Toronto Comicon features Avatar: The Last Airbender & more!

By Alexandra Heilbron on March 18, 2024 | Leave a Comment

R2D2 at Toronto ComiconToronto Comicon was presented at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre during the end of March Break (March 15 to 17), and featured a variety of attractions for fans. The three-day extravaganza was packed with exciting and fun activities for all ages.

From meet-and-greets with huge stars to panels with the creators of your favorite comics and the invitation to cosplay to your heart’s desire, Toronto Comicon 2024 was heaven for fans of sci-fi, fantasy, comics, anime, gaming and horror.

Canadian-born actor Tom Cavanagh (The Flash) kicked off the convention with the first celebrity panel. He spoke about growing up in Ghana and his involvement with the charity called “Nothing but Nets,” which raises funds and awareness to prevent malaria in Africa. He had originally turned down the part for The Flash twice because he didn’t want to play another guy in a lab. However, with much convincing, he flew to Los Angeles where they announced he would be playing the villain, which completely changed his mind. He also admitted he was a prankster on set, often putting salt in his castmates’ drinks while they were filming and being amused at them trying not to react.

British actor Denis Lawson, best known for his role as Wedge Antilles in the original Star Wars trilogy, confessed it was his first time in Canada and said he was looking forward to exploring more of Canada during his time here. He revealed he had no idea the magnitude of how big Star Wars would become. His nephew, Ewan McGregor, would later play Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels and in the series on Disney+.

Ahsoka stars Diana Lee Inosanto (Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth) and Eman Esfandi (Ezra Bridger) came to share their time on the Disney+ series. Diana, who is the daughter of martial arts legend Dan Inosanto and the goddaughter of Bruce Lee, shared that she felt she has been training for the role her whole life. She spent the majority of her career doing stunts and was thrilled to be in front of the camera. Eman said when he’d asked his manager and agent to put him up for the role of Ezra well in advance of the audition notice, they told him he had high hopes, since he hadn’t landed an audition with them in three months. However, they did secure him an audition and he won the role.

The most popular panel was for the hit new Netflix series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Canadian actor Gordon Cormier (Aang), who was 12 when the show was filmed, and Ian Ousley (Sokka) delighted fans as they shared their stories and shared personal things about themselves. When asked which Canadian foods Gordon introduced to the set, he revealed that Ian, who is from Texas, loved ketchup chips. Ian added that at first he was reluctant to try them, but said they were delicious, which he said made sense, because who doesn’t love ketchup with their french fries?

Gordon revealed the process to becoming the Avatar involved his hair being shaved every single day with several razors and then another hour to put the arrow tattoo on his head. He said although it was a dream come true to play Aang, that in future, if there’s a role where he doesn’t have to shave his head, he would gladly take it. Gordon studied taekwondo when he was seven, but admitted he didn’t keep it up, while Ian rose to be number one in martial arts, ranking nationally and clinching a World Championship title in creative weapons. Avatar: The Last Airbender has been renewed for two more seasons, which means these two will soon be back at work on the set in British Columbia.

Other celebrities that appeared in panels were Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica); Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Christina Chong (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds); and Harvey Guillén (What We Do In the Shadows). Other events were screenings of Disney+’s X-Men ’97 and the screening of Amazon Prime’s new series Davey & Jonesie’s Locker, which closed out Comicon for another year.

Fans left with happy memories, lots of merchandise and hopefully, new friendships. The countdown is on for Fan Expo. ~Joanne Chu-Fook

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