July 31, 2008

FAMILY: 'Star Wars' convention at The Summit

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FAMILY: 'Star Wars' convention at The Summit

July 31, 2008 09:48 am

— By Anthony Custode Jr.

Light ... saber, action!
The National Star Wars Convention rolls into town this weekend at Omega Sports in The Summit mall. Brenden Bronson, owner of the sports memorabilia store, expects a huge turnout.
As of Monday, there were 120 tickets remaining of the 3,500 made available. The convention is unique compared to the autograph sessions he normally holds at the store, Bronson said.
“We have a ‘Star Wars’ DJ and a band. We also have a laser light show and smoke machine inside and an epic battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader,” Bronson said.
Of course, it wouldn't be a “Star Wars” convention without stars from the movie. According to Bronson, David Prowse, Jeremy Bulloch and Felix Silla, who played Darth Vader, Boba Fett and the hang-gliding Ewok from “Return of the Jedi,” respectively, will be on hand to sign autographs and mingle with fans.
Bronson also says he expects a “massive amount of celebrities,” including World Wrestling Entertainment diva Tammy “Sunny” Sytch. There are other celebrities tentatively scheduled to appear, as well.
Sytch says she looks forward to the convention, even though it isn't wrestling-related.
“I've been booked for signings at other (”Star Wars” conventions) and it's actually a lot of fun,” Sytch said. “Everybody expects to have a great time and meet their favorite characters. It's a fun, friendly atmosphere, and we're just trying to give them a good time.”
Bronson said the attendance of the 501st Legion, a fan organization whose members often dress up in Stormtrooper armor, will be a huge hit.
“The 501st Legion will be here all dressed up, and it's great because they actually look better then the characters in the movie because they spend so much more time on their costumes,” Bronson said. “They look amazing. I'm actually more excited about getting my picture taken with the legion because I'm such a big fan of the movie.”
Although hosting a convention with such a popular theme may be new to the Niagara Falls area, Bronson said he holds one annually, but the location changes each year.
“Last year was in Las Vegas, this year is in Niagara Falls and next year will be in Tampa, Fla.,” he said.
Sytch believes making appearances at these conventions will help enlarge her already popular fan base.
“Wrestling fans and ‘Star Wars’ fans are usually one in the same, but if I meet some people who aren't wrestling fans, maybe I can turn them on to it and hopefully turn them into a fan of mine,” Sytch said. “I do love meeting new people. The more people I meet, the broader my fan base gets.”
There will also be movie passes given away to the upcoming theatrical release “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” at the convention, Bronson said.
General admission tickets are $50 and VIP tickets are $100. Both tickets will allow access to the convention on each day, but the VIP ticket grants access to autographs from all celebrities in attendance.
Autograph signings will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, but a complete list of stars appearing has not been released. According to Bronson, that’s done by design.
“We like to have a few surprises that people don't know about so they think, ‘Wow, this is a great deal,’ ” he said.

* WHAT: National Star Wars Convention
* WHEN: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
* WHERE: Omega Sports in The Summit mall, 6929 Williams Road, Wheatfield
* MORE INFORMATION: Call 605-0985 or visit summitniagara.com

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