Held at the ExCeL London, this was my first time attending Star Wars Celebration. For something that I’ve been a fan of since I was about 7/8 years old, you can imagine how surreal it can be to experience a unique fan event such as this. And Star Wars Celebration did not disappoint.
I’ll keep this post brief because my picture gallery below will do it justice! But what I will say is that I had a brilliant time at Star Wars Celebration. The atmosphere was great, filled with lovely, friendly and welcoming people from around the world. I was in awe at cosplayers and their costumes because of their attention to detail. It’s passion and dedication at its best.
With so many things to see, do and participate in, there was something for everybody. I went on the final day of the celebration (Sunday) which unfortunately had a shorter operational hours in comparison to Friday and Saturday. But that didn’t stop me and I certainly had a good idea of what I wanted to do.
After picking up my tickets, I queued up for the panels. Even though I was early, I just missed out on the Carrie Fisher and Film-makers panel (people were queuing up since 6 am!) But at least I didn’t get to miss out on the panel fun and got my wristband for Ray Park (Darth Maul).
One of the exhibits I was most excited for was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars Celebration provided the first opportunity to see costumes and models from the upcoming film. The costume designs were beautiful, keeping the retro feel that ties Rogue One to A New Hope. Not only did I get to see the classic Stormtroopers but there were some new additions to the universe – Shoretroopers and the Imperial Death Troopers.
The Ray Park Unleashed panel was fun and a nice breakaway from the exhibits. Ray Park himself was down to Earth, giving a unique insight into the creation and combat style of Darth Maul. He physically recreated some of the fighting styles with members of the audience and there was even an ironic moment where he faced a cosplayer dressed as Darth Maul. Warwick Davis was another reason for the enjoyable panel. If you’ve ever seen the show, Life’s Too Short, then you’ll get a good sense of what I’m talking about. Not afraid to poke fun at himself, he arrived in style on a Segway, giving high-fives where possible. His version of Be Kind, Rewind where they recreated the Jedi/Sith fight scene from The Phantom Menace was hilarious.
The final major thing I saw at Star Wars Celebration was the Star Wars High-Performance RC experience. Run by Propel, a drone manufacturer, they unveiled the first ever Star Wars multirotors. The cool thing about this display was that they were based on ships from the franchise and visitors to the exhibit got to witness a demonstration of what its capable of. But this was no ordinary demonstration. The large-scale room was dressed up as the The Death Star and the toy drones recreated the trench run from A New Hope. They’re not just a piece of plastic. Each drone is a highly detailed build of the ships. They’re interactive – they light up and fire laser beams. It’s an extravagant environment but it served its purpose well. In the next room was the planet Endor where I watched the Speeder Bike from Return of the Jedi in action. It was very cute. The showroom displayed the toy drones in packaging worthy of an Apple store but at least you got an up close and personal look at the models. Did I buy one? Sadly no – my wallet will not forgive me! But in actual fact when I enquired, the pricing wasn’t going to be available until sometime closer to Christmas. All we could do is sign up and register our interest to be guaranteed one.
In between the exhibits, I built a cute LEGO X-Wing and TIE Fighter at the LEGO booth. Sadly I couldn’t keep them as I had to trade them for an official LEGO Star Wars set. I can’t complain – love my A-Wing Starfighter. My second LEGO adventure involved playing LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the PS4. I visited the Star Wars Art Show which was filled with the most impressive pieces of artwork. Visited the R2 Builders club, a group dedicated in building R2-D2 units. Finally the day ended at the StarWars.com live stage which if you didn’t manage to get a wristband into one of the panels, this was the best place to be. If you thought the crowd in the panel was loud then when Alden Ehrenreich and John Boyega made surprise appearances at Star Wars Celebration, it was electric. It got crazier when John Boyega appeared on StarWars.com live stage!
But besides that, I mostly walked around and explored. Every booth was busy. The only thing I didn’t get to see was the Trials of Tatooine, which was a virtual reality experience of the Star Wars universe and sadly the bookings were full up for the day.
Anyway, enough talk. All I can say is that I had a great time at Star Wars Celebration. Highly recommend it if you’ve never been before. There’s not many opportunities in life where you get to experience something like this and it’s something you should definitely try. I hope the organisers come back to London again soon.
In the meantime, the celebration heads to Orlando in 2017 and tickets are now on sale via the official website:
Check out the gallery below and may the force be with you.