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Star Wars Celebration II

May 2002

Star Wars Celebration IIThe Star Wars Celebration II convention has come and gone.  I was in Indianapolis with thousands of other fans celebrating the release of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (AOTC) and the 25th anniversary of the first Star Wars film released in May 1977.  During the convention (May 3-5), I added the daily updates below.


Daily Updates

May 2 2002 Flew into Indianapolis and got settled at the hotel.  Went to dinner with a group of online friends--including Quest, Hooks, and Bianca (formerly Leia38D).  Got to see my friend and former coworker Josetta, who recently moved to Indianapolis from New York City.  After dinner, explored the convention center while the staff was setting up for the start of the convention tomorrow.  Stayed up way too late studying the convention schedule and planning what are sure to be three very busy days.  Somehow found time to update this web page.  Now I'm off to bed.  Nighty night.

Darth Vader & Stormtroopers

Darth Vader and a very patriotic stormtrooper

May 3 2002 It was a long and busy day.  AOTC tickets went on sale today; and, luckily, the Internet allowed me to get opening-day seats even though I'm 700 miles away from home.

The Celebration got off to a roaring start.  With 25,000 attendees, the line to enter stretched several blocks.  Fortunately, my hotel is connected to the convention center via a skywalk, which allowed me to bypass the wait.

My first event was a presentation by Star Wars producer, Rick McCallum, of new digitally-projected AOTC footage.  The movie looks great, and McCallum stressed the importance of seeing it in one of the 80 digital projection theaters nationwide.  He even seemed to hint that the digital version would have extra footage.

The official opening ceremony included Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Hayden Christensen (the young adult Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader), Steve Sansweet and other luminaries.  The head of Lucasfilm marketing showed a parody of the Spider-Man trailer featuring a lightsaber-wielding, lightning-bolt-throwing, jumping-and-twirling, butt-kicking Yoda.  The crowd roared for what seemed like forever after seeing that bit of new AOTC footage.

Stormtroopers

The Imperials bring out the big guns

For the rest of the day, I briefly explored the expo, enjoyed seeing many fans in costume (pictures coming soon)--including a legion of stormtroopers, watched several short films at the Star Wars Fan Film Festival (and later attended the Fan Film Awards), saw other stars including Joel Edgerton (the young Owen Lars--Uncle Owen to you and me), attended the Star Wars Collectibles Road Show (like PBS's Antique Roadshow), and watched The Phantom Menace and the original Star Wