Star Wars-ing: Hayden Christensen Will Be at Celebration

Star Wars Authentics, the company handling the autographs for Star Wars Celebration announced this afternoon that Hayden Christensen will be making a rare convention appearance!  He will only be appearing at the con on Friday.  He is doing a signing and is doing two photo ops.  The first one will be by himself.  The other, which will be one of the most popular photo ops, will be with Ian McDiarmid.  Get your autograph tickets now!!!!

Teaching: How Buffy Made Me a Better Teacher

With the announcement that Sarah Michelle Gellar will be attending Star Wars Celebration, I’ve been thinking more about the show lately.  It also helps that it’s been in entertainment news lately because it has reached its 20th anniversary.

When I first watched the show, during the original run, I just watched it for the drama and humor.  Both were top notch, even if the special effects sometimes were not up to their level.  It wasn’t until the second time I watched it, that I realized the brilliance of Joss Whedon.  It amazes me that he wasn’t a high school teacher  (his mother was, though).  He captures high school perfectly.

By this, I mean he captures all the horrors of high school.  “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” showcased a girl (Clea DuVall) that just wasn’t noticed in high school.  When I watched around 2010 it reminded me of what that feeling felt like.  It reminded me that I need to reach every student, not just the attentive and the troublemakers. “I, Robot…You, Jane” was well ahead of its time with it’s stories of making friends on the Internet. At the time of the writing, only real nerds did this kind of stuff, but it still resonates today. “The Pack” might be a little too on the nose with it’s group bullying storyline.  I mean that as a compliment. “Earshot” looks at a student who reaches the point where he wants to commit suicide.

The brilliance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that you can watch it from both sides.  When you are younger, you see it through the eyes of the Scooby Gang.  When you are older, Giles, Joyce, and Angel are you window into this world.  When we met Anthony Head, I thanked him for making me a better teacher.  The show not only gives you a viewpoint to the life of teenagers, but it is written in a way that builds empathy for them.  This is the mistake most shows about that age group make…they divide us from the people.  Most teenage shows have the older people be obstacles or people that don’t have a clue.  Not here.  Giles and Joyce are responsible adults who truly care about those in their charge.  They don’t always understand everything, but they always try. Through them, we become protective of the Scooby Gang.  Because of them, I have become more empathetic to my students’ issues.

Angel even furthers this.  He is perpetually young, but he is the oldest soul on the show.  And because he has a soul, he sees the tragedy in almost every situation mainly because he has seen every situation many times. As a teacher, you often just repeat years.  The students change, but the problems don’t.  Too often, you see students make mistakes before they make them.  This can be as simple as putting off homework or as complicated as choosing the right college/vocation.  We treat high school students as kids because they are, but at the same time, we ask them to decide their future.  The future is always the biggest and baddest big bad.

I know I won’t have time to tell Ms. Gellar all of this.  I am fully expecting to be so star struck that I’ll be surprised if I can utter actual words.  But I had to thank her, and the cast, and Mr. Whedon in some form.  So I choose this one.

 

Nola-ing: Events for March 30 to April 5

We have so busy being a nerd couple, we have forgotten to be The Nola Nerd Couple.  We haven’t forgotten about our favorite city. We have been attending concerts (which you can hear about on our music podcast page).  We have been running in New Orleans whether it be a regular race or the Best Damn Race 5K.

We are going to start writing about our adventures in the city more, I promise.  Right now, however, opportunity costs have to be made with Star Wars Celebration coming up.  So not only will we post our adventures, but things we would love to do in the city if time and money were no object.  Of course, we just don’t have the time to publish a list of all events (too many other sites do that), just the ones we would love to do. And no, we won’t just limit it to the city limits of New Orleans.  Plenty of great things go on both inside and outside of the city limits.

March 30: The WWII Museum will put on “Biloxi Blues,” the award-winning comedy by Neil Simon. This show runs through April 22, 2017. You can buy tickets for the show only or you can purchase dinner and a show.

