There are three major reasons to go to a Comicon.  First, the merchandise is plentiful.  If you cannot find something you like, you are in the wrong place.  Whether you want to shell out the bucks is up to you.  The second thing is the Cosplay.  Totally random and with varying quality, most of the outfits are incredible ideas come to life.  The final reason is the Comicon celebrities.  It doesn’t matter if its movies, tv, comics, artists, voice actors, you name it.  There are going to be heroes and idols there to hopefully meet.

Meeting Your Heroes

For us, it was the highlight of our first trip to a major Con.  We met major stars like Carey Elwes and William Shatner.  Bigger names like these are awesome to meet. However, the down side is there are SO MANY people lining up for autographs they have to go lightning quick and do not get to spend time with fans.  While we were in one line, it was great to see the black Power Ranger, Johnny Yong Bosch, laughing and interacting with his fans.  He was very energetic and talkative. 

What you get depends on the line more than anything, but some are quite special.  Similar actors like Dean Cain, Michael Rosenbaum, and Tom Welling were often seen harassing each other and having a good time.  Cain would often jokingly say he wasn’t part of that group. Here are some of the guests I was lucky enough to meet this past weekend.

Joonas Suotamo

Joonas Suotamo in partial Chewbacca makeup. (Image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

The very of the Comicon celebrities we met was Joonas Suotamo, the new Chewbacca.  He was very friendly and talkative to fans when he signed pictures.  I could not help but give him static over the leaked poster and 3PO having all his gear.  He had not seen or heard about the poster, so he remained careful with his remarks – as expected.  I had the chance to ask Joonas how he manages to keep secrets on a movie like Star Wars.  He said he follows his old basketball coach’s advice “Just shut the F*** up!”  I laughed.

Comiccon Celebrities – Meeting Chewbacca

When we saw him in his panel, he had some fun stories to tell about how he got the roll of Chewbacca and interacting with the other actors.  Joonas talked about really wanting to emulate what Peter Mayhew did and bring that same kind of life to the role.  When asked about who the best cast member was to work with, his response was Daisey Ridley because she always had a smile on her face and was good with his kid.  He also said he had a great time interacting with the old cast.  Carrie was the unifying force between the two.  Joonas was approached by Harrison at a party.  In a pretty good Ford imitation, Ford’s greeting was a dead-panned “Don’t get up kid. You’re scaring me.”  Mark Hamill was a class act according to Suotamo.

Someone asked Joonas what was the toughest scene was to shoot.  He responded with the mud scene in Solo, no doubt.  The suit weighed down with mud and having to bend over in parts of the cage, left his body aching and tired.  The fight took two months of prep work and 2 weeks to shoot.

Creating A Wookiee

Joonas talked about what dialect he used when shooting scenes.  He demonstrated the wookiee/English he would use to help other actors.  He also said at times he just made stuff up to make others laugh.

Finally, he talked about his interactions with the Falcon Cockpit.  The first time he sat in it, his words were “oh boy!”  Both he and Ford were near tears.  At one point, JJ Abrams wanted to shoot a short video for a friend’s Bar mitzva.  Joonas said he roared grabbed an over head lever and as he pulled the lever – it broke.  Joonas talked about all the times Alden Ehrenreich did the same thing during shooting.

Joonas Suatomo

The Best part was when a little girl approached the microphone.  I couldn’t see the girl, but suddenly, the MC bolts off stage, walks up to her and has her come on stage.  She was in an adorable homemade wookiee costume.  Joonas talked with her and had a good time.