Rich Howells

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Fan Expo Philadelphia on Star Wars Day, 05/04/24

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Fan Expo Philadelphia on Star Wars Day, 05/04/24
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The power of the Force was on full display as thousands of fans spent “Star Wars Day,” May the 4th, in the best way possible, meeting and attending panel discussions with franchise stars Rosario Dawson, Hayden Christensen, Alan Tudyk, Emily Swallow, and Cameron Monaghan at Fan Expo Philadelphia. Spanning movies, TV shows, animation, and videos games, other Force-sensitive actors in attendance included Gina Carano, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Eman Esfandi, Diana Lee Inosanto, Ashley Eckstein, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, and Vanessa Marshall.

Swallow, who plays the stoic Armorer in the hit Disney+ streaming series “The Mandalorian,” talked about what it has been like to join the ever-growing “Star Wars” family in an exclusive interview.

“It’s so special for me. I’m so honored to get to play this character that is someone that little girls – and little boys – can look up to, that she is a strong leader, that she’s a person of integrity, and that she’s a woman but the Mandalorians themselves don’t make a big deal out of it. You know, it’s not exceptional to them that she’s a woman. She’s just somebody that they respect. I think that that’s really special too, that she’s not an anomaly that way. It says something about the Mandalorian culture, and yeah, getting to dress up for kids is my favorite thing,” she shared, noting that she has even worn her armor at other Fan Expo events.

“I’ve spent a lot of time now with hospital visits with Voices Against Cancer, which is a group that I work with, and I’ve been trying to, when I travel if I have time, go troop with the local 501st [Legion] and go visit kids because there’s just nothing better than seeing a little kiddo’s face light up when you go to visit them and they’re having a tough time. That’s like the icing on the cake. It’s just something that I feel because of the legacy of ‘Star Wars,’ because of what was created before I ever stepped into the role, I’m so grateful that I can be a part of that and so grateful to all of the fans who do this incredible work, that use their love of the stories and their love for creating costumes to go bring joy to other people and to share that. It’s a really remarkable thing.”

Dressed to look their best, members of the 501st later lined up in front of the main stage to welcome Dawson and Christensen as the “Ahsoka” co-stars came out to greet a capacity audience and close out the night with “A Galactic Reunion” discussion.

NEPA Scene may have spent all of last Saturday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, but Scranton was never far away. Fan Expo also featured “A Return to Scranton” Q&A with “The Office” cast members Rainn Wilson, Kate Flannery, Creed Bratton, and Oscar Nunez, plus talks with “Saved by the Bell” actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar and the longtime voice of Super Mario, Charles Martinet, among many other celebrity guests and activities.

Watch the full “Office” panel and audience Q&A with moderator Ben Beck below:

Photos by Jason Riedmiller Photography/NEPA Scene