The 501st Legion
Credit: Flickr / Photo Dean

The 501st Legion

With members from around the world, this is the premier Star Wars costume troop. Give in to the dark side and take photos with Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, bounty hunters and more.

Unleash your inner fan at 2014 Fan Expo Vancouver
Credit: Fan Expo / Ed Lau

Unleash your inner fan at 2014 Fan Expo Vancouver

It’s a bird. It’s a plane... wait. Nope, it’s 20,000-plus people flocking to this year’s Fan Expo Vancouver, a three-day event (April 18 to 20 at the Vancouver Convention Centre) where hobbyists, fans and lovers of everything nerdy – from Star Wars and Spider-Man to steampunk and sonic screwdrivers – can celebrate their passions and heroes.

Before you condemn this as an event for 20-somethings in need of girlfriends, remember that geek is the new black, with franchises like Game of Thrones and Marvel’s The Avengers, historically reserved for dorks only, gaining mainstream appeal like never before.

Event coordinator James Armstrong points to this year’s diverse lineup of celebrity appearances as a sign that the event is evolving to welcome a wider fan base.

“It’s a really great mix. We’re trying some new things on the guest list as far as going outside the traditional genre, so we have Giancarlo Esposito [Gus Fring] from Breaking Bad. I’m actually a little nervous to meet him – that’s how good he was on the show,” says Armstrong.

The event will include celeb Q&As and signings, photographs, cosplay (short for costume play), comic book artist sketch-offs and an entire shopping district filled with one-of-a-kind items and hard-to-find memorabilia. So grab your bullwhip, lightsaber or wand, and let your geek flag fly.

Click through to see the celebrities you can nerd out with at this year’s Fan Expo Vancouver.

 

Giancarlo Esposito
Credit: AMC

Giancarlo Esposito

His performance as Gus Fring in Breaking Bad instantly catapulted him into the villain hall of fame, so it will be interesting to hear how he created such a memorable performance. (No word yet if Los Pollos Hermanos will be served.)

Jon Heder

Jon Heder

Take a break from chatting online with babes all day and meet Napoleon Dynamite in the flesh. Rock your best side pony and sharpen your bow-hunting skills and, with a little luck, he might even draw you a liger. Gosh!