San Diego 2013 convention highlights — guest-starring the Rebel Legion!

Thanks to Joseph Setele for the photo!

Back from San Diego, and quite a bit to round up here. In addition to being a great show, it was a trip book-ended on both sides with surprising Star Wars meetings.

On the flight from Minneapolis, first off, I met another author, John Flynn, whose name I recognized. It turns out that years ago he wrote the Fall of the Republic fan story treatment ostensibly for Star Wars Episode III — which I bought at a convention in 1985. The story of how I realized it wasn’t the real movie treatment is something I had just written up in a little slice-of-life piece for an upcoming issue of The Gathering — and so it was wild to meet John in person. (He had written the treatise as a Christmas gift for friends one year, and somehow it got into circulation. Mystery solved!)

In San Diego, I met with lots of publisher friends and with fans, doing two signings with Del Rey. The publisher gave away Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith copies, as well as Star Wars: Kenobi posters and a very special item: the Kenobi Krayt Dragon Call keychain.

It’s a version of an actual device found in Kenobi, and Leland Chee was able to locate the original sound file for the krayt in Episode IV for it. They were popular enough I could barely hold onto the things (and if you held too many too hard, you’d wind up with a hand that screamed like a wooly mammoth). Check out Leland’s video of one here. As you can see at left, it’s useful against Tuskens wherever they might be found!

Leland Chee moderated a panel with me and several other Star Wars authors: Vader’s Little Princess author Jeffrey Brown, Crucible author Troy Denning, and J.W. Rinzler — who showed the Star Wars gag reel he’d unearthed. Del Rey’s Frank Parisi and Lucasfilm’s Jen Heddle rounded out the panel with news on upcoming projects.

I also did a number of interviews with various sites. Check out my video interviews with The Scoop and with RoqooDepot has all the Star Wars-related videos here.

And then there was another surprise at the Del Rey booth: I was inducted as an honorary member into the Rebel Legion, by Zayne Carrick, no less! (Actually, Lisa Curtis.)

This was very cool — my 501st induction had come back in 2009, so it was time to get signed up with the rebellion as well! James Floyd of ClubJade has the presentation video here. Clearly, I’m speechless!

I really do appreciate the kind gesture from the Legion. Now to figure out how to get both those badges onto my badge holder!

I also got to speak to a lot of friends in the business and in fandom — including attending the Star Wars Action News Fan Breakfast and the Random House party — and there were a number of only-at-Comicon moments. Visiting the Bongo Comics booth to talk Simpsons Comics, I looked up to see that none other than Matt Groening was there signing. The Springfield creator himself!

And then later, while hanging out with old friend and fellow Star Wars author Michael Stackpole (who was there to promote his latest World of Warcraft novel), Dork Tower creator and Apples to Apples illustrator John Kovalic dropped by to demonstrate his newest movie-themed card game, Double Feature, for us. Look for it — it’s a winner!

Finally, on the flight out, Delta randomly seated me next to Star Wars Atlas co-author Daniel Wallace. We’re crossing paths a lot: he also happens to be appearing at the Hernando, Mississippi library a week before I appear at the Kenobi release event at the Booksellers at Laurelwood in nearby Memphis on August 27.

That — and Geek-Kon in Madison the weekend before it — is my next slated travel, and I’ll need the breather to work on my various projects (and to get caught up on sleep). But after 19 years of visits, San Diego continues to be a unique experience not to be missed lightly. My thanks to the team at Random House, the Rebel Legion, Star Wars Action News, and everyone who made it a memorable experience for me.

Also not to be missed: On Tuesday, the physical edition of Overdraft: The Orion Offensive releases. Be sure to get yours!