This past weekend I took my first step into a much larger world. I went to Star Wars Celebration VI.
I went at the urging of the awesome Amy Ratcliffe, Star Wars fan of the highest order. Plus, since I’ll be a Star Wars sketch card artist as of the release of September’s Galactic Files card set, I wanted to do some recon for possibly setting up at the next one.
(Well, the next domestic one. The next Celebration will be in Germany. The week after Comic-Con. That might be pushing it, even for me. And I drove from Orlando to Atlanta to follow up Celebration with Dragon*Con.)
I have to say, it was pretty awesome. The people are great, and some of the costumes were just out-and-out amazing. There was a great feeling to the whole event. And it’s amazing how Star Wars has continued to find fans through the years. Kids who couldn’t have been old enough to see Phantom Menace in the theatre still get hooked into the way first-time fan who lived through the craziness of premieres and toy lines did.
It’s also cool to see what a unified show can do. The three main stages each had their own specific host. The large theatre had a DJ and warm up act keeping people energized. You can’t really do that at Comic-Con with their universal table and chairs setup.
I was really impressed by the displays that the fans set up. I got to be in a Bacta tank, run from Roxy the Rancor, get rousted by Stormtroopers. stop a trash masher, and even sit in a snowspeeder… my favorite Star Wars vehicle.
There were more than a few things to buy, too. I kept myself from buying the Cup O’Jawa coffee mug and the Mos Eisley Spaceport glass, but, um, I did get them on t-shirts. There was an incredible amount of art at the show, too. Lucas really created a visually enticing world. There’s always something interesting there that’s begging to be drawn.
I got to see some pretty incredible stuff, too. There was the premiere of the new season of Clone Wars (the second premiere of the show that I’ve seen). I saw the 3-D trailer for Attack of the Clones and even a minute of Revenge of the Sith, which really does look great in that format. I got to see Carrie Fisher on stage talk about… okay, well, it’s probably best not to dwell on one that too much. Still cool.
And for one brief moment, I got to be in the same room with George Lucas. Okay, it was an auditorium, but it was still something I never really thought would happen when I first watched Star Wars those many years ago. That was kind of awesome. If I had to pick a highlight, though, it would be James Arnold Taylor’s one man show.
His show’s about an hour long, and he does over two hundred voices for the first fifty-eight minutes or so. It’s interesting and funny and amazing. He dissects the process of doing impressions person by person along with a video presentation and it’s just amazing.
But the last two minutes are the thunderclap. That’s when he tells you about being exposed to toxic mold at the apex of his career and how it killed his voice, and how it took two years to make a comeback that no one thought he could. It’s one of the best “follow your dreams” moments since Kermit the Frog sang Rainbow Connection.
I’m a sucker for passion. It’s what fuels me and gets me out of bed in the morning. Well, that and coffee, but mostly passion. And I love being among passionate people. Celebration was definitey the place for that. Amazingly crafted costumes, detailed reproductions of sets and ships, dioramas and Legos like you wouldn’t believe, it was all on display.
So, next time they throw one of these Celebrations in America again, or even Canada, I bet you’ll find me there.