Feast your Eyes on the Creativity of StarFest 2016

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Posted Tue, Mar 22, 2016

The many faces and customes of Starfest 2016. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

The many faces and costumes of Starfest 2016. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

DENVER – Stormtroopers, Road Warriors, super heroes and villains invaded the Crowne Plaza Convention Center on March 11 – 13. This annual event, previously known as “Starcon,” has been taking place since 1977. “StarFest” celebrates all things sci-fi, a feast for fans of multiple genres – namely science fiction, horror, fantasy, superheroes and anime.

Features and Activities

Celebrity guest Michael Dorn of “Star Trek: Next Generation” is said to be returning as Worf on a new series “Internity.” Jaime Murray of “Defiance” and “Dexter” plays a role in an upcoming film “The Rapture.” Award-winning actor Tahmoh Penikett is known for his role as Lieutenant Agathon of “Battlestar Galactica.” Kyle Rankin wrote and directed “Infestation” and premiered his film “Night of the Living Deb” at “StarFest.”

Clay Kuehn dresses up as a wasteland warrior standing next to his custom-made vehicle, March 12, 2016, at Denver’s StarFest. Photo by Kavann Tok

Clay Kuehn dresses up as a wasteland warrior standing next to his custom-made vehicle, March 12, 2016, at Denver’s StarFest. [Photo: Kavann Tok]

Other celebrity guests included actors Nana Visitor (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) and Connor Trinneer (“Star Trek: Enterprise”). Additionally, guests ranged from comic book artists (Mark McKenna and Christopher K. Tullis), writers (David Boop, Mark S. Grove and Carolyn Peterson), video game designers (Sean Brown and Tim Brown) and planetary astronomer (Dr. Alex Parker).

Various rooms showcased a variety of activities:

  • Gamers compete in RPG gaming championships
  • “Federation Ball” – a dance contest (costume optional) in which the audience decides the winner.
  • “Intergalactic Bellydance” – Apsara performs out-of-this-world fusion Bellydance styles.
  • “50 Shades of Geek” – speed-dating in a Cosplay setting.
  • A screening of 1956’s “Forbidden Planet,” the first movie to show people traveling in a spaceship to another world. Incidentally, Robby the Robot actually got screen credit.
  • An elaborate Cosplay costume contest
  • The “Dealer Room” – popular amongst collectors seeking rare comic books, posters, jewelry, toys and movie memorabilias.

To name a few.

Ted Thompson, custom wasteland vehicle made from scrapyard material. Photo by Kavann Tok

Ted Thompson, custom wasteland vehicle made from scrapyard material. [Photo: Kavann Tok]

The Intriguing People of “StarFest”

The attendees of “StarFest” stole the show with appealing costumes. This year, it was apparent that many of them were influenced by “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which deservingly won six Oscars this year.

Ted Thompson, who not only came in Road Warrior attire, brought a custom vintage-looking vehicle seemingly right out of “Mad Max.” Thompson is no novice to “StarFest,” attending the event for twenty years.

“It took four weeks to create my car. I had a few friends help me out with it,” he explained. “The materials for the car are all scrapyard stuff. We’re just a bunch of nerds who copied some stuff from the movies and added a few things of our own. I look forward to all the cars and the costumes.”

Parked next to Thompson was another wasteland vehicle, built by Clay Kuehn who declared his love for “Mad Max.” Clay said he has been attending “StarFest” for about five years now.

Fans of Game of Thrones dressed as Khaleesi and Khal Drogo. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

Fans of Game of Thrones dressed as Khaleesi and Khal Drogo. [Photo: Duane Hirschfeld]

“I’ve just been really involved in the nerd scene and all the goofy stuff around Denver,” Clay explained. “This car was done in several months. I pretty much just hand built her in the backyard over half a year. I went to the scrapyard for the front grill, and then most of the bodywork, I just kind of handmade. Some of it is from other cars and some of it is just scrap metal.”

Kuehn said his character design was created to match his buggy. And his favorite aspects of “StarFest?” “Hanging out with the people I haven’t seen in awhile,” Kuehn said, “chatting with the other car guys and checking out the dealer’s room a little bit.”

Another guest, Eric Schroeter, dressed as a medieval mercenary, stated that this was his second year at “StarFest,” first hearing about the event through Facebook and friends who are into Cosplay.

“I am Lord Garrick Blackwell,” he revealed about his character. “My inspiration for my clothing was the Renaissance Festival, and I went 14 out of 16 days last year. This upcoming year, I’m going to try and see if I can be the executioner. I bought the vest at the Renaissance Fair, and a lot of it is just piecing it together online and from catalogs.”

No matter where you turn, every corridor is filled with fantasy characters from every film imaginable at “StarFest.”

For more information visit: http://starfestdenver.com/

About Kavann Tok

Kavann Tok is a freelance Denver-area journalist. Website: https://issuu.com/kavanntok

View all posts by Kavann Tok

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