THE 100 Scoop: What We Learned and Loved from Unity Days 2018

The second annual fan convention held in honor of the CW drama series THE 100 was hosted by Unity Days at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel in Vancouver this past weekend. Just like the first convention held in 2017, this year’s Unity Days event was extraordinary. With 15 special guests, including cast members Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley, Lindsey Morgan, Christopher Larkin, Chelsey Reist, Richard Harmon, Luisa D’Oliveira, Zach McGowan, Tasya Tales, Sachin Sahel, Marie Avgeropoulos, Jarod Joseph, Tati Gabrielle, Nadia Hilker and Jess Harmon, along with props crew members Anthony Vani, Paxton Downard, Elliott Montello, Rob Warren, and Emma Fay Morgan, there was great fun to be had by all, including delightful tid-bits of information shared about the show and even more intriguing behind-the-scenes antics revealed.

The Unity Days 3-day event consisted of 16 Q&A panels with the cast and crew, autograph sessions and photo opportunities, a special Cancer Gets LOST Silent Auction, Presskru panels for the Meta Station, Talk Nerdy and THE 100 Reviewers (shout-out to my phenomenal co-reviewers Selina Wilken and Yana Grebenruk!), as well as adjacent after-parties which kept the high excitement in full gear for the entire weekend.

Notably, the Cancer Gets LOST Silent Auction raked in over $10,850 as fans happily bid on autographed memorabilia from the show and other generously-donated art emphasizing the passion the fans have for the show and its phenomenal characters. Cancer Gets LOST founder Jo Garfein proclaimed that this was the highest amount ever collected by a Cancer Gets LOST auction during a single fan convention and it will undoubtably set a new bar for future auctions that benefit the charity.

This event was also the first time that official props from the show were brought for the fans to see up close and personal, much to the excitement of both the fans and the creators.

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While photos during the panels were not allowed, there were a few fun photos posted by the cast and the Unity Days organizers to show off the antics from the fun-loving event.

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Jess Harmon and Jarod Joseph (photo credit: Jarod Joseph)
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Tasya Teles, Zach McGowan, Sachin Sahel and Chewy (photo credit: Unity Days)
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Jo Garfein, Zach McGowan, Sachin Sahel, Tasya Teles, Luisa D’Oliviera (photo credit: Unity Days)

The panels were a fantastic way of learning information about the show’s previous seasons and. as expected, a few attempts were made to glean an inkling of what lies ahead in Season 5 of THE 100, which included what happened to the key characters who were separated either in the bunker or in the Ark by the end of Season 4, with Clarke (Eliza Taylor) last seen above ground with a new character Madi (Lola Flanery).

