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This Thursday through Saturday, hundreds of thousands of pop culture diehards will flock to San Diego for the city’s 50th annual Comic-Con. Although the annual New York Comic-Con is held in a much larger city, San Diego Comic-Con is much more prominent. In fact, it’s the pop culture event to keep track of every year. The conference unites eager fans (many dressed in costumes, called cosplay) with actors, screenwriters, authors, and directors from the comic book, fantasy, and sci-fi worlds, among other realms. And there are even world premieres of TV shows to boot!
Usually, there’s such a high volume of big events at San Diego Comic-Con that it’s hard to keep track of everything happening. Whether you’re heading to the convention or enjoying all the YouTube videos that are sure to go up afterward, here’s what to expect at San Diego Comic-Con.
Panels, panels, panels
It’s not San Diego Comic-Con without panels. The convention is especially renowned for its TV show panels, in which actors, writers, and creators from beloved TV shows of all genres answer audience questions ranging from pointed to intentionally humorous. Here are just three of the convention’s ever-remarkable, genre-ranging panels.
- Game of Thrones, Friday, July 19, 5:30 p.m. PT. Game of Thrones actors Jacob Anderson, John Bradley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, Nathalie Emmanuel, Iain Glen, Conleth Hill, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright will discuss the much-maligned final season of HBO’s most-watched show ever with director Miguel Sapochnik and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
- The Good Place, Saturday, July 20, 12 noon PT. The Good Place, perhaps the most critically acclaimed of showrunner Michael Schur’s many 21st-century NBC sitcoms, recently announced that its upcoming fourth season will be its final one. The show has accrued an unusually rabid fanbase for a sitcom due to its sci-fi elements, so fans will likely come prepared for intense questions to ask legendary lead actors Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, breakout stars William Jackson Harper, D’Arcy Carden, and Manny Jacinto, and Schur and his co-executive producer Drew Goddard.
- Entertainment Weekly: Women Who Kick Ass, Saturday, July 20, 4 p.m. PT. San Diego Comic-Con isn’t only about panels specific to one media franchise. Entertainment Weekly will present a panel in which Ruby Rose (Batwoman), Cobie Smulders (Stumptown), Betty Gilpin (GLOW), Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who), and Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse) discuss the responsibility, honor, and potential for social change that accompanies playing female characters who exist far outside the narrow lines into which fictional women are often boxed.
For the early birds: premieres
In the eyes of many, Friday and Saturday tend to offer San Diego Comic-Con’s most exciting events. However, those who show up Wednesday, July 17 (the day before Comic-Con officially starts) will get in on two exclusive TV premieres. For the convention’s long-running Preview Night tradition, Warner Bros. Television Group will air pilot screenings of two new series, Batwoman (whose Ruby Rose will be on the Entertainment Weekly panel) and Pennyworth. Also screening early on Preview Night are the pilot of the upcoming shows Prodigal Son and Harley Quinn, among other exclusives.
If you’re going to San Diego Comic-Con, what’s on your schedule? If you’re planning to catch up on panels on YouTube after the conference ends, which ones are you anticipating? Let us know in the comments!