I was going to write a column about how to behave yourself at Comic-Con which is right upon us, but when I had an offer to have someone write it for me, I jumped at the chance. So, without further ado, here is only voice you’d never need when it comes to etiquette and protocol:
Greetings. I am See-Threepio, human-cyborg relations. I’m fluent in more than six-million forms of communication and am programmed for etiquette and protocol. My master will be visiting you shortly and I was asked to offer a primer of etiquette and protocol for such an event. It is called, if I’m correct–I am using a very primitive dialect–a “comic con.” I am told they can be quite expensive but are incredibly enjoyable. In fact, in order to capture a permanent image of you and Master Luke is quite a price, though I assure you that it is not as steep a price as Jabba the Hutt paid to appear with him.
The first thing to know about convention etiquette is to be kind. If all attendees are in attendance to have “fun” then being mean or spiteful is decidedly not right. Further, if you’re of a species that is accustomed to eating other, smaller species, I would refrain during the course of the event. Conventions are, I’m told a safe space, quite unlike many of the places I’ve been forced to go to in the galaxy. Much more Naboo than Mos Eisley, quite civilized indeed.
The arts play a central role in many of the monetary transactions common to conventions. For meeting your favorite painter, writer, or other tradesbeing in the arts, ensure that you have enough money for your desired transaction. And when interacting with them, be sure that you do not say anything untoward. Wish them well for their art, offer your support, and treat them with the utmost dignity. And remember, sometimes culture’s clash! If you see art from a culture that might offend you, remember that it is not offensive in their culture. It is not your place to remind them how offensive you find their culture. Realize you come from different worlds and offer them the same courtesy you would an artist from your own home planet.
When large groups of sentient beings gather, the odds of having someone of an uncouth nature in the crowd are approximately twenty to one. These ruffians might make untoward comments about the appearance of those who might look or act differently than them, I believe the words to describe such crude remarks and behavior you might use in your language are “sexist,” “racist,” or “bigoted.” Never engage in this sort of behavior and if you witness this sort of activity going on, alert the nearest volunteer or Jedi Knight so that they might handle the situation appropriately. It is important to make conventions as welcoming to all comers as possible, but at the same time leave no tolerance for rude behavior.
There will be many people in disguise. “Cosplaying” I believe is the term. More often than not, they would love to have their image taken with you, but be sure to ask. And don’t place your hands anywhere that might be considered offensive in any culture that might be represented at the event without express permission.
One of the most common rules of etiquette and decency is to remember that your likes and dislikes will not match any other being in the galaxy. This is what makes humans such fascinating creatures–well, at least from the perspective of a droid. To that end, it is, at the very least, not advisable, to spread negativity about another attendees interests. Even if someone were a devout fan of the Empire, you would not see me cast aspersions about their interests. I might question their motives in my head, but it would not be my place, as a droid or a convention attendee, to question their dedication to their ideals in a verbal manner.
Oh dear, it seems as though we’ve run out of time to talk more of etiquette. When programmed in millions of forms of communication, brevity is not always in the realm of my capability. And so it’s my pleasure to…
Thanks, Threepio. You’ve been a great help here. And, hopefully, I’ll see you at the con. And your master. And everyone reading this. It’s going to be one for the history books.