Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles fan Jason was kind enough to share with us the story behind the photo of Summer holding a Save TSCC sign at Comic Con Honolulu 2016. You can see his awesome photo and read his compelling story (including Summer's opinion on the possible relationship between Alison from Palmdale and future John) below.
By the end of last month [July 2016], the last episode of the t.v. series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” Season 2 had aired over 7 years’ time ago [April 10th, 2009]. The announcement of its cancellation had happened little more than a month later [May 18th, 2009]. Back then, FOX broke the hearts of many, MANY fans of the show, including my own. Ripples were felt throughout the timestream. [Well, okay, at least, through what was then our present.] Fans of the show all around the world got online via Twitter and lots of Terminator fan forums to express their sadness and disappointment at Fox’s decision. I chose SaveTheSCC.com as my “fan home” for things Terminator. Or, more specifically, things TSCC. There were all kinds of fan efforts to encourage FOX to bring back the show. There were YouTube campaigns. Letter writing campaigns. Heck, SaveTheSCC people even succeeded in raising enough funds to create a mobile billboard for us. [If you haven’t seen it already, check it out on YouTube!]
There was even an attempt to put together a TSCC convention. If I remember correctly, it was called the “No Fate Con”. It was to be a convention for the fans run by the fans. Ultimately, it had to be cancelled due to lack of funds, but the fan love was out there. In all of us.
I can’t remember exactly WHEN it started, but our group of fans decided to start doing viewing parties. Every Saturday at 10 p.m. EST, no matter where we are in the world, we’d jump online and pop in our DVDs (or bluRays, or fire up our iTunes players), watch the designated episode for the week together and chat. [We watch them in order they were released.] One episode each Saturday.
The fans have been doing it for YEARS now. Our friend, Star, usually hosts these days. I’ve joined them off and on (lately more off since my work schedule moved me to work weekends) but they’ve been doing it for YEARS. Even during holidays. That's how much we love the show. For us, it never gets old. One of our sayings is “I miss our show”. At least one person says it for us during the viewing party after the episode has ended.
And we know of a few fans that have met the celebrities at conventions here and there.
Well, MONTHS ago, it was announced that SUMMER GLAU was to be one of the guests at Comic Con Honolulu. If I’m not mistaken, Comic Con Honolulu only started last year  but it was to show us this year that it had grown considerably.
I got all excited about the announcement and told my friends in the SaveTheSCC viewing parties. We joked about what I would do and say when I saw her. I think I told them I might create a t-shirt with our viewing party sayings on it. Print it out and give her one.
That did not come to pass. I planned, instead, to build a mostly hand-made sign and take a picture with it with her.
Of course, I procrastinated. I had MONTHS to prepare. Did I make good use of that time? Of course not. Not me. I’m not smart enough to do that.
So, I wait until the WEEK OF the con. Wednesday or Thursday, I buy the backing board for the sign. I build a border on the sign of stickers made by a VERY talented graphic artist - one of my fellow TSCC fans, a gal I call “General Roxy”. She made these stickers back in 2009 to pass out at conventions in hopes of drumming up awareness and interest in reviving our show. I still had a BUNCH of them here in Hawaii.
By Friday morning, Day 1 of the convention, I was MAYBE 25% done with the sign. I was in trouble. I knew it. Had no one else to blame but myself. Because I’m an idiot.
I checked the Comic Con Honolulu program. Summer Glau was NOT scheduled to be there that first day. So, I had ONE whole extra day to work on the sign. I sat at my artist friend’s booth. I had played gopher for him before at other local conventions so we already had a rapport going. He let me sit there and I spent a little of the time that day working on my sign. Took a few pictures of people. Enjoyed the creative / fun environment: The costumes. The intermittent stopping of people to check their phones because some Pokemon Go character appeared nearby that they hadn’t caught yet. And a Joker costumer’s evil laugh every time someone took his picture (a sound out of a nightmare, I tell you).
I stayed up late that night, at home, working on the sign.
Saturday morning came, July 30th, 2016, and I STILL wasn’t finished. Felt really bad. But I didn’t want to risk not taking pictures with Summer. So, I stood in line WITHOUT it.
Now, as always with meeting a celebrity, I worry about at least 3 things. 1) Will I embarrass myself?, 2) Will the celebrity be mean / nasty? and 3) Will the celebrity be pretentious?
I usually dress very casually (like a bum) because I’m a big fat guy and it’s hard for me to find NICE clothes that fit as comfortably as t-shirts, etc.. But, from what I could tell, Summer didn’t even bat an eye. She didn’t care how I dressed. She just acted so appreciative that I (as any fan) would visit her. She was all smiles. She was REALLY pleasant. I mean, genuinely. I never sensed any kind of “manufacturing” if you will. She was just organically NICE. And not an ounce of pretense.
I was so grateful for all this. My “agenda”? I just wanted to thank her for her great work on TSCC, my absolute favorite American television show. I can’t remember exactly everything I said. A gentleman who I later learned is Summer’s husband [Editor's note: Val] was kind enough to help my friend Nathan (who was standing by) take pictures of me with Summer. He was very helpful and a great sport.
