Holy Sh*t, I Just Met Boba Fett — Highlights from Daniel Logan: Spotlight Panel on Indonesia Comic Con 2017

Disclaimer: This article is written based on memory and no recorded material, hence all the verbatim you read is a result of paraphrasing. Daniel, if you’re reading this, feel free to contact us and have us change it if you so wish.

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Boba Fett came to Indonesia Comic Con this year. Yes, Daniel Logan, who portrayed Fett’s younger incarnation in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, is one of the guests invited to the convention this year after being called from his shoot in the Philippines (on a movie with Jason David Frank, no less). Earlier today, Daniel Logan shared his stories about his life during and after Star Wars in his panel.

Auditioning for the role of Boba Fett at the age of thirteen—Fett, in the story, is eight—Daniel had to lie in the audition process. “I was with my mother and grandmother,” he said, “but they were like, ‘You can’t come in.’ So I went into the lobby and the audition alone.

“They didn’t have a script for us back then. I had no lines to say, so I pretty much had to sell myself to them.”

They asked him, Daniel said, if he had any special talents. “There was this spear-like thing in New Zealand called a taiaha, used in—this.” He proceeded to demonstrate his version of a New Zealandish haka, drawing laughter from the audience as he added, “Yeah, that’s us New Zealanders. We’re crazy.”

He told the story of how he proceeded to pretend like he knew what it was all about after asking (and knowing, gleefully) that he wouldn’t get “a stick or a broom” in exchange for the taiaha. “It was a fancy hotel. They don’t just hand you those when you ask.”

That was the first lie. Then, they asked him what he would do with a lightsaber. Daniel, who had never seen any Star Wars film when he’d auditioned, did what he’d done before—pretend and imagine and act, like the excited boy he was.

Listening to Daniel tell all these stories (driving a golf cart with Ewan McGregor in full Jedi robes at five in the morning? Why not), it wasn’t hard to imagine how he was as a young boy on the set on Star Wars. He still had a lot of that boyish energy, walking and galloping all over the stage during the course of the panel, which he closed by sitting at the edge of the stage as he answered the question of a young boy.

Witty, lighthearted stories aside, Daniel Logan certainly had a lot of passion in him. He talked about how he’d dropped out of school at the age of 17, as he got busier and busier doing his jobs, but encouraged other children not to do the same. He emphasized the importance of education and doing the things that you love.

“When you get to that age, you know, twenties, thirties, forties… I think working hard from a young age is the best thing to do. If you don’t get to learning and doing what you love from now, it only gets harder.”

Daniel also dished on what it felt like to get directions from George Lucas himself (pretty much the god of Star Wars) and having his green card approved in less than a day after he wrote to Lucas and Ewan McGregor. “You know, it’s crazy. It usually takes six months for it to be approved, and to have it done like that—it was a record. Nobody had ever had that before.”

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It’s clear, from the panel, that Daniel Logan is still as passionate about Star Wars and Boba Fett as he was years ago. If anything, the passion had only grown; when asked if he would return in a rumored Boba Fett film, he said, “I haven’t heard anything about it. But if they call me to do it, I’ll do it in a heartbeat. I’ll do it for free.”

Amen to that, Daniel. Here’s to hoping to see you soon on the big screens as Boba Fett, continuing your legacy.

You can find Daniel Logan on Twitter, @Daniel_Logan, and on Instagram, @instadaniellogan. He posts a lot of Boba-related stuff and much more interesting things in his life, so you wouldn’t wanna miss out. You know, in case that Boba movie is gonna be done for real.

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Opinion: On Fan Reactions

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Yesterday was quite the eventful day for the comics world as a whole. The amazing The Flash season finale. Minds being blown by DC Rebirth. And of course, the newest craze to hit comics Twitter, Steve Rogers being a Hydra mole all along. But that’s not what I’m here for today. It’s the reactions that made me want to write this.

