Star Wars fans from all over the world converged on to the Anaheim Convention Center for Star Wars Celebration 2015. It’s the ultimate fan experience for any Star Wars fan, which travels around the world and happens about every other year.
The last time I attended this convention was for Star Wars Celebration IV, in 2007, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It was a pretty big deal for me to attend that one, since I was a huge fan and grew up with Star Wars. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening at the end of the year, Christmas 2015, I knew I had to attend this one. Plus, being in Anaheim and closer to home made it even better.
Here’s a recap from Star Wars Celebration:
• New Teaser: Probably the biggest thing from the convention was the first showing of the new teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The excitement over this was amazing. It reveals a bit more, we also get the first glimpse of a character that could be the villain in the movie, plus Han Solo and Chewbacca.
• BB-8: The new droid in the movie rolled out onto the stage during one of the panels.
• Photo Op Sets: Pretty cool that there were these set areas on the exhibit floor that you could take your picture in.
• Signings: Various cast and crew were signing in the Autograph Area. Signing schedules were posted around the area for easy reference and planning. Most of the main cast signing lines had been sold out or capped very fast.
• Panels and Stage Events: Panel talks with some of the actors, about collecting, behind-the-scenes magic, the video games and the new movie. The Jedi Academy Stage Event was entertaining.
• Costumes: So many different types of Stormtrooper armor on display.
• Cosplay: Lots of attendees came dressed as their favorite Star Wars or mash-up character.
• LEGOs: Fans took part in helping build the world’s largest Darth Vader out of LEGO bricks. LEGO Play Area had the Micro Take, where attendees could build a micro Star Wars vehicle out of LEGO bricks.
• Tattoo Pavilion: This area had over 40 tattoo artists taking part in the Star Wars Ink Fusion Tattoo Festival. Fans were getting some really cool Star Wars inspired tattoos done on their arms and legs.
• Show Exclusives: These are always the hottest items at any convention. I’m used to seeing exclusives selling out within the first couple hours of opening, so my first stops are usually at these booths.
• Other Cool Merchandise:
– Her Universe booth had some items for the fan girls of Star Wars like a cute Ewok Satchel.
– Hasbro Star Wars version of the board game Risk.
– Santa Cruz Skateboards x Star Wars Collector’s Edition skatedeck collection.
– Build-A-Bear Star Wars clothing accessories and plush were available at their booth.
– R2-D2 rolling luggage by American Tourister and Darth Vader Toaster by Pangea Brands were items I thought about buying and may have to get them later.
DK Publishing had signings at their booth throughout the convention. I was lucky enough to have author Jason Fry sign my copy of Star Wars in 100 scenes. He has written a number of reference guides, short stories and novels set in the Star Wars universe. As well as a writer for Star Wars Insider and the author of The Jupiter Pirates series, which I may have to check out.
One thing I was a bit disappointed with is how the pins were sold at the Celebration Store. One button pack per person. Three different pin packs, two pin blind packs and a pin/lanyard set to choose from. There were 45 pins to collect via trading, purchasing or giveaways. It would have been better if they let you purchase one of each or limited it to two pin sets. I would have gotten back into the Store line to get another pin set, but it took me over an hour just to get through the line to pay.
This was announced during the closing ceremony: Star Wars Celebration will be heading to London, July 15-17, 2016 at the ExCel Center. Tickets are already on sale for this at www.starwarscelebration.com/Tickets/Buy-Tickets.