Summer got “lost” in leafing through my TSCC Season 2 DVD booklet. Ha Ha! I loved it. It was so real of her. So human. She seemed to enjoy looking through the booklet, almost as if taking a stroll down memory lane. She signed the page I chose, one that has a nice big picture of her on it. She knew my name. [All fans in line were asked to write their name on a Post-It note, supposedly so she could be sure to spell their names correctly for autographs. I thought this was a great idea.] She signed mine, “For J.T. I call 9 mm … Summer Glau”. I was SO JAZZED! She picked a quote from the show and included it in the autograph! I had a good laugh later at that. A happy laugh, that is.
Before I left her table that day, I asked her two things: 1) “Do you think John Connor could fall in love with Alison from Palmdale?” and 2)”Do you think Alison from Palmdale could fall in love with John Connor?”
She said “Yes” to the first question. And, after giving the 2nd question a moment’s careful thought, she responded, “Yes, I do”. THAT made me REALLY happy.
Summer was so gentle and, like I said before, very genuine. I must tell you that I was VERY happy to meet her. Her husband was super cool. Overall, it was a great experience.
Come Sunday morning, Day 3 of 3, I borrowed my buddy’s car to go get Summer a lei [Editor's note: a Polynesian garland of flowers]. My usual go-to shop was closed. [Didn’t know they close on Sundays.] Ended up in Downtown / Chinatown. Finding parking was a super pain. Circled the blocks with lots of flower shops 5 times. Almost gave up when I found a free space on the sixth circle around. Picked up the best smelling lei I could find.
Got to the Hawaii Convention Center rather late. I made it to Summer’s 1 p.m. panel JUST in time. I sat near the back and continued to work on my sign as I listened to her speak. [I sat near the back because I didn’t want her to see me working and feel I was being rude. If Summer or her husband is reading this, I apologize!]
The fans had some interesting questions. [I do believe you can find her panel video on YouTube now.] Learned that Summer is, like myself, a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation! In fact, TNG is what REALLY got me into Trek, even though I’m old enough to remember Classic Trek re-running on television throughout my childhood. Summer talked about her childhood and her love for ballet. She mentioned how she met her husband. Thought that was a really cute story. Mentioned that she’s a Mommy now. [Anyone know her baby’s name?] [Editor's note: Milena]
The one answer from Summer that I liked most came in response to a fan who asked which was her favorite role to play so far.
To no one’s surprise, she said River Tam. [Respect to all the Firefly / Serenity fans out there. I only watched a few eps and never really got into it so I can’t call myself one of the fans.] BUT, she also said something to the effect of it was really hard to let go of playing Cameron Phillips because it was her longest role by that point. And she got to play Alison Young (alias “Alison from Palmdale”), the human basis for the Cameron character in TSCC. And she enjoyed playing Alison as well.
As a TSCC fan, it made me really happy to hear her say that.
After the excellent panel, it was a MAD RUSH for me to finish my sign. Now, I could have printed the whole thing and just glued it or I could have bought pre-made letter stickers, etc. and just slapped them on the sign but I chose to do the lettering part by hand. I wanted to give it that personal touch. I’m no artist by any stretch but I think that would give Summer the impression that I am, indeed, a fan and the fan love for the show is there.
The event was to end at 4 p.m. that day. Officially, anyway. [Don’t know if the celebrities stayed later to finish their autograph lines.]
One of the convention workers kindly got my lei to Summer. I wanted her to get it before the flowers got too old and dry as the day was already growing long.
I spent time finishing up my sign at my friend’s table. Was mad at myself for putting me in that situation. But, despite its hand-made state, I was fairly happy with it. No matter. I had no time to cry about it.
I bought another photograph ticket and jumped in line.
I got to Summer. Wanted to thank her husband for being so kind but I think his Mom (or Summer’s Mom, not sure) [Editor's note: most likely Summer's mom] arrived with their baby outside and he had to step away to go help get them in.
I thanked Summer again. Just like the day before, she was very pleasant. Smiled. Saw my sign. Said “Thank you, so much”. I asked her if she would take a picture with me and the sign. She never hesitated. Not for a second. For that, I was super grateful. She even helped me hold it! I was humbled.
I asked Summer, IF the Sarah Connor Chronicles show EVER gets continued, would she want to come back to it? She said something to the effect of “most definitely”. More happiness.
And that’s my story.
So glad I met her.
I miss our show. But at least I got to meet Summer Glau.
For this, I am so very grateful. Many thanks to her, “Heroes for Hire” for bringing her to Hawaii and Comic Con Honolulu for hosting her. This fan will always be grateful for this. Mahalo nui loa. [Thank you very much.]
A big Mahalo to Jason sharing his Summer Glau experience. If like him you want to share the Aloha spirit with other fans and send us your story/picture with Summer, please contact us or leave a comment below.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fans who keep the memory of TSCC alive through viewing parties, fanart, fanfiction, videos or simply by mentioning it online. I would also like to give a big shout out to TSCC executive producer James Middleton and my long time friend The1Russter for their continued support of the show.
You can read more stories of who had the chance to meet Summer at this year's Comic Con Honolulu in a previous News and see more photos of Summer posing with fans, signing autographs at her booth or at her panel in the Honolulu Comic Con gallery album.
On the same topic, check out photos and stories of fans who have recently shared with us their Summer Glau experience:
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