2020 San Diego Comic Con was unlike any other in recent memory. With its initial cancellation, it appeared as if the global pandemic put a dagger through the heart of the mother of all Comic-Cons. Yet, like so many of the heroes the festival worships, San Diego Comic Con dug deep and found a way to prevail. Enter ComicCon@Home. 2020 is the year SDCC went virtual. ‘LLERO tuned in to the various panels, keynotes and trailers. It certainly was a different experience, yet, no less exciting. In some ways warmer and more informative than year’s past. Peep the highlights here.
Star Trek Universe Panel
First, nothing compares to having Jean Luc-Picard, Ryker and Data pop on to your laptop as if it were the Starship Enterprise. Yet, that’s just a glimpse of what this panel provided.
Star Trek broke barriers when it first premiered more than 50 years ago. Inspiring people of all walks of life by championing cultural diversity, scientific advancement, and the exploration of new frontiers. The panel peeked into today’s contributions to the canon. Namely, Star Trek: Discovery, the new animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Picard. Dominic Patten, Deadline’s senior editor served as moderator. The cast of Star Trek: Discovery gave virtual table read of the season two finale followed by a brief cast Q&A.
We then got to see a sneak peek at the upcoming animated comedy series Star Trek: Lower Decks. The show premieres Thursday, August 6 on CBS All Access. It looks nothing short of hilarious.
For the finale Patrick Stewart and the lcast of Star Trek: Picard, came together (virtually) for the first time post-finale to discuss the first season. Cast members included the Captain himself Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dahj/Soji), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Raffi Musiker). But also Santiago Cabrera (Cristobal Rios) along with special guest stars Brent Spiner (Data/Dr. Soong), Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh), Jonathan Frakes (William Riker), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi).
Fear the Walking Dead Panel
The cast of Fear the Walking Dead participated in a panel promoting its upcoming sixth season. Moderated by Talking Dead’s Chris Hardwick. The panel featured TWDU chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunners and executive producers Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg. Yet cast members Lennie James, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, Karen David, Jenna Elfman, and Rubén Blades all appeared too.
Season six of Fear the Walking Dead explores what has become of the unlikely family once united by a mission to help those in need. Some will find the stability and opportunity within Virginia’s communities to be intriguing. Some will sink into darkness. While others will fight back against what has been forced upon them. For us, simply getting to see and hear the one and only Ruben Blades talk about his character, the show and the love for his cast mates was priceless.
Latinx & Native American Storytellers
Of course, seeing the likes of Ruben Blades or Picard come across your screen are once in a lifetime fanboy moments. Yet, Comic-Con, much like the comic books and heroes it honors, must evolve with the times. And the times are dictating more diversity and inclusion on and behind the pulp.
While only a minority of the characters in media are either Latinx or Natives, there are storytellers working to change that. This panel gave an opportunity to hear from prominent voices in comics, children’s literature and academia. They spoke about the stories told by Indigenous creators and the creators who are children of immigrants. Yet, we also were provided with insight of the experiences of the story tellers themselves in and out of the business.
Hearing creators such Darcie Little Badger, Julio Anta, J. Gonzo, Theresa Rojas, Hector Rodriguez, Rhael Mcgregor, Luke Martinez, Frederick Aldama. Discuss their work and experiences from working to biggest in the business to be a pure indie start up.
Bill & Ted Face the Music
For all those kids of the 80’s the panel on Bill & Ted Face the Music did not disappoint. Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter along with the rest of the cast, including “Death” himself, William Sadler, appeared with director and producer. Moderated by Kevin Smith, the cast spoke about the past films, what they felt made them so lasting. As well as the challenge of making the third installment “worthy’.
Mexican Lucha Libre – History, Legacy & Future
Lucha Libre is an inherent part of Latin culture. It has a rich history dating back to the early 1900’s in Mexico. Since that time, the Lucha Libre canon has inspired many eras and with a a huge impact in Mexican popular culture and beyond.
This panel was a wrestling fanboys dream. Panelists included, none other than WWE Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio. As well as Salvador Lutteroth, CEO of Promociones México, Coliseo y Revolución and Mauricio Limón, director and owner of the Mexican Museum of Lucha Libre. They waxed poetic and analyzed Lucha Libre’s most iconic moments. As well as the role of Lucha Libre in Mexican culture, its current situation, and its future as a traditional sport in Mexico.