March 31: Hogs for the Cause kicks off this weekend.  This is our favorite festival, We have been to Hogs numerous times and it never disappoints. Friday night has great music with a few food offerings, but it’s Saturday that you need to go hungry. We actually were not going to go this year. With Star Wars Celebration coming up we had to make some opportunity cost decisions and Hogs was cut.  However, Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple entered a contest with 106.1 The Underground here in New Orleans.  On Monday, 106.1 The Underground called her and informed her she won tickets to Hogs for the Cause.  Not only did she win tickets but she won Boss Hog tickets.  This is the VIP package.  It looks like we are going to Hogs!

April 1:  This is one of those days that we just can’t do everything without sponsorship. First, there is the Hale Boggs Bridge Run.  We didn’t sign up for this because we did the Best Damn Race last weekend, but nearly all of our friends are.   Then, Hogs for the Cause continues into its second day…the one with all the food. We did, however, sign up for Painting with a Twist’s “Star Wars: Rogue One” event.  I mean, if there was ever a painting with a twist for us, this is the one.   Plus,  the Freret Street Festival will take place this day as well.

April 2:  We will be going to the New Orleans Opera Association’s Presentation of Faust at the Mahalia Jackson Theater.  We have made two of the operas this season (MacBeth and Sweeney Todd), and it was money well spent.  We are looking forward to this one as well. We highly recommend our local readers consider getting season tickets next year, its 75th anniversary season. 

April 3: It has been so long since I’ve seen Radiohead in concert, that they were actually the opening band at the time for R.E.M in Baton Rouge.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has never seen them.

April 4: The World War II Museum will have a panel discussion entitled “Fueling Extremism in a Wired World.”  The panel will be moderated by Robert Citino. A timely topic to be sure, but one that we can learn about by studying the past. An RSVP is required.

April 5:  The 18th Annual Bill Russell Lecture: A Tribute to John Robichaux will be at the Williams Research Center at 6:30 in The Historic New Orleans Collection. John Robichaux’s Orchestra evolved from playing European hits of the day to ragtime at the turn of the 20th century.

Star Wars Celebration: Mark Hamill Will Be There!

The announcement we think everyone has been waiting for: Mark Hamill will be at Celebration.  Autographs will be $250 and photo ops will be $200. Why so high? Let’s face it, supply and demand are on his side.  No true autograph collector of Star Wars can skip Mr. Hamill. And the last time we met him, he did do a Joker voice for me in the few seconds we got to spend with him. The lines will be long for Mr. Hamill regardless and he only has so much time to sign. The photo ops are a good price if you split it four ways.  We have one with him and Carrie and that’s a memory we will always treasure.

Star Wars-ing: More Guests and Star Wars Books at Celebration

Earlier this week Celebration announced two guests that don’t often do conventions.

  • Denis Lawson was the face of Wedge Antilles in the original trilogy.  The Scottish actor is making, according to the sources, we have found, his first U.S. convention appearance.
  • At most celebrations, guests from the prequels are usually in short supply, with the exceptions of Ray Park and Daniel Logan. The man who brought life to Jango Fett will probably have a sizable part of his lines wanting to meet him for playing Chief Tui in Moana.
  • Sam Witwer does do cons quite a bit, but after finishing his run as Maul on The Clone Wars and Rebels this season, he is also sure to have long lines.  (And does this mean Stephen Stanton will be quick to follow?).

Del Rey Books has released some information about its involvement at Star Wars Celebration. They will have booth located at #2522 right next to the Random House Audio and DK booths.  They have also listed some panels:

  • I’ll Take Droids for $500, Obi-Wan:  An audience member will be able to prove that he knows Star Wars more than authors Chuck Wendig and Timothy Zahn.  Good luck to that member of the audience! Thursday 2:30-3:30 at the Behind the Scenes Stage (W304)
  • Lucasfilm Publishing Writers’ Roundtable:  Members of the Lucasfilm team and Del Rey authors (Mr. Zahn and Delilah S. Dawson were specifically mentioned).  This is one that I’m planning on attending.  Friday 4:30-5:30 at the Behind the Scenes Stage (W304)
  • Del Rey Books, Behind the Scenes: Del Rey has published Star Wars books since, well, actually, before a New Hope was released.  This panel will feature authors Mr. Wendig, Mr. Zahn, Ms. Dawson, and Christie Golden and will be moderated by Del Rey senior editor, Elizabeth Schaefer. Friday 4:30-5:30 at the Behind the Scenes Stage (W304)

Individual talks by authors in which the author determines the flow of the conversation will take place during the Star Wars University Panel.  Think of these talks as more workshops where you learn more about the craft as well as the book they write.  All of the University Workshops are in W300.