Now while reactions are obviously part and parcel of comics and being a fan in general, I can’t help but feel the fandom has been overly toxic in reacting to this. The requisite death threats to writer Nick Spencer is there, of course, even some misdirected venom to longtime Captain America writer Ed Brubaker who hasn’t touched a Captain America book in years. And in that, I am disappointed at the fandom as a whole.

It’s okay to react negatively. I was upset when I first found out, too. The All-American hero we’ve been looking up to the past few decades was secretly Hydra scum all along, how could you not? But that’s what a story does. It makes you feel, it makes you react, it makes you either want to hug the creators and treat them for a drink of the story or rip their heads off and piss down their necks. And it’s perfectly fine!

What isn’t, however, is to send overly venomous threats to the persons involved in the story and misaiming vitriol to the people not even involved. Yes, we’re fans. We spend countless years and dollars to experience the latest adventures of our favourite heroes, only for him to turn his back on us like this? While it may be upsetting, there is something important to remember. In comics, Status Quo Is God. Look at the reviled changes in superhero comics history. Superior Spidey, Teen Tony, Heroes Reborn, even the New 52, they all come undone in time and the heroes we know and love eventually come back. And this too, shall pass.

There is also this disturbing trend of combining the canons of the movies and the comics together. One tweet I saw says that if this was true, then Steve was complicit in Bucky’s brainwashing into the Winter Soldier. No. The comic Winter Soldier is a Soviet creation without a Hydra hand in it. At the very least, check your facts before coming into social media whinging about things that are neither here nor there. Don’t be that guy/girl.

Also there’s a long game to consider, a scheme the writers have in mind that will make sense in time. Take a look at what Jonathan Hickman’s built up since his initia run on Fantastic Four, culminating in Secret Wars. Or what Larry Hama has built in his 200+ issues of G.I. Joe. Hell, even Spencer himself, revealing Mockingbird as an AIM sleeper agent in his Secret Avengers arc with Ales Kot, To M.A.I.M. A Mockingbird. These are the stories that might upset you at first, but will end up with you saying ‘you crafty bastard’ when you finish, and walk out with a newfound appreciation of the creators.

While we are fans and we have attachments to the characters that we know and love, just keep in mind that these characters are fictional and sending death threats to the REAL people creating these stories isn’t something Steve Rogers, Hydra or otherwise, would do. The only thing Marvel is at fault here is cheap shock value marketing, the comics equivalent of clickbait to drive up sales. While it’s a somewhat questionable tactic, it’s not worth sending death threats over.

The next time you encounter something like this again, I implore you to take a second, take a breath, and think before you fire off a nasty tweet to the person who came up with it. Things aren’t always what they seem to be at first.

When all else fails…just listen to this song.

(credit to Shaun/@RedRoomWriter for the Secret Avengers bit)

Opinion: On Apologists, ‘Problematic’ Characters, and ‘Fake Fans’

Earlier today, I was involved in a small Twitter debate revolving around whether or not a high-profile Marvel character is a villain or not. Even though I never did say this character is a villain, this person kept insisting that I did, and let’s just say I ended up being blocked for my troubles.

I’m not here to discuss about personal woes or call out this person for their behaviour, though. I just want to address a few issues that I seem to encounter a lot in fandom these days. The title might be a dead giveaway to what those problems are, so let’s just get down to business.

I don’t get why someone should be an ‘apologist’ for a character. I’ve seen now and again people make excuses and silly arguments to justify a less-than-morally sound character’s actions. I even see people trying to justify outright despicable villains’ actions with increasingly ludicrous lines of reasoning.

On the flipside, I’ve seen people call out other people’s favourite characters for being ‘problematic’. They say character A is a child murderer, character B is abusive, character C licks goats, and you all should feel bad for liking them.

Newsflash, this is just fiction. These characters ARE NOT REAL. Mindblowing, right? I’ll give you a minute to process this new information.

In the meantime, here are screaming frogs to help it go down smoother.

Done? Good, let’s continue.

Liking or hating one character or other doesn’t make you ‘scum’ or ‘problematic’. Even if the character is an outright villain or a despicable person, it’s okay if you like them, more power to you. Liking Doctor Doom doesn’t mean you’re a megalomaniacal egomaniac bent on vendetta, liking the Joker doesn’t make you a psychotic abusive maniac with a twisted sense of humor. Even liking Batman doesn’t make you have to brood over dead parents and take in underage orphans to dress in tight and colourful outfits before training them to fight crime. Being able to separate fact from fiction is a basic human skill, I’m sure. If you can’t, I suggest you work on that.

It’s perfectly okay to like a character that’s deeply flawed and there’s no need to justify their actions. Mistakes are mistakes, and a character’s failings can kick off a character’s development into a better person. If all characters are without mistake, untouched by flaws, and is the paragon of virtue every time, all the time, fiction would be a boring, boring place. Flaws help define a character as much as, or even more than, their strengths. While their strengths are what we look up to, their mistakes and failings make them more relatable and more ‘accessible’. For most people (me included), it’s usually harder to relate and root for someone who’s already at the top compared to the ones on their ‘level’. This is one of the reasons why people love underdog stories. They want to see people beat the odds, not start on top and stay there for the rest of the story.

Even characters that are supposedly the epitome of humanity’s potential like Superman has his mistakes and bad days, and this is what humanizes him for most of us. Despite being an almost godly figure from another planet, at the end of the day Superman is Clark Kent, good ol’ American boy from Smallville living in the big city with career and romance problems.

If anything, being blind to a character’s flaws hinders one’s judgement regarding that character. You tend to get defensive if you put your favorite character on a pedestal and worship at their altar. Here’s a fun game: Take your favorite characters and list off their flaws. Once you’re done, list off the traits that you admire about them.

I’ll try this with one of my favorite characters, Elsa Bloodstone.

Elsa’s childhood was a harsh one, what with her abusive father grooming her from a young age to succeed her, berating and almost outright torturing her for every misstep. Even as an adult, this harsh upbringing still shows in how she throws herself into the mouth of danger every single time heedless of the consequence to show her long-dead father she wasn’t weak. But on the other hand, she grew up to be a driven, intelligent, and fierce woman with a wide range of skills who slaughters things that go bump in the night by the dozen. Eventually, she managed to overcome her daddy issues, becoming a better person than her father ever was.

After doing this, you might see that seeing characters recognise what they’ve been doing wrong and doing what is necessary to rectify them and become a better person is an enjoyable journey. Isn’t that what we delve into fiction for? To see these characters go through hardship and pain, fail miserably and be at hope’s end, only for them to rise up against all odds and triumph in the end? Sure, a fluffy, happy story is fun, but even too much of that gets boring eventually. Hell, even Dora the Explorer runs into difficulties in her exploring once in a while! Get your heads out of your arses and understand that flawed characters doesn’t mean they couldn’t be loved. In fact, flaws are what make characters more fun to like.

Which brings us to our next point, I’ll be brief about this. I’ve seen the word ‘fake fans’ thrown around several times today. Being a fan means to like something, how can you fake that? I’ve seen the word thrown from ‘comic elitists’ toward ‘movie fans’, and from ‘movie fans’ to…I dunno, someone. But the point is that whatever you like, however much, whether you’ve just watched the movie five minutes ago or knew the fandom since you were a kid, you’re a fan and nothing can change that. Some people may hate the movies and stick to the comics, while others are exclusively movie-watchers and can’t be bothered to read the comics. So what? Shouldn’t we bond over what we like, instead of throwing shit all over what others like?

That said, I’ve always been an advocate of comics, and try to educate the ‘casual movie watchers’ on comics often. Some I’ve successfully converted into reading comics, while some others just go ‘Ah, alright’ and move on. I don’t mind either way, sharing what you love is natural, after all. What I can’t stand are the ones that go ‘COMICS ARE BEST GO COMICS TAKE YOUR MOVIES AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS’ and the ones that go ‘MOVIES ARE THE BEST OMG ACTOR A IS SO HANDSOME THE COMICS ARE BORING’, which usually are the same people who reject any attempts to correct and/or add to their knowledge with vitriol. I usually end up distancing myself from these kinds of people as far as possible. I don’t mind ignorance, but I hate willful ignorance with a passion. Alright, you don’t care about the comics, why not just say it to me nicely and let it end at that instead of calling me out and talking about me behind my back? Hell, I appreciate it if people contradict me and tell me how my opinion is gobshite and should be shoved where the sun don’t shine in a respectful manner.

Bottom line is, fandom should be a fun place where everyone can like anything without being called out by anyone and share what they like without fear of being called a ‘fake fan’, ‘poser’, ‘filthy casual’, or whatever it is you kids are saying these days. Even if there are disagreements, it’s best if they are dealt with respectfully and without backtalking. Or maybe I’m just old and that’s how fandom works these days. A bunch of people sharing what they like with howling monkeys slinging shit at everyone else from the sidelines.

So to avoid this:

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Why not ask ourselves this?

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DISCLAIMER: This is purely an opinion piece, and not meant to call out any individual and/or parties by name, just addressing the state of fandom at large. If anyone would like to disagree with me, my channels are below. Just keep it respectful.

Opinion: The Trailer Civil War (or Lack Thereof)

DISCLAIMER: What I’m about to write here is an opinion and in no way do I mean to call out specific people and/or instances on this. This is purely an observation and my thoughts on a situation that I find just a little bit annoying. If you do feel called out and/or offended, maybe it’s you who I have in mind. You’re no telepath, you have no way of knowing, right?

Lately, I felt that a part (not all, mind) of the Marvel fandom has slowly devolved into spoiled children, going on and on and on and on and bloody on about wanting the Civil War trailer. At first, the jokes about the trailer never coming were slightly funny, but a few weeks later, it just gets on my nerves every damn time it’s brought up. Today, the straw seems to have broken the camel’s back harder than Bane broke Batman when a certain influential social media account tweeted Marvel repeatedly about wanting the trailer. And then I thought, ‘here comes the legions of people following suit and asking Marvel for the trailer, YET AGAIN’.

If you’re just going to sit there and keep tweeting Marvel to release the trailer, please, don’t. If they have a trailer cut and ready to release, they /will/. In the meantime, why not check out the other great things Marvel has to offer? Agents of SHIELD is doing great what with the twists and turns of this Inhuman problem, and Jessica Jones drops in two weeks. If that’s not enough, keep in mind that TV and movies aren’t the only things Marvel is doing. All-New All-Different Marvel is now in full swing with new books coming out every other week, and is well worth checking out. If you’re a gamer, I hear Marvel Heroes is nice this time of year and the mobile fare (especially Future Fight with Elsa Bloodstone) is always a viable and cheaper alternative. There’s a LOT to keep you occupied while you wait for the trailer to drop. Hell, if you haven’t read the original Civil War event and want to know what to look for, why not check out the comic event that inspired it? And the Secret Wars Civil War tie-in is a whole lot of fun, too. While you’re at it, read Nextwave and clamor for a movie of THAT instead. I’ll love you if you do.

Marvel movies and the MCU isn’t the end-all, be-all Marvel. There are a LOT of things to explore and to enjoy. Broaden your horizons and dive deeper into the great works Marvel’s put out for the last 50+ years, you’ll thank me for it. This applies to both Marvel and DC, really. What we have being offered on films and TV isn’t all there is to these companies. They have decades and decades of history and amazing (some not-so-amazing, some downright pieces of bantha poodoo, but the point still stands) work that’s just there, ready to be enjoyed.

Tl;dr: For the love of God-Emperor Doom, the One-Above-All, the Panther God, and Fin Fang Foom’s titanic purple underpants, stop whining about the Civil War trailer not coming out. You’re making all of us look bad.

