StarWars-ing: Star Wars Links for September 12!

Former ‘Solo’ Star Still Hopes to Join An:other Star Wars Film: One of more questionable parenting decisions was to rewatch The Wire when feeding the baby.  I’m afraid she will now walk down the street whistling the Farmer in the Dell. Because if any one from that show could have created an indelible impression on my young child, it was Michael K. Williams’ magnificent turn as Omar Little.  He was cast in Solo, but didn’t make it into the final film and was recast.  It wasn’t because he was bad, obviously, but couldn’t commit to re-shoots with Ron Howard. If he is cast again the saga, make him a good guy, but one you don’t want to mess with. (Note: we still haven’t seen Solo! We have to wait for the physical release because we are too vested in Disney’s points program)

Star Wars Celebration News!:  Star Wars Celebration Chicago has announced two of their hosts for the event and they are two of the best: Amy Ratcliffe and David Collins. We have attended multiple panels that they have hosted in the past and they do a phenomenal job of asking the right questions but not making it about them. Ms. Ratcliffe will host the Behind-the-Scenes Stage while Mr. Collins will host the Galaxy stage.  (To get a rundown of the stages check out our earlier blog here)starwarslinks

Teaching: How Buffy Made Me a Better Teacher

We are taking the week to prepare for the start of the school year (Thursday!), so we are reposting some of our older blogs.  

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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.

 

ComicCon-ing: Why We Go to Conventions

This is a reposting of an earlier blog. 

Doing all my post-Star Wars Celebration write-ups and the podcast, I took the time to think about why do we go to cons.  They can be expensive, frustrating, and exhausting experiences.  Yet, we keep going and going.

Yet, we keep going and going.

Yes, we are collectors.  We love collecting autographs.  I know collecting signatures doesn’t make sense to some people, but I usually counter that argument by asking the person what they collect and point out why THAT is absurd.  (When you really think about it, collecting is an absurd practice). We love meeting the celebrities and crew members of films.  We want to show our appreciation for them. Both of our collections are extensive.  But this isn’t the reason why we go to cons.

Yes, we like to fill our house with geek art and objects. I love our Batman in New Orleans prints.  I love all the Zelda pieces my wife buys because she loves them. Our goal is to make one of our rooms, the Nola Nerd Couple Lounge. But this isn’t the reason why we go to cons.

We love collecting comic books.  We collect all Star Wars comics.  We love going to panels at cons where comic book creators are speaking and then searching out their books for them to sign.  One of my most prized pieces is the issue of Iron Fist that marks the first appearance of Misty Knight.  Misty’s creator, Tony Isabella, signed our copy.  It is framed and hanging in our Nola Nerd Couple Lounge right next to our Stan Lee signed comic.  But this isn’t the reason why we go to cons.

When we drove back from the con we, along with Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s sister, debriefed each other on our day.  The part where we got the most excited was when we were talking about talking with people in lines.

The real reason we go to cons is that we love being around individuals who love the same things as us.  It’s the fandoms that make cons enjoyable.

I waited for two and half hours for Hayden Christensen. While meeting him was fantastic, it also was a blur.  However, the guy from the UK in front of me had, not surprisingly, the same interests as me.  We talked about cons.  We spoke about music. I didn’t feel like I waited for two hours. Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple had the same stories about people she met in line. She told me more about the guy she was in line with for Tiya Sircar, then she did about Mr. Sircar. Waiting for Phil Noto, the person in front of me chatted about comics books. Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple joined an online group of autograph collectors and did a meet up with them on Friday and had a great time.

If you check other write-ups and podcasts of Star Wars Celebration, you will notice that meeting other fans is the usually the number one reason why people do this.  Being with other fans is where the real lasting memories are made.

In my very first blog about a con, I entitled it Nerds of the World Unite.  I was just glib with the title. Now, I understand how correct I was in my title. We go to cons to feel united with other people like us.  We do this the same way people go to football games, political rallies, or book clubs.

We go to be with our tribe.

The Nola Nerd Couple Podcast Episode 16: The Nola Nerd Baby, MegaCon Orlando, the MCU, Star Wars Galactic Nights and Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

We have attempted to do a podcast for quite a while, but life kept getting in the way. Having the Nola Nerd Baby brought plenty of complications such as pre-partum depression and preeclampsia. We go into detail about that experience, but how our sweet baby was worth it. We also discuss briefly Black Panther, Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp. The Nola Nerd Baby made her first con appearance at MegaCon Orlando. Having a baby changes how you approach a con and we give the details of how we did it. While in Orlando, we also experienced Star Wars Galatic Nights. Finally, we discuss how Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple captured her Holy Grail of Star Wars experiences with the upcoming Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

You can read our blogs about the pregnancy in the following links:
1) Conception
2) The Pregnancy
3) The Birth and Post-Partum Complications
4) Mr. Nola Nerd Couple’s point of view

You can read more about pre-partum depression here.
If you want to know how scary pre-eclampsia is, read this. (Warning: this is a tough read.)

Here is our coverage of MegaCon Orlando.

Buy your tickets to Star Wars Celebration here.

Star Wars-ing: Celebration News

Star Wars fans love Celebration. The five day passes for adults and kids have sold out! Saturday tickets as well. We had to go out of town for a family medical emergency, so we are thankful we bought our tickets before we left!

