This. Love. This:
Do you know who that is? No? Well, that’s okay, I didn’t expect you to. It’s Femi Taylor aka the dancer who plays my favorite character in the Original Trilogy, Oola.
Yes, ladies and gentleman, I got a picture with Oola. Oh yeah, and the picture was taken by Jeremy Bulloch (original Boba Fett).
This was my third SuperMegaFest that I’ve attended. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a sci-fi convention, nor would I call this a Comic Con. It’s more like an actor/celebrity Meet and Greet, with most of these actors hailing from movies that lean toward the geeky culture.
Last year, I didn’t go (reasons and insecurities listed in this post), but this year there was an attendance of people such that I would have been crazy not to go. From the Star Wars trilogy, there was one panel with Femi Taylor and Jeremy Bulloch, and a separate panel with Ray Park (Darth Maul). Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter) graced us with his presence, and Eliza Dushko (Faith from Buffy, True Lies) was also there.
- Overall, this convention has grown quite a bit from previous years…so that means there were more vendors! And that’s always a good thing. I bought an adorable t-shirt from Herofied Art that just says “I know” with the silhouette of Han kissing Leia in Cloud City. Also bought a car decal of the rebel insignia. I haven’t bought anything at SMF in quite a few years, so this definitely means they are getting more options to cater to more people.
- As I just mentioned, good choice of actors this year. I love that they get smaller actors from Star Wars, or actors that are not as popular as they once were. For the die-hard fans, it’s a great glimpse into the world of the making of Star Wars. I loved hearing the set stories Jeremy Bulloch told, the audition process from Femi Taylor, and jokes played between Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, and Ray Park. Tom Felton was so gracious, much more than I expected him to be, and was so supportive of all the Harry Potter fans. (I won’t talk about Eliza Dushko, because she just annoys me on the screen and turns out she annoys me just as much in person as well.)
- The panels are more intimate, you got to see the actor up close and personal, and even the actors seemed more relaxed. This relates to my last point, but the most crowded panels were Eliza and Tom Felton and they weren’t even that bad. The moderator was pretty decent at getting them to talk freely and had clearly done his research on all their movies, not just the movie they were most well known for. They left a good 30 minutes for fan Q&A and there were not too many dumb questions (thank goodness).
- It’s gotten a lot larger and I don’t think the venue can hold this kind of convention much longer. It got confusing with the vendors being in not only the main ballroom, but spread over two levels and smaller ballrooms. Also, since they seemed to have more money to bring in slightly bigger name actors, it got pretty cramped in some of the rooms. However – that is also a pro because we were so close to them and it gave a more intimate feel.
- For some reason, this convention always signs on multiple Playboy Playmates and porn stars, which I think they used to do to draw more people and fill up some of the vendor space. It kind of gives a weird vibe to the event because it’s out of place and makes me pretty uncomfortable when I see older dudes getting pictures with them. Seriously, the whole place is full of comics, collectibles, knick-knacks, paintings, celebrities…and then porn stars in this little section. It’s just weird. I’m hoping that as the event gets bigger, and it seems to be growing in that direction, they begin to cut back on the amount of Playmates and porn stars so that they can find a better focus on what type of crowd they are trying to draw in.
- The Cosplay Contest was kind of lame. Not the actual costumes, some of them were really amazing, but just the set up. It was held in a small ballroom and people just walked down a center aisle, displayed their work on a little stage, and then did the whole thing over again. THREE TIMES. Ugh, that was not fun. This time around they did have actual cosplay judges, which was a good change. In previous years they had the Playmates do the judging and it was always like…what? They would judge on who had the coolest costume, or who looked the cutest (no joke), and they had very little knowledge on handmade costumes that took a long time to make with exquisite detail. I guarantee chainmail was lost on them. So it was definitely a good change to see judges up there who knew what went into making the costumes and judged based on that. Don’t ask me who won the contest, as I grew tired of watching the cosplayers walk down the center aisle and peaced out.
Overall, I had a good time, especially as I got a picture with Oola and I was just a very happy girl. I’m excited to see next year’s actors and actresses and hope that we get more Star Wars folks.
Here’s a little slideshow from this weekend: