Toronto pop culture convention Fan Expo Canada has wrapped for another year.
Major panels included Tim Curry and the cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show, Beauty and the Beast voices Robby Benson and Paige O’Hara, actors Kathleen Turner, Richard Dreyfuss, Anthony Daniels, Felicia Day, and child leads from Stranger Things. Canadian television channel Space hosted a Star Trek: Discovery panel with seven lead cast members. On the heels of sister event Toronto Comic Con’s Degrassi reunion event, the lineup included a twentieth anniversary panel with the stars of another Canadian high school television series, Student Bodies.
Heading into its fourth and final season, attendees got a chance to see the season opener of Star Wars: Rebels on Saturday, followed by a panel. The event has had a continuing relationship with the series, screening other episodes previously. The second season premiere of the sci-fi series Travelers was accompanied by a panel including Eric McCormack. Canadian true-crime drama Bad Blood had its world premiere. Other debuts included broadcaster City with the Canadian premiere of Ghosted, with Craig Robinson in attendance, Teletoon with the Canadian premiere of Hotel Transylvania: The Series, and YTV with the new animated series Mysticons.
Anime fans could watch episodes of their favourite shows, including AKB0048, Otaku No Video, Hana Yamata, My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, and Penguindrum.
The book Star Wars Made Easy, targeted to non-fans to get up to speed on the fictional universe’s various facts and figures, was ironically launched by DK Canada for a room of fans of the franchise. Author Christian Blauvelt answered questions from the audience on topics like his opinion on Midiclorians — he understands fan contention, but suggested that science and religion can co-exist, like in the real world — quizzed the audience on trivia, and signed copies of his book.
Some panels were quite ahead of the curve: one on Star Wars costume and prop building discussed building Porgs figures, despite the film The Last Jedi not being released to theatres yet.
York Regional Police were at the event with United and Unity, two brightly lit characters of their own creation. The force received funding in 2014 from the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy to create a short film featuring the character United, receiving positive recognition locally. “Our United superhero program is part of our on-going efforts to connect with our community and show police in a different light,” YRP Constable Andy Pattenden told Wikinews. He explains that the officers who developed the project have a background in film-making, and “serve as an opportunity for us to start a conversation with youth and connect with them at a non-traditional level.”
Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt, a puppet in the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, was re-created by the 501st Legion as an animatronic. The 501st is a fan group that dresses like the series villains for charitable events, particularly those raising funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The new addition to their annual display commanded long lineups throughout the day, from con-goers looking to donate in exchange for a photo-op with the massive, slug-like alien.