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Star Wars Experience – In Pursuit of the Tournament Trophy - 1999 San Diego Comic Con
by Kristine Kochanski

July 1999
     As a die-hard card gamer, I'm used to attend lots of conventions and play in lots of tourneys, but most of the time I miss out on Comic Con as its dates are too close together with the ones for GenCon. This year, however, I made it to the San Diego Comic Con for the very first time.

     I had much fun and took some Star Wars pictures to share with all of you here at the Jedi Temple Archives. If I would have had the time to get down to the Star Wars pavilion and could have fought my way through the crowd I would have gotten more. But as it seems, the Star Wars fans are numerous these days and it was so very crowded that I could only get a taste of Star Wars on the Comic Con San Diego for you all.

     Thursday I walked the exhibit hall a lot, but concentrated on the comic book artist and writers. It was very good to see them and their work in person. It is good to support the independent people there and much fun to see what everyone is doing.

     The day after, Friday, I was in a LotR tourney all day.

     I came in dead last.

     It was my first high level tournament and I was playing among many, many elite players; people far more experienced at playing at that level than myself. Moreover, I was playing with a new deck (always a bad thing in tournament conditions) and I only managed to win one of my eight games. I believe a few of the other players who were not doing well dropped from the tourney, so they would not damage their rankings. I stayed to get the experience. Eventually, I was rewarded as the most "Enduring" player and given two very lovely foil cards in addition to the other things everyone got. I did enjoy playing (I always do) but it was hardly a triumph.

     Saturday, the crowd was quite insane. It was so very hard just to move around that day. I did some reporting for the DGMA that day. I was their reporter for .hack//ENEMY and I interviewed a bunch of nice young players. If you're interested my article is still on the DGMA boards in the archives. I played some games with them as well, but my brain was quite fried after the eight gruelling rounds the previous day, so I just played for fun, helped a new player learn more about the game and spent more time in the exhibit hall.

     I could barely even get near the Star Wars pavilion but I still tried! Lots of people were having their pictures taken with the Stormtroopers and other costumed characters that strolled around there; both young and old wanted to be immortalized on photo together with a Star Wars character. It really added something special to the atmosphere. It was a very nice pavilion.

     I took just a couple of pictures of the guest stars signing. I wish I could have gone by when others were at the signing table as they did have quite a list of people who were there, but in the end I just got the ones you see here.

     It will take a bit of effort to recognize Jake Lloyd, who played the role of Anakin Skywalker in Episode I, because he indeed did a fair bit of growing up. He did seem to enjoy the attention from the fans quite some.

     Star Wars fans will immediately recognize Kenny Baker in the other picture, who played the role of R2-D2. My sister called out “Hey Kenny!” to make him look up, so that I could shoot a nice picture of him. And as you can see, the trick worked quite well …

     I did not go on Sunday since I was visiting family, but I wish I had more time to spend there. I think it really was a nice convention. We'll see if we have more luck with pictures another year …

     Despite the fact that she didn't rake in any trophies during this convention, Kristine Kochanski (her nickname, not her real name) is quite an established card player, editor of many an article on card games and one of the driving forces behind GAB Traders; an on-line organization that helps you trade safely and avoid notorious bad traders …

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