Friday, June 15, 2018

Star Wars Night at Dodger Stadium - 2018

Tonight was Star Wars Night at Dodger Stadium, and R2 was there to celebrate the occasion, along with many members of the 501st and Rebel Legions.

I arrived around 3:30pm and unloaded near the stadium entrance.

While the rest of the characters changed into their costumes, R2 hung out in the hallway outside the Hall of Fame conference room, entertaining employees and visitors.

There were 20 characters split into four groups to greet fans around the stadium. R2 was with the group that was to start off in the right field plaza, and then move onto the field for some of the pregame festivities.

We took the elevator down to the field level concourse entrance, where we awaited the throngs of early arriving fans, who each got a Kenley Calrissian bobblehead doll. (Sadly, I was supposed to get one too, but I failed to do so.)

Around 5:15pm, they opened the gates and hundreds of fans quickly lined up to get pictures with the characters.

At 6:15pm we headed for the field. That means stairs for most of the characters, but chair lifts and wheelchair elevators for R2.

This year we were limited to the warning track area behind the plate, except when we were taking part in some of the pregame programming.

We were soon joined by Billie Lourd (Carrie Fisher's daughter, and the actress who plays Lieutenant Connix in the sequel trilogy), who was warming up to throw out the first pitch.

The characters participated in the Star Wars trivia contest near the third base coaching box, which was shown on the scoreboards. (Pictures and video always come out messy due to refresh rates and such, but the boards look great in person.)

Next, we helped escort Billie to the field for the first pitch. She got it over to catcher Kyle Farmer on the fly, so that's good.

Our last activity was helping with the, "It's time for Dodger baseball!" announcement, behind home plate.

And that's a wrap on the field. We hurried off, as fans stopped the characters for selfies and such.

Back up the chair lift he goes!

We always walk by dozens of amazing trophies - World Series, Silver Sluggers, Cy Youngs, MVPs, Gold Gloves.

Ad in this case, that of my favorite player of all time, Davey Lopes.

Game-worn uniforms from the 2017 World Series were also on display.

We stored R2 in the changing room, and it was time to watch the game in the seats the Dodgers kindly provided.

In between innings they showed hash-tagged pictures that fans had taken with the characters.

And the Dodgers won, 3-2!

After the game, it was fireworks set to Star Wars music.

One the fireworks show ended, we waited for the crowd to thin out before attempting to get R2 back to the Droidmobile. One last pic!

R2's record is now 8-2 with the Dodgers. They needed him for the post-season last year!

The full photoset is here. Thanks to my friend Ralph for helping with pics.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Star Wars Day at the Fullerton Library

Today R2 participated in Star Wars Day at the Fullerton Public Library, along with several other Star Wars characters.

I set up for a presentation I was to give at 12:30pm.

Right on time, we had a small stampede of families entering the room, and I gave my presentation, talking about how I built R2 and having volunteers help me with playing sounds and demonstrating R2's mist effect. I wrapped up with Q&A.

Afterward, the audience lined up for pics with R2 at the green screen backdrop.

It mostly worked.

Everyone enjoyed meeting R2, and it was a short, easy visit.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

CHOC Fundraiser at Costco

Today R2 joined Matt Munson as Batman and Mark Chu Lin as War Machine as we helped raise donations via the Children's Miracle Network, benefitting Childrens Hospital Orange County (CHOC). The event ran from around 12:15pm-2:15pm.

I unloaded the Droidmobile and stationed R2 at the easy-up tent where we were appearing.

Moments later, R2 was joined by Batman and War Machine. Customers made a voluntary donation to get pictures with the characters.

I mostly hung back and stayed in the shade.

Once we were done, we went back through the store to the changing room. As Matt said, Droids on aisle 6.

We ended up raising several hundred dollars for the hospital, so it was time well spent, and the folks at Costco treated us quite well.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Solo Opening Night

Just a quick appearance with R2 at The Loft restaurant & theater in Newport Beach, CA, where audience members got a chance to get a picture with R2. I was accompanied by my former coworker Rich and his wife. I hardly took any pictures, so this is pretty quick and to the point.

I also saw the movie and found it entertaining.

See? I can be quick and to the point on rare occasion.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Star Wars Night at Angel Stadium - 2018

Tonight was Star Wars Night at Angel Stadium, and R2 was there, along with many members of the various Star Wars costuming clubs.

This year's Star Wars Rally Monkey had a Han Solo theme, thanks to the imminent release of the Solo movie. Chewie (aka Cory) models his simian brethren.

My friend Manny was my wrangler/helper for the event.

Once the characters were suited up, around 5:00pm we headed out to greet the arriving crowd and pose for pictures in the stadium's Music Garden.

A few of the characters were selected to go down to the field to walk the warning track and help out with the first pitch. Luckily R2 was selected, but unfortunately my helper Manny wasn't allowed to join us since they were trying to keep the number of participants as low as possible.

Around 6:30pm we staged near the tunnel by the right field foul pole.

And then we headed out to the warning track, where the Angels t-shirt team used the t-shirt cannons to launch t-shirts into the crowd, and we greeted the fans in the stands.

Although Manny wasn't able to join us on the field, he was able to get some pics from the stands.

We stopped for the first-pitch ceremony. The other characters went behind the mound, but we didn't want R2 running over the chalked-up foul line, so he stayed off the field of play.

We wrapped up on the field and headed back to the changing room for a break.

At the third inning, several of the characters came back out for the Steal-a-Base contest, where a young fan races along the warning track to grab an extra base, and get back in under 30 seconds.

We staged along side the bullpen near the left field foul pole.

While we were waiting, Angels reliever Noe Ramirez was called into the game, so I took some video of him going by and grabbed one of the still frames.

Here's the young man tasked with stealing the base. Will he be fast enough??

The 3rd inning ended, and we went out for the contest.

Did he make it? Yes, with a good 3 seconds to spare!

And with that, we were done for the night. R2's record with the Angles is now 1-3. :( He seems to like the Dodgers better.

I always love doing MLB games, and I hope to do this again next year.