At 2 am, our two-person crew (in a lovable hunk'a junk, a '93 Mazda Miata) hobbled up to my driveway and exhaled. The wild, four-day ride that was Star Wars Celebration Anaheim had come to a close, and as the Ewoks in our minds raised their flutes and cried 'yub nub', it dawned on me that I'd spent a weekend doing things that a much younger Catrina could only dream of. I sat in the Mos Eisley Cantina, drank blue milk, played with R2-D2, and spoke with some of the most creative minds behind the Star Wars universe. How could I even explain that sentence to most people?
While the convention is filled with personal memories, it also existed as a global event, with panels and live interviews broadcast to fans via the StarWars website. If you missed any of it, you can watch the streams right on their YouTube. Here are some of the best moments that we shared as a fan base this past weekend:
10. "Linecon" Gets Free Pizza from J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy
This year's event was massive due to the upcoming December premiere of [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158). Thursay morning's opening ceremony, with J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy was so massive that the line started at 6pm the night before. Dedicated fans mirrored their 1970's predecessors by camping out on the cold floor (luckily inside). The sense of camaraderie between fans was incredible, but the icing on the cake came in the form of 200 pizza pies.
Abrams and Kennedy had placed the massive order to thank the passionate fans, and also dropped in (along with several actors such as Anthony Daniels) to visit the crowd over the course of the night.
9. Ian McDiarmid reads Shakespeare's Star Wars as Emperor Palpatine
I don't think that there's much need for a description, here. During his panel at Celebration, the actor best known to Star Wars fans as the evil Emperor Palpatine. Check out the stream above at 5:29 for that.
8. Carrie Fisher Makes Out with a Fan
The incredible, unpredictable, and hilarious Carrie Fisher (who returns to her role as Leia Organa later this year in The Force Awakens) put on a wonderful panel at Celebration that was chock full of surprises and headline-making quotes. Amongst these moments, a fan who had worked on Fisher's broadway show, Wishful Drinking, asked for a photo that he was promised years ago. The Princess decided to one-up the fan's request by laying a giant kiss on him. Now that's what I call a photo!
7. Mark Hamill puts another spin on "The Force is strong in my family..."
In the latest teaser for The Force Awakens, fans can hear Mark Hamill's voice, returning to the role of Luke Skywalker as he mirrors his lines from Return of the Jedi. During his panel, the actor opened up about the outtakes from that narration, where he skewed sarcastic and had the crowd rolling with laughter. Make sure to tune in to the whole panel below, as Hamill also reflects on playing The Joker and returning on this past season of [The Flash](series:1068303) as The Trickster.
6. R2-D2 Makes a New Friend
A young boy shared a special moment with everyone's favorite astromech, and it warmed hearts across the world.
5. Battlefront Trailer Reveal
Along with the trailer for Rebels and the teaser for The Force Awakens, the highly anticipated trailer for the Star Wars: Battlefront video game had fans cheering throughout the weekend. The promise of DLC stories that bridge the gap between episodes VI and VII has this fan interested, especially because the first - scheduled to hit on the first day of December - focuses on the battle of Jakku, a gigantic fight that resulted in the crashed Star Destroyer we see in the new teaser.
4. Emperor Palpatine and his Walker
One of the greatest things about Star Wars is how closely connected it is to families in our culture. The series spans over three generations, and can often be part of what creates a bond between family members. Heather Lyn's grandfather debuted his Palpatine costume to the joy of the entire convention, thanks to his incredibly creative Imperial Walker. His granddaughter later posted about how ecstatic the Emperor was at the response to his costume:
My grandfather has been up since 6am printing out pictures and talking about how amazing his time there was. He didn't buy anything or get anything signed... He was simply in awe of huge the fandom is and how many people loved his "Retired Sidious". Thank you all for this. We aren't sure how much more time we will have with grandpa and to quote him "This was the best weekend I've ever had." Thank you again for all the memories you have both of us. He's the reason I'm as crazy of a fan as I am. I hope I can take him again when it's back in the U.S.
3. Star Wars Rebels, Season 2: Premiere and Panel
While the (absolutely thrilling, incredible, wonderful) season 2 premiere of [Star Wars Rebels](series:965946) occured behind closed doors (non-spoilery review to come soon) the reveals at the panel were accessible to all. Series creator Dave Filoni joined one of Hollywood's biggest nerds, Star Wars story creative Simon Kinberg, and the cast of Star Wars Rebels to talk about the future of the series. Alongside the announcement of James Earl Jones continuing to reprise his role as the infamous Darth Vader, certain surprises hit home hard during the premiere of the season two trailer.
The return of Captain Rex and a band of clones practically caused the audience an aneurism, but in classic Star Wars story group style, Dave Filoni kept the how and why completely under wraps, which caused Freddie Prinze Jr. - who plays Kanan Jarrus on the show - to accuse Filoni of being a Sith. Check out the panel above at 1:18.
Check out the trailer here:
Season two still lacks a premiere date, but let me assure you now: it's going to be worth the wait.
2. The Cantina Set
Whether you were being interviewed in cosplay, playing background to a celebrity discussion, or playing Sabacc in the corner, the Cantina set on the show floor was the place to be for livestreaming excitement from the Star Wars staff. I loved the way this set was used, and while I didn't drink any alcoholic blue milk (there, specifically - I certainly had some at the Marriott lobby, yum) I loved visiting the set to check out awesome cosplayers and wave to my dad.
1. World Premiere of the Second Teaser for The Force Awakens
By far, the first panel of the convention was the absolute most important, and it was because the entire fandom anticipated this very moment - the airing of the second teaser (keyword: teaser) for The Force Awakens. Cheers filled every corner of the Anaheim Convention Center, and even "grown-up" fans found tears streaming down their faces when Harrison Ford said, "Chewie, we're home." Just wait until the trailer comes out!
Whether you were at the convention or streaming from home, it seems that most of us have special memories from this weekend. What were yours? Share them below in the comments!