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Even if you did not see him in the movie "Vampires Suck" or the Netflix show "Jupiter’s Legacy," you may still recognize his voice. Matt Lanter – who voiced Anakin Skywalker from 2008 to 2020 in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" TV show and movie, and other video productions and video games is coming to town. You can meet him at the Cincinnati Comic Expo, which takes place Sept. 17-19 at the Duke Energy Convention Center, Downtown.
Lanter is originally from Massillon, Ohio, 3.5 hours away from Cincinnati, and still has an apartment in that area. Since he now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, he drives through Downtown Cincinnati quite often and has stayed at a boutique hotel in Covington with his wife, Angela. However, he has yet to visit Cincinnati, and never tasted Cincinnati chili. Lanter hopes to try Skyline Chili and Gold Star Chili during the expo. "I’ll see if I can’t have at least one of them," he said.
He says that women recall him for his role as Liam Court in "90210" and for portraying Wyatt Logan in "Timeless." However, he is most famous for being the voice of Anakin Skywalker.
How did he get the role? "It was a standard audition for me. They didn’t even specify what character it was. Dave Filoni at the time told me to just give my best combination of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo," Lanter said. "A couple of days later, they called and said 'you got the job. It’s Star Wars. It’s called the Clone Wars. It’s going to be an animated series. And by the way, you’re Anakin Skywalker, the lead of the series.'"
Lanter has become good friends with his former castmates from "The Clone Wars." He lives within walking distance of Arnold Taylor, who plays Obi-Wan Kenobi, and communicates often with Ashley Eckstein, who plays Ahsoka Tano. The duo has a friendly "ketchup war" going on, in which they send bottles of ketchup to each other as a gag. It began at Walt Disney World.
He is not just a Star Wars actor; he is a fan, too. "I’m such a geek now for Star Wars. I just love the Star Wars fandom and the Star Wars fandom feels like family to me now," Lanter stated. "It feels so familiar and comfortable to me. I love talking to other Star Wars fans and geeking out over it."
"Revenge of the Sith" is Lanter’s favorite Star Wars movie, and not surprisingly, Anakin Skywalker is his favorite Star Wars character. However, he likes Cad Bane, a bounty hunter from the Clone Wars animated series, too.
The Force will be with this convention. Sam Witwer (Darth Maul in "The Clone Wars," Starkiller in "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" video games, and other roles in Star Wars animated productions and video games), Keone Young (Commander Sato in "Star Wars Rebels"), Matthew Wood (supervising sound editor from "Revenge of the Sith" and other productions), David Acord (sound designer from "The Clone Wars" and other productions), and Stephen Costantino (a Gamorrean Guard in "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi") will also appear.
Arrowverse fans will be happy to know Tom Cavanagh, Katie Cassidy, and John Barrowman will be there.
Power Rangers fans will be able to meet Tracy Lynn Cruz and Austin St. John.
Other celebrities scheduled to appear include Jodi Benson ("Toy Story"), Francois Chau ("G.I. Joe"), Felicia Day ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld ("Pokemon"), Christopher Sabat ("Dragon Ball"), Ross Marquand ("The Walking Dead"), and Alan Oppenheimer ("Transformers").
Comic fans will be able to meet famous comic creators. Timothy Zahn ("Thrawn Trilogy"), Dave Aikins ("SpongeBob SquarePants"), John Beatty ("Batman"), David Michael Beck ("G.I. Joe"), Renee Witterstaetter ("Avengers"), and many other comic artists are scheduled to appear.
As with all things pandemic-related, it is possible that some of the scheduled guests will not be able to make it. Each celebrity has separate charges for autographs, professional pictures, and selfies. Check out the website for prices.
One of the convention highlights is a cosplay costume contest, but there are also programs, panels, and vendors selling comics, toys, posters, clothes, and more, making it a great opportunity for science fiction and comic book fans.
"I am looking forward to being up in Cincinnati and getting to talk to [fans] face to face,” Matt Lanter stated. "So, I think that doing some of these conventions is a nice way to get out, and just let loose, have some fun, talk to people face to face, and just nerd out over sci-fi."
The Harp Twins
Identical twin harpists Camille and Kennerly Kitt, known as the Harp Twins, have over 2.5 million social media fans and over 130 million views on their YouTube music videos, making them the most followed and recognizable harp duo in the world. They play a wide variety of electric harp music, including rock, metal, Celtic, Renaissance, soundtrack classics, and Celtic Nordic-inspired original songs. CBS News described them as, "Elegant, wistful, excellent!" Their performances are comedic, interactive, and family-friendly. They performed at the 2019 Cincinnati Comic Expo and are returning for the 2021 expo. At the expo, the Harp Twins will perform free concerts for all attendees.
To learn more about the Harp Twins, visit harptwins.com.
Cincinnati Comic Expo
Where: Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown.
When: Sept. 17-19. 3-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Early entry for VIP and 2020 ticket holders.
Admission: Adult tickets cost $20 for Friday, $35 for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, and $55 for the entire weekend. Youth tickets, ages 8 to 12, are $6.
Safety: Masks are required for all in attendance.