Sunday, March 25, 2018

Wondercon 2018 - Day 3

Today was the third and final day of Wondercon, in the Anaheim Convention Center.

This time it was my turn for donut duty. You could say I'm one donut short of a dozen.

While it was early and before it got too crowded, we decided to do a mouse droid excursion around the convention center.

We ran into these guys.

We returned to the booth, where we had a little of everything.

Unlike the bird that visited the booth yesterday, this porg did not poop on my droid. Given his size, that was probably for the best.

Neither did the wampa. Same sentiment applies.

At 1:00pm I attended Mark Chu Lin's "Causeplay: A Hobby in Service to Others" panel, where we discussed charitable appearances and hospital visits.

In the afternoon, a bunch of us drove our droids through the convention center and out to the lobby for photos. We made a few stops along the way.

We wrapped up with a droid group photo. There's also one with the builders, but it was taken on William's phone. Hopefully it's out there somewhere.

At 5:00pm we packed up and headed out. I was pretty exhausted, but it always great seeing everyone, and I look forward to the next one.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Wondercon 2018 - Day 2

Today was day #2 at Wondercon in Anaheim, CA.

We always start the day off right with a well-balanced breakfast (glazed/sugar/sprinkles/plain).

It wasn't long after the 10:00am official show opening that people made their way to the back of the convention hall where our booth was.

A little birdie visited our booth. The owner said he's 6 months old and well trained. And to answer your question, yes, he did. Apparently he wasn't fully trained. :/

We took some of the droids down to the lobby where they posed for photos. I don't remember R2 ever towering over the other droids before.

The droids joined in for a huge group picture with Star Wars costumers, both members of clubs and attendees.

Meanwhile, back at the booth, Chewie cruised on by in the Falcon.

The booth itself was its usual hive of activity.

William debuted his new Predator costume. Now he can roam around with his Predator kids.

At 7:00pm we wrapped up, pretty tired, but geared up for one more day tomorrow.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Wondercon 2018 - Day 1

Well, it's been a while, but R2 finally saw the light of day for the first time in 2018. Well, he almost did. Wondercon 2018 kicked off in Anaheim today, but since I had to work, I didn't arrive until almost 6:00pm, in time to moderate our droid building panel. My mouse droid made it out of the car, but R2 will have to wait until tomorrow.

In the meantime, I visited our booth to see what was going on.

A short while later, we were off to our panel. Our panel was well-attended, and we had Cary Christie and Aaron Lane demonstrate their BB-8s in action as well. As usual, we had lots laughs (mostly at each others' expense), and the everyone seemed to enjoy the session.

Day 1 is in the books, we'll gear up for another full day tomorrow.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Children's Miracle Holiday Visit

Today R2 joined other characters and celebrities to brighten the holiday season for kids in tough circumstances at the Foothill Regional Medical Center for their Children's Miracle Holiday event. We were joined by singer Robin Thicke, among others. Shawn Crosby joined as Luke Skywalker from The Last Jedi.

The kids enjoyed R2, but I think he nurses and staff enjoyed Robin Thicke a little more.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Star Wars Day with UCLA Basketball

R2 concluded a very busy week with a visit to Pauley Pavilion, where UCLA Basketball was hosting its Star Wars Day. We were joined by Gordon Tarpley as C-3PO, and UCLA provided their own Darth Vader. Disney supplied an official BB-8, although BB-8 was usually in a separate area from us.

Our first stop was a photo op station. It didn't take long for a line to form.

After about an hour of photos, we were escorted down to the court area, where the characters were shown on the video board and interacted with fans.

I managed to get a quick glimpse of BB-8, but it was kind of like trying to photograph Sasquatch.

Everyone had a good time, and hopefully we'll get a chance to return one day.

Friday, December 15, 2017

KABC Spark of Love Toy Drive - 2017

Tonight R2 participated in his fifth consecutive Spark of Love Toy Drive at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, headed up by Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC-TV, and our trusty cameraman Edgar, who is also a member 501st Legion. We were joined by members of the 501st and Rebel Legions.

The event runs all day, and I did the afternoon 3:00pm-6:30pm broadcast shift. People watching the news are encouraged to drop off a toy for those less fortunate and get some pictures with the characters. It's a great idea, as the characters are directly involved in getting people to come on down and meet them and donate a toy.

R2 was featured in several segments with reporter Leslie Lopez.

Companies also donate tons of toys.

When the sun sets, it gets cold but the lights shine bright!

It was another successful year, and I hope to be back next year.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Last Jedi Opening Night at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood

Tonight, R2 joined Gordon Tarpley as C-3PO, along with other characters, to help usher in Opening Night for The Last Jedi at the historic Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA. We were there supporting, which raises money for the Starlight Children's Foundation.

The first order of business was participating in a ceremony, at which Carrie Fisher's brother spoke.

After that, I took the very rare opportunity to line up the droids and Darth Vader, to have them stand in the same footprints that were created back in 1977. I am guessing that this is the first time since then that these three characters have stood in those exact footprints together.

Afterward, the droids posed for pictures and interacted with fans in front of the theater. Thankfully there were barricades, or we would have been overrun.

I had never been inside the theater before. It's quite beautiful, and they had me park R2 inside before the crowd arrived, to have him as a guest of honor during the movie.

(The second pic courtesy of Gordon Tarpley.)

Back outside, Greg Grunberg, who played Snaps in The Force Awakens, was on hand to greet fans and pose for pictures.

Before the show, we had a surprise visit from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, so that was pretty neat. He helped Sideshow Collectibles give away some valuable Star Wars collectible items. I was hoping to score their premium format R2-D2, but as they were only giving out 4 to a packed house, the odds weren't good.

We all watched the movie, and when it let out, more pics with R2.

It was at that point that one of the Sideshow reps saw me with R2, and she had one of their R2 collectibles left. She asked me if I wanted it, and of course I said yes! :)

William Miyamoto and his cos-playing BB-8 joined me at the after-party.

After the after-party, William's BB-8 took up residence in a display case in the lobby of the Chinese theater, where it will remain on exhibit with other fan-made costumes through early 2018.

It was a cool experience to watch the movie in such an iconic theater, and I really appreciate my new display piece.