I have to admit, this is the quietest and slowest end of May and soon-to-be beginning of June that I have experienced in years. Sure, I’m still working 40+ hours a week, my oldest daughter has more extracurricular activities this year than ever before, and my parents are visiting, but it’s not the same. My weekends are slow and duller than they have been in years past.
When Disney announced the end of Star Wars Weekends, I must admit, I was devastated. After all, it was my pal Robbie who took me to my first one three years ago where I met Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor and my fandom was re-birthed in a radicalized way (I won’t rehash the story here, but if you are interested you can read my very first blog for Coffee With Kenobi which tells that story here).
It was because of those events I started listening to podcasts and that lead me to find Dan and Cory in the early days of Coffee With Kenobi. I was just an involved fan then, listening in, constantly emailing about the topic for the next episode. Heck, I even won a contest or two that they held back then.
It was during that time frame when Star Wars Weekends 2014 was rolling around that I volunteered my services to cover the event at Hollywood Studios that year. My fandom was never the same after sending that email and I wouldn’t change a thing since! Now I’m a monthly blogger for CWK and recently took over as host of Rebels Reactions.
So you see, Star Wars Weekends not only saved my fandom, it jump started it to a new level and carried it beyond what I could have ever imagined!
When this blog is published, I will be sitting at home, playing games with my girls, spending time with my wife, and all with a tear in my eye, knowing that if things would have been different, I would have been rocking Star Wars Weekends, making new friends, seeing old ones, buying exclusive souvenirs and looking for more ways to meet the stars.
I should be soaring through Jakku on Star Tours, snapping selfies with First Order Stormtroopers patrolling the Launch Bay. Going through the tons of exclusive merchandise trying to figure out which I want to add to my collection. I should be standing in line waiting to hear JAT interviewing what ever celebrity was there that weekend and so much more.
See the magic behind Star Wars Weekends wasn’t tied up in Star Tours, the stage shows, or the celebrities, but it was in the people you met, who shared your love for Star Wars. Sure, I have met some great celebrities: James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstein, Billy Dee Williams, Vanessa Marshall, and I could go on. Yet out of all of them, only one really remembered who I was because of my connection with CWK, which was cool.
Sure the celebrities were great, the rides and show incredible, but every weekend was made special because of the other guests who were rocking Star Wars Weekends right there with me. These are people who not only did I meet, but have kept in touch and am pleased to call them friends. Friends like my recent Rebels Reactions guest, David Modders, who I met in an autograph line along with his two children, Eli and Lena. Then there is Cody, Jen, and their daughter Izzy, who spent time with me trying to get Mark Hamill’s autograph. Also, devouring Jen’s homemade cinnamon rolls while in line for autographs. Gian Petri whose videos of the shows were awesome way to share each weekend with those who couldn’t make it. There are so many more I’m just running out of room, but these encounters at Star Wars Weekends created friendships that have lasted.
So when I’m sitting at home this weekend, enjoying every moment I have to spend with my family, in the back of my mind, I’ll be thinking about all the people I could have been meeting.The experiences we all would have shared. The fun we would have had.
So with the weekends empty, I’m looking forward the times that we will have coming up. The release of Rogue One followed by Episode 8; Star Wars Land being built on both coasts; and lets not forget the return of Star Wars Celebration to Orlando in 2017. So brush up on your social skills, this is where the fun begins!
Until then, reminisce with me. Comment below with your memories of Star Wars Weekends or you can email me at email@example.com. You can also hit me up on Twitter @taharris121079. I look forward to reading about your experiences!
Remember, this is the podcast you’re looking for!!!