Dunc’s recap of Thursday at Celebration VI: StarWars.com, Dark Horse, and more

Forgive my lack of finesse, as I’m exhausted. Cons are exhausting. Consider that before deciding on one as your vacation. Beneath the cut: Details on panels from StarWars.com, Dark Horse, and Timothy Zahn Retrospective, plus a quick pass on Kevin Smith.

I started out this morning on the floor, as one generally does at Celebration. The Her Universe line was, as expected, insane. (Quick tip: Unless you’re out for exclusives, avoid the con floor Thursday. The lines will be shorter later!) I decided against the Her Universe line, but big thanks to Brian from Tosche Station for picking up a Mara shirt for me!

(I have no idea how many, if any, of the Her Universe exclusives are left at this point. I can tell you that the Mara statues in the show store were gone by 10, if not before.)

I met up with Brian, Nanci (also of TS) and Shannon after they emerged from the HU line, and we did some haphazard wandering around the floor, making sure to check out the StarWars.com area. As someone who stood out for several days at CV handing out orange fans, I was so glad to see multiple couches, a charging station, and of course the cute pins.

StarWars.com and beyond
But with the con floor jammed, we decided to head off to our first panel… Also for StarWars.com. The director of the site, Ivan Askwith, talked a bit about the redesign, plans and aims, much of which we’ve already guessed at – the expanded use of and linkage to fan sites, etc.

The news out of this one?

  • Dave Filoni and company will be back with behind-the-scenes Clone Wars content. The term ‘webisodes’ came up and they’re looking to for inspiration. It also turns out that Filoni is a huge fan of blogging, so look for some post-episode entries from him.
  • They’re ramping up video content again. There’s going to be a talk show with Chris Hardwick, Star Wars: Transmission. The first episode taped here earlier tonight! Also, by the end of September, they hope to make it so the videos will be viewable on iOS devices.
  • Askwith specifically asked the room, as a ‘focus group,’ if we’d be interested in seeing the old Ewoks and Droids cartoon. The crowd went nuts. No Holiday Special, though.
  • There are several new games coming. In addition to the ones that are already live, Ewok Village launched today directly after the panel. Coming up: Galactic Spy, which looks very Where’s Waldoesque. And a Boba Fett game. (Of course.)
  • Community features will be back in a big way, including new forums and richer social profiles. (Older software was an issue with the old forums.)
  • With the AtomFilms contest kaput, they’ll be launching something for fan films early next year. (Please encourage people to make more funny ones!)
  • The shop may be back “in some form,” possibly comparison shopping from the way Ivan was phrasing things.
  • Obviously, they’ve been putting a lot of focus on the blogs. Steve Sansweet hopes to share some fandom stories as well as Rancho Obi-Wan stuff; Ashley Eckstein said she’s like to share more behind-the-scenes stuff. Leland Chee said that blogs and forums are great for feedback, and he’s going to answer more continuity questions online, saving the less-obscure topics for his Insider column.
  • Oh, and among the insiders joining the blog soon? Effects master Dennis Muren.

Tosche Station posted their recap afterwards. The luxury of having two bloggers!

Dark Horse Comics
Next, we headed over to the Behind-the-Scenes Stage for Dark Horse. And although Randy Stradley said there’d be no announcements, we did get a few:

  • Bail Organa, Winter, and Princess Leia will be making appearances in Agent of the Empire Also Boba Fett. Of course.
  • There will be a new arc of Dark Times early next year, Fire Carrier. It deals with K’khurk and some padawans. Also a hint that Doug Wheatley is working on something secret that will be announced on Sunday. Huh.
  • Purge is also returning with Tyrant’s Fist.
  • The new Star Wars series is not a reboot, stomping on continuity, or any of the crazy wild things that were rumored. Though Wedge will be in it.
  • Don;’t count on any more Invasion. Maybe someday, but not soon.
  • On Legacy: “Keep your eyes open.”
  • Also be on the lookout for more collaborations with Del Rey.

Aaron Goins recapped it for StarWars.com. More announcements coming at New York Comic Con.

Ian McDiarmid
There was a line. I waited in it. It didn’t move until the time the panel was scheduled to start, so I bailed in order to go to the Zahn panel. Forgive me. Here’s Amy Ratcliffe’s recap.

Timothy Zahn retrospective.
This one was pretty interesting, though not exactly easy to recap. (You had to be there? Many were; It was packed.) There was a lot of new art shown from the Essential Reader’s Companion, which is clearly going to be a must-buy. I’ve collected our tweets – with pictures – on Storify.. Sorry it’s backwards at the moment – I should be able to fix that later, but Storify and the subpar hotel wifi will not cooperate to let me re-sort.

Kevin Smith
Hilarious: I’m glad I went. He told a story that made Eliz cry! (Okay, it almost made me cry) He made us all laugh! There was hilarity with the sign-language interpreters! And except for some predictable fanboy drool over Boba Fett, it was all good, semi-dirty fun. Bryan Young recapped it, bless him.

And now, collapse. See you on the flip side. Remember to watch @clubjade!

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