A Long Time Ago
In a Galaxy far Far Away...
Or, to be honest, In the Milky Way
in the great United States of America,
At the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum,
in Colorado, a new fan event was created in the year of 1999.
It was called:
STAR WARS CELEBRATION
This weekend, the VI iteration of the event (That's SIXTH for those of you that suck at Roman Numerals) was held in Orlando, the second consecutive time that city, and the Orange County Convention Center, have hosted the event.
Once again, I was working at the event, but, due to having just started a new job, was only able to be there on the last day of the Convention, yesterday. (For a refresher on my adventures at CV in 2010 click)
I was working for Official Pix once again, and this time around, I got to spend my morning with Christopher Malcolm, whom Star Wars fans and fanatics will remember as Zev Senesca, Rogue Two, from "The Empire Strikes Back", and his wife. Just an amazing guy to sit there and talk with.
In the autograph hall, he was sandwiched in between Jake Lloyd (Little Anakin) and Daniel Logan (Little Boba), so the morning was not without excitement, since Warwick Davis came over on his Segway to photobomb Logon on one occasion, and Luke himself, Red Five, Mark Hamill, came over to talk to Chris for a few minutes. And wherever Mark goes, the crowd follows.
Which begs a question of the Con organizers and the official photo company, Froggy's Photos. Since you had Mark, Christopher, Garrick Hagon (Biggs Darklighter in Star Wars), and John Morton (Dack Ralter in ESB), all there, wouldn't you think it would make sense to do a Rogue Squadron Photo Op? I'd steal Geoff's helmet and pay good money to be in that shot!
SPEAKING of Geoff, he was a large part of CVI for me, even though he wasn't able to be there, most of my twitter feed was filled with the exploits of his mini-doppelganger, TS-5180.
A bit of back story here. Geoff and I have been friends since we were in HS, and he is a member of the 501st who has been known to troop in Snowtrooper armor (such as below, at the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Nebraska. (Credit to Dan Naber for the photo)
Although I enjoyed my time at CVI, I'm not sure if holding it in the same place two times in a row was the best idea, as a few things seemed to be stale to me. For instance, most of the large sets and props were the same as for CV in 2010, like this AT-AT you may remember from those photos. THIS shot is from yesterday, but the big guy was in the exact spot as two years ago.
Also, for me, there didn't seem to be as many people dressing up this time around, and, for the most part, the ones that were weren't of nearly as good a quality as I've seen before. So much so that I didn't bother taking too many shots of costumed people (I mean, I saw too many Slave LEONs (guys dressed in metal bikinis) A chubby Tomb Raider, countless Indiana Joneses, and even a couple Anime and My Little Pony people..shudder), with the exception of this Aurra-esque Bounty Hunter (sue me, I liked looking at her)
Dune Sea Times, Facebook, or Twitter, where DST AND the 501st have posted it. So I won't :P...Unless Carie tells me to, lol
Part of the lack of costumes might well be attributable to a combination of factors. One, I was only there Sunday this year, last time I was there the whole event and got to see more. Two, Florida is in the middle of our hurricane season (not the football team, dimwit), and fear of a storm named Isaac was keeping a few more people at home than the last time, I would imagine.
Now, that's not to say there weren't parts of it I LOVED. Hell, I loved just being there, let's get that out of the way at the start. I love the kinds of people I work with and run into there, whether it be Kent, Matt, and Terry from Official Pix at CV (and back again for CVI as well), costumers like the 501st boys and girls, many of the guests of the event (I've got a short list of the ones I didn't like), to the comic book, poster, tattoo, and book artists there, as well as those robot racing geeks from the Builder's Club. I also run into friends from before there (Like Carie, for instance, wearing both her Geek and Reporter hats at the event) and meet new ones as well.
Also this year, they had a Fan Cars section, where I finally came face to face with the H-Wing, ObiShawn's Del Sol that I've been reading about since around 2003 or so, as well as her replacement, his newer Nissan 350Z.
An other thing that was done well were the new set pieces, like this Hoth Medical Center, complete with walk-in Bacta tank and med droids.
The 501st brought back a lot of the same display suits, but had some new ones, like IG-88
and this Han in Carbonite
So, all in all, if you are to ever go to a Celebration event, take my advice....go for more than just a day, and just enjoy yourself. While I loved my Sunday, everything seemed to be too rushed to see everything, and most of the fun panels had been done the days prior.
That being said, let's not forget about what this whole Star Wars Celebration is all about.
No, not being geeks in an acceptable forum.
Ok, maybe that too.
But what I mean is that, Star Wars Celebrations isn't about the movies, the TV shows, or all the merchandising.
It's about the people.
More than that, it's about a massive number of people that have been inspired, in one way or another, by a vision of a Heroic Journey.Star Wars, to those that truly get it, is more than just a movie. Or a Trilogy. (and we'll debate the prequels till the sun burns out, it's what people that are passionate about something do). It's about the way you see the world and how friendship, love, and adventure can be a part of everyone's life, if they let it.
May The Force Be With You.......Always.