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By Mark Bell | April 29, 2005

As bad as our previous location was, it was on the side of the building that was shielded from the wind. In our new location, lined up down Maryland in front of the Hyatt, we were getting destroyed by the gusts. Fans were getting even crankier than they had been, and I even suggested that we “riot like our favorite sports team had just won the championship.” Chants of “GenCon Sucks” went up from the crowd, and the situation was bleak. Why weren’t they letting us in? Every volunteer we saw had the same story: they couldn’t get a hold of GenCon to find out what was going on.

Around 4 am, a group of people led by “Episode III” actor Jerome Blake (Mas Amedda in the film) showed up and began handing out hot chocolates to the line. This was done entirely of their own volition, and I was amazed and thrilled that, of all people, an actor from the film had showed up to take care of us. Not GenCon, not George Lucas, not Rick McCallum but Mas Amedda was making sure the fans were going to live.

As the hot chocolate brought me back to my senses a bit, I began to think of the reason we were in line in the first place. We all wanted to see George Lucas. We all wanted to see George Lucas and he and everyone involved with the convention had to know that everyone who loves Star Wars would want to see him. Why then was Lucas only doing three 20 minute shows? Why was he holding the shows in a room that only housed 3,000 people, when there was an RCA Dome that sat 40,000+ connected to it? If the venue had to be where it was (and it had to be, as the Indianapolis Colts were doing an event for the season ticket holders that day so the RCA Dome was not an option), why didn’t George Lucas do more shows? If he had done as Rick McCallum had done the day before, sticking around all day, maybe folks wouldn’t have felt they needed to line up at midnight in the freezing rain to see him. And where was GenCon?


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