In Part One of my Star Wars Celebration recap I went over the backstory, entrance procedures, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge panel. In Part Two I will go over more panels, merchandise and the show floor.
One big piece of any Star Wars fandom is merchandise. The Show Store is one aspect people line up first thing in the morning for to get exclusive and limited-edition type merchandise. I didn’t fight the morning crowds as I was in a panel, but decided to check it out after lunch. I waited probably a good 30 minutes or longer to get into the merchandise. They had all sorts of different items, and many were already sold out. Since this was my first time at something like this I decided to get a keepsake. I ended up with a Star Wars Celebration Chicago shirt and a mystery box pin set. Prices weren’t too much different than you would find in the theme parks.
On the upper floor of Celebration they had a smaller panel room for collectors panels where they would discuss different Star Wars collectibles. I didn’t end up making it into any of those panels. Also on that upper floor, they had a room for Disney Parks where guests could book their vacation to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Here they had travel agents on site to give guests vacation quotes — and even perks like lightsabers if you booked one.
Back on the show floor was where all the action happens for the most part. Hundreds of people had amazing cosplay costumes and there were a ton of exhibitors showcasing their Star Wars products. One of the big booths was for LEGO; their partnership with Star Wars was celebrating 20 years in 2019. They had a huge display of thousands of miniature stormtroopers creating one giant stormtrooper helmet.
On the backside of the show floor was the autograph and photo section. Here people could get to meet their favorite Star Wars characters up close and personal. I didn’t end up purchasing a spot for this but I may look into it more for next time. Another aspect was the nearly life size Tie Fighters and X-Wing. These were shipped in from Germany and were huge pieces. It was really cool to see in person and give you an idea for what’s to come with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens at Disneyland and later at Walt Disney World.
In the center of the show floor was the Star Wars Show Live stage. This stage was where they would do interviews with major celebrities throughout the day as well as stream panels happening at different stages. I visited the stage area a few times throughout the day as there was always something new going on there.
There really is so much on the show floor that it is hard to see all in one day. Next time I attend something like this I will definitely try to explore the show floor a bit more and find some interesting new things. Many booths gave away free things like posters or had contests to win Star Wars related items.
I attended another panel later in the afternoon all about ILMxLAB, which is an important interactive piece of Lucasfilm and many parks fans may know them for Secrets of the Empire with The Void in Disney Springs and Downtown Disney. They also helped create the new virtual reality experience, Vader Immortal. Learning more about their creative process and what goes into virtual experiences was really interesting. ILMxLAB is always looking for new ways to bring Star Wars aspects to life, almost literally.
My favorite thing they discussed was Project Porg. This new virtual reality experience allows you to raise and connect with a virtual porg. Your porg is your porg and you could take it anywhere with you. C3PO sets up the experience for you, but as things develop the porg is essentially a pet. They can even connect this virtual experience to your smart home devices and the porg could be mischievous and turn off your lights or TV. This panel gave out free Vader Immortal posters at the end.
My final major piece of Celebration was checking out the Droid Builders room. Here, droid builders from around the world bring in their own droid creations, from replicas of R2D2 and BB-8 to droids not seen in the films. These droids are really incredible in person and its amazing to think people built these by hand.
That pretty much concluded my time at Star Wars Celebration. In looking back at it, my fandom was furthered and honestly I cannot wait until Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and The Rise of Skywalker later this year. I also cannot wait until the next Celebration and possibly journeying to wherever it is held. If you consider yourself a big Star Wars fan and have never been to Celebration I would recommend it, even if just for a day. I wish I would have made a trip out of it, looking back on it.