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WOW!! Lucasfilm sues Gen Con for breach of contract!

Discussion in 'Star Wars Celebrations' started by Grand Admiral Strife, Feb 15, 2008.

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  1. jawajames

    jawajames FF Pacific RSA / Chapter Rep San Diego, CA star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2002
    with the announcement of Celebration Japan, could it be that LFL is trying another con outfit out, as a tester.... if they can pull off C-Japan without a hitch, and have ability to do so in the US, C5 might have potential favorite...
     
  2. -_-_-_-_-_-

    -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 28, 2002
    I chose this name in the interest of being unique and distinguishable. Hubris is wonderful, isn't it?
     
  3. Dark Lady Mara

    Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 1999
    I wouldn't be surprised if mismanagement were more like it. The only thing here I would really be concerned about is the possibility that Make A Wish never got the money and fans were misled when they were told it was a charity auction. Other than that, it seems like typical LFL and typical Gen Con battling it out in a war of stereotypes...
     
  4. JediJustin

    JediJustin Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Hey, if the Lewis Daniel Group runs a successful CJ and LFL is pleased, more power to 'em.

    I personally could care less which organization runs C5 - just as long as there IS a C5 to go to.

    - Justin
     
  5. joesdomain

    joesdomain Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 14, 2006
    I think it is a battle between two companies trying to regain loses from a star wars celebration. Someone may have pocketed the money whether it be Lucasfilm or Gencon. The only people who will know are the lawyers for the 2 companies and the judge get together and hash it out. Maybe both companies need to be audited by the IRS to see if one or both companies committed fraud.
     
  6. Grand Admiral Strife

    Grand Admiral Strife RSA Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2001

    Um, how could LFL have pocketed any money when GenCon was running the whole thing? :confused:
     
  7. ValedaKor

    ValedaKor Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Yep, this is definitely a GenCon problem. Let's wait for further developments.
     
  8. pwinklespi

    pwinklespi Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2004
    I would have to say that if thee were a CV, it needs to be on a smaller scale. This Celebration was huge. You had to walk a mile from one end to the other just to see something. They could still do CV but in a smaller venue. Keep the same ideas with the store. More registers and more room. Autograph hall was fine , but the part where they had that life sized X wing was a waste of space. They could have crammed everything in that room into somewhere else.
     
  9. joesdomain

    joesdomain Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Gencon had to pay Lucasfilm ahead of time since they had a contract with them. Just about everyone who uses the star wars name has to have a contract with Lucasfilm and pay money to use it. Lucasfilm at least got some money out of it. If L.A. convention Center is one of the top 2 or 3 convention centers in the U.S. size wise then why did they have 35,000 people show up. Indiana Convention Center had 30,000 for CIII and 25,000-26,000 people show up for CII and it was half the size. I think that is where they lost the money. They should doubled their money with a convention center twice the size of Indy and they did not. I think that may be part of the problem also.
     
  10. Grand Admiral Strife

    Grand Admiral Strife RSA Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2001
    Ok, that I understand. I misunderstood your ealier post, and thought you were referring to the missing Make-a-Wish funds.
     
  11. JarJarJedi

    JarJarJedi Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Agreed. '10 would be a much better option for CV, since CI was for TPM anyways. (No matter how good or bad it was, there was still one for it.) ESB and ROTJ need their Celebrations.
     
  12. joesdomain

    joesdomain Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Don't really know what the Make a Wish Foundation had to do with CIV.
     
  13. Grimby

    Grimby Technical Consultant & Former Head Admin star 7 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Apr 22, 2000
    I want to go to Disneyland, but only if they make it smaller. Walking from Space Mountain all the way to Splash Mountain is completely out of the question. And they shouldn't let so many people in if it's going to be so crowded.


     
  14. ValedaKor

    ValedaKor Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Enough, already. Like I said, let's wait for further developments, shall we? There hasn't been any new news on this for quite a while.
     
  15. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2004
    CIV was run better than CIII.

