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Billy Dee Williams at Windsor ComicCon

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Billy Dee Williams at Windsor ComicCon

Both Star Wars and Star Trek dominates at Windsor ComicCon this weekend. In the first of two reports, this Sun News article will deal with Star Wars.

Headlining the convention from the original Star Wars movies from 40 years ago is Billy Dee Williams, shown in the photo above. Williams, who said he would be willing to appear in the Star Wars 9 movie, maintains Empire Strikes Back was the best of the series. As a young man on the set of the first Star Wars film, he said "it was like being in an adult toy store." But the role he played then still carries some baggage today.

Back then he remembers "little kids accusing me of betraying Hans Solo. Forty years later I'm still try to explain it to fans!"

Asked about why he was such a cool dude on screen, Williams said he "grew up in an era in which individualism was important. The whole idea was to present myself, win or lose, in some unique fashion."

Having acted for 60 years, he has seen a lot of change in how movies are presented. "There is a new trend in action films. Movies somehow reflect what is going on in the world: the look and feel of movies is generational. We are at another juncture now."

Angus MacInnes with an Imperial Storm Trooper and an AdmiralAngus MacInnes with an Imperial Storm Trooper and an AdmiralAnother actor from the original Star Wars trilogy is also in attendance in Windsor, which is his hometown. Angus MacInnes is making his first Canadian convention appearance this weekend: he played Gold Leader in Star Wars Episode IV. 

When Star Wars was being cast by a then-unknown George Lucas, MacInnes was in London. "Almost every American in London got called for an interview with Lucas. Apparently he had a score card where he graded applicants from 1 to 10. Those graded 4 or 5 became Storm Troopers, a 6 or 7 became a fighter pilot, an 8 became an Admiral of the Imperial Fleet." 

He recalled that "doing a battle scene was a little terrifying. Dying in movies is really fun but it cuts you off from the sequels!" What he remembers most fondly was "standing beside Carrie Fisher for a whole shot. In hindsight I remember her as very sweet." 

When it came time to shoot his scene in the cockpit of a fighter, MacInnes said he could not remember his lines and for some reason Lucas "was not going to give me my cues." After sweating through several takes, "I really thought they were going to fire me on the spot. Lucas suggested instead that I read the lines."

That prompted MacInnes to tear pages out of the script and tape them to his legs and the interior of the cockpit! While people were jostling the platform on which the cockpit set resided to give the impression of motion, MacInnes read the pages as he looked down and around, finally getting through the scene.

He said the "demand on improvisation is really high in movies. It was a huge challenge at first, but I fell in love with it."

Both Williams and MacInnes will be at the convention tomorrow, Aug. 13 for photos and autographs. It is being held at Caesars Windsor. Visit their website for details:


Photos with this article copyright Dr C Cunningham







Clifford Cunningham

Dr. Clifford Cunningham is a planetary scientist. He earned his PhD in the history of astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland, and has undergraduate degrees in science and ancient history from the University of Waterloo. In 2014 he was named a contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica. He is the author of 14 books on asteroids and the history of science. In 1999 he appeared on the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Asteroid 4276 was named in his honor in 1990 by the International Astronomical Union based on the recommendation of its bureau located at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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