Fan Expo 2018
Back to the Future
Fan Expo Toronto 2018 wrapped up this past long holiday weekend marking the end of summer and the last big Geek-fest of the year. This year’s highlight was the reunion of the Back to the Future cast. Reuniting Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly), Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown), Lea Thompson (Lorraine McFly) and Thomas F. Wilson (Biff) all in one place.
A Place to Connect
Conventions like Fan Expo have become big business drawing tens of thousands of fans each year. All were hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite star(s). For those willing to pay extra, they are afforded the rare opportunity to meet their favourite stars either in a photo op or autograph session.
Beyond the big business at these annual conventions, there is a human connection represented. From cosplay to the interaction with other fans, there is a real opportunity – if but only for a moment – to make their fantasies real. Transporting what would otherwise remain on the screen or in print to something much more, while connecting actors and other artists face-to-face with their fans. There is a humanity to the conventions that cannot be experienced anywhere else.
This human interaction is not a one-way street. The actors and other artists that the fans come to see are also affected by the interaction.
The Human Side
The Back to the Future franchise also connects with the humanity of life. Wondering what it would be like to go back to the past to see your parents meet or to your own future to see how your own life would play out is compelling.
It has been 33 years since the original Back to the Future release. Seeing the thousands of fans gathered for the evening with the Back to the Future cast, there has been a lot of humanity and connecting over the years. Michael J. Fox tells a story that for him the original film offered him the chance to break free of television to the big screen transcending previous film opportunities like Teen Wolf. While for Thomas F. Wilson, he recounts the role of Biff Tannen it represented real film work. It was a job.
Lea Thompson got to explore her “subversive” sense of humour playing a young woman who has the hots for her son.
Each of the cast shared stories of their own unique interactions with their fans over the years. Fans, according to Michael J. Fox for example, like to tattoo “Marty” on their asses. While Thomas F. Wilson regales a story of how one fan worked his way out of a coma as his dad played clips of “Hello McFly… Anybody Home” over and over again.
Lea Thomson, brought the cast and audience to tears as she thanks everyone for simply being there. “It is really an honour that you are all here, I am so grateful. We are all so grateful.”
Other highlights of Fan Expo 2018 included the reunion of Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Also, the always popular, William Shatner was present.
Fan Expo and other conventions like it are a chance to connect with like-minded humanity in a shared experience.
Did you go to Fan Expo 2018? What was your favourite experience? Tell us in the comments below.