The Fandom Menace

Answer these riddles and pass may you to the next level of sci-fi enlightenment and unlock the secrets contained within this sidebar. Who, my young padawan, are Mara Jade and Nien Numb? "Easy," you say, "Mara Jade is the Star Wars character who first appeared in the trilogy offshoot book Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn as the former emperor's assistant bent on killing Luke Skywalker, but who destroyed his clone instead. And Nien Numb is the Sullustan co-pilot to Lando Calrissian in the Millennium Falcon during the battle of Endor."

Well done. Strong in the ways of trivia are you.

You may read on.

Chances are those who know the answers to the questions posed above probably also know about this weekend's Sci-Fi Expo & Toy Show. The actors who portray Mara Jade and Nien Numb will be there as will convention regulars Jeremy Bulloch (who played Boba Fett) and Peter Mayhew (the man inside Chewbacca). Besides autograph sessions with the actors, the convention will be something of a fantasy flea market with more than 100 exhibit tables loaded with everything from the trite toys to the valuable collectible cards, as well as every figure, model, poster, autograph and comic in between. Although Star Wars and Star Trek seem to be the main attractions, there will also be horror memorabilia, anime, G.I. Joe stuff and video games. If all that's a little too geeky, don't worry. Pokémon items, toy cars from Hot Wheels, Pez and lunch box collectibles are also featured.

Those who attend the Sci-Fi Expo can also register for a post-convention party at Gameworks in Grapevine Mills Mall, where, if the chance cube rolls in their favor, they may get to race either Bulloch or Mayhew on the new Star Wars' Pod Racer arcade game, gaining the unique bragging rights of making bantha poodu out of the most feared bounty hunter in the outer rim or a Wookie strong enough to pull the arms off a Gundark.

We wouldn't bet on it, though. Unfortunately, Sebulba always wins.