Kids will be able to do all those things and more at this year’s Star Wars-themed Fan Days Oct. 8 and 9 at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas. A $5, two-day pass admits children ages 5 to 12 with a paid adult admission. There is no extra charge for the kids’ activities.
“We’ve always presented our shows as family oriented, and we’re working hard to bring in more events with kids in mind,” said co-producer Ben Stevens, who organized his first convention in 1994. “We want the younger fans to have just as much fun at our shows as their parents.”
At the Lightsaber Training Academy, kids ages 5 to 10 will learn basic Jedi moves, do battle with Darth Vader and receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Youngsters also can vie for prizes during Shoot-a-Trooper sessions as they take aim at a Stormtrooper or other Star Wars characters with a Nerf gun.
Young fans of the Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series can meet the actors who provide the characters’ voices, including Tom Kane, who does double duty as “Yoda” and the narrator. Mr. Kane and Stephen Stanton (the voice of “Tarkin”) will sign Fan Days exclusive photos for free, and will take part in a Clone Wars panel discussion with voice actors Ashley Eckstein (“Ahsoka”), Catherine Taber (“Padme Amidala”) and Meredith Salenger (“Jedi Barris Offee”).
Also offering free autographs during Fan Days are Timothy Zahn and Aaron Allston, best-selling authors who have penned dozens of Star Wars books. The pair also will answer questions and offer writing advice during special author sessions both days.
For kids who love to dress up, there is a special Kids Costume Contest for ages 16 and under with lots of cool prizes. And, of course, there will be lots of costumed fans throughout the convention center who love posing for photos with kids.
Fan Days also will feature a long list of media guests signing autographs for a nominal fee. Topping the list is actor Billy Dee Williams, best known among Star Wars fans for playing the roguish “Lando Calrissian” in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). Also, George Takei, who played“Sulu” on the original Star Trek television and movie series, and is the voice of “Lok Durd” on The Clone Wars.
Fan days also welcomes living legend Jim Steranko, whose work as artist-writer on Marvel Comic’s S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America and X-Men revolutionized the comics form. He’ll be joined by almost 40 artists, including Herb Trimpe, Spencer Brinkerhoff, Joe Corroney, Scott Harben, Tom Hodges, Lawrence Reynolds, Cat Staggs and Denise Vasquez.
A complete list of guests and a schedule of events can be found at www.fandays.com along with detailed information on tickets. Cost to attend Fan Days varies depending on level purchased.
Hours for the two-day show are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9. The Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., is at the intersection of SH114 and Northwest Highway in Irving, Texas.
For more information, please visit the website at www.fandays.com.