Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Saga Began in South Austin

So after much debate, both in my head and with my lovely bride, I headed down to Austin last night to attend the official BioWare launch party of Star Wars: The Old Republic. (There was another shindig in some other place, but we all know the important event with the actual rockstars was in TEXAS.) I honestly will not be able to convey the excitement at this event--and the excitement I felt. I'll admit it was somewhat muted by the fact that I've been playing for a few days. But the the lead devs were in attendance, and it was an awesome opportunity to meet them even if only briefly as they signed my swag. Scooter wanted to go, but didn't feel she could because she had to get up for work very early. So I took my older daughter, who has expressed significant interest in the game.

We arrived just before 10 p.m., when the party was set to officially kick off. Obviously, there was a crowd of people milling about, and an announcer directing people where to stand for different purposes. Members of the 501st Legion: Vader's First were there, posing for pics and playing with the gadgets.

We got photos with Boba Fett, and then moved to find the end of the autograph line.

I chatted with the folks around me. The guy just ahead of me was the only one from his guild in attendance, as far as he knew, but there were others who were there together with their guildmates.

I quickly became about the middle of the line as it extended in a "U" toward the front of Best Buy. Members of the the TOR team team and (I think) Torocast were passing out large posters, and a few copies of the Journal of Master Gnost-Dural. I got two posters (pic below) but had no luck on the Journal.
The announcer was not idle. Up in the front of the store, the devs were signing things already, and the M.C. was working the crowd into a frenzy with trivia questions and prizes. I missed a lot of it, between chatting with my line mates and being near the back of the store for a while. Eventually I got close enough to pay attention to the questions. They were asking, "Who is credited with playing Jabba the Hutt in "The Phantom Menace"?" After several people had failed to answer correctly, I turned to my daughter and said, "He played 'himself.'" Sure enough, a second later someone was picked who gave that answer. He won a regular copy of the game. My daughter told me I should have raised my hand; she was right.

The next question they asked was, "Who was Boba Fett's mother?" I promptly raised my hand, and @FemSteph, a BioWare PR person, chose me and put a microphone in my face, asking me to say my name and where I am from. I answered, and she repeated the trivia question. "He didn't have a mother." Why? "Because he was an unaltered CLONE!" :D Step right up and get your free copy of Star Wars The Old Republic! W00T!
Next up was the actual autograph table, with the rockstars beaming about their hard work and the appreciative fans.
I was able to have each developer sign both posters and the game package I had just won. My daughter got pics of each with her (better-than-my-phone) camera, I'll post them later. But I may need help remembering their names. I apparently am one of the few people who has properly pronounced Georg Zoeller's first name here in the States. (like "Geh-Org," not "George") Cool points! :) I then geeked out and told him it was because "The Sound of Music" is one of my favorite movies, and Captain Von Trapp's first name is also Georg. Cool points gone! :( But maybe he'll remember me again sometime this week. :P

I thanked each one for their time and efforts, but I HAD to get a pic with @Rockjaw himself, Stephen Reid.
Once all my swag was signed, I was almost ready to go. Scooter had wanted me to get Boba Fett's autograph, so we hunted him down and my daughter swooped in for the ki--I mean signature--on a 501st Legion pamphlet. We had everything we'd come for--and then some--and I had work this morning, so we popped smoke about an hour after arriving. I felt kinda bad because Scooter didn't actually get to sleep until after we got home. She probably could have come. 20/20 hindsight.

I saw an old buddy who used to play Star Wars Galaxies (I never did). That was cool. I also met a guildmate, @g1_Atma, who drove all the way from Dallas to attend the party. Way more dedication than I have. It was cool, as always, to meet an online friend in person.

So here's all the awesome swag I got. I'm really glad I decided to go, especially since I won that game that I can give to my daughter for an early Christmas. Since so many weren't able to attend, I felt that, as I was privileged to live close enough, I would represent The Republic Mercy Corps/Imperial Mercenary Corps. LONG LIVE THE CORPS!


  1. Your daughter is so lucky, you are like the coolest dad in the world :)

    Glad you decided to go in the end as well, despite the traffic and bad weather. Looks like it was worth the trip and you'll always have the memories!

  2. LOL, Thanks. She thinks so, sometimes.

    Traffic turned out be be neglibible, so that was nice. It got really foggy on our way back home. But we made it, safe and sound.

  3. My son is now jealous. And he's only 6, so explaining the distance from here to there was "too much" didn't help. Thanks a lot. (-;

  4. Rowanblaze: Ruining parent-child relationships since 1987.

  5. Dude, that's awesome! I'm with GeeCee -- you're the coolest dad in the world! And now you have some really neat swag; those are both fantastic posters.

    Also: it's a shame I don't live/have direct family in Austin anymore -- we could have actually met!

  6. Ja That woulda been cool. I travel for my job and try to get in touch with people who might be wherever I'm going.

  7. Man, I am jealous that you and Leori got to see all that, and meet those people. BTW, you and Reid might be separated at birth.

  8. Oh man that was a great event! I was searching the internet for Boba Fett pictures from that event, and found your thread. Tell you daughter that she ownes the only autograph I have ever given. Sorry, couldn't help but post a thank you to you and your daughter, for making a non old republic charater feel welcome. -C. Lewis (Boba Fett)

  9. @ Boba Fett, Thank you and all other the costumed folks for making the event truly come alive. You looked great in person and in the pics.