Tonight was one of my favorite events, Star Wars Night at Dodger Stadium! There was a Star Wars-themed fireworks show scheduled after the game, so that was good enough reason for the characters to come on out for some fun.
Before I tell you the story of an interview I did for which I sadly have no proof, let's fast-forward to some video. (Click the YouTube logo once it starts playing for a larger version.)
And now, our detailed summary of the evening.
I arrived around 4:40pm and parked on the third base side of the stadium, and unloaded R2. As always, it doesn't take long for folks to start gathering for pictures.
We reported in to the Club Level, where the costumed characters started getting dressed in a meeting room/changing room.
I wasn't inside the stadium long when who should stop by, but Dodgers Hall of Fame former manager, Tommy Lasorda! "What can he do?" Tommy asked about R2. So we chatted while I put R2 through his paces before getting a picture. Tommy also tweeted his own version of this pic.
Not that I'd expect him to remember, but this was our second picture together at an event, but the first with him and R2.
Spanish language announcer Jorge Jarrin stopped by to say hi (and also tweeted). He's always been very friendly on our visits.
We didn't realize it at the time, but the gal that was going to sing the national anthem also came by for a picture.
Around 6:00pm, the characters were ready, and we were escorted to the elevator for our trip down to the field. Did I mention that it was one of the most hot and humid days of the year? Well, it was. Those poor guys in those buckets...
I wonder if this is the oddest looking group that the elevator operator sees all year? (I hope so.)
Off the elevator we went, and through the really neat parts of the stadium on our way to the field.
Speaking of elevators, since we end up below ground level, I had to take my annual trip in the wheelchair elevator with R2 to get back up to field level.
This is where things got even more interesting for me. I was asked by our point of contact if I could do an interview, and I said sure. I figured it was for the web site, or perhaps TV, but no big deal, I've done many before.
Angela Sun, who does the Yahoo Sports Minute daily report, was dressed as Princess Leia and was doing live reports from the field, that were being shown on the stadium scoreboard and over the stadium loudspeakers.
Just before it came time for my interview, they introduced me to Angela, at which point I realized I was going to be speaking live on the scoreboard to the entire stadium. I'd guess somewhere around 15,000 people were seated at that point (the game would sell out at over 51,000). Good thing I didn't have time to be nervous!
Sadly, as far as I know, no one took any pictures or video of the interview. My back was to the scoreboards, so I couldn't see it, but I sure could hear it! It takes about a quarter of a second for the audio on the stadium PA system to reach the home plate area where we were, so I had to concentrate hard on what Angela was asking, and what I was answering, as the echo was very loud and distracting.
She asked questions about how long R2 took to build, how the remote control worked, stuff like that. I demonstrated the scream sound, and I could hear the laughter in the stadium as the sound played over the loudspeakers. The interview lasted about 2 minutes, and we wrapped up.
As game time approached, we were asked to do group pictures behind home plate. R2 is watching you!
And there's our national anthem singer!
Troy, our Boba Fett, headed out to the mound accompanied by two Stormtroopers, to throw out the ceremonial first pitch (he also got to keep the ball). A two-hopper, just a little bit outside. One of the Stormtroopers gave him a sympathy hug.
We wrapped up on the field and spent an inning on the first deck, doing photo ops. Then we headed back upstairs, passing World Series and Golden Glove trophies.
The characters changed out of their costumes, and I stowed R2 in the changing room. We were given awesome seats and food vouchers for the rest of the game.
Dodgers win 9-2! R2's record is now 4-1.
Shortly after, fans were allowed down on the outfield to watch the fireworks show, though most of us opted to stay in our seats. It was a good 20 minute show set to Star Wars music.
After the fireworks show ended, we headed back upstairs to collect our belongings (including one droid) so we could go on home. But by now you know it's never that simple.
I hit the road just before midnight. At least I missed all the traffic going home. Hope to do it again next year!
The full photoset is here.