San Diego International Comic Con 2003

Fan Club Exclusive Holiday Yoda
Hasbro Star Wars Friday's New Stuff
Hasbro Star Wars
Hasbro Booth Displays
Code 3 X-Wing Gallery
Dark Horse Gallery
Hyperspace, Lucasarts, Paizo Publishing, MBNA, Fossil Booths
Code 3 Millennium Falcon Gallery
Misc. Preview Night Photos
501st Assembly (Darren Murata pics)

With a bigger Star Wars presence than ever before, San Diego Comic-Con kicked off last night with "preview night" for four-day pass holders. For regular visitors, this is generally the only time Comic-Con is easily accessible. Not that even the largest crowd this weekend could block views of the absolutely enormous Star Wars banners situated over the concentrated area in which many licensees are located. On one side is pretty much the most aggressive looking Yoda we've ever seen. The flip side is an impressive Boba Fett taking aim with his rifle. These banners managed to stop many a fan in their tracks.

That was unless you were one of hundreds of fans heading straight for the Paizo Publishing booth to get your Silver Boba Fett figure. The line for the Silver Fett moved right along all evening, but was also very long - as was the line at the Gentle Giant booth for their Comic-Con exclusive Clone Trooper Deluxe Collectible Bust. This blue trimmed trooper is limited to only 1,000 pieces and only those in line early will have a chance at the remaining pieces. Gentle Giant was displaying some incredible busts - including a "preproduction" Biker Scout, a Greedo, and, though we've seen him before, a stunning Govenor Tarkin. The Tarken sculpt is dead-on, and we were told was taken from a life mask of the deceased actor.

Next to the Paizo Publishing booth is the Master Replicas area, where fans can not only pick up some impressive deals on lightsabers, but also a free gift on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday - one different gift each day for those who sign up for their mailing list.

New to the con this year is the Lucas Online booth, on hand to promote their pay-service Hyperspace. Hyperspace is going to be running a contest that will send one very lucky fan to Australia for an all-expenses paid visit to the set of Episode Three. Full details on the contest can be found right here. If you are already a Hyperspace member, or looking to sign up at one of the PCs setup at the booth, you'll be able to snag a very limited Clone Wars poster.

Code 3 comes to the con this year with a large booth showing off their new highly-detailed Falcon and a never-before seen X-Wing Fighter. Act now and Falcon buyers can pick up a free crystal, free display case, and free carrying case for the Falcon's removable panels - quite a deal at $300. We chatted this week with Scott Schellhase, Executive Vice President, right over here. We're certainly looking forward to more product from this company...

Swinging by the Rubies booth, fans can check out the new life-sized Jawas, Jangos, and all-new Vader, Clone Trooper, and Jango Fett helmets, among other very slick Star Wars costumes and masks. Lord of the Rings fans will also want to scope out the life-sized Gollum, which is quite the amazing likeness of this all-CGI Jar-Jar wannabe.

Besides endless rows of dealer tables, company booths, and exclusives, one of the major highlights of the convention are the presentations. Thursday evening was the big Star Wars Fan Films awards. The awards show hosting duties were deftly handled by special guest Jeremy Bulloch, and featured a variety of presenters, including Paul Ens, Kevin Rubio, Jim Ward, and, via taped message, The Maker himself, George Lucas. Mr. Lucas capped off the show by presenting his "Lucas Select" award, which very deservidly went to the hysterical short "Pink Five". All the Star Wars fan films shown that evening, along with a dizzying amount of other entries, can be seen at Atom After the awards show audiences were treated to "Star Wars in 30 Minutes" - a play so amazing it almost defies description. If you ever have the opportunity to catch this production, do not hesistate.