Star Wars Celebration Anaheim – For four days, from April 16th-19th, the streets surrounding Disneyland were full of Jedi, stormtroopers, princesses and bounty hunters. Thousands of people converged on the Anaheim Convention Center in hopes of meeting like-minded Star Wars fans, rubbing elbows with Star Wars actors and reveling in the excitement of a NEW movie, THE FORCE AWAKENS, set to release in theaters December 18, 2015.
Well, the very first event of Star Wars Celebration – Thursday morning at 10:00 AM, was arguably the biggest thing to happen in Star Wars since STAR WARS was originally released in theaters in 1977. J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy took to the Celebration Stage to announce more information about THE FORCE AWAKENS and reveal a NEW Teaser Trailer! Richard and I were smack in the epicenter of it all. With Bob Iger sitting right behind us! The roar of the crowd as we all experienced the new Trailer together for the first time was absolutely magical.
Perhaps the cutest moment of that opening panel was the appearance of a living, working, amazing BB-8 droid!! About one-third the size of R2-D2, this little droid came rolling on stage and immediately stole the show and my heart.
Later on Thursday, Richard and I thought the timing was perfect, and we changed into Mr. and Mrs. BB-8 and rolled around the convention hall!
That evening, Richard and I attended the Rebel Legion Ice Cream Social, where we met several Willrow Hoods!
If you’re a fan of Star Wars, you may know that Willrow Hood is a man fleeing Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. He stands out because he’s wearing a garish orange jumpsuit and carries an old-fashioned Ice Cream Maker!
There’s a whole mess of Willrow Hoods at Star Wars Celebrations, and they tend to stick together.
This will be a day long remembered.
For the first time ever, Star Wars Celebration hosted a Podcast Stage. Waaaay back in November, Star Wars podcasts could submit a request to do a live podcast on the Podcast Stage. We submitted Skywalking Through Neverland, were accepted and snagged a great time: Friday, 3-4 PM.
Our show consisted of a fantastic interview with Star Wars Artists Randy Martinez and Denise Vasquez, games, raffles and fun! You can hear it right here!
Later that day we were treated to some fantastic cosplay. Here are a few of the standouts:
STAR WARS REBELS Day! The day began with a public panel on the Celebration Stage titled “New Allies and New Villians” featuring the trailer to STAR WARS REBELS Season 2. Shortly after this morning panel, the media gathered for an hour-long Press Conference where we all were able to ask questions of the producers, directors and cast of Star Wars Rebels. Participants include: Dave Filoni (Executive Producer, Supervising Director), Simon Kinberg (Executive Producer), Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Kanan), Vanessa Marshall (Hera), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Steve Blum (Zeb) and Taylor Gray (Ezra). We have the press conference for you here in it’s entirety.
Later in the day, Richard and I also received a spot on the STAR WARS REBELS: Season 2 premiere Red Carpet, and interviewed Dave Filoni and several members of the cast. The place was packed!
To hear our Red Carpet interviews with the cast, check out the episode below and scrub ahead to 42:15.
This convention was not only about STAR WARS REBELS, it also celebrates fangirls. Ahsoka Tano is a beloved character from STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, and in the finale of STAR WARS REBELS, we learned that she’s back! So Friday was dubbed #AhsokaLives day by Amy Ratcliffe and Johnamarie Macias, and fangirls and fanboys were encouraged to wear Ahsoka T-shirts and share their pictures on social media with #AhsokaLives. I had to participate, of course!
And Fangirls took over the Podcast Stage with their very own Pajama Party! I am a cohost on Fangirls Going Rogue, and our Podcast Stage slot happened to be on Saturday at 3pm. Check back here for a link to that particularly awesome show!
The rest of the convention was a blur, but we managed to capture it all with a group of friends and listeners minutes after STAR WARS CELEBRATION ended on Sunday. Several of us gathered to discuss the best moments of the convention.
Listen in to hear The Force Awakens Trailer reactions, Star Wars Celebration thoughts, Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Red Carpet Interviews, and even a word or two from Mary Franklin, Star Wars Celebration organizer-supreme!