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July 24, 2014

Star Wars was the first ever Comic-Con panel televised, but was it good TV?

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 28th 2009 9:03AM
Kevin Pereira & Olivia MunnStar Wars is a big deal. I tell you this in case you are unfamiliar with the property (hey, it's possible!). So if you're going to choose which panel from this weekend's Comic-Con to become the first ever televised convention panel, why not go with Star Wars? You've got a rabid fan-base, half of them probably dressed up like their favorite characters from the saga. Get two of your most popular on-air personalities to host it and you should have television gold.

That was G4's plan going in. Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn host the nightly live Attack of the Show, where they're topical, geeky and funny. I thought they brought much of that same energy to their hosting here. So what went wrong?

For one, it seemed like somebody slipped the audience some Xanax while they were waiting in line or something, because they didn't get excited about anything. It didn't help that the majority of the panel was incredibly boring.

I've been to a lot of conventions, a lot of panels and even moderated a few in my days in the comic book world. The main thing you have to do is keep it lively and keep it going. Kevin and Olivia tried to do this, but it's like the LucasArts/Films/WorldConquest representatives were plucked from the Ben Stein School of Enthusiasm.

And that audience!

They barely perked up when Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) showed up alongside much of the voice cast for The Clone Wars to give a table reading of all original material leading up to clips from the upcoming second season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I considered the possibility that they were screaming maniacally, but we just couldn't hear it -- because they weren't miked, but somehow I don't think that was it.

Maybe it's just not possible to capture the energy and excitement of a live panel at a major convention on television. I give G4 props for trying, but that was two of the longest and most awkward hours of my life. Next time I'll take a couple minutes of highlights, or better yet just tell me what happened. I guess it's a case of "you had to be there ... live."

Either that or it was one of the most horrible panels in Comic-Con history.

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Monty Montgomery

I stopped attending these Comic Con SW Marketing panels about 4yrs ago. I just couldn't stomach the sale pitch for an hour plus anymore. As a hard core SW fan from day one, my last attended panel was a serious wake up call that SW was becoming a dying brand, well for me anyway. Now with these noodnicks from G4 hosting it's really becoming forced fed nostalgia. I've really begun to feel I'd been taken for a ride all these years.

July 29 2009 at 1:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liz

I was at this panel and it was, without a doubt, the WORST panel I saw at SDCC, and I went to as many of them as possible over the 4 days I was there.

There was no new or interesting Star Wars news to announce. It definitely did not warrant an entire hour in Hall H on a Friday afternoon, or a tv spot. When they did get to something I was interested in (the new Old Republic game) they had NO footage or news. They said "yeah we have this game coming out, it will be cool."

It also didn't help that the panel was after District 9 (if I remember correctly) which was AMAZING and had Peter Jackson there talking about it. Then to go to this SW panel, with no real stars, footage, or new announcements, was just so disappointing for all of us there. I really would have left if Peter Jackson and James Cameron weren't coming on after it.

July 28 2009 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vincent J. Murphy

Maybe next year, G4 might cover some actual comic panels at Comic-con, rather than Star Wars? I mean, it's like flying all the way to Italy, but not actually seeing any of the sights.

July 28 2009 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RobynM

The commentary here is making me glad I skipped DVR'ing this in favour of G4's block of overall coverage.

Now if they'd covered any of the BBC panels, I would've been there with bells on.

July 28 2009 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
steveo

The reason it was boring is not because it didn't translate well, but because people keep vainly hoping that something exciting will come out of the Star Wars universe, but all that can be expected now is just money-scraping retreads of previous material.

When there is content and engagement, the panels are awesome fun and would definately be worth watching on television. DC had a number of good panels this year for their books, and a number of the television panels also had great enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, a number of the 'bigger' panels were indeed just corporate PR, and the attendees can smell a rat and don't play along.

July 28 2009 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
const

I was very psyched to watch this but when I did, I wondered how I could let two hours of my life go by. Olivia Munn is obviously worth watching, but their hosting was quite annoying. Who told her to keep putting that mullet on the speakers. Very annoying. But Olivia Munn remains quite hot.

July 28 2009 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Avi

I fast forwarded through half the coverage and when I finished decided what I had watched was a waste of time. I wasn't tuning in for the G4 clowns. I was tuning in for Star Wars news and that was a wash. Star Wars in Concert looked interesting(but it's not on the east coast), Clone Wars was ok, but no real news, and that was it. Maybe I'm not used to these panels, but I was expecting more of a Jobs Keynote.

If they had given some news on the live action show I might have forgiven the rest of the show, but as it stands now I'm not sure I'll even bother to dvr the panel next year.

July 28 2009 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pingles

I think the first speakers really set the tone despite the best efforts of the moderators.

Some of the intro was unbearable. It was like a corporate annual meeting tooting their own horns. And the pauses after each bullet point for non-existent applause made it stomach-turningly awkward.

Let's just hear the panel!

July 28 2009 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick cokely

What is there to get excited about? A couple crappy cartoons and some video games coming out. They should have gone with the Felicia Day panel, I hear that was pretty exciting. :D

July 28 2009 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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