The Iris Is Open: The Stargate: Offworld Mega Guest Panel

A delay in the arrival of the guests did not dampen the fervor with which Stargate fans greeted the actors and actresses of Stargate for their first appearance at Dragon*Con 2008. Erick Avari, Morena Baccarin, Beau Bridges, Rainbow Sun Francks, Torri Higginson, and Cliff Simon were as eager to answer fan questions as the fans were to ask them.

Marcia Patterson, the Star Gate Offworld track director, opened the panel with a question about how the guests had enjoyed their trip to Atlanta. Erick Avari won the award for biggest audience reaction when he mentioned that it wasn’t his trip to Atlanta that had him worried, but his trip from Atlanta to Bogota, Colombia. Beau Bridges expressed his delight at being back in Atlanta after not having the chance to be in the city for several years.

Before the question and answer session got started, Beau Bridges, in a touching memorial, asked for the audience to join him and the rest of the panelists in a standing ovation for the late Don S. Davis. There will be an official Tribute to Don S. Davis hosted by the Star Gate Offworld track on Sunday, which will be followed by an auction to raise money for the American Heart Association, as Mr. Davis died suddenly of a heart attack on June 29th of this year.

The discussions ran from the artistic abilities of the guests (Beau Bridges mentioned his love of poetry, and Rainbow Sun Francks treated the audience to an impromptu, freestyle rap session) to what costumes they hadn’t seen in their time at Dragon*Con but would like to. Cast members Cliff Simon and Morena Baccarin reminisced about their time interacting within the 10th season Stargate: SG1 storyline. “I got to play you,” Morena commented, concerning the temporary merger of her character, Adria, with Cliff Simon’s character, Ba’al.

When asked what was cool about working on Stargate, Erick Avari and Beau Bridges had similar comments on how Stargate was reflective of how our world is shrinking and we as a people and society need to learn more about each other but that the show did it in an entertaining way, through the view of science fiction. Torri Higginson credited working on Stargate with breaking through her dislike of science fiction and said that, since going to conventions, she was conscious of the fans and the audience when filming episodic television.

Cliff Simon, when asked what projects he has on the horizon, announced that he is producing a film about the first African-American to swim the English Chanel. Beau Bridges also took the opportunity to announce his participation in Max Payne with Mark Wahlberg, as well as a new ABC comedy series called Single with Parents, in which he plays Alyssa Milano’s father.

There was discussion of the recent announcement that Stargate Atlantis will be ending its run in January, at the end of the 5th and current season. Fans were obviously upset when an audience member asked for the guests’ responses to the cancellation and the subsequent announcement that the third series, Stargate Universe, has received a green light and should be on the air in 2009. Mr. Bridges put things into perspective by saying that the Stargate franchise has been around for so long that the producers constantly have to reinvent themselves to keep the show fresh.

The panel concluded with recognition of the fans who had entered and won awards in the second annual Star Gate Offworld Fanworks competition. Congratulations to the winners.

Author of the article

Desiree Jackson is no stranger to Dragon*Con and conventions in general. She's attended and worked in various capacities at different conventions for almost 15 years. Her devotion to fandom was sealed when introduced to fan fiction (by her mom) in high school. Although she mainly volunteers as a beta reader, Desiree has been known to write a story here and there. She's an avid science fiction fan and is excited to be working with the Daily Dragon this year.  She is thankful to be working with her talented and devoted (both to her and to scifi & the Daily Dragon) husband, Jason.