  • Thursday 5:00 pm – 6:00  Star Wars University: Chuck Wendig
  • Friday 12:30 pm – 1:30 Star Wars University: Delilah Dawson
  • Friday 2:00 pm – 3:00 Star Wars University: Tim Zahn
  • Saturday 3:30 pm – 4:30  Star Wars University: Christie Golden
  • Sunday 12:30 pm – 1:30 Star Wars University: John Jackson Miller

All book signings are free and will take place at the Del Rey Booth (2522) and the Barnes & Noble Booth (2022). They will have books for sale, but you can bring your own as well.

Thursday

  • 11:30 am – 12:30  Christie Golden B&N Booth 2022
  • 1 pm – 2 Chuck Wendig B&N Booth 2022
  • 4 pm – 6:30 Tim Zahn B&N Booth 2022

Friday

  • 11 am – 12  Chuck Wendig Del Rey Booth 2522
  • 11 am – 1 Tim Zahn B&N Booth 2022
  • 3 pm – 4:00 Chuck Wendig B&N Booth 2022
  • 5:30 pm – 6:30 Tim Zahn B&N Booth 2022
  • 5:45 pm – 6:45 Christie Golden & Delilah S. Dawson Del Rey Booth 2522

Saturday

  • 11 am – 12:30 Christie Golden & Delilah S. Dawson Del Rey Booth 2522
  • 2 pm – 4:30  Tim Zahn B&N Booth 2022
  • 3 pm – 4  John Jackson Miller Del Rey Booth 2522
  • 4 pm – 5  Chuck Wendig B&N Booth 2022
  • 5 pm – 6 Christie Golden & Delilah S. Dawson Del Rey Booth 2522

Sunday

  • 10:30 am – 11:30 Chuck Wendig, Christie Golden & Delilah S. Dawson Del Rey Booth 2522
  • 1 pm – 2  Christie Golden B&N Booth 2022
  • 2:30 pm – 4:30 Tim Zahn B&N Booth 2022

You can find more about Del Ray books and Star Wars Celebration here.  Also, check out their twitter for the latest updates.

We just purchased quite a few books from the new canon on a whim the other night.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has already started reading Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. I’m still reading Scoundrels by Mr. Zahn that we purchased from him at Pensacon.  In other words, we are super excited about meeting all the authors, and we will probably drop quite a few credits at the Del Rey booth!

May the force be with you!

 

 

The Nola Nerd Couple Podcast Episode 9: Star Wars, Comic Conventions, Zelda, and Hogs for the Cause

The Nola Nerd Couple is back with another episode covering quite a few topics.  First, we discuss the newest guests added to Celebration, and Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple tells the story of how excited the Mr. was to hear that Sarah Michelle Gellar was going to be there.  We then talk about rebels and how our jobs as teachers really make us like Ezra Bridger, a character that’s hard to like.  We go through the latest guest announcements to Comicpalooza and MegaCon.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple gives her first impressions of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Finally, we didn’t think we would be able to go to our favorite festival in New Orleans, Hogs for the Cause, but with a stroke of luck, we will be able to go with VIP tickets!

Show Notes:

Star Wars Celebration (and our coverage here)

Google search of “Ezra Bridger Annoying”

Comicpalooza (and our coverage here)

MegaCon (and our coverage here)

Hogs for the Cause 

ComicCon-ing: MegaCon Updates

MegaCon hurt our pocketbooks with some announcements last week for its celebrity guest line-ups.

  • Jenna Coleman, who we have met in London and New Orleans, will be signing.  We haven’t had a chance to watch Victoria, yet, but I we will (which will lead to another autograph.)
  • Arthur Darvill will charge us for at least two autographs, maybe three.  We have a poster that we want the Doctors and Companions to sign, and by all rights in our heads, is Rory qualified to be a companion.  (Jenna has already signed it!). We also are thinking about getting him to sign a centurion photo. Plus, we are working on an Arrowverse poster and he is a large reason why we watch Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Speaking of Legends, the other captain of the Waverider, Caity Lotz will also be in Orlando for the con.  Being such a large part of the Arrowverse, we will get her on our poster as well.