I felt bad for Richard Hatch because he really wasn’t feeling well on Saturday. He was still a really nice, down to earth guy and it was really cool talking to him. To top it off, yes ladies he looks just as good off screen as he does on screen.
On Saturday, I followed some of the legion around and took pics, but for the most part everyone was there for only one reason…Patrick Stewart. The line for autographs extended almost into the hotel lobby and the line for photos was almost extended into the autograph line. People lined up for hours for a thirty second meet and greet of a lifetime.
The vendor room was small but mighty. There were vendors selling everything from cosplay merchandise to science fiction movie toys. I bought a Gremlin for my desk and a picture of Patrick Stewart. One of our legion members was a vendor so we stopped by to say hi. His booth neighbor just happened to be in the 501st Great Lakes Garrison.
A friend and fellow legion member was kind enough to help me get a Patrick Stewart autograph ticket. After lunch we bummed over to the line and waited for over an hour. Once I got up to Patrick Stewart I was so star struck I just gave him my picture and said thank you. After we got our autographs we took charge of the table and let everyone else go and experience the convention. The Imperial Officer (Gaines Tidwell) decided to throw us a curve ball and transformed into Indiana Jones. His outfit was great and added a little more confusion to the convention. Later we caught him and a Jawa fighting over the candy and cookies we had on the table.
There were some panels going on, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t go. I was more interested in taking pictures of the celebrities and looking at the vendors. I stopped into the panels a few times and it was pretty quiet. A nice change to the overcrowded panel rooms of Megacon and DragonCon.
On Sunday, my husband and son tagged along and that was when the real fun began. I suited up in my Clone and took to the con. The photographer for Patrick Stewart was kind enough to let me use his room to suit up in. It takes 2 people to suit me up and about 10 minutes. My husband is a huge help with my speaker / mic system and putting together my gun. My son likes to hand me each piece as I need it and its nice to have his participation as well. Trooping has become a family activity that we all enjoy. Before we left the room the photographer asked to take some pictures of me on the backdrop he was using for Patrick Stewart. The pictures turned out amazing! I walked out of the room and took charge of the area. I really enjoy putting on my clone because it brings out all the things about me that I cannot seem to pull out without its help.
Our first stop was the autograph room. As we walked back the line for Patrick Stewart’s photo opp, I turned to the line and yelled “Is this the line for Mark Hamill?” Some of the remarks I got were simply “Nope, Patrick Stewart.” Another guest yelled back “Wrong movie. Come on over here, we will convert you.” We thought otherwise.
We moved on into the autograph room and that is where the real excitement started. Imagine this…a room full of celebrities…and you’re the one with the line! The moment I walked into that room, people were coming up to me for pictures. I even saw a little girl dressed as Padme (at this point I feel it necessary to remind you I was at a Star Trek convention).
Kevin and I were in there for at least an hour. I chatted with Phil Morris (Smallville) who said my costume was the best he has ever seen (my confidence grew x 100). My husband was in awe of Morris because he loves all things Smallville.
My son, Brandon, six years old, was in love with one of the authors. The moment he saw her, he fell in love. When she was setting up her table he asked her to share her snack and then he walked in between the tables to give her a bug hug. Unfortunately, I did not catch her name, but I know my son captured her heart. I don’t know why he fell in love, but she welcomed the hugs with open arms. When he was walking the autograph tables with Daddy, Armin Shimerman (Star Trek: DS9) signed a trading card for him. My husband was grateful for the autograph and I later took him one of my own trading cards as a thank you.
The line for Patrick Stewart was next to nothing so I was told I could jump in and say hi. Since I was in my clone, I wasn’t so scared and jumped in. When I finally got up to him, I said hi. He replied “Whoa you’re scary. I want to see you without the helmet.” I have a saying that when Captain Picard asks you to do something, you do it. I lifted up my helmet so he could see my face (but in a way that any kids around could not) “Ohh very pretty. Much better. You don’t need the helmet.”
Confidence boost x 1000.
We left the room to get our fellow legion members and when returned, we were the hit of the party.
Jewel Staite was a gem and even came out from her table to take pics with all of us. She made Gaines day when she took a really neat picture with him. She made his year with this picture!
I am very proud of my legion family.
This was our first visit to Vulcan Events and I have to say it’s a definite must do troop next year. The celebrities were all down to earth and friendly. My son definitely gave us all some laughs. The people that we as adults were star struck over, my son just saw normal people that he wanted to play with. The convention was nothing like what I have experienced at other events. It was very down to earth and laid back. A big thanks to Vulcan Events for inviting the 501st legion. Our presence excited some of the visitors and confused others. Mission Complete!!
For more pictures, please visit my photo album.
Dakster Sullivan is an all-around technology and comic book geek. When she's not at the office being the Network Administrator, she's hanging out with her Minecraft obsessed 8-year old son and magician husband. On the weekends, she enjoys cosplaying for charity with the 501st and Rebel Legion costuming groups. Check her out on Twitter @Dak903