Why I Portray Han Solo…Part Two

In 2010 I made a Han Solo costume, for the sole purpose of wearing it to Star Wars Celebration V(on the Saturday of the Con), in Orlando Florida. I went there by myself, to meet up with friends. Strangely enough, I never met up with them. Thursday and Friday, of the con were fun, but uneventful. But, Saturday was a different story.

I had the entire costume made, except for the gun belt. So, Friday night, I stayed up late making the gun belt out of vinyl I brought(I made the buckles out of aluminum cans!). I wandered into the con on Saturday, and basically found a pillar to lean against, while I attempted to reach my friends through texting. While lazily leaning, it happened.

Folks started coming up, asking me if they could take pictures with me(just like the Jack Sparrow incidents). Well, I obliged. And obliged again, and again, and again, and so on! It was fun! People of all ages were taking photos. But the ones that moved me the most, and were my favorites, were the ones with special needs(i.e. Autistic, down syndrome, and such…). They were the happiest to see me! Me! Just a guy who made and wore his costume!

Well, eventually it died down to where I could leave and wander the exhibit hall. I saw the Rebel Legion and 501st Legion booths, and thought they were pretty cool, though at the time, I had no idea what they were about. I took lots of photos of other folks costumes(LOTS), bought a few things, and eventually wandered back out the the pillar. This is where I met my first new friend at the con.

Trudy was(and is) awesome. She had taken a photo with me, and knew I was having trouble finding the friends I was supposed to meet up with. I think she felt sorry for me(LOL). We wandered around and talked, sharing our experiences, until it was time for me to hop on the bus to Disney/MGM for the Last Flight to Endor. Which is where I met my next new friend.

I hopped on the bus, and found myself a seat. Soon, an orange monolith(very tall) of a man sat across the aisle from me. This is going to sound terrible, but I don’t quite remember what we talked about, or how the conversation started, but I do know it was Gregor who spoke first. But, due to the laughing, I know we were making jokes and smart alec remarks. This has continued to this day, but I remember those! Anyway, we both got there and hopped off the bus. It was nightfall, and we were able to go right into the park, in costume! And, all the while, still joking around.

Soon we ran into the group that Gregor was meeting up with. I am sad to say I don’t quite remember who was with us exactly, except for Shawn. Shawn was dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi, with a Yoda puppet in tow. So, it was the three of us exchanging jokes and sarcastic comments everywhere we went. Our Star Wars herd migrated all over the park, up until the fanfare that was The Last Flight to Endor.

When the festivities began, we three were up near the front. And, it turned into Mystery Science Theater 3000, right there. We were heckling and joking, throughout the precedings. Though, I don’t think they could hear us(LOL). After it was over, they allowed us to take pictures of Yoda, at the podium they used.

After that, the park was closing, so we all went our separate ways. I hopped on the bus, back to my hotel, and collapsed in my room. The following morning I went to the final day of the con. I was dressed in shorts and a Star Wars T-shirt. I eventually found Shawn, and we hung out and wandered the convention.

We were in the Ralph McQuarrie gallery, when a man came to me and said,”My daughter took a picture with you yesterday.” He handed me a little stuffed Han Solo plush-like doll, and thanked me. Before I could really say anything, he was gone. I think I was blushing. I asked Shawn if that sort of thing happens to him, and it did/does.

This incident, and all of the people that wanted photos the day before, cemented in my mind what I wanted to do. If I can make someone’s day a little better, just by wearing a costume, then that was it! I found out what I could, and changed my costume, so it was screen accurate. Shawn helped me quite a bit! Even supplied me with a trooper belt. Then I submitted photos to the Rebel Legion.

I didn’t get accepted. I told Shawn. And because of his diligence, I am a member of the Rebel Legion. I get to go to childrens hospitals, military bases, libraries, etc. dressed as Han Solo! I get to brighten their days a little bit. And the best part is, the smiles. I shouldn’t be biased, but making the kids smile, is my favorite over everyone(and everything) else.

So, I pretend to be a Han Solo, several times a year. I dress up as a character from a movie out of the 70s. I smile just as much as the kids do. But, that’s what it’s all about; bringing smiles to others. And, I hope I get to do it til the end of my days!two solos

Why I Portray Han Solo…Part One

I grew up like most kids, watching cartoons and loving superheroes, dinosaurs, and outer space. Every day I’d be playing with action figures, and race cars, while watching Ultraman on UHF. Every night I would go to bed in my Luke Skywalker underoos; but every late Friday night I would catch the Rocketman and Flash Gordon serials on channel 7. Like every kid, I wanted to be the hero I saw on the screen. So, every year on Halloween, I dressed as such and wandered around with other kids bagging for candy.

One year I was Underdog, in a costume my mother made. Yup, anything was possible. So back in October of 1977, I was farm boy Luke Skywalker. My family insisted that I made the costume; my first costume! But, I distinctly remember just standing on small table, with my arms outstretched like an airplane, while cloth was draped over me. Another year I was a mummy, which I don’t remember making myself, either.

The costume I actually remember making first, was actually an E.T. costume. A brownish long sleeve shirt with brownish pants and gloves, with a glow stick at the end of one finger, were the clothes. I constructed the head out of cardboard and tape,,,,painted it too! Folks loved it, but I am my own worst critic sometimes, and felt I could do better.

Another year I made a Ghostbuster costume. It had a gray shirt and gray pants and black shoes(Venkman style). I made the backpack out of cardboard and foam, all painted black, connected by a tube. The proton thrower was made from cardboard as well, with a pen light in the tip. I wore it to the school Halloween dance, and was led around by nearly everyone, because they wanted to “zap ghosts.”

Basically, every year I kept making my own costume. From Robocop to a half Batman half Joker, to an unintentional Captain Harlock, to Jack Skellington, to Fox Mulder, to Qui Gonn Jin, to Professor Snape, to Ace Ventura, to the Mask, to the Riddler(this must have been my Jim Carrey phase), to V for Vendetta, to Sweeney Todd, to Captain Jack Sparrow; to name a few(LOL). With Jack Sparrow I wore it to the Magic Kingdom, in Florida to their Halloween party. Well wore costumes, but due to what happened, mine was becoming a problem.

From the moment we stepped off the ferry, trying to make our way to the front gate, people kept asking to take a photo with me. As one can imagine, this slowed our progress into the park(and to the rest of our group) quite considerably. Once we got through the gate, I decided to press forward, head down and determined. Apparently there was a parade going on, as we made our way to the hub, and our group. Most of the way there, I was tapped on the back, and I turned around and up on the float was the park’s Jack Sparrow hollering at me. He tipped his hat and bowed to me as I did the same to him, smiling widely, before I turned and continued on my trek.

There were other adventures that night, for me. While in line for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, I was stopped for photos over and over, and picked up many small admirers(much to the chagrin of the folks I was with). Also, while waiting outside It’s A Small World, two plain clothed Disney security wandered up to me. On their way, it clearly looked as though they thought I was their Jack, and were probably wondering where my character lead was! But, as they got closer their demeanor changed, and we could tell they new I didn’t “work” there. “Turning a lot of heads tonight?” they asked, smiling. Laughing, I replied,”A little.”

This whole thing was a really weird experience for me. I never posed for pictures with perfect strangers before, simply because I was dressed like a movie hero(or anti-hero?). I didn’t really think much of it after we left, except for some funny stories to tell. So, I went back to my usual yearly costume.on the news

Holloween themed event Pokemon

Shiny Gengar

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For a short time, players of Pokemon X and Y can grab a rare Shiny Gengar holding a Gengarite Mega Stone. It will be held in a Dusk Ball, have a classic ribbon, and have OCT2014 as the original trainer. Head over to participating Gamestops between the event dates to get a special code card that allows you to download the Pokemon in-game.

Gengar ♂ or ♀
Level 25
Type Ghost/Poison
Moves
Shadow Ball
Sludge Wave
Confuse Ray
Astonish
Ability Levitate
Held Item Gengarite

Location Event Date
North America
UK NA: 2014 October 13 – 2014 October 26
UK: 2014 October 15 – 2014 November 5

Pumpkaboo

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This special event Pumpkaboo is available over the internet just in time for Halloween! It will come in a Cherish Ball, have an Event Ribbon, and have the Original Trainer Spooky2014. This Pumpkaboo will always be the Super Size, which means it has higher HP and lower Speed.

Pumpkaboo ♂ or ♀
Level 50
Type Ghost/Grass
Moves
Trick-or-Treat
Astonish
Scary Face
Shadow Sneak
Ability Frisk or Insomnia
Held Item Rocky Helmet

Location Event Date
Worldwide 2014 October 1 – 2014 October 31

Diancie

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Players of Pokemon X and Y can finally get their hands on the incredibly rare Pokemon Diancie between October 27 and November 16. To obtain Diancie, head over to participating Gamestops between the event dates to get a special code card that allows you to download the Pokemon in-game.

After you have the code from Gamestop, start up Pokemon X or Y, select Mystery Gift, then select Get With Code.

Once Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire releases, transfer Diancie from X and Y to obtain Diancie’s Mega Stone that allows it to Mega Evolve into Mega Diancie!

Location Event Date
North America
UK NA: 2014 October 27 – 2014 November 16
UK: 2014 November 6 – 2014 November 28

System update for PS4 on the way!

According to the playstation blog PS4’s upcoming system software 2.00, codenamed Masamune, adds some big features including Share Play, YouTube support, and Themes – but the updates don’t end there. PlayStation has heard gamers when they say they want more ways to find friends to play with, and more ways to personalize their PS4. With this update, we’ve added a Players You May Know tile, the ability to listen to your music while gaming, the option to change the look of your PS4 experience, and easier ways to sort and filter your library of content on PS4.

USB Music Player: PS4 owners can play their own music in the background while playing a game using USB Music Player*. After inserting a USB stick loaded with music into the PS4, a new option for USB Music Player will appear. Supported filename extensions include MP3, MP4, M4A, and 3GP.

Change colors: In addition to the ability to add a theme, PS4 owners can also change the background of the home screen from light blue to one of seven new colors: gold, blue, red, green, purple, pink, and gray.

Players You May Know: PS4 will now suggest players you may know in the ‘What’s New’ section, recommending gamers your friends frequently play with.

Enhancements to Live Broadcasting: Masamune brings a variety of improvements to live broadcasting on PS4. In the Live From PlayStation app, PS4 owners can now select a Featured channel, which includes official broadcasts from PlayStation, broadcasts from people on a players friend list, and any game channel that the player has followed. Additionally, Live From PlayStation now has filters for searching broadcasts on a specific game, as well as support for archived broadcasts.

Content Area and Library: PS4’s Content Area, which shows the latest games and apps a PS4 owner has used, has been redesigned to help make it easier to quickly find and access content. It now shows 15 of a player’s most used apps or games, and additional items will be added to a player’s Library. The Library on PS4 has improved filter and sort functions to help organize contented by type (game / app / TV & video), name (a – z or z – a), recently used, or install date.

Enhanced Voice Commands: The ability to control PS4 using voice has been improved. Players can now say ‘PlayStation’ to begin commands, and ‘All Commands,’ to see a list of all voice command options available. New voice commands were added for live broadcasting, including “Start broadcast,” “End broadcast,” and “Find face.”

Add To Library: The monthly free PlayStation Plus games will have an ‘Add to Library’ button in the PlayStation Store. This button will add a game to a PS4 owner’s library without downloading it – saving space on their hard drive.

Back Up Data: Data on PS4 can be backed up and resorted using USB storage. This will back up all data for the console, including settings, save data, screenshots, video clips, download data, and more.

Amazing Spider-Man relaunch

This is Cindy Moon and in a recent re-launch of the Amazing Spider-Manseries, she was introduced as a classmate of Peter Parker’s. Much Like Parker, her life is transformed when a radioactive spider bites her and grants her superpowers. Unlike her famous counterpart, she’s an Asian-American woman, making her one of the few heroes of color let alone female heroes of color in the entire Marvel universe. Moon, also know as Silk, will be given her own comic series starting in 2015.

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Angry Asian Man repots that Marvel announced the series at a New York Comic Con panel this weekend, and writer Robbie Thompson and artist Stacey Lee will pen the first issue.

The series will start following a decade of self-imposed exile for the character. Thompson says the dynamic will be “kind of like being from a small town, leaving when you’re 18 years old, and then coming back for your 10-year high school reunion. There’s that culture clash of the town and your friends have moved on without you and you had this 10-year journey that’s obviously, for her, been very insular.” Her appearance is already part of a self-described new era for Marvel, with their recent forays into diversified representation whether it’s Kamala Khan, their first Muslim female superhero, or the reintroduction of Captain America as a black man are part of an ongoing attempt to reflect the growing diversity of their readers.

Mario Kart 8 DLC news Incoming.

When Link arrives in Mario Kart 8 next month, Nintendo said he’ll be bringing a new kart-friendly version of his trusty steed with him. Nintendo kinda revealed the Zelda-themed ride today in a message from the Nintendo of America Twitter account. It’s called the “Master Cycle,” and while NOA only provided fans with a sketch, they promised it’ll have “plenty of horse power.” It’s worth noting that while Link’s new bike is only the second Zelda-related thing that Nintendo’s confirmed for Mario Kart 8, they’ve also left players with some big hints about themed racetracks. Here’s the relevant section from Nintendo’s original announcement. Each Add On Content pack will contain two new cups, each with four courses, which, in total, increases the number of available courses by 50 percent. The Add On Content packs include classics like Wario’s Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii, as well as new courses, some taking place in the worlds of The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing. New vehicles will also arrive with each pack, including the Blue Falcon kart representing the F-Zero franchise in the first AOC pack.

Mario Kart 8 Pack 1 – Released: November 2014
Pack 1 includes:
3 Characters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, Link
4 Vehicles
8 Courses

Players who pre-ordered the new DLC, meanwhile, see a Triforce icon every time they hop over to Mario Kart 8’s Grand Prix menu. I’m guessing some people will take that as a sign that there’s a Hyrulian cup coming in the near future. The only way to be sure is to wait for another announcement from Nintendo OR you know just wait for the DLC pack to come out.

Valve Free Game Weekend

Valve is running its largest “Free Weekend” on Steam, with 10 games available to play for free beginning today. The Free Weekend officially starts October 16 at 10:00 a.m. PT (October 17 at 4:00 a.m. AEST). To participate, players only need to have a Steam account. If your interested any of the games included in the Free Weekend can be purchased at discount during the promotion.

The list of free games:
Awesomenauts
Blade Symphony
Company of Heroes 2
Don’t Starve
Grid 2
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Killing Floor
Payday 2
Trine 2
XCOM: Enemy Unknown