Tid-bits pertaining to Season 5:
– Harper’s hair is longer, blonder and stronger
– Harper is a lot more determined
– Miller is more grumpy
– Nilyah is darker
– per Jess, “what happens in space, stays in space” but what happens in the bunker, “that sh*t is going to come out”
– Season 5 opens up a couple new worlds of sets and colors for crew to explore
– Jarod and Sachin most excited to do a scene with each other, as were Luisa and Chelsey in Season 5
– Emori thinks space is the best thing in the whole world
– Emori has a full heart for her fellow Spacekru
– Emori has a new costume
– Miller’s outfit is badass
– Jarod and Sachin are both totally up for “Mackson”
– Season 5 theme: “What is unity?”
– “Memori” status? Per Richard, “a lot of relationships have developed and regressed . . . 6 years is a long time” and referred to Memori as “memory”
– McCreary (William Miller) is Richard’s favorite new character, who he describes as a “bad motherf*cker” and he’s “what Murphy could have been”
– Bob described the reunions as “emotional” and Eliza described them as “awesome” and Lindsey said they were “okay”
– Eliza laughingly said: “It’s bizarre that we can end the world and restart it every single f*cking year”
– Octavia/Gaia? Tati said “at some point they had to put their differences aside”
– Richard described Murphy in Season 5 as: relentless, passionate, sadistic, caring, sweet-as
– Bob described Bellamy in Season 5 as: “the most honest version” and the “best version of him”
– Sachin described Season 5 as: “Insane. Somehow even more insane” and “more lunar eclipse than roller-coaster ride”
– Richard described Season 5 as: “We brought in a bunch more characters that I adore”
– Gaia still has the Flame and feels the weight and responsibility for it
– Richard had not seen Sachin in 2 months before the convention (guessing no Jackson/Murphy scenes then)
– Richard said that Murphy has shorter, sexier hair in Season 5
– Richard enjoyed being on Ark set and seeing how Murphy developed over the 6 years
– Eliza liked how the writers talked to each of them to ask where they thought their characters would be after the 6 years time jump
– Bob said he was at first against who Bellamy was at the beginning of Season 5, but on reflection thinks it is the best version of Bellamy
– Marie said in Season 5 that for Octavia that she makes decisions that will “stir up sh*t”, to which Tasya sarcastically replied: “unlike in space where we’re having a really great time”
– Marie does not think Octavia is enjoying being Commander
– Octavia will have a uniquely Octavia way on how to lead in Season 5
– Marie does not think people will like Octavia in Season 5, so she is going to avoid social media for awhile once it begins to air
– Tasya said it was difficult to relax Echo’s posture in Season 5 after maintaining the regal and rigid warrior spine Echo had in Season 4 and had to figure out her physicality and movements after 6 years in space
– Tasya’s favorite part of Echo in Season 5 is “she’s full of sass” and she “just knows what to do”
– Echo and Octavia’s relationship may or may not get worse before it gets better in Season 5
– Octavia has been trying to contact Bellamy constantly during the 6 years
– Bellamy will have hard time accepting the woman that Octavia has become in Season 5
– Octavia may or may not want to punish Kane for his sins of the past
– Helios probably died in praimfaiya
– Marie noted that she has enjoyed playing warrior Octavia, but this season “has been a can of worms” — fun to play as Octavia is constantly changing like a chameleon
– Christopher said despite being 30 years old that he’s never been able to grow a beard, so Monty will not have one on the Ark

Information on filming prior seasons and behind-the-scenes:
– Who breaks the most props? Marie Avgeroploulos, though Tasya has broken a few as well
– there are 10 versions of Octavia’s sword
– Bob thinks driving the Rover is dangerous as there are no seatbelts
– Sachin called Paige Turco so she could share her favorite Kabby moment: Kane/Abby’s 1st kiss
– Sachin coined the word “fan-lanthrophy” (fan philanthropy) to describe all the fan donations for charity
– favorite props to make for show: ALIE drone, Raven’s spacesuit, and one coming up in Season 5
– props department built a blue butterfly glowing lamp that was never used on the show
– inscription on Octavia’s Commander sword “ge smak daun gyon op nodotaim” (ode to Lincoln)
– Jess would love to play Murphy
– Jarod and Luisa would both like to play Bellamy
– Chelsey and Tasya would like to play Octavia
– Marie would like to portray Echo, but teased “I wouldn’t want to be you at the end of Season 5, that might get weird later”
– Tati’s favorite scenes were riding a horse and scene with Adina, Henry, Isaiah and Chris in the bunker
– Sachin’s favorite scenes was the Miller/Jackson scene in the truck
– Richard’s favorite scenes were the Murphy/Raven scene after she was shot, in bunker alone in Season 3 premiere, hanging Bellamy, and then final scene with Raven in Season 4
– Richard loves working with Bob because they have good chemistry and they “push” each other
– Richard said Murphy was 10 when his father died and was 13 when he was put in the skybox
– Richard said Murphy has much respect for Raven and considers Bellamy his best friend
– Richard admitted that the best version of himself is when he is on set
– Nadia said: “if anyone wants to know about my new set, it is called Hell” [RIP Luna!]
– Nadia on the Season 4 Conclave: “It was bullsh*t. I’m a Nightblood. Nobody stabs me in the back. That was just bad writing.” To which Bob laughingly said: “So you heard Jason’s not coming today, right?”
– Learned from their characters? Bob: to use and clean guns, Eliza: some bad-ass moves, Lindsey: how to splice a wire
– What teach their characters? Bob: he’d teach Bellamy to drink, Eliza: she’d teach Clarke to take a break
– Bob and Lindsey are not fond of the respective torture scenes that they had to portray as Raven and Bellamy
– Lindsey described it as: “all the torture — it gets exhausting and your body hurts”
– Nadia is not fond of the day she was wet for 14 hours either, when Luna was waterboarded and it was hard to breathe
– Bob said it was hard wearing an adult diaper and hanging upside down for his torture scene
– when asked if he wanted to talk about Bellamy leaving Clarke behind in the Season 4 finale, Bob said: “Not particularly”
– Eliza said that she kind of wishes she had filmed the entire first season of the show naked just so she could enjoy her body more as she strongly believes in body positivity (imagine the ratings for the show if that had happened!)
– Lindsey said Raven is always evolving and losing Finn was the end of innocence for Raven
– Zach on meeting Tasya for the first time thought: “Wow, she’s really tall. She’s super bad-ass on the show. I needed to up my game.”
– Sachin was surprised the most by the Season 3 scene where Jackson chips Abby
– Zach was surprised the most by the Season 4 scene where Roan helps put guy in the radiation tube to be microwaved
– Marie’s favorite stunt was the knee slide and double guard kill
– what Zach learned from the show was to definitely have a shield in a sword fight
– Jess described the Nilyah/Clarke relationship as “it’s just love with support and respect— it doesn’t need a specific label and it is grounded in friendship”
– Christopher said he appreciates his scenes with Chelsey as they can get to a place of comfort and vulnerability with each other, something he also shared with Devon
– Christopher said there was nothing ever between Monty and Miller and was never meant that way by the writers (though he did walk right over and kiss Jarod on stage!)
– Chelsey drew from her own experience to portray Harper’s struggle with depression and understood when the writers wrote Harper as being a bit “resigned” in her feelings in Season 4

