One million square feet saturated in Star Wars. Six days of events, including a six-movie marathon of the entire Star Wars big-screen saga. Seven live stages. Celebrity guests from the movies, television, and animation. Live Star Wars laser tag featuring Stormtroopers to target. Three hundred members of the media. More than 35,000 individual revelers. If Celebration III was billed as the party of a lifetime, Celebration IV might have been the party to make fans forget all other parties.
Archive for ‘Events’
One of Mickey Mouse’s favorite things about Star Wars Weekends is that he gets to dress in his Jedi best and join the galactic fun. Each year, Mickey seems to take on a different role in the official Star Wars Weekends logo. This year, his imagination takes him to the Forest Moon of Endor, where he is seen zipping away from scout troopers with Chip and Dale. Mickey’s wild speeder bike ride on this year’s artwork has historical significance, as 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi — the film that featured the Battle of Endor.
The Princess half marathon weekend that runDisney hosts in Walt Disney World every year is near and dear to my heart. The inaugural year of the race, 2009, I ran it — my first half marathon. I haven’t missed a year since, and so long as I’m mobile, I’ll be there. I run other races throughout the year, but Princess weekend always feels like home to me.
For the last two years, I’ve run dressed as Princess Leia (in the classic white), and other runners always seemed to really like it, often yelling, “May the force be with you!” But I only ever saw one or two other Leias on the course. However, since the Star Wars brand is now officially part of the Disney family, I had a feeling that this year would be different. And I’m happy to say, I was not wrong!
Everybody knows Obi-Wan Kenobi’s line in A New Hope in reference to the destruction of Alderaan: “I felt a great disturbance in the Force.” I’d be interested in hearing from anyone with examples in the Expanded Universe where Force-sensitive beings express feelings of great joy in the Force. You know, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in celebration and were suddenly expressing joy that something marvelous has happened…or will.
In this galaxy, some of us creatures who surf or body surf know the feeling of a wave mounting behind us that enables us to fly down its face and onto the shoulder. The art is in sensing the force of the wave well before it breaks and where one is in relation to it so as to be in tune with it. You gotta feel its momentum.
And so it is with the momentum that is building for organizers, celebrity guests, and fans in the run-up to Celebration Europe in Messe Essen, Germany.
Of the many memories and impressions that are dear to my heart from Star Wars Celebration II, these two come to mind immediately: what Star Wars fans contributed to the show, and Yoda.
First, about Yoda… What we at Lucasfilm knew, and what the audience in the Indiana Convention Center had not seen, was that Yoda would have his first real lightsaber fight in the upcoming Attack of the Clones. We’d not released any clips of the Jedi Master in action before the show, having saved the excitement for those seeing it first on the big screen.
Since going on sale January 17, Star Wars Celebration Europe tickets have been selling like pfannkuchen, and, today, we’d like to shine a spotlight on one very special fan.
Our first-day ticket numbers were awesome, our first-hour ticket numbers were astounding, our first-minute ticket numbers were downright nutty, and Daniel Fritzel — purchasing his ticket mere seconds after Celebration Europe tickets went live — was the very first fan to claim his pass to the biggest Star Wars party Europe has ever seen, and we caught up with Daniel to find out a little more about him…
There was a panel at a relatively small model show Saturday in the community center of my relatively small town, Petaluma, California, population 57,941. That’s not nearly as small as most semi-rural towns in wine country, but for a guy born in Philadelphia it sure is.
There were about 2,000 people who filled the center all day. The display we had at the Rancho Obi-Wan table attracted folks for the length of the show. There were babies in strollers and grizzled granddads whose lifelong hobby has been building exquisite scratch-built and model kits.
“This rancor will need to travel across Florida.”
At each and every Star Wars Celebration I find myself either saying or hearing phrases that sound completely out-of-this-galaxy.
“Can we get this landspeeder in the freight elevator?”
“We are going to build a Death Star and I want you to find out how much.”
Either they sound out-of-this-galaxy, or they sound completely impossible, as in “I just lost an entire marching band.”
Typically the responses sound much more in-galaxy than the original statements:
“We can’t get Darth Vader off the ground.”
“That is because the wind is coming too strongly from a direction that threatens to blow the Darth Vader hot-air balloon right into the ExCeL Convention Center and impale it on the roof.”
Star Wars Celebration Europe is coming up fast. The full site has been launched, tickets go on sale tomorrow, a bevy of guests are in the hopper, and — from what we’ve seen on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram — fans are already hard at work on assembling collections and costumes for the first ever Star Wars Celebration in Germany. On this note, we’d like to take today to recommend that in between gathering together your pins, patches, and vintage action figure and/or knitting, sewing, or vacuum forming your duds for the costume contest, you also brush up on your German.
For roughly the past month it’s been the same:
- “We can rethink that floorplan after the holidays.”
- “I can have the answers you need after the holidays.”
- “We’ll send those links after the holidays.”
- “After the holidays we’ll be ready to revisit this.”
- “The document will be completed for you after the holidays.”
- Etc. etc. etc. “after the holidays.”
Honestly, it’s a good tradition that people in the world disconnect and focus on something other than work for a few weeks each winter. Family, friends, travel, avoiding cliffs, a few good books and movies — whatever it is that refuels us, it’s probably healthy for humankind.