Note: Again, I reiterate that this post is not made to offend anyone, I’m just stating my views on the matter at hand. I do accept civilised discussion, so if you’d beg to differ or submit another perspective, contact me through whichever channels you prefer, as long as you keep it civilised. Stupidity begets stupidity, and rudeness begets rudeness.

Jakarta Comic Con – My Thoughts

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post regarding my doubts about Jakarta Comic Con. Of course, it’d be a shame if I didn’t at least go to at least one day of the event and saw for myself. And I just did. I’m still regretting I didn’t go on Friday and missed the (only) two comic-related panels, but at least I got to experience the event in most of its entirety.

Queuing historic on the Fury Road.

Queuing historic on the Fury Road.

For an event entitled Jakarta Comic Con, I didn’t see a lot of comics going around. What little of an artist alley they have available does sell some great work, and the Superman and Batman fan communities also opened up booths. Other than that, the event is severely lacking of comics. If you squint a bit, The Walking Dead, Fox’s main attraction in the event does come from comics, so there’s that.

What can I say, Orcs have their own charm about them.

What can I say, Orcs have their own charm about them.

Even if you say that the con is a pop culture event, the lion’s share of the exhibitors are movies and TV channels. Toys and comics seem to be pushed aside by movies and TV when they should at least be balanced. The sponsors, while it’s reasonable that they wanted booths of their own, seem to take up too much floor space on an already limited venue. Instead, almost half the event ends up selling things that are unrelated to pop culture in any way, shape, or form.

The empty space of con floor we call home.

The empty space of con floor we call home.

What the exhibitors brought was quite impressive, though. Special props to Fox with the great The Walking Dead booth and HBO for the Iron Throne, less awesome than hyped, but still, decent nonetheless. The Star Wars stuff was also good, though I didn’t take too good of a look at it. Shame on SyFy for not repping Sharknado more, though. A money booth with the money replaced by tiny shark cutouts or shark plushies would be great. Or at least show us a preview for whatever bonkers Giant Monster vs Giant Possible Copyright Infringement Case they’re going for next. I’d happily sit at the booth all damn day.

This is not nearly acceptable levels of Sharknado. I need more.

This is not nearly acceptable levels of Sharknado. I need more.

Amenities-wise, I am honestly not impressed. What passes for toilets in the event are portapotties you usually see flung to the sky with a catapult on Jackass or used by Snake to hide from enemy soldiers while playing sounds of people vacating their bowels to keep the soldiers looking the other way. Did I mention that the closest place to get food is in a shack literally five steps away from the aforementioned toilets? To be fair, there’s a proper canteen of sorts a short walk away, but for the admission price you’d think they would at least give us in-venue toilets and food or at the very least spring for better outdoor toilets and a proper food area.

My name is Taruna-D, and this is Jackass.

My name is Taruna-D, and this is Jackass.

In my books, an event is only as good as its visitors and fans, and this is one area where the event shines. The cosplayers and new people I’ve met are amazing, and I even got to take part in a Deadpool conga line! The other cosplayers I’ve seen going about also look great, and made for the best moments of my otherwise dull day there. You guys rock!

Ain't no stoppin' the D-Train.

Ain’t no stoppin’ the D-Train.

If you’re looking for comics, toys, and an overall balanced pop culture event experience, don’t get your hopes up. If you’re looking for the latest trends in movies and TV, then this might be your thing. I’m not saying the event is bad per se, but it’s not quite my cup of tea, at least not with that price of admission. It’s not unvisitable as some people make it out to be, but I sincerely hope that next year they’ll consider putting some variety in the exhibitors, bring in more guests from various fields, and maybe rent a venue that’ll accommodate the sponsors without sacrificing floor space for other possible exhibitors or a bigger artist alley. Nowhere to go but up from here.

I hope.

PS: There were some complaints regarding the line management for the celebrity photo ops, but as I didn’t experience it first-hand, I’m leaving it out of this writing.