As I sit down to write this, there are only 25 days left until Star Wars Celebration Orlando! My, how time flies. It feels like just yesterday we were getting the news on starwars.com that the next celebration would be in Orlando – once again, I’m overwhelmed with a whirlwind of emotions. No worries, at this point I’m a veteran of Star Wars Celebrations as this one will mark my fourth Force-tastic adventure of being immersed in the galaxy far, far away. In other words, all is right in the world.
And so, in light of Star Wars Celebration, I thought it would be fitting to share some of my past celebration experiences with all of you. Hopefully you’ll find some joy in my personal stories and maybe you’ll even learn something about me you didn’t already know. Ready. Set. Go!
Star Wars Celebration IV, 2007: the 30th Anniversary of “A New Hope“
My first Star Wars Celebration and my first adventure flying solo, pun so intended. The journey was long, but in the end so worth it. I met so many amazing people at this celebration and have maintained some long and lasting friendships because of it. It almost felt like I was coming home, even though, in reality, I left my home back in Buffalo. Still, that first experience has never ever come close to being replicated and besides all the wonderful friends I met that year, the most precious memory of all was meeting Carrie Fisher.
No, I did not take the opportunity to have a photo-op with her, but I did wait in line for hours just to get her autograph for my oldest child. The conversation we had will forever be ingrained in my mind. She was gracious, genuinely curious, and yeah, she liked my shirt. Priceless.
Star Wars Celebration V, 2010: Orlando Florida
There’s something to be said about seeing Star Wars through your child’s eyes. Yoda was right, “truly wonderful, the mind of child is.” Watching my son explore celebration was probably one of the best experiences of my life as a parent and as a Star Wars fan. Ok, and the fact that we were lucky enough to accidentally meet Mr. Lucas’s apprentice, Dave Filoni.
Yes, true story. Funny how those convention rooms carry an echo and thank the maker for that, otherwise, it would’ve been a missed opportunity. See, at closing time of day one, I pulled my son close to me and said, “doesn’t that man in the black cowboy hat look like Dave Filoni?” Sure enough, it was him and my son was able to meet, get a photo, and talk The Clone Wars with Mr. Filoni himself. Pretty cool moment.
Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, 2015
They say, third time’s a charm and in this instance, I’d have to agree. This was my third experience yes, but it was my first time attending as a member of the media. Yes, a lot had happened over the course of five years. I literally found a place for my personal voice to be heard among the Star Wars fandom. From a fan to community blogger (for more than one Star Wars outlet) and a budding podcaster. It was obvious, I had taken my first steps into a much larger world.
This growth provided me with new avenues of amazing opportunities i.e. The Star Wars Rebels Panel and Season Premier! That, and once again, the Force works in mysterious ways. See, over the months prior to celebration I had somehow managed to forge a small friendship with one of the greatest pilots in the galaxy far, far away. Hera Syndulla or rather, Vanessa Marshall. And in that time, I learned how found she was of coffee and not just any coffee, but Tim Horton’s which is only available in my neck of the woods a.k.a WNY and parts of Canada. To make a long story short, I promised to bring some of this coffee to her at the Rebels Panel and of course, my leaky brain, caused me to leave it behind in my hotel room. Karabast! But, all is as the Force wills it. I rushed back to my room between panels and grabbed the coffee in hopes that our paths would cross again. Thankfully, that’s just how the Force works.
I hope you enjoyed my trip down Star Wars Celebration memory lane and I look forward to making even more fantastic memories next month. So, if you plan on attending celebration and you see me walking by, please, say hi!
May the Force be with you, always.
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Becca is the Editor-in-Chief for the former The Cantina Cast website, Co-host on Tarkin’s Top Shelf, a literary Star Wars podcast, and a Host on Kanata’s Castle Podcast. She also prepares titles and captions for Lucasfilm artist Steve Anderson, contributes a monthly blog for Coffee with Kenobi, and has recently made her writing debut on MakingStarWars.net & JediNews.com.