Celebration will bring back the stages and panels that have been a feature at the previous shows. The Celebration stage, which will be at Wintrust Arena, will have the stars from the saga as well as entertainment productions. The Galaxy stage will have some celebrity guests and other Star Wars entertainment. The Behind-the-Scene stage will feature those artists and craftspeople who make Star Wars. The Fan stage allows fans to be in control of the content. The Collectors stage is always a treasure trove of information from some of the greatest collectors of Star Wars memorabilia. One of our favorite stages, Star Wars University, will be back as well. Many of the presentations at this stage are workshop type panels where you can learn the finer points of crafts such as writing, art, vegetable carving(!), and more. Finally, the Live stage will be on the show floor. This area will often be streaming interviews and panels and usually draws great crowds.

As you know, we do podcasts as well as keep up this blog. Unfortunately, we had to put the podcast on hold due to the extreme naseau. We plan on bringing it back soon (hopefully before the end of June). Well, Star Wars Celebration has a Podcast Stage and we will be throwing our hat’s into the ring. We will probably focus on Star Wars autograph collecting but are brainstorming other ideas as well.  If you are a podcaster, you can fill out the application here.

Check back weekly for more updates!

 

Star Wars-ing: Star Wars Celebration 2019 in Chicago!

Yes, we are starting back up our weekly Star Wars features.  We had to take a break due to Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s complicated pregnancy (which you can read about here and here). She and baby are fine, and we plan on bringing you as much information about Celebration and Star Wars in general as we can!

Star Wars Celebration 2019 has been announced, and its location is a new one: Chicago, Illinois. It will be held in the West Building at McCormick Place. Not only is it in a new city, but it will also be five days this year! For those of you who are not sure what Celebration is, it’s just that – a celebration of Star Wars.  It’s a comic con but only for Star Wars.  ReedPOP, along with LucasFilm, put on this event as a thank you to fans.  It serves as an excellent way for Star Wars fans to meet people who were in the movies and that write the books and comics.  It’s also a great way for Star Wars fans to get together. (You can read about past Star Wars Celebration coverage here and all of our Star Wars related posts here).

Tickets went on sale yesterday. You can buy five-day passes or individual day passes at the Celebration website.  If you order by February 27 at midnight central standard time, you will receive your passes by mail avoiding the will call lines.

What is no longer available is the Jedi Master VIP.  This pass is a very exclusive ticket that sold out in less than a minute. It includes:

One (1) Jedi Master VIP Badge Featuring Exclusive Art
One (1) Official Show Poster (Rolled, complete with poster tube)
One (1) Commemorative Program Guide
VIP Lounge with coat check and concierge
Half Hour Early Access to Exhibit Hall
Half Hour Early Access to the Official Celebration Store each day
Exclusive Celebration Store private shopping experience on Thursday, April 11 at 11:00 AM
VIP Express Checkout Lane at the Official Celebration Store
Unlimited use of the Lightspeed Lane to enter the Official Celebration Store
Express Autograph Hall Autograph line pass and checkout for up to six (6) Autograph Sessions. Price of Autographs not included.
First Access to Panels at the Celebration Stage
One(1) Private Meet & Greet with select Star Wars Celebration guest or guests
One (1) Original signed art print, created exclusively for Celebration Chicago Jedi Master VIPs
One (1) Extremely Limited Jedi Master VIP character pin shared only, in very limited amounts, with staff as a giveaway pin that will not otherwise be made available for sale to Star Wars Celebration Chicago Attendees.
One (1) Exclusive Jedi Master VIP Lanyard
One (1) Exclusive Jedi Master VIP Embroidered Patch
One time 10% off discount at the Official Celebration Store

We have tried every year to get this elusive item, but have come up short every year.

BUT NOT THIS YEAR!

Mrs. Nola Nerd was able to get one! She’s going as a VIP! Of course, she is beyond excited. Plans are already being made.  Plus it is our first time in Chicago, so we plan on staying a few extra days!

May the force be with you, my friends and see you in Chicago!

ComicCon-ing: Con Season Approaches

Well, actually, con season is actually year round, but for us, it is usually busiest during the first four months.

First, there is Wizard World New Orleans. It is also one of the first cons of the year in the US taking place during the first full weekend in January.  While we do more in-depth previews of the con in upcoming blogs, generally speaking, it is always a great con. For me, Wizard World New Orleans usually has some fantastic panels, including some on New Orleans itself. Also, it’s right in the center of everything.  It’s at the foot of the CBD and a short walk to the French Quarter. Unlike a lot of other cons, you aren’t stuck eating con food since you have world class restaurants just a few blocks away.

The next con we usually attend is Pensacon. Pensacola is a quick drive from NOLA if you want to make to make just a one day trip.  However, we totally recommend going all three days. Pensacola hosts Pensacon with events occurring all over the downtown area. Plus, their guest lists always has something for almost every fandom there is. This con is a couple of weeks before Miss Nola Nerd Baby is due, so who knows…she might make her world premiere in Florida!

Usually, the next con for us is Star Wars Celebration, but there will not be one this year. This is great for us because Miss Nola Nerd Baby will be here and we will be too busy spoiling her to have attended this year.  But we do have some cosplay ideas for 2019 that involve her!

She might make her first appearance at Comicpalooza. We had such a great time last year at the con that we would love to go again.  We were part of their podcast series and did one live on the floor and had a great time doing it.

But it’s too soon to plan that trip. If she’s like me, she will be a fussy baby. If she’s like her mom, she will be perfect. 🙂

Basically, the point of this blog is that going to cons is part of who we are. We want that to be part of who is as well. We want her to get hooked on comics and nerdy stuff.  We will spend less money on these cons because of her, but we still will go. We have to be the people we are to be the parents we want to be. A lot of the things I love and a lot of the things Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple loves are things that our parents enjoyed.

So see you at a con!