getting excited seeing the number of Storm Troopers, Snow Troopers and pretty much every other costume around. The 501st troopers lined up and we marched to the state house, where we got our photos taken. My armor kept coming apart, and I later patched it up with some tape that I found. From the march, I went to work over in the store, which was a complete disaster all weekend, with people waiting in line for upwards of 7 hours. Insane. With some time off, I wandered over to the Fan Room, which had several fan booths and a life sized X-Wing fighter. I ran into Karen Traviss, who wrote Republic Commando. Her thoughts on the convention are in her blog on the right. She is a wonderful woman and I really enjoyed meeting her. I was then drafted into the Storm Trooper Olympics, which has been covered in this story. (There's a picture of all of us.) From there, I went to the DelRey booth, where I helped manage the line for Matthew Stover and Karen Traviss. The lines grew quickly, and I talked to a number of fans of the books and EU. That evening was the opening Ceremonies, which I am kicking myself for not going in armor to. The 501st did a march to Imperial March, which was awesome, and the 2 hour event was just fun. A Jazz band played, people talked about a number of things, and we saw several live performances, including a great rendition of The Saga Begins and of the Revenge of the Sith Trailer, brought to us by the SW in 30 people. Funny stuff. We also got to see some of the music videos featured in the next soundtrack, which looks amazing. Finally, all of the VIPs in attendance were brought on stage, which was cool to see. After that, I left and ended up wandering around the convention hall for a while before patching up my armor and heading off to bed. Day Two of the convention was much like Day One, except that I didn't work the store. Instead, I worked at Del Rey for the entire day, meeting several authors and having some great chats with them. I also met Jan Duursema and a number of artists whom I'd talked to, as well as several people from Lucasarts, who invited me to take a look at their projects. Great people. That evening, I went to a 501st party to raise money for Katie Johnson (More information at the banner at the bottom of the page- not the Serenity one) and I met a number of people from the New England Garrison. More great people in that group.

I'll get back to days Three and Four later, but I have class in a little while.

However, before I go, excellent news: Tomorrow, the first official trailer for Serenity will be released on the internet, and will be hitting theaters this Friday. KICK ASS.