Observations from the panels:
– Tasya greets her castmates with kisses (mostly on cheeks and tops of heads)
– Chelsey and Christopher are clearly in sync off-screen as they looked out for each other during panels (they arrived on stage holding hands and sat next to each other on stage)
– Jarod and Chelsey appeared to be making out with each other, but then Jarod also kissed Christopher, so the cast obviously likes to share the love
– speaking of sharing the love, Nadia/Lindsey and Luisa/Chelsey were all cuddly, as were Jess and Sachin, and then later Jess and Jarod
– Jess is the goofiest of the entire cast and could not sit still (ever), and loves to hang all over either Sachin or Jarod
– Sachin is the “King of the Con” and brought more laughter than all of them put together (he is clearly a comedy god and needs more humor written into his scenes ASAP)
– Chelsey thanked the fans for sharing all their personal stories as she strives to “help and heal” through her art
– Jarod likes to twerk
– Jo Garfein mentioned that she loves to wear a Raven t-shirt that says “We all have battle scars”
– Eliza jumped down from the stage to hug Baby Lara and everyone “awwwed” at the sight of it
– Eliza’s dog Bowie, Marie’s dog Chewy, Jarod’s dog and Tati’s dog are all just the cutest and each dominated all the attention any time they were on stage
– Chewy even sat on Marie’s lap
– Sachin and Richard hilariously sang “Fools Rush In (I can’t help falling in love with you)”
– Richard got to watch the Season 5 trailer 3 times the night before (and we were all massively jealous!)

My take away on Season 5 is: life on the Ark and in the Bunker are equally undesirable and neither bodes well for any of our favorite characters as we meet them again after the 6 year time jump.

My take away on THE 100 cast: they are the biggest bunch of goof-balls and clearly love each other a lot. They also love their fans enough to hang-out as much as possible and make sure everyone got autographs and photos until their hearts were content.

My take away on the fans: they came to have a great time and made THE 100 cast and guests feel welcomed and appreciated. They also really enjoyed meeting their fellow fans from the far corners of the globe and made genuine friendships as a result.

My take away on the convention: it was an absolute blast! The organizers out did themselves in setting it up and making it run as smoothly and stress-free as possible. So much so, that the fans and the cast kept pressuring them to promise to host a Unity Days event in 2019. (As of right now, this was the last Unity Days event as the organizers really want to sleep and see a bit more of their families in 2018 and they have definitely earned it!)

All in all, Unity Days was a wonderful and I am grateful to have attended and participated in the festivities. A hearty “Thank You” to all who planned, hosted, participated and attended. You made this year’s event simply extraordinary.

We can all now look forward to the Season 5 premiere of THE 100, which returns Tuesday, April 24th at 9:00 p.m. on the CW. (In addition, with a little luck, the Season 5 trailer will be released in March and we can all happily dissect its clues at that time.)

Unity Days website: Unity Events Canada // For The Fans

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