This year Star Wars decided to host their Celebration in my home town of Chicago. This was my first time attending this convention and I had a blast. There was a lot of trailer, cosplayers sporting cool costumes, swag galore, and even a scavenger hunt. For those of you that couldn’t make here, here are some of the good and bad highlights!
Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker
Panel and Trailer
The main take away from this Celebration was the release of the first trailer for episode 9. The Panel was awesome and had all the main stars, both new and old. We were introduced to a new character Jannah. There wasn’t much said but the hype was real. And everyone attending the panel got some really cool hats. One major thing from the trailer that has everyone talking is a very familiar laugh.
Clone Wars: Season Seven
Panel and Trailer
I am still kind of shocked we are getting a seventh season to the ‘Clone Wars’ TV show. The panel had all the voice actors as well as a few surprising guests. It was one of the most revealing panels with tones of concept art shown, entire scenes, and plot details. The trailer they did show at the end got me hyped but I’m a little worried the show will be entirely about Ashoka while very little is seen for Anakin and even less for Obi.
Panel and Trailer
This was the panel I didn’t want to miss, and unfortunately I had to stream it on my phone while in line for something else. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, along with the three main stars of the show put on an amazing panel. I think they gave just enough info on the characters, feel, and setting to keep us all hyped without spoilers. And for those that didn’t get to see the “trailer” don’t worry, it was very short and more about the behind-the-scenes world building than an actual trailer.
The Panel Lottery System
It might sound like it was easy for me to go to a bunch of panels but in reality it wasn’t. There was a new system introduced that changed how people got into panels. You could only get in if you won a lottery that was determined purely by random. At first I thought it was cool because people wouldn’t have to sacrifice waiting in line all day. But I (having bought 3 tickets) didn’t win a single lottery. Lucky the fans were open with trading and giving away tickets to strangers. But the system made a lot of people feel left out.
Jedi: Fallen Order
Panel and Video Game Trailer
Out of all the panels, this one was pretty boring. We didn’t get much info on the game outside of them setting up the trailer. The trailer itself was kind of cool but for being a video game, it didn’t show any gameplay and that’s usually a red flag. I like seeing Cameron Monaghan as the star though. We will have to wait for more info on this one.
VR Video Game Demo
I’ve never played anything in a VR setting before, and I’ve always wanted to hold a lightsaber. This demo really didn’t have much but it was just enough. I seriously want to go out and buy an Oculus just for this game because I felt like a little kid. That being said the line to play a 10 minute demo was close to 3 hours long (and I think I got in the line pretty early) so the experience was a little tainted.
The Amazon Scavenger Hunt
I stumbled across someone taking a picture of the floor by a booth and asked what he did. Amazon made a scavenger hunt in the convention and con goers had to go scan QR codes that were hidden throughout Celebration. Not only did it give me a reason to check out all the rooms and areas I might not have seen, but I also talked to a lot of other fellow hunters and had a fun time trying to get all 30. Sadly I left with only 29. definitely won’t lose any sleep over that one last QR mocking me as I left the last day!
Darth Maul: Sat Witwer/ Ray Park
The only autographs I got were from the two men that make up the iconic character Darth Maul. Ray Park played Maul in the movies ‘The Phantom Menace’ and ‘Solo’. Sam Witwer is the voice actor for the character in the TV shows ‘Clone Wars’ and ‘Rebels’. And although their lines were long, they are two of the nicest people I have ever met. And now I have a story about Toad from X-Men.
Funko Pop Store
Hands down the most disappointing moment at the entire convention. The line for the Funko store was a 4 hour minimum wait at all times. I don’t even care for the Pop’s all that much but I have friends that do and I was trying to help them out. unfortunately unless you won the lottery, or had the time and patience to spend one whole day of the convention in line, you couldn’t get any. And the most disappointing thing was how it appeared that a majority of the people buying the pop were just merchants turning around and reselling them for a 500% mark up.
All and all I feel like this was a different experience then the usual comic conventions I have attended. It really does make you feel that Star Wars magic. The best part hands down were the fellow fans. The people I met and talked to along the way or even the ones I overheard in line. I think I only ran into one Fandom Menace and even then I didn’t care because I was having too much fun. Yea the lines were long, I spent way too much money, and I didn’t get to do half the things I would have liked. But it was an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Convention attended and highlights written by: Troy ‘Darth Snappening’ Smith