August 28, 2007
Story & Photos by Tyler Bedard

 

FAN EXPO CANADA 2007
Day 1- I was going to skip the first night thinking it may have been mayhem in there but decided to scope it out anyhow. I’m glad I did. The doors opened at 4pm (2pm for deluxe pass holders) and with my wife and 2 kids in tow we got there around 5:30. Anyone who lives in Toronto can tell you traffic at that hour is crazy. However once we figured out where to get our tickets from, everything went pretty smooth. We headed directly over to the autograph section and got some quick pictures of David Prowse, Jake Lloyd, Daniel Logan and Temuera Morrison. Strangely enough there wasn’t anyone waiting for their autographs. We then spent the rest of the night scouting out the rest of the exhibition floor. There were at least a dozen dealers there with something Star Wars related but only half of them had anything really decent. I was surprised to see a couple Kotobukiya McQuarrie Vader vs Luke’s as I was unaware it was out yet. A couple retailers also had the amazing statue of Grievous by Gentle Giant. But at a price tag of $500 I decided I really didn’t need it. The rest of the floor was filled with comic books vendors, comic book and anime artists, horror picture companies trying to sell their movies and a large amount of gamers and gaming devices. In fact at least a third of the convention was devoted to gamers. My children got a chance to try some of the games and then we headed home just before the 9pm closing.

Day2- My wife and daughter had had enough from the first night so it was just my son and I on the second day. Doors opened at 10am and we got there about an hour after that. As we pulled into the parking garage I could see the attendant putting out the “lot full” sign. We just made it in time and grabbed one of the last parking spots. Once inside the convention centre you really understood what “full” meant. The place was packed! Not as bad as C3 (which was the last convention I attended) but it was pretty bad. I was glad we had taken in what we could the night before.

After waiting in line to enter the exhibition hall we headed straight over to the autograph section once again to see what kind of reception the Star Wars guests were getting this day. It wasn’t any better than the night before. I took a few minutes to chat with David Prowse, Daniel Logan and Temuera Morrison and then we went to wait in line for the “Star Wars Kids Hour” event that started at 12pm.

While waiting in line we got the chance to talk to Cristian Macht, creator of the documentary “The Force Among Us”. The movie had just come out a week before with a limited run of 1977 so we picked up our copy and he signed a poster for us. It was great chatting with him.

The SW Kids Hour was basically the same thing as the one we took in at C3. My son being a couple years older now didn’t want to participate but the kids who did had a great time. Especially when they got the chance to fight Lord Vader and his Stormtroopers. The guys playing Obi-wan and Anakin did a great job too. Anakin even had his “Sith Eyes”. We checked out of there a little early and headed back down to the exhibition floor. Along the way we snapped some pictures of the many Star Wars fans in costumes including many members of the 501st Legion.

After letting my son play a few more games we took in the “Intimate and Interactive” event with David Prowse and Jake Lloyd at 2pm. It was very informative and I got the chance to ask Mr. Prowse a question. I asked him if he was ever considered for the roll of Anakin Skywalker in the original trilogy when Vader’s face was finally revealed and when did he find out this was going to happen. He said that when he was informed during production that his character was going to die he asked how. When they told him he asked if they were going to use his face for the revealing. He was told no because “he was not Anakin Skywalker”. He was Darth Vader. You could feel the room awe at his response as here was a man who played Vader in all 3 movies, had his lines dubbed without him knowing it and then was told his face was not going to be used when his character was finally revealed.

Jake Lloyd seemed to be kind of quiet but had a great sense of humor. It turns out that he has given up on acting and is concentrating on his schooling for now. When asked when he realized how famous he was for playing Anakin he remarked that it had been at Celebration 1 when he was locked in a broom closet for 2 1/2 hrs to just get away from the crowds. That kind of made up his mind about the acting thing. Both David and Jake did say what a pleasure it was to attend this event though. They both felt the fans there were much more polite than some other places they’d been.

With the next Star Wars event not happening until 5pm we once again headed down to the exhibition floor to take in more vendors and watch the gamers do their thing. As I mentioned before the gaming section was huge. They had quite a few gaming events going on. The biggest being the “World Series of Video Games” with their huge stage and at least 50 to 100 PC’s. But there were also plenty of Xbox 360’s and Wii’s. Intel had their own competition going on, on a stage as well and a section with a pair of Formula 1 replica cars for people to play their Formula 1 game in to promote their Core2 Duo processor. The thing that stole the show though was Xbox 360’s Guitar Hero II competition. The competitors were very entertaining with their own stage and seating for fans. It was a great place to take a break.

At 5pm we took in the last Star Wars event of the day, Atom Films Star Wars Showcase. The first half hour or so was very entertaining with short clips like Pink 5, Pink 5 Returns, Clerks II, etc. But after a few musicals including one that was an opera like cartoon of Luke on Tatooine we decided we’d seen enough. So it was back down to the floor again to play a few more games and call it a day before things closed up at 7pm. I should also mention that there was a masquerade going on at 8pm that night but we were unable to attend. But from what I saw the anime and gaming characters outnumbered the Star Wars, horror and comic book characters by a long shot.

Day3-We opted out this day as it didn’t begin until 11am (due to the masquerade the previous night) and we had to leave town by mid afternoon. The events of this day were to include a “Star Wars Collector Hour”, “Intimate and Interactive” with Temuera Morrison and Daniel Logan, another showing of Atom Films Star Wars Showcase and a lightsaber dueling demo. The only thing I might have wanted to take in was the showing of Cristian Macht’s “The Force Among Us” but we had our copy so I could wait until I got home. I couldn’t handle another day of gaming.

All in all this was a well run event. I would like to have seen more Star Wars content but with it being 2 years since the last movie and no tv series or cartoon in the near future, only the die hard Star Wars fans seem to be interested in Star Wars still. You have to remember also though that this was not just a Sci Fi event but also included anime, comics, horror and gaming. And with all the gaming stuff that was there it was hard to ignore how big a presence the gaming world is. My young Padawan’s have pretty much decided what they want this Christmas and it won’t be Star Wars.

PHOTO GALLERY
To see the photo gallery containing 27 photos click here.