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  Star Wars Spectacular: KJ’s Experience
Part III: Escape


July 29, 2004

After the Star Wars Spectacular presentation concluded, fans quickly made a break for the exit, many of them wanting to high tail it on over to the Star Wars pavilion and be one of the first people in line for the newly released, first ever Episode III product, the Revenge of the Sith t-shirt.

The crazy part was, there were only a few doors open in the back of the hall, not nearly enough to accommodate the crowds rushing at the doors.

It was funny crowding out of there. Most people didn’t even seem to know where they were going, because they were too busy calling all of their friends and family on their cell phone. It was quite a sight to see.

Even though I had sat near the back during the presentation, I did not make it out of there nearly as fast as I thought I would. It was an arduous process for all. Every now and then I’d hear someone futilely shout for people to stop shoving their way out. Heh, yeah, like that was going to happen. I was probably the only one who heard him over the din of the crowd, and I wasn’t the one doing the shoving. Much.

I was eager to get out there for a different reason from most people; my volunteer shift began at two o’clock, which was in eight minutes. A couple of “Excuse me”s later, I had broken free of the mob. Staff members were herding all of us outside, because there was already a lengthy lineup for the next presentation in the hall.

I reentered the convention center and remembered that Mark Hamill was going to be signing autographs at the Star Wars pavilion from 2-4pm. My volunteer shift wasn’t over till five. Dang. I didn’t want his autograph, I just wanted to get a picture of him. I’m a fan of not only his Star Wars work, but his voice acting work as well.

I raced over there, hoping that the folks at the volunteer desk wouldn’t mind if I was a few minutes late. I got there, and there he was signing autographs. It took me a while to shove my way through the crowd, and find a good angle (I got quite a few pictures of people standing in front of Hamill), but I got some good pictures of him.

It was not until later that I found out that he was making appearances later in other locations at the convention. Still, it turns out that my efforts were not in vain, because I found myself to be preoccupied with other things during the times in which he made his other appearances. So it worked out well.

I hotfooted it over to the volunteer desk. I was about fifteen minutes late, and the position I had signed up for had been given away, so I had to wait in a pool of volunteers for the next open position. I ended up waiting for almost an hour, but it was well worth it. The job I got assigned was pretty cool, it was at the freebies table on the second floor. All I had to do was keep the tables stocked and tidy, and occasionally hand free items like Xena videos out to people. There was some pretty awesome stuff set out on those tables (ex. movie posters for films like I, Robot, Alien vs. Predator medallions, and other cool promos) and since I was working at the table, I got first crack at that stuff. Yeah, Saturday turned out be a pretty cool day.
  The guy standing in front of Mark Hamill at Comic-Con International 2004
Photo © StarWarsSelect.com

Here's a picture of a guy standing in front of Mark Hamill.

Mark Hamill signing autographs at Comic-Con International 2004
Photo © StarWarsSelect.com

Mark Hamill signing autographs at the Star Wars pavilion at Comic-Con International.

My shift at the freebies table ended at 5:15pm, and, of course, getting my very own Revenge of the Sith t-shirt was at the top of my list. I headed back downstairs to the Star Wars pavilion. I was mildly surprised to find that there was no line up for the coveted t-shirt. I quickly purchased a large Revenge of the Sith T-shirt for twenty bucks, immediately put it on, and explored the rest of the convention until the main hall closed at seven o'clock that night.

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