By Andrew O’Brien
October 12th- No sleep issues today. Just got up and got out, ready to hit the Con on its busiest day. Saturday is a great day for NYCC, but I warn you.. don’t make it your only day. Saturday is usually the day with the most essential panels and the dealers seem to have the most swag, but it comes with a price. No.. not one of money, but one of room. On Friday and Sunday one could travel from one end of the show floor to the other in... I’d say about 20 minutes if you don’t mind bumping into a couple people and squeezing through some tight spaces. On Saturday, though, it could take you 45 minutes to an hour to make it across the floor because you don’t actually do much walking. It's more like shuffling. If you don’t mind large crowds and tight spaces by all means just go Saturday; the best cosplayers usually come out (and boy did Idle Hands get some great pictures of them), and did I mention the panels? The comics world came in full force with panels ranging from Inhumanity to Vertigo to the New 52, but only one panel shined as the most essential panel for me this year.
Star Wars: Rebels Panel:
Not too long ago, in a panel hall not too far way… The stage was set for the dynamic team of Greg Bertlanti (co-creator of Young Justice), Dave Filoni (co-creator of Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and Simon Kinberg (consultant on Star Wars Episode VII) to wow a packed house of Star Wars fans in their presenta... wait what? None of them showed up? And a room of die-hard Star Wars fans sat in silence (with small breakouts of begrudged applause) as Pablo Hidalgo (the Content Manager for Lucasfilm for all of you animation people scratching your head at his name) showed us concept art for one of the most anticipated cartoons of 2014? Yep. I don’t even have to look to see your shocked face, reader, but don’t worry, we did learn a few things. The series takes place 5 years before Episode 4, and is set mainly on Lothall (hope I’m spelling that right), an agricultural planet in the Outer Rim which the Empire is in the process of colonizing. We also learn the true villain of the series, but I’ll get to him at the end of the pictures. Oh did I not mention the pictures?
This is our first look at Lothall. Hidalgo explained that these were images are based off some early designs Ralph McQuarrie did for what eventually became Alderaan. They look simple enough. They’re probably easy for the animation team to work with which I think is kind of wrong. Hidalgo went to great lengths to explain that the same team from the Clone Wars series would be working on this, so they’re seasoned veterans at the CGI animated medium. It feels kind of like if Pixar had decided to do an entire movie in the sky. They can probably add nuances and details I’m not expecting, but at this stage it seems too safe.
This is the main Rebel ship, the Ghost, and there is apparently a really good reason it’s called that. Hidalgo didn’t reveal that reason because the Rebels part of Rebels is still too secret to share with the good people who waited hours for the panel.(note sarcasm) After this we really dig into the Empire’s concept art because that is the theme of their presentation.
This is just a propaganda poster they’ll feature in the show. It’s cool enough. Wish they’d printed out a bunch and handed them out though.
Imperial ships were showcased, the first one being a prototype AT-ST. The second was actually a Troop Transport (yes the toy from the 80s). The third is an Imperial cruiser, which is more of a mid-size ship when a Tie Fighter is too little and a Star destroyer is too big. Speaking of Star Destroyers, the last image is self-explanatory, and awesome. Not much to comment on these except that they’re all pretty amazing and I can’t wait to see them in action.
This is a Stormtrooper design, and to the trained eye, you'll note they look a little different from what we know of as standard Stormtrooper. I think that’s really cool how they’re going to make everything look a little unique because the Stormtroopers, Tie Fighters, X-Wings, etc. are different models than the ones we’ve come to know and love in the original trilogy. I do have one problem though. These designs, or at least the helmet ones, aren’t new. They showed them at their Star Wars Celebration in Germany earlier this year. Now if the Internet didn’t exist, then they’d be new because most people didn’t go to Germany to see these, but you wouldn’t be reading this either if there was no internet so…
Meet the Imperial Inquisitor. His job: to hunt and kill the remaining Jedi Knights. His purpose: to provide a villain since they probably couldn’t get James Earl Jones for as many episodes as people want or worse, not at all. He looks cool, and he may or may not use a lightsaber and be a student of the Sith. (Still a secret too big to keep from an audience at a convention not wholly dedicated to Star Wars.)
For each of my panels this year I’ve wrote down notes, most of which are a full page, and this is my sheet for this panel. ...And that last line reeks the overall mood of the room. Disappointment. None of the creators came. They brought no footage.. not even test reels, (Marvel brought test reels of Ant-Man to SDCC which is earlier in the year and still two years out. Get on their level.), and they were late to the panel. (and by “they” I mean one guy.) It just felt like they didn’t want to do a panel because they were ill-prepared, but felt they needed to because its Comic Con. Although the big guns of the cartoon didn’t show up, you know who did? The crickets. (Chirp chirp chirp.)
After that letdown I went swag shopping. This also had its ups and downs. I scored a sweet Hawkeye, Daredevil, and Nightwing shirt, but couldn’t get the "I’m Not Daredevil" shirt. Also, I was too late for Pokémon X or Y. That wasn't too bad though since I can order the shirt online and I can pick up the game just by walking into one of the many electronic stores around me without waiting in the massive line Nintendo amassed during the day for it. I was able to snag one of the exclusive Dragonball Z scouters (red) that Ban-Dai were selling at their booth. (Before you ask a bunch of questions, I don’t watch the show, a friend does and I got it for him.) There were also a ton of awesome cosplayers.. In my last report, I mentioned the strange absence of Jokers. Well, they came out in full force today. (Lost count around 15). There was also one hell of a Sméagol, and some great representatives of shows that have ended like Breaking Bad and Futurama. There was even a Scruffy the Janitor (talk about random). Also, I found DC’s “booth” even though it’s more like an exhibit which is a tribute to Superman over the years showcasing a cavalcade of his costumes. I took pictures of some of them too, but they came out really bad, and I think most of you have seen Superman’s costume before, so whatever. (we've got you covered. -Paul)
I had a pretty good second day at NYCC with the disappointment of the Star Wars: Rebels panel softened by having a far better time walking (yeah that’s right walking) around the show floor with Paul and Emi enjoying all the cool retailer stands I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Stay tuned for my next report for something… Superior. (The Die is cast!)