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Star Wars Celebration 2022: A New Hope

I have a confession. Star Wars Celebration 2022 is only the second Star Wars Celebration I’ve attended.

I know. Try not to faint.

Star Wars Celebration is a pop culture phenomenon like no other, solely because of Lucasfilm’s painstaking efforts to connect fans with those in front of the camera and behind the scenes, exposing fans to new insights into that galaxy far far away. All while creating once in a lifetime experiences enthusiasts will never forget.

The first thing that strikes you, pretty much from the moment you emerge from your car, is the cosplay. This is arguably my favorite perk of any convention.

The passion for the costumes and characters permeates every nook and cranny of the event.

Creativity is unlimited and ages of the cosplayers range from 1 – 100. While many purchase precise off-the-shelf kits like Stormtroopers, Clone Troopers, Darth Vader, etc, my personal favorites are the handmade/hand crafted costumes created with loving detail. I‘m compelled to compliment every costumer and take photos.

My personal preference is to walk the exhibit hall floor.

The beautiful and unique art bombards my senses and sucks me deep into the Star Wars universe. I constantly must remind myself that I really don’t need that Han Solo replica blaster (okay, not another one at least), nor can I afford Biggs Darklighter’s Red 3 X-Wing model that was actually photographed during the attack on the Death Star in the original Star Wars.

One of the more unique sections of the convention was a full-on Tattoo parlor. That’s right, now while attending Star Wars Celebration, you can choose from a rather large variety of Tattoo artists to permanently decorate your body with all things Star Wars.

But anyone who really knows me, I’m there for the toys. Original Kenner toys specifically. Window shopping mostly, always hunting for that amazing deal. However, this year I decided that the original Topps trading cards were my priority, and I came away with three of the five original sets from the original movie.

There’s a ton I missed. Star Wars Celebration is an experience impossible to fully appreciate in just one day.

Panels take a lot of advanced planning and persistence to get into. Most contain upcoming media announcements and star-studded Q&A’s. This year, Tales of the Jedi, an anthology of animated shorts featuring Jedi and the video game Jedi Survivor, a direct sequel to Jedi: Fallen Order, were announced and accompanied by fantastic trailers.

I completely missed The Mandalorian Experience, of which I heard great things.

I’m not an autograph hound, but you’ll always find plenty of autograph opportunities ranging from the biggest stars such as Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid (Obi-Wan Kenobi and Emperor Palpatine) to fan favorites only seen briefly or behind the scenes such as Amy Allen and Tim Rose (Twillik Jedi Aalya Secura and Admiral Ackbar’s puppeteer.)

Had I stayed longer, I would have gotten around to much more.

By days end, it’s impossible not to be exhausted, physically and mentally. The visual and auditory stimuli is overwhelming.

As I trek back to my car, I scroll through my many photos, as is my custom, and reflect upon my experience. Star Wars has been in my life for over forty years, and I sometimes wonder why it resonates so strongly within in me. Adventure? Excitement?

I had just spent an entire day surrounded by those who feel the same. Perhaps even more so.

And yet again I ask myself, why?

Then, I find a photo I captured early in the day and I’m reminded precisely of why…



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