Over the weekend (March 11-12, 2017), Saber Guild: Empire Temple members attended Big Apple Con at the Pennsylvania Hotel. Not only did Jedi Kamyos Rehnard and Nivek Boc join members Michele M., Edwin “Panda” C., and Danny K to raise money for St.Mary’s Healthcare System for Kids; Sith Jinduri, Tehr Onn, D’elirium and Jovan Sceris joined in as well.
On Sunday, Masters Kamyos Rehnard and Nivek Boc trained dozens of younglings in the ways of the Force. Even though D’elirium and Jovan Sceris challenged the new Padawans, the younglings of Big Apple Con demonstrated how strong they were in the Force and were easily able to defeat the Sith.
One highlight for our members was meeting actor and special creature performer, Spencer Wilding – most recently known for his work as Darth Vader in Rogue One. Mr.Wilding was kind enough to meet with a few of our members before he left to talk through characterization in Star Wars.
When asked about how he got into character for Darth Vader and if he was able to put his own spin on the character, Mr.Wilding replied, “Every character of mine has a presence and a spirit – their own spirit. Believe it or not, there is a presence of Darth Vader that is out there – and he chooses his people to play him or use their body…You’ve got to respect that force. And he’s the Dark Side. And I don’t think anybody can beat the Dark Side. It’s the Dark or the Light”.
Since many of the Lucasfilm Ltd. recognized fan groups have members who kit up as Darth Vader, we asked how one can call upon that presence, even if they are physically a bit different than the original actor/actress, e.g. one is a bit shorter (or in Mr.Wilding’s case) taller.
Mr.Wilding replied with, “You know what? I can’t teach people how to bring a presence. It’s naturally with them, you know what I mean? You have to feel it. But normally if you’ve been invaded by it, that’s something different. The doorway’s open. For all the creatures and all the characters I play, I’m loving every moment of it. And luckily they let me go … I’m loving every moment of it.”
It was reaffirming to hear from an actor like Spencer that, when it comes to dressing as your favorite character, the most important traits to have are presence and dedication.
Thank you to the organizers and volunteers at Big Apple Con for all your assistance and hard work. We hope to be back in 2018!