10 Geeky All-Con Events, Including a Stormtrooper Reunion

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Now THIS is living.
"Seven stormtroopers got together and actually devised All-Con in 2003," says Todd Carlton, who's both a proud representative of the Dark Side and an All-Con Content Manager. From those humble, difficult to walk-in beginnings, it sprung: A convention that adheres the best bits of Dallas' other conventions together, like a festival Katamari Damacy.

Now in its ninth year, All-Con has morphed into a geeky luxury retreat and intensive celebration of the nerdly arts, taking over the Crowne Plaza for three days of workshops, films, an art showcase, celebrities and general fan boy and fan girl worship. This weekend's affair (Friday through Sunday) will be the grandest to date so we've put together 10 reasons why. Nerds, dorks and geeks: I salute you. (Adjusting imaginary glasses with index finger.)

1.) Imperial Troops - Saying All-Con's founders dig Star Wars is like calling Hoth "chilly." They're members of the 501st, a group that has moved on from mere hardshell armor enthusiasm to further include officers and bounty hunters. This year's Con has reached Legion Level Status. (Translation: Look out for the invading Galactic Empire.) Roughly 120 out-of-town stormtroopers are scheduled to descend upon the North Dallas hotel. Please, please let them all go out for pancakes together at an off-highway Addison IHOP.

2.) Breathing Room - While technically the event's fire code is set for 2,500 humans, aliens, and assorted lifeforms, Con's crew caps the thing at 2,300. Why? "We have several of the Dr. Who angels hanging around," explains Carlton. "We refuse to make people stand shoulder-to-shoulder, especially if locked between 7-foot wings."

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Jem, I mean, Samantha Newark, will be there! That's truly outrageous.
3.) Celebrities - Attracting celebs is the cornerstone of any convention, but this year's group seems especially engaging. "They really want to meet the guests," says Carlton. "We have Terry Naughton, a 17-year Disney animator, who was one of the lead animators on Beast from Beauty and the Beast. He's teaching a workshop on Saturday on how to draw Beast, so they're being creative with the content they're providing. They're not just sitting in a chair to sign photos." Others of note: Samantha Newark (the voice of Jem), Kathy Coleman (Land of the Lost), Camden Troy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and more.

4.) Naked Girls Reading (Friday, 7 p.m.) - If you haven't been to a Naked Girls Reading event, this will be a crazy means of exposure. The gals, all nerd-adoring burlesque performers, read themed selections while in the buff. Will they choose comics? Philip K. Dick novels? Scripts from classic sci-fi films? No telling. What we do know: They'll put the spark back in your lightsaber. Twenty-one and up, firm.

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