Peter Mayhew Peter and his wife Angie have come to be very close friends with our family. They are just the best. When our daughter Katie went on her Make-A-Wish trip to Disney Peter sent us a day's worth of his earnings from autograph signings to use on the children for the trip. In their words, no child should get off a ride and walk through a gift shop without getting a treat. The girls couldn't believe their ears when we told them they could get anything they wanted. Katie drew a Chewbacca picture and mailed a 'thank you' to Peter and Angie. Later they sent us a glide-rocker for Kathy when we had the twins! So we love Peter and Angie and we try to take good care of them whenever they need the 501st Legion. They're family and they know it.
George Lucas In 2007 George Lucas was invited to be Grand Marshall for the Tournament of Roses Parade. He turned to his people at Lucasfilm and said "I want stormtroopers to be in the parade" (or so they tell me). Now maybe he'd heard about all the work the 501st Legion does for charity but the really classy touch he made was to insist that all 200 troopers come from all over the world and not just Southern California (which would have been a lot less expensive). I opted out initially, not wanting to take up a spot, but Lucasfilm insisted I go and of course I was excited to participate. Little did I know during our dress rehearsal the day before the parade that the MAN himself would be there and that they'd ask me to come out front and pose with him. Wow. 200 of my boys and girls in shiny armor behind me as I shook the man's hand who started it all. I'll never forget what he said to me: "You must be very proud. This is a great thing you started." I was blown away. Who knew a skinny 8-year-old in '77 watching the film for the first time would grow up to BE one of the troopers and be honored by the creator of Star Wars. I'll always hold Mr. Lucas in the highest respect - a true gentleman and a visionary genius.
Edward James Olmos The Badlands Garrison invited me as their guest to the Calgary Comic Expo and a last-minute addition to the ticket was Edward James Olmos himself. I wasn't about to pass up the chance to meet Admiral Adama.
Katie Sackhoff I went to NY to hang out with my then-girlfriend and now-wife. I wasn't expecting anything from the little con she and her friends attend, but I was surprised to see the actress slated to play Starbuck in the upcoming rebooted series. So we strolled over and made small talk and tried to impress her with our Star Wars club (yep, we're dorks). Katie Sakhoff was very nice to us and had no problem just shooting the breeze. I wonder if that would change now. And I wish I'd gotten an autograph!
Alessandro Juliani I bumped into Alessandro Juliani in the Marriott bar during Dragoncon 2009. He played Lt. Gaeta in Battlestar Galactica. What made me want to bug him was that he played an amputee the last half of the last season, which really impressed me. He didn't just pop on a leg and take off - he portrayed the pain-in-the-ass problems that come with a prostheses, including sores, stiffness, hygiene, and the aggravation of mobility. So I thanked him and he grabbed my camera to take some shots of us.
Michael Hogan Allie and me with Michael Hogan, who played Col. Tigh in Battlestar Galactica. Just a great great guy, made sure to come around the table for the picture. Now you don't see that kind of courtesy in most actors at signings. Love this guy.
Felicia Day Allie with online phenom Felicia Day, who played in Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog and stars in The Guild. Just watching these two they were like BFF's - Allie was so excited and Felicia was so nice.
Michael Biehn This is it. This is the reason I wanted to come to Dragoncon. None other than Michael Biehn, who's played in a half dozen of the best movies in my collection. Love his work. He was very gracious and even signed an extra pic for us when they ran out of photos on Friday - so I actually did get both a Terminator and an Aliens pic signed by him! Cool.
Carrie Henn At DragonCon 2008 I was able to introduce Allie to Carrie Henn, who played the little girl "Newt" in the movie Aliens. What made it special was that Allie always wanted to go as Newt for Halloween.
Lance Henriksen Meeting Lance Henriksen was a pleasant surprise. For such a gruff and brooding guy on screen he's the nicest guy in the world. I made an ass of myself trying to talk to him, but he played it off and even let us grab a pic while he had a smoke outside the hotel. He liked the bowling shirt I was wearing and bragged he was a pin-boy himself back in the day. Definitely a guy I wouldn't mind hanging with in a bar.
Karen Allen I was surprised to see Karen Allen at DragonCon - wow. I had to meet her. Marian from Raiders of the Lost Ark was the only girl cool enough when I was an early teen that I'd admit having a crush on. She was so sweet. I love how she'd hop up on her table to allow us to get a nice photo of her. Very cool.
Randy Martinez and Denise Vasquez, two Star Wars artists whom I met at Celebration Japan. Just wonderful people. Talked to them for a good hour in Japan, just shooting the breeze. They're the kind of folks you want to hang out with.
Matt Wood I think he remembers me from all the times we hook up with him as the Legion. I don't know why he'd remember me, but he seems to and is very cool every time we hang. I call him my Hugh Grant buddy. Not often someone's good looking and not a jerk about it. I still hate him for it though. :)
In 2002 I had the pleasure of taking out to dinner two of the most prolific actors I've ever met. Among his many, many roles, Rusty Goffe played a jawa in Star Wars: A New Hope as well as the Gonk Droid and was an Oompa-Loompa in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in 1971. Mike Edmonds played Logray the Ewok in Return of the Jedi and Og in Time Bandits. Both of them were incredibly nice and handy with a beer stein. I highly recommend rolling out the red carpet for these fine gentlemen. You'll not be sorry.
Timothy ZahnStar Wars author and the man responsible for making the 501st canon to begin with. He and his wife Anna are just awesome to talk to - he's always full of ideas and creativity.
Steve Sansweet and Mary Franklin
Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, concept artist for the new Spectacular Spider-man animated series.
Michael Sheard and Mike Quinn
Jeremy Bulloch and Kenny Baker
Ken Colley and Richard Leparmentier
I had no clue when I visited ComicCon in 2002 that the voice talent from one of my favorite animated series would be there: none other than Kevin Conroy (Batman), Mark Hamill (Joker), and Arlene Sorkin (Harley Quinn)! I had Arlene hold up a sign telling my girls hello. I had to thank Mark for giving us a hero in Luke Skywalker that we could all relate to. Very cool meeting people who normally don't get much credit as voice talent.