Ajay’s Second Day At Comic-Con
I’m not even sure how to begin telling you the story of my second full day at San Diego Comic-Con.
It started with a beautiful ferry ride across the harbour to get over to the mainland to interview the even-more-beautiful Laura Vandervoort from Bitten. She hasn’t begun shooting season three yet, so we couldn’t get too in depth with that in the Q&A, but we had a great time and shared a few laughs about how our outfits kind of matched.
Afterwards, I had some time to explore the floor of the con and met up with my friend, Josh Saltzman, whom I used to perform sketch comedy with in Toronto like 10 years ago. Man, writing that sentence just now I realize how long I’ve been working and how old I am. It was kind of hilarious, too, because it’s been years since I’ve seen him and I noticed he had a wedding ring and it turns out he was married last September and I’m due to be married this September. Time flies.
Anyway, I also caught up with my friend and awesome cosplayer, Alanna! She’s from Alberta so we only get to see each other at SDCC and Calgary Expo.
After that I did another new hit for CTV and then it was on to the Star Wars panel. So, this is my sixth SDCC and never before have I ever been into the mystical “Hall H” and that is for good reason. Hall H is for the fans. People line up for days to get seats to see the awesome panels where Hollywood studios bring out their stars and showcase exclusive teasers and content for the masses. Being someone with a press badge, I never thought I’d get to go into Hall H unless I put the effort into camping out with an attendee badge one year, or manage to have a career that brought me there as a presenter.
Anyway, there was all this talk that we might, somehow, maybe, possibly be able to get into Hall H. After much machinations and speculation that all we’d be able to do is talk to some of the fans as they poured out of Hall H after the panel, we managed to find a way in. Not even sneaking: there was a side entrance and they let a number of press in. We were sent to a place called “The Cage,” which was right up against the front of the stage, but off to stage right. With a name like “The Cage” I had visions of a Mad Max’s Thunderdome-style arena in which journalists battled to the death for the best vantage point for the panel. In actuality it was just a small area for us to stand through the panel.
I realized pretty quickly that as the stars were waiting to go on stage they were literally on the other side of a curtain from where I stood. In fact, there was one point where I could hear Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher talking DIRECTLY next to me (literally arms reach away), but separated by a curtain. Luke and Leia. Right there.
The Panel was awesome. Kathleeen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendolyn Christie, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, AND (!!!!!) HARRISON FORD all took to the stage and answered audience questions about the film and the franchise as a whole. On top of that, we were introduced to a creature from the film. Amazing practical effects work. No CG here.
We also got to see some behind the scenes footage that also showcased some interviews with the cast (sadly we weren’t allowed to record it). “No photos! Turn your cameras OFF!”
Finally, at the end of the panel, Abrams invited EVERYONE to come to a free Star Wars concert!
As we filed out we got special badges and we had to walk a couple of blocks to an outdoors concert venue. The walk should’ve been short, but the huge crowds made it take FOREVER. Still totally worth it. Everyone who went to the concert got a free light-up lightsaber that makes sounds. It was amazing to be in a crowd of seven-thousand-plus Star Wars fans wielding our lightsabers in tune to Darth Vader’s theme song.
The night actually got even crazier after that—but that part of the story I dare not write about online. Ok, off to bed. Good night!