My volunteering gig was first thing in the morning again, this time at the hell hole known as Hall H. Hall H’s schedule was a doozy: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and of course Star Wars were all set to have panels that day.
But I soon learned that the volunteer operation isn’t as organized as I’d figured. First the teenage boy, also a volunteer, leading us took us right into an oncoming crowd of people charging through the doors in the convention center. Good thing I knew where we were going! Then the kid didn’t know where one of the volunteer locations was. Then when the Hall H volunteers got to the area where the pro SDCC staff was, they didn’t know we were coming and didn’t know what to do with us. We were supposed to work with disabled guests but I saw plenty of attendees in scooters, wheelchairs, walkers, etc. who were getting around just fine.
So I spent most of my shift sitting around and watching people go into Hall H. I’d say 75% of those going in were wearing Star Wars t-shirts or costumes of some kind. Scores of them were high-riving each other, pumping fists in victory, whooping for joy, etc.. I was surprised some of them didn’t get on their knees and thank Jesus for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Even Steve Sansweet had to go through the rigamarole just to get into Hall H. No privileges for ex-Lucasfilm employees!
After being there for two hours someone came up to us and said that the seats were only for paid staff and we had to beat it. So we got up and two of the volunteers were pressed into service counting people leaving. But they weren’t being given those clicker counter things and I said I get too easily distracted and would lose count. Which is true. So I hung out by the entrance to the hall and occasionally answered questions as to where the bathroom or concession stand. That’s right folks, we don’t actually get to go inside the hall itself and even from the entrance you can’t see anything because the stage is angled off to the left instead of out in front of you. Yes I felt a little ripped off. Plus it was very noisy and chaotic. When high noon came I fled as quickly as possible.
I went back to the Marriott, ate my brown bag lunch, and waited until 1 to go in and wait again for Saturday’s assignments. This time it went much faster which is good because they still weren’t letting us sit down in line.
Freed, I went outside to go look around. I came across one of the many ice cream carts promoting Ryan Murphy’s upcoming series “Scream Queens.” All I had to do was make a face like I was screaming as they took my picture on an iPad and I get a free strawberry/vanilla sundae. It was hot, so why the heck not? This is the second year in a row a Ryan Murphy show has provided me with a free tasty snack (I got popcorn from the an American Horror Story promo). I may have to actually watch this time. As I told a young guy in line behind me, the things we do for swag. I’d already chased down the Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No street team to get a foam chainsaw on Thursday.
I also got a Destination America bag from their street team but was disappointed to find that I’d just missed the Ghost Asylum cast, who where distributing bags with them. But a short distance away, I caught the cast of Vikings standing on a Hard Rock Hotel balcony doing an interview with IGN. Which was cool since I wasn’t going to make their panel this time.
You see my plan was to go hang around the area near Hall H outside and in the nearby Hilton to see if I caught any Star Wars personalities lurking about. I was really surprised to see in the late afternoon there were still trickles of people getting into Hall H. Wow, I guess seats opened up after TWD and GOT ended. I wondered how long they’d waited but I could still see that there were many, many others who weren’t going to make it.
No luck outside or in the Hilton, where I know many of the press interviews and SDCC press-only junkets take place. Ironically, I was sitting around on a bench on one of the restricted access floors when I saw on Twitter that John Boyega and Daisy Ridley were at the Lucasfilm pavilion taking pictures with the big flying fudgesicle. I got up and hustled down there as fast as one could but it still took like 10 minutes to hoof it all of the way over there and of course by the time I arrived they were gone. Oh well. The good news was the line to take your own picture with the fudgesicle was really short since it was late in the day.
Instead of hanging around at the convention center to see nothing, I followed the Star Wars panel on Twitter at stop lights on the way home or from the comfort of the bunker. I won’t repeat what I’ve already posted on SWPAS about the panel except to say that it was kind of a bummer this was the first time I’ve missed a big Star Wars panel at Comic Con since I’d started attending and even more bummed I missed the surprise concert afterward. Though I was also pretty unhappy with the tone of the panel too.