Star Wars Celebration Back In Orlando, Celebrates 40 Years With Big Names

The 2017 Star Wars Celebration event was remarkable and with it came big names to reconnect at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. This was a special commemoration celebrating 40 years of the Star Wars franchise and crowds of thousands entered the venue en-mass.

Line queues of all types filled sections and rounded corners of vendors who had special limited edition products that were coveted by many. Die-hard fans stayed over night for the 40th Anniversary panel as well as The Last Jedi presentation panel.

One attendee said he spent 26 hours waiting in line and this allowed him a spot in the 2nd row at the 40th Anniversary panel.

“I did 26hr for the 40th panel and was 2nd row for it.”

That indeed shows some dedication and some have considered that even though Thursday’s first day to be a serious disorganization when it came to the crowd’s bottle neck through one entrance of a security check, overall the convention was very satisfying to many. The opportunity to meet people in those lines to fellowship with others probably balanced or outweighed this discomfort. People meeting their social media friends for the first time was quite exciting and the ability to bond and getting to know your neighbor via this 40 year anniversary is something quite becoming.

Always a silver lining, right?

Varied cosplayers joined the ensemble crowd posing for photos from enamored fans. Ashley Eckstein of Rebels was on the go, engaging with fans and looked to be channeling a positive vibe towards the crowd. You could tell actors and those involved in the Lucasfilm franchise were really into this event, including Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy who showed her appreciation for the fans that made it all possible.

This was Harrison Ford’s first appearance at a Celebration event, so this took fans by surprise. George Lucas also had crowds cheering and then when John Williams and his orchestra had unveiled their musical prowess. Tears of joy came from the audience.

Rian Johnson made a surprise appearance to those waiting in the long line queues and you could easily tell how humbled and flattered he was while out on the floor and again at The Last Jedi panel. Kathleen Kennedy also showed her appreciation for all of Rian’s hard work and dedication he had put into it. You could tell by Johnson’s reaction that he was indeed exalted by the Lucasfilm president.

There was an overwhelming sense of energy in the air on the expansive show room floor regardless of the long waits in line. People were enamored by the uniqueness of some costumes and were impressed with the 501st’s displays at the convention. This sizable group of Imperial cosplayers chanted from their sections, recognizing what it was to be involved with this highly valued 4-day event. They even took notice of a lone Star Wars spoof enthusiast and comrade in arms…

Obviously, the princess saw to it that he would even be awarded with the Yavin medal/lanyard. Sith lords could not help but to crack a smile.

I heard a lot of cheering going on intermittently which means the good outweighed the inconveniencing moments.

Regardless of some of the annoyances, wouldn’t you say you saw the bright side in all of this? Did it allow you to take it in with all the senses and enjoy the moments when everything Star Wars enveloped your consciousness?

All I had to think of was Luke’s voice from The Last Jedi trailer, “Breathe, just…breathe.” and it took away all my anxiety involving stress that comes with the typical travel experience.

Remember, in trying times…”Breathe, just…breathe!”


Author: Tony Smejek View all posts by
Tony is fanatical about his geek pop-culture passion. He specializes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the DC Extended Cinematic Universe. When other shared universes start to jump on the band wagon, he may even push the envelope into those worlds as well.

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