Armageddon Auckland Memories

Armageddon Expo Auckland is held every year during Labour weekend in October – while Armageddon Expo is held in cities around the country, the Auckland event is the largest geek convention in NZ. Due to current pandemic restrictions, large events can’t take place, so the Auckland expo has been postponed to later this year. As Star Wars fans and costumers, Armageddon Auckland has been a staple in our calendar for over 15 years – so to celebrate this weekend, we’re taking a look back at some of our favourite memories and highlights from Armageddon Auckland over the years.

Armageddon Auckland 2005

This was the first time Armageddon Auckland was held on Labour weekend in October (it was previously held in April). We built a Death Star set to use at the 501st Legion booth – this was my first troop as an official 501st member (Imperial Officer ID 947). This was also the first time we wore our screen-used Necromonger costumes from The Chronicles Of Riddick.

Armageddon Auckland 2006

I had made Padme’ Amidala’s lake retreat gown for our trip to Italy earlier in the year (where we got engaged), so I decided to enter into the Cosplay Competition for fun (I came in the ‘top 10’). We once again wore our 501st costumes together – TK 944 and ID 947 – I wore my engagement ring while trooping.

Armageddon Auckland 2007

Bruce Timm, co-creator of Harley Quinn was a guest in 2007. As a big Harley Quinn fan, I knew I had to make her costume – plus a Joker costume for Matt. It was an absolute pleasure to meet Bruce Timm while I was dressed as Harley Quinn, and as an added bonus, our Mad Love duo won Best In Show in the Cosplay Competition!

Armageddon Auckland 2008

This was the year I debuted several new costumes – femtrooper, twi’lek jedi, and Princess Leia’s metal bikini. A lot of last minute costume work to get these all done in time (I didn’t expect my twi’lek lekku to arrive from the US in time), and I was able to achieve my confidence goal of finally wearing Chainbreaker Leia at a convention.

Armageddon Auckland 2009

This was the first year Armageddon Auckland was held at the Auckland Showgrounds, which is much larger than the previous venue at the Aotea Centre. Lots of space to wear costumes, pose for photos, and enjoy browsing around the huge halls without the fuss of stairs and elevators. Juliet debuted her new Batgirl costume and also wore her Elizabeth Bennet costume with us.

Armageddon Expo 2010

We had our very own Star Wars New Zealand booth this year – a lot of work, with help from friends, but it was great to really showcase the Star Wars fan community. We had props, costumes, and collectibles on display and it kept us busy all weekend. I also attended a celebrity lunch with Michael Shanks from Stargate SG-1 – he shared great stories from his film career.

Armageddon Expo 2011

The weekend before, I had traveled to Melbourne, Australia to visit friends and attend Armageddon Melbourne. I had wanted a comfortable Star Wars costume to wear, something that would be easy to travel internationally with, so I quickly sewed up a Jedi Historian costume, inspired by Jocasta Nu and Atris. I wore my new jedi costume all weekend long at Armageddon Expo, while Matt wore his classic Stormtrooper.

Armageddon Auckland 2012

This was only weeks after all three of us traveled to the US to attend DragonCon. A quieter year for us in terms of costuming, as it’s hard for local events to compare to the size and scale of US conventions, but we had fun with local friends. Juliet wore her new Disney Belle costume and her Queen Amidala costume.

Armageddon Auckland 2013

This year Matt and I were part of the hosting team for a 501st Legion panel, where we talked about all things Imperial costuming. I once again wore my Jedi Historian, which had since become my go-to trooping costume – Juliet was now the same height as me, and borrowed my classic Jedi Knight costume to troop together.

Armageddon Auckland 2014

In 2014 Armageddon Auckland hosted Richard Dean Anderson – one of the biggest celebrity guests to ever attend Armageddon at that time, so many of our friends traveled from around the country to attend. We didn’t costume as much this year, as we hosted a big Star Wars costuming group dinner that weekend (so that took a bit of time away from the convention to prep for), but we still took heaps of photos and had fun.

Armageddon Auckland 2015

Juliet debuted her new Star Wars costume – Darth Nihilus from Knights Of The Old Republic II. This was also one of the last times Matt wore his classic Stormtrooper armour at Armageddon – bought back in 2001, the plastic armour is starting to show its age, so it’s been semi-retired from regular trooping for now.

Armageddon Auckland 2016

Juliet once again wore her Darth Nihilus costume, while Matt wore his X-Wing Pilot. Our biggest highlight from the weekend was getting to see Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek – we saw her panel and got her autograph, she was absolutely lovely.

Armageddon Auckland 2017

We debuted some cool new Star Wars costumes this year. Juliet wore her Jedi Knight Jylari Renzell costume – the first costume she made all by herself. Matt debuted his Darktrooper costume from Battlefront, made by local costume maker Oota Goota. Celebrity guest Nathan Fillion actually snapped a quick Instagram pic of Matt in his costume, which was a fun way to kick off the convention!

Armageddon Auckland 2018

This year we really focused on taking photos, but Matt still found the time to wear his Darktrooper armour again. Juliet had fun coming up with a full themed outfit for each day of the convention, and we saw as many panels as we could – including Christina Ricci, and many actors from Supernatural.

Armageddon Auckland 2019

2019 was a great year for Star Wars guests – we had four Star Wars voice actors in attendance! We attended the panels for Sam Witwer (Starkiller/Darth Maul), Jason Isaacs (Grand Inquisitor), Steve Blum (Zeb), and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Arihnda Pryce), and got all their autographs – they were all amazing to meet in person.

Armageddon Auckland 2020

We were very fortunate that Armageddon Auckland was able to be held in 2020 – we had no covid community cases at the time, so large events were safe. Of course international guests couldn’t attend, so almost all the guests attended via virtual panels, video calling in from around the world. My personal highlight was Ashley Eckstein’s panel – the voice of Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars and Rebels.