Brought to you by Duct Tape and the letters F and U

Capricon 2004 has come and gone, and all that is left is the memories. Well, that, and hang-overs, empty bank accounts and probably a number of lawsuits.

Sci-fi/fantasy conventions are interesting things. Like salmon swimming upstream, geeks travel to conventions to be with our geekly brothers and sisters, breed, and die (or in some cases, wish we had). Capricon 24 was no exception. There was the vendor room, art show, Critter Crunch, Photo Scavenger Hunt, and this year, Klingon Karoake, which really had to be experienced to be believed.

One huge change, for us at least, is that this year Chicago Force was in charge of decorating and running the Con Suite. For those of you who are mundanes, the Con Suite is a dining-room/lounge where people can go to eat, read, relax and in at least 3 cases last week, sleep. Now, normally the Con Suite is a fairly generic set-up, with some food and tables to sit at. But Chicago Force doesn’t do generic, do we?

Of course not. Silly question.

We had been invitied to decorate the Con Suite because of the work we did on our Jabba the Hutt party, so it’s not like we could throw some pop and cheese & crackers on a table and call it good. After much discussion, we decided that we should do Bespin’s Cloud City from The Empire Strikes Back. The pristine walls and elegant decorations lend itself well to the function of the Con Suite.

Words can literally not describe the end result, but before we jump into the pictures, it would be remiss not to recognize the hundreds of hours that people put into the making of this venture. This was a labor of love no matter what angle you look at it from. First and foremost thanks go to the core design team of Shauna, Heather, Carrie, Dinel, Dave and Caroline who spent more time packing things up and down Shauna’s stairs than many people spent in total (Shauna, you really need to move to the ground floor. Really). Erica, Matt, Thom, Phil and myself also spent a considerable amount of time cutting, sanding, painting, and just doing gerneral constructive-type things. In fact, pretty much every regular CF member pitched in to make this event a success, from storage, shopping, construction to setup and tear-down. We thank you all.

Special thanks also needs to go out to Chris and Steven Bornhoeft from Quad City Jedi Order for the air of realism they added with their Han and Luke Bespin outfits. Seeing Han getting lowered into the carbon-freezing chamber and Luke battling Vader was the apex of Star Wars fandom for a long time to come. They also came through in a pinch by building a movie-quality Ice Cream Maker Guy prop in 10 minutes out of spare parts. Freeze-frame the movie and compare our picture to it; I dare you to find a difference.

Lastly, Chicago Force would like to thank Capricon for giving us this opportunity to spread our creative wings, and to all the great fans, both costumed and plain-clothed, who stopped by to experience and compliment our efforts. Hearing your kind words makes it all worth while.

OK, I am going to go cry now. Enjoy the pictures.