(Ack. This posted faster than it should have. I wasn’t done yet!)
I spent last week at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando as a birthday present to myself. The lead up to it was many, many frustrating weekends trying to get my costume done… because of COURSE I’m going in costume.
Star Wars has always been a big deal in my life. For the last 20 years, every time I go to Disneyland I ride Star Tours and then Space Mountain because, since I was a kid, I’ve always played out the same story in my head: I’m a Rebel pilot …traveling commercial… to meet up with my Rebel comrades and then fly my X-wing in a super battle (Space Mountain).
I was never big on conventions, though. 1. Expensive! 2. I’m a severe introvert and crowds turn me into a nervous (angry) wreck. But, as it turns out, when I have my husband (the extrovert) with me, I do better and when I’m in costume I do even better, so put them together and I apparently have no problem with a convention crowd.
Anaheim 2015 was the first time I got to go, since it was just an hour away. It was my first convention and we only went for one day because we didn’t know what to expect, if I’d have a meltdown, or what. And… expensive. Anyway, a few days later my husband bought Storm Trooper armor, and we knew we were going to the next one in the US and it would be for 4 days (though, it ended up only being 3 this time because we ended up hitting Epcot on Sunday. Next time it’ll be the full four days, darn it!)
Celebration Orlando 2017 was great, in spite of ReedPOP’s (or the Orange County Convention Center staff’s) inability to plan or control… anything.
Thursday and Friday had huge line issues. They only had one entrance on Thursday, which created a 2 hour wait in line just to get through security.
Friday there was rebellion after an inexplicable and chaotic queue and line set-up to get into the exhibition hall was borked and they forgot about several hundred people for 40 minutes after the hall opened. After 40 minutes of watching people get through security and walk inside while we sat waiting for permission that wasn’t coming (and the volunteer that was supposed to let us in kept saying she didn’t know if she was allowed to), the people had enough, threw down the guard rails, and let themselves in.
The insurrection was more organized than the original queue’s had been.
Friday my husband was in his armor half the day taking pictures with kids (young and old), which was a blast. I also (for the first time) got to meet my guild master from Star Wars Galaxies (a video game) who I’ve been in near-daily contact with for the last decade. So that was great.
There is a lot at these conventions: from the giant props and amazing costumes to collector displays, prop and art displays, shopping, fan panels, behind the scene panels, and celebrity panels. Heck, you can even get a tattoo.
The kids got to listen to a story read by author Jason Fry, we got to sit in on one of his writing panels and on the Writer’s Roundtable panel that included Timothy Zahn, Delilah Dawson, and many others. We also got to sit in on Chiang’s production panel where he gave us a behind the scenes look into the visual production of Rogue One. I also enjoyed the various costuming panels that gave me a look at the charity work done by the various costuming clubs I’m interested in joining (Rebel Legion, 501st, Mandalorian Mercs, Saber Guild, etc.)
I think my kids are sold on the Mandalorians and I’m fairly sure that will be the next costuming project. I have 2 years to get my act together… and maybe the entire family will be storming Celebration in armor in 2019.
Now… after a month of not writing, I need to get my act together. I’m behind!