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Geek out! 'Trek,' 'Walking Dead' highlight FanX

Published January 15, 2014 10:11 am

Expo • George Takei will be in town this week; more to follow.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's been two decades since he left "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," but the experience has never ended for original cast member Walter Jones.

He's still recognized on a regular basis. And it's a big deal for some of the people who recognize him.

"I've had people cry," he said. "I've had people shaking uncontrollably and I've had ladies ask me to sign their chests. It all seems normal now, and in a way it is a gift to affect people that way."

It's about more than just being recognized. Jones appears at conventions across the country, including the inaugural Salt Lake Comic Con in September. He returned to judge a costume contest on New Year's Eve; he'll be back for FanX in April.

"SLCC was a ground-breaking show," he said. "I have never been a part of a first-time event that went off without a hitch and was so well attended.

"The people here were all very warm-hearted and friendly. Both the staff and attendees made me feel very welcome."

Salt Lake Comic Con was so successful organizers aren't waiting until September for Round 2. Actually, they aren't waiting until FanX in April.

George Takei — known famously as Hikaru Sulu from the original "Star Trek" — will be in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival premiere of the documentary "To Be Takei," and he's agreed to appear at a FanX Pre-Event on Jan. 17 at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City. FanX ticket holders can get an autograph and have their picture taken with the King of Facebook (more than 6 million followers).

FanX, which will be April 17-19 at the Salt Palace, is planned as a somewhat smaller event, but the confirmed guest list is already impressive. Takei won't be there, but there will be whole lot of "Star Trek" stars on hand — a list that includes most of the "Next Generation" regulars: LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge), Michael Dorn (Worf), Jonathan Frakes (William Riker), Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) and Brent Spiner (Data).

"The Walking Dead" will also be well represented by Jon Bernthal (Shane), Chandler Griggs (Carl), Laurie Holden (Andrea) and Norman Reedus (Daryl).

Jones won't be the only Power Ranger in attendance. He'll be joined by Jason David Frank.

The list of comic-book artists includes Bob Layton, Ryan Ottley, Arthur Suydam and Jamie Tyndall.

More announcements are forthcoming, but the current slate of confirmed guests includes:

• Adam Baldwin ("Firefly," "Chuck")

• Jeremy Bulloch ("Star Wars")

• David Della Rocca ("Boondock Saints")

• Sean Patrick Flannery ("Young Indiana Jones," "Dexter")

• Ioan Gruffudd ("Fantastic Four," "Ringer")

• Kelly Hu ("X2," "Arrow")

• James Marsters ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Smallville," "Warehouse 13") —

FanX Pre-Event

When • Friday, Jan. 17

Where • The Leonardo, 209 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • FanX ticket holders can get an autograph and have their picture taken with George Takei, famous for his role as Hikaru Sulu from the original "Star Trek"; available at saltlakecomiccon.com


When • April 17-19

Where • Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City

Tickets • From $10 for Thursday-only youth pass to $175 VIP pass; available at saltlakecomiccon.com