Star Wars Celebration has been an ongoing tradition for die-hard Star Wars fans with the very first Celebration taking place the year The Phantom Menace was released. This years Star Wars Celebration took place in Orlando, Florida and I had a chance to partake in this amazing adventure. The convention spanned from April 13-16 and I was fortunate to go that Friday and Saturday.
This was the biggest convention I’ve ever attended and I have to say that I had a memorable experience that will last a lifetime. To see all of these Star Wars fans coming together to celebrate forty years of Star Wars is truly remarkable. The costumes, the fans, the panels, all of it was very special. I had an amazing time meeting new people and fans around the world. Here are some of the things I saw and did at the convention…
Star Wars Lego Sets
One of the companies that have been a part of Star Wars for many years is Lego. Lego has been a staple in the Star Wars fan community and has continued to grow to this day. Star Wars Celebration gave us some impressive Lego sets that recreated famous battle scenes from the films. Check out some of the epic battle scenes in Lego form down below:
Not only do you get to see the smaller models, but Lego also showed off life-size Star Wars characters made entirely of Legos! Take a look for yourself down below:
Cosplay, Cosplay, And MORE Cosplay
You can’t go to a Star Wars convention without seeing some good ol’ fashion Cosplay. And boy was there A LOT! From the 501st to the Mandalorian army, there were plenty of amazing costumes to see at Star Wars Celebration. Take a gander at some of the incredible costumes down below!
Screen Junkies And Collider Movie Talk!
While at the convention, I had the opportunity to meet some of the Screen Junkies crew! Screen Junkies are most famous for their Honest Movie Trailers that are a huge hit on their YouTube channel. I was fortunate to speak with both Andy Signore and Jenny Nicholson.
Not only were the Screen Junkies crew awesome, but I also had the privilege to watch the Collider Movie Talk crew face-off in what they call THE MOVIE TRIVIA SCHMOEDOWN!
Host of Collider Jedi Council and occasionally Collider Movie Talk, Kristian Harloff brought the crowd of a few hundred people together who were lucky enough to witness a five player free-for-all. The five contenders were Colliders John Campea, Jeremy Jahns, Ken Napzok, Screen Junkies Jenny Nicholson, and the voice of Palpatine and Darth Maul himself; Sam Witwer. The competition was intense and the winner may surprise you. Check out the full Movie Trivia Schmoedown by clicking on the video below!
After the Schmoedown I was able to meet up with the Collider Movie Talk crew and I also met some really nice friends along the way:
One of the many panels I attended at Star Wars Celebration was the one for Hasbro. There were a few notable names that represented Hasbro including Design Director Steve Evans, Brand Strategy and Marketing Joe Ninivaggi, and Marketing & Development Bill Rawley. The panel discussed the many popular years of the Hasbro Star Wars action figures along with some of the newer figures we can expect that will be officially released at this years San Diego Comic-Con.
Those in attendance were able to witness those new products via PowerPoint. Here are some of those products which are a part of the Black Series.
Del Ray Books Panel
This was one of my favorite panels at Star Wars Celebration. Not only was I able to hear some of the most creative Star Wars writers in the business today, but I was able to listen to one of the most prominent Star Wars authors; Timothy Zahn.
Zahn as you may all know, created one of the greatest Legends (now canon) characters of all time; Grand Admiral Thrawn. Zahn spoke about how Lucasfilm came to him and that he was honored to have his own character creation come to fruition. The man who began the Star Wars extended universe with his Thrawn Trilogy, now released his first canon novel titled Thrawn. The novel tells a new story of a familiar character with a different background on his rise to power. Zahn spoke highly of how excited he was to reintroduce this character to both an old and new audience.
Not only did I hear Zahn speak, but the author of the Aftermath trilogy named Chuck Wendig was there also. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of his books, Wendig had a comedic presence at the panel and offered some insight into some Easter Eggs he threw into his novels. Wendig talked about how he was surprised that Lucasfilm allowed the chapter of Jar Jar Binks when he was only writing it for fun. The author also let in on a secret that got fans in the crowd riled up. Wendig had wanted to incorporate an old fan-favorite character of the Old Republic series; HK-47. Unfortunately Lucasfilm shot the chapter down and doesn’t appear to be ready to make any of the Old Republic history canon.
DK Publishing Panel
My final panel involved the creative writers behind DK Publishing. They talked about all of the Visual Dictionaries including the Star Wars Complete Locations and more recently the Rogue One Visual Dictionary. Pablo Hidalgo, one of the creative consultants behind both the films and the visual books, elaborated on the importance of collaboration between the entire team. It was interesting to hear that Hidalgo said that he is lucky enough to receive partial rough cuts of the films before he and his team begin designing the next visual guide.
The entire creative team had an amazing time explaining how they go about their day. The way the team interacts and gets along with each other is astounding to hear. Though there may be many disagreements going on behind the scenes, they certainly don’t make it known among the crowd. The passion and dedication of the writers is something to marvel at and they do a fantastic job creating a fictional world that feels all to real to Star Wars fans.
My Final Thoughts
I had such an unbelievable time at my first Star Wars Celebration. I got a once and a lifetime opportunity to meet with passionate fans from around the world and to share my love of Star Wars. The panels were also a lot of fun and the cosplay there was astounding to see. If you ever have a chance to go to the biggest Star Wars convention in the world, I would highly recommend Star Wars Celebration.
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