A whole hour spent with some of our favourite creators chatting about Star Wars, Pokémon, and everything nerd-culture in between? You mean this isn’t just a dream we had?
Led by Tom Burns, the Geeking Out! panel featured Dean Dobbs, Jamie Jo, Kelsey Ellison, and Bird Keeper Toby. Here are some of our favourite titbits from the Q&A-driven session…
1. If you battled Pokémon IRL, you’re not alone
And we aren’t just talking about playing the card game. “I used to mime pulling out the card, like, ‘Go Charizard!'” said Toby, jumping up from his chair and roaring to mimic the fiery Pokémon. “I’d battle against myself, switching sides!” We really wish we could capture the majesty of this performance in words, so fingers crossed that video evidence gets posted on Twitter!
2. Everyone has a few superstitious gaming rituals
When playing Crash Bandicoot, Kelsey and her sister used to sing along to the loading screen preceding difficult levels in order to give them luck: “L-O-A-D-I-N-G!”
Toby, on the other hand, had a much more apathetic approach to stressful gaming situations. “When I was catching Pokémon, I used to completely put down the Game Boy and just not look,” he said. “I’d just pretend not to care about it at all, fold my arms, and look away while holding my breath.”
3. There are some mixed feelings about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie
Toby is a bit sceptical about the next instalment in the Fantastic Beasts film series. “A big selling point was the magical creatures, and there weren’t too many of the magical creatures we had seen at Hogwarts before,” he explained.
Kelsey is equally nervous and excited about the film. “I liked the first Fantastic Beasts movie, and the trailer looks good… I just don’t know!” she said. “The story is exciting, though, because you don’t know it yet unlike the rest of the Harry Potter series.”
Jamie was certainly feeling the excitement, detailing her trip to the movie set where she was able to interview both the costume designer and Eddie Redmayne. Audible groans of jealousy ensued!
4. Our own imagination can give us unrealistic expectations for games and movies
When asked what he thought about the most recent Star Wars films, Dean was quick to offer a filmmaker’s perspective. “The movie you build in your head and the movie that comes out are always different things,” he said in defence of The Last Jedi, which received mixed reviews upon release.
He also defended the direction the franchise has gone with its main villain, Kylo Ren. “I like the idea that Kylo Ren is now in charge of the First Order, because he doesn’t want that!” he said. “The best thing about Kylo is him being a Darth Vader fanboy.”
5. Remakes are fantastic when they’re done right
On the subject of remakes, Kelsey said, “If it’s just a straight remake, what’s the point? We need to be fans of new stuff.” She added that she is interested to see Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (the new version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch), because the images released so far hint at a darker take than the original.
Toby agreed that, when making remakes, it’s important to reimagine the story in different contexts or media, like going from live action to hand-drawn animation. “It’s nice to fall in love with the world again,” he added.
Tom then asked which games or movies the panellists would like to see remade. “Nintendogs!” was Kelsey’s enthusiastic answer. “On Switch!” added Dean. “Can you think about how high-def that would look?”
6. The least important thing when playing Dungeons & Dragons is the rulebook
Toby, when asked about which D&D character he would play and why, recounted his most recent creature: a dragonborn mage lizard-person who he lovingly described as “dumb and overly affectionate”. His playing style, we learned, is a little more unorthodox. “Well, we read a few of the rulebook pages and… decided nope!” he exclaimed.
But now we know our priorities are sorted: character creation first, rulebook last!
7. The panellists have approximately a thousand predictions for the next season of Game of Thrones
The stage was abuzz with theories when an audience member prompted them for their thoughts on the final season of Game of Thrones.
“Everyone’s gonna die,” Jamie immediately said, to some mumbled consensus. Kelsey admitted that she’s rooting for Arya Stark to be the last one standing, also adding that “a happy ending would be surprising”. Dean was adamant that Daenerys Targaryen won’t make it to the end, while Toby was convinced that she’ll end up an enemy of Jon Snow.
We don’t know about you, but we’ll certainly be referring back to these guesses as Season Eight approaches!
Photos by George Yonge.
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