    I wouldn't say that CIV was 'well run' at all. I saw the same dearth of planning leading up to CIV on GenCon's web page. Most of their 'updates' on upcoming events were just links to the starwars.com site. Lack of planning is a sure sign of poor management. Author Timothy Zahn didn't appear at CIV because Archon was considerate enough to ask him well advance to come to their con on the same weekend - maybe 6 months to a year. THAT is the kind of planning you need to a successful convention. And BTW, why DON'T they have more authors at Celebration anyway???

    SW Celebrations are NOT fan conventions. They are run like TRADE SHOWS. At least that's how they are run by GenCon -- and not that well, either. If you look at them that way, you can have a good time, because you're not expecting the same kind of activity that you get at a fan convention.

    The crowd control was much better at CIV, but after overhearing volunteers comparing CIV to ComiCon, I assume that it was the experience level of the volunteers with big crowds, NOT anything that GenCon did.

    I know several people who did NOT go to CIV because GenCon was running it. The problems at CIII put off a lot of people from going to CIV. If they didn't have the attendance they expected, well, their bad name was one of the things that kept people away.

    If they have a smaller Celebration in the future, I would be very happy if they skipped the celebrity guests and just invited authors/artist/animators/sound/stunt/costume/programmers/etc.

     
  16. ValedaKor

    ValedaKor Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2000
    I wish I could say that that would be enough to draw people in, Arden. But unfortunately it isn't, because it takes a lot of money to put one of these on. You've still got to have the people who want to see actors and get autographs and the like. But perhaps a common ground can be found. Now that GenCon won't be running the next one, there's hope for one and all :).

    And yes, Comic-Con runs well, but they've had tons of practice. And as anyone will tell you that has been to C-C, it is not running as well as it used to because it's just gotten too big. And I know people who no longer go to C-C just for that reason, too. The essence of the thing has been lost.

    I think LFL is trying to figure out a formula that will make a good experience for all, corporate entity and fan. It's too bad that it's taken so long, but these things happen, sometimes.
     
  17. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Aaaaaaaaah, but if they wanted a smaller Celebration anyway then a lack of emphasis on celebrity guests would not be such a problem. Of course, the celebrity guests can be invited, but clearly GenCon has been unable to attract any of the more famous names that would really bring in the crowds to Celebration anyway. Perhaps it's GenCon, perhaps they don't invite guests before they're committed to other things, or perhaps the leading actors from the films are not available at any price.

    Performers have to be paid for performing, but are they bringing in the crowds to justify their price? But artists and writers and programmers have different day jobs; do they cost less as guests, but still attract enough people to the event the costs of bringing them? Authors and artists accept invitations to SF conventions all the time and are compensated with just a free membership and they take the travel costs off their taxes as a business expense since they're doing publicity for their work.

    But it is ridiculous to assume that the viability of a Celebration depends on the autograph and celebrity hounds bringing enough people to make a profit. There are many conventions around the country that operate in the black with a whole lot less sponsorship than what the SW Celebrations have had. But if the goal of Celebration really is profit, then why bother with them at all?
     
  18. Moff_D

    Moff_D Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2002
    I don't think the goal of Celebrations is purely profit. Sure, you don't want to lose money putting one of these things on (at least from a LFL perspective), but it is really for connecting with the fanbase, giving them what they want, and hopefully attracting new fans to keep the brand healthy and strong for years to come. Unfortunately for middlemen like GenCon and vendors and so forth, they probably don't particularly care about connecting, etc., etc.--its all about shuttling people in, having them empty as much of their pockets as they can, and shoving them out (not to say that LFL doesn't have a knack for squeezing money out of its loyal fans ;) ). In the end this may encourage LFL to run the whole thing themselves...which could be better in the long run for us.
     
  19. ValedaKor

    ValedaKor Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2000
    I hope you're not saying that my opinion is ridiculous. We all have our opinions, after all.

    I base my opinion strictly on a business point of view. An entity must satisfy the bottom line; there is always someone to answer to. A Celebration needs to be all things to all people.

    And as far as regards the SW authors I know, they do need to cover more of their expenses then you specify. Just a free membership and the writing-off of travel as a business expense (which obviously cannot happen until the end of the year), does not a living make.
     
  20. Woofer

    Woofer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2001
    THAT is exactly what I've said for a long time. Heck I even told Steve Sansweet right after CIII. A trade show can be fine, but it lacks the kind of personality a proper convention can engender.

    However as the Celebrations are presented as being for the fans, I think a more fan oriented experience and a less trade show-like experience will be a lot better in the long run.

    Ironically GenCon does seem to be well suited to running an event that is supposedly attendee oriented. A gaming convention is almost nothing but! So perhaps part of the issue is a clash of cultures, LFL being more use to operating in a trade show type of environment.

    Not that excuses GenCon for what they've allegedly done, but if we are going to be talking the future of Celebrations in general, location and facility size are less important in the long run compared to the question of "Is Celebration something you'd convince your friends to go to?"
     
  21. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2004
    ValedaKor: no, I do not believe that your opinion is ridiculous.

    But I do NOT think that a Star Wars Celebration has to be dependent on celebrity appearances. I'm basing this on some assumptions that may or may not be true.

    - Celebrity appearances are a large cost that do not bring the expected return in attendance to justify them.
    - Authors/artists/etc would attract enough attendees to justify the expenses for them.
    - The fan activities at a Celebration - fan films, panels, costuming, etc could also attract enough attendance to justify their cost.

    Since SW Celebrations are in a trade show format, it seems reasonable that Lucasfilm can simply hire another company to run them. Hopefully a better one. But the problems with CIV should be examined before then. Perhaps some of the facts will come out in the court case, if they don't settle before then. I'd be very curious to see where GenCon lost money -- is there something online about them losing money on CIV? I haven't seen anything about that.

    And one thing I wonder.......does a gaming convention like the kinds that GenCon runs, have a lot of guests? Or is it just........gaming?

     
  22. ValedaKor

    ValedaKor Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Unfortunately I do not think that limiting a Celebration to the parameters you describe would result in the outcome that LFL envisions. Part of the problem is the mystique of the name. "Star Wars" almost implies that "thousands must be involved" LOL. And there is always the question of logistics. Steve Sansweet was asked at C-IV why there couldn't be a Celebration in Australia, for instance. He said there probably could -- if someone down there wanted to organize and run it. They would have to prove they were good for the money, of course. LFL doesn't want you to use their money, they want you to use yours. Aye, there's the rub. As a meeting planning professional, I know the pitfalls of these things.

    GenCon's gaming conventions are a pretty big deal. They include a lot of other activities besides gaming, and since they can draw on a much greater fan base (it is not, after all, only confined to SW games), there is a lot of interest there. Which is probably why LFL thought they could handle a Celebration.
     
  23. Grumpy_Jedi

    Grumpy_Jedi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Pwinkie.. i think we should host CV in my basement. Whatya say? Get a platter... some low fat dips.. make a real hoot out of it. We can trade some figs and there will be a reading from some old obscure Star Wars Marvel comics. I'll set up a pannel to discuss the feasibility of different color light sabers. Sound like fun?
     
  24. ValedaKor

    ValedaKor Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy... please be nice. You and all people should know that everyone is entitled to their opinion! It's a diverse group of fans who all have ideas about how things should be done. There's room for everyone. Let's keep this on a professional level, OK?
     
  25. joesdomain

    joesdomain Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 14, 2006
    I think a star wars celebration needs celebrities to entice fans to come to the convention. It is the icing on the cake! It was the reason why I went to CIII. Gencon has some experience with celebritiy appearance outside of star wars celebrations. They usually have 4-5 actors show up at each Gencon Indy from various sci-fiction or fantasy tv shows like Battlestar Galactica, Babaylon 5, Star Trek, etc. Usually they are minor characters that are not very famous. I saw a couple at the 2007 Gencon Indy but I forget their names.
     
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