Somewhere, a man feverishly polishes his custom made “chrome trooper” helmet. In New Jersey, Kevin Smith finishes ironing another one of his custom oversized hockey jersey’s. And in southern California, the San Diego Convention Center custodial staff prepare for the wretched hive of stink and villainy that is the men’s bathroom during the biggest pop culture celebration of the year. Yes, if you didn’t realize it by now, it’s Comic-Con week.
While we here at The Screen Watcher Guild won’t be attending this time around, we’ll be eating up any info or grainy bootleg Hall H video we can get our greasy palms on. If you are going, lucky you! You get to experience the wonders of waiting two hours for exclusive overpriced merch and waiting 10 hours to be turned away from Hall H.
In all honesty, Comic-Con is a ton of fun, but you have to be willing to wait and willing to sacrifice. That’s especially true at the Con’s legendary Hall H, where this year they’ll be handing out wristbands to guarantee people a chance to see some of the Con’s biggest panels, a much needed change. Still, if you want to get into Hall H, be prepared to line up the night before to get choice seats.
If getting into Hall H proves too stressful, there’s still a TON of stuff to explore on the show floor plus plenty of smaller and more intimate panels to sit in on. Let’s take a look at some of the most high profile panels we’re looking forward too, plus some smaller panels to peep if Hall H just a’int your thing.
Hall H Highlight: Con Man: The Fan Revolt in the Making
Sure there’s plenty of higher profile films and shows being showcased in Hall H as the Convention officially opens up Thursday (both The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and Doctor Who should bring in swarms of fans) but there’s no way those panels will be as fun as Alan Tudyk’s passion project, a crowdfunded show based on his years of convention experience.Tudyk might be enough to lure in Comic-Con guests, but when you add in appearances by geek legends Nathan Fillion, Tricia Helfer, Seth Green, Will Wheaton and many more, this panel becomes a can’t miss.
With Mockingjay Part 2 and Doctor Who ending before this, it could be pretty easy to find a spot in the usually packed Hall H for this all-star panel. Plus, Fillion and Tudyk are always on their A-game at SDCC, so expect nothing less when they take the stage at Hall H.
Best of the Rest: The Autobiography of James T. Kirk (Ballroom 20)
William Shatner reads excerpts from the memoir of Starfleet captain James T. Kirk. Does anything else need to be said? This is not only possibly the best panel of the day, this might be the best panel of the entire weekend. Shatner could read the phonebook and it would be captivating, but a fully detailed account of the life and times of Captiain Kirk read by Captain Kirk himself might be the greatest thing in SDCC history.
Hall H Highlight: Lucasfilm/Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Yeah there won’t be a new trailer, but who cares, it’s Star Wars:The Force Awakens first visit to Comic-Con! Prepare for massive freak outs and plenty of tears to be shed when the old and new cast come together on stage and probably a special treat for those who braved the harsh San Diego night in line. Yes, Warner Bros. and DC are reportedly bringing out the big guns for their Hall H presentations on Saturday, but make no mistake Lucasfilm can steal the show with a short cilp for the Hall H crowd or another character reveal (I’d bet good money that we find out exactly what Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke and Lupita Nyong’o’s Maz Kanata look like or who Downhill Gleeson is playing).
There will be plenty of Force Awakens news and tidbits, but don’t forget that filming just got underway for Star Wars: Rouge One and details for the rumored Boba Fett solo movie ad well as the recently confirmed Han Solo spin-off film have been leaking out over the past few weeks. No one will complain if the panel focuses exclusively on The Force Awakens, but revealing any details about the spin-off’s would be a nice treat to end the highly anticipated presentation.
Hall H will be quite a beast on Friday, but if you can’t make it in there you can always go hail the king, baby. You probably already knew it by now, but Bruce Campbell is back as Ash in the new Starz series premiering this fall. As if Campbell reprising the role that made him a cult icon wasn’t enough, Sam Raimi and his brother Ivan Raimi are back to write the series and serve as executive producers. They’re all set to be on the panel for the highly anticipated show, as is co-star, and a geek legend in her own right, Lucy Lawless. Any panel with Campbell at SDCC is sure to be a blast, but this one is sure to be a special.
Friday is always a big TV day at SDCC, with especially in the animation department with Bob’s Burgers plus a huge slate of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim panels dominating the day. But it’s a smaller animation panel that might be one of the coolest of the Con. For fans of classic Disney animation, the Disney Animators panel sounds like it’s going to be a special treat. Featuring a panel of animators who worked on Disney classic’s like Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and many more, the presentation will look into the importance of 2D animation and it’s impact on today’s animated features, even as it seems Hollywood has phased that style of animation out completely. Animator’s from one of Disney’s future films, Moana, will also be in attendance, so maybe that’s a sign that the Mouse House hasn’t completely abandoned 2D animating. Nonetheless, this sounds like a panel that animation fans and Disney geeks can’t miss.
Hall H Highlight: Warner Bros./ DC Comics
Saturday is usually when the big studios really show off their goods, and with movies like Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool and Fantastic Four, not to mention the long in development Pride & Prejudice & Zombies all taking center stage in Hall H things are looking pretty good for those lucky few who get in. It’s too bad for those films though that Warner Bros. will kick things off in the morning, because if early rumors are correct this one’s gonna be a doozy.
We know Hall H will see more of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but fans could be getting their first look at Suicide Squad and the first details from DC Universe movies like The Flash, Justice League and Green Lantern. Hell they might even throw in some info about Shazam for shits and giggles, and you know Dwayne Johnson (who is set to play the film’s villain Black Adam) would own the Hall H stage. With no Marvel Studios presentation this year, DC and WB will make it their mission to melt your face, and they probably will.
Why not attend a panel that’s actually about comics at Comic-Con? Author Chuck Palahniuk has opted to tell the story of Fight Club 2 through comics, with the series kicking off back in May. Not sure how much story there is to tell about Tyler Durden and the club we don’t talk about, but with Palahniuk on board and fully embracing the comic format to tell his story, it’s an interesting project to keep an eye on.
Two years ago when the old and new cast of the X-Men series took the Hall H stage to promote Days of Future Past, Anna Paquin took the stage among her co-stars. But as anyone who saw the 2014 hit knows, Rogue was nowhere to be seen other than a brief appearance at the end of the film. Now fans will have a chance to watch the film as it was intended, with Rogue’s scenes intact plus more as part of 20th Century Fox’s 15 year celebration of X-Men on film. There will be multiple screenings of the film, but get tickets early as fans will surely be flocking to see the directors cut of one of 2014’s best flicks.
Hall H Highlight: American Horror Story and Scream Queens
Sunday is dominated by TV in Hall H, with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck’s old and new horror series taking center stage on the Con’s final day. Scream Queens, Fox’s new horror-comedy anthology series premiering this fall, stars Emma Roberts, Keke Palmer, Lea Michele and the original scream queen herself Jamie Lee Curtis.
They’ll be joined by the cast of American Horror Story, including Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett. It’s the day most star studded panel in Hall H, and may even include the world premiere of Scream Queens’ pilot episode. Not half bad for a sleepy Sunday.
Best of the Rest: Check out the show floor
If you’ve been spending all your time going from panel to panel, maybe you should check actually check out the show floor for a change. In fact, you should try to check it out as soon as you start your Comic-Con journey on Thursday and try to get your hands on some SDCC exclusives. If you’re not obsessed with picking up exclusive merch, then Sunday is a perfect day to shop as most vendors discount everything in hopes to sell off as much as possible before packing up.
Plus, there’s just so much cool stuff to take a gander at on the show floor, even on the Con’s final day. The Star Wars booth, Marvel booth, DC Comics booth and The Walking Dead experience are just some of the more spectacular highlights on the show floor. Be aware, many booths will begin packing up mid-day on Sunday, so hit the show floor early to experience Comic-Con in all its glory one last time.
This only scratches the surface of what you can do and see at Comic-Con 2015. We haven’t even gone into the interactive exhibits taking place outside the Convention Center, all the amazing food and drink in downtown San Diego and the random celebrity encounters you’ll have (and if you’re lucky, they’ll be drunken encounters). If you’re heading to the Con, god’s speed, and be prepared for one of the stinkiest, weirdest, most tiring and amazing weeks of your life.