Our second year at Dragon*Con was even better than our first. It solidified to both of us that Dragon*Con is a really special convention—in a world when geek culture just gets more and more prevalent and comic conventions turn into major film announcements, somehow Dragon*Con strikes the balance of being a traditional “every-fan” convention as well as a major hub of celebrities across all mediums. It remains as one of the largest sci-fi conventions in the world. This year, the four-day convention broke records by welcoming more than 80,000 people.
This year was special for us, though. Last year when we attended, the idea for us starting a podcast was born. We found that a whole group of people existed—beyond the small circle of creators and podcasters we had heard of—that was interested in having very in-depth discussions about these films. It was the spark that got our mind working: how can we join this conversation? (A few months later, Skytalkers was born.)
Returning to Dragon*Con with a podcast we were proud of was really wonderful. And meeting people we had talked to for months online and over Skype was so wonderful, too. Similar to Star Wars Celebrations, connecting with people about the thing we all love—Star Wars—remains to be the highlight of any con.
There were a couple of highlights throughout the weekend. The first night, after a badge-retrieval kerfuffle, we didn’t make it into the Leia, Princess of Alderaan and Phasma Book Launch Party the Star Wars track was putting on. We were disappointed, and decided to go grab a drink and a bite. We come back an hour later and—the Force was with us—Claudia Gray and Delilah S. Dawson were still signing books, and they had a few left! We were the last people in line, and got to have a conversation with them as they concluded the book signing. We were overjoyed. A great start to the con!
Another highlight was attending a couple of the fan-run panels, like Remembering Kenny Baker and Carrie Fisher, where so many touching stories about both of these actors were told. Attending the super intense Star Wars trivia contest is always a highlight, and really shows you how many intricacies to this galaxy there are! Our good friend Sarah Dempster of Eleven-Thirty Eight moderated a panel with awesome Star Wars authors Claudia Gray, E.K. Johnston, and Delilah S. Dawson which was probably the panel highlight of our con experience—so many hilarious moments and amazing insight on some of their Star Wars books.
We also got to sit on a panel celebrating 40 years of Star Wars: A New Hope, which, if you couldn’t tell by this post, was a really transcendent experience for us as it was our first panel ever. The other fans on the panel were Tom Hutchens, Chadwick Miller, Kevin Reitzel, and Michael Morris. We took audio from that panel, and I have to apologize because the audio is kind of all over the place, but the questions raised by the moderator and the audience (it turned into a Q & A sesh, which was great) were interesting. Highlights include a discussion about what we all thought about the special editions, our first time seeing Star Wars, what we could change if we had the option, and more. Take a listen below.
Overall, our Dragon*Con experience was amazing. I highly recommend attending the madness that is D*C if you ever get the chance. We are so lucky to have attended and thank you to everyone on the Star Wars track, especially Brandy Roatsey, who organized so much!
May the Force be with you!