Jedi Con - Dusseldorf Germany
April 3-4, 2010
Story and Photos by Mark Beenen (Coleman Trebor)

 

INTRODUCTION
For the sixth time the Official Star Wars club presented Jedi-Con in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Jedi-Con is one of Germany's biggest Star Wars conventions and is particular known for the wide range of guest stars and the exclusive figures they sell there. This year it was on 3 - 4 - 5 April, which also happens to be Easter.
With the last Jedi-Con being in 2008 I really looked forward to this convention and the two-hour drive from my home really helped to psych me up for the event. Since it was on the Easter weekend I only had time to go there on Sunday, which I didn't really like, but that should still leave plenty of time to see all the goodies and guests. The convention was held in the Maritim Hotel, which is next to the Dusseldorf airport that made parking a piece of cake. Which as many of you know isn't always the obvious on conventions. The first thing I noticed when I walked in the Hotel was that the style and atmosphere are really great. A convention in a hotel is always much more "cosy" than one in a large factory hall. After seeing some familiar faces near the ticket booths and having some small talk I decided to go for an all day pass which made it possible to visit the Q & A with the stars as well as the merchandise stands. This also brings me to the biggest negative of the con: The price! An all-day pass costs about 65 (Euro),-/$88,- which is even more expansive than tickets for Celebration Europe a couple of years ago in London. Luckily I didn't come all this way to be Uncle Scrooge. They did give me a bag with some pamphlets and a sticker book (all in German but that should be no problem).

I was just in time to visit the ending of the Q & A with Femi Taylor, which is always a treat. From there on I went to the merchandise stands to go on a massive shopping spree to finish of some points of my collection! That's when I met the second biggest negative: the merchandise part! It was roughly one conference room with almost only figures and toy vehicles. I saw one stand who sold statues and busts but that was about it. I can honestly say that some of you fellow troopers have more stuff at home that there was on the convention (me including). I bought 4 books, which seemed to be the only ones that were in English and went down with a dry mouth and a strange tingling in the back of my brain. Where as a normal convention always has trouble bringing you a tasty meal in between the shows, the Maritim hotel had many bars and cafe's as a welcome intermezzo. I went for a real German Wiener schnitzel instead of the classic Bratwurst, and a small coke. The schnitzel was bigger than my plate and had some sauerkraut as a side dish along with a salad, which kind of made my mood improve after the first two disasters.

After the meal and talking to some of the MANY cosplayers on this convention I went for the autograph section, which had some great names (for European standards). This year the line-up included: Steve Sansweet, Femi Taylor, Matthew Wood, Jake Lloyd, Cathy Munroe, Chris Parsons, Richard LeParmentier, as well as some artists and some German voice actors. Almost every autograph costs 3 tickets and one ticket being 5 (Euro),-/$7,-. It was all really good for the fans and everyone had time to chat with the stars and ask them some questions. I chatted with Steve Sansweet a bit too long and missed the start of the Q & A with Matthew Wood and Jake Lloyd. Since an average German doesn't speak English very well the questions were rather scarce and some uncomfortable silences erupted before they started telling anecdotes! I really wanted to see the customizing contest and the cosplay contest later that day but decided that the convention didn't have enough for me to wait for 3 hours before the customizing contest began. I bought the exclusive Jedi-Con figures, a sweatshirt said goodbye to some friends and left for home.

Now It might just been the pouring rain all weekend or my heightened expectations, it might have even been the two-hour drive home (which is long for Dutch standards) but when I look back at the whole experience it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth and a minor headache. I don't really care for some of the entertainment, but more or less I can sincerely say that I find 65 (Euro),-/$88,- just to get in a bit overpriced, especially when the whole convention is based on just the guest stars and radiates amateurism of it which I know isn't the case. So if you ever want to visit the Jedi-Con in Germany, ask yourself the question do I visit for the cosplay, the guests or the merchandise and am I willing to pay the ridiculous entrance fee. If your into cosplay and speak German you can have a great time if you skip the guest lounge. Otherwise I should say save your money for another convention. This truly was an Easter of failed expectations. Coleman Trebor Signing off!

PHOTO GALLERY
To see the photo gallery containing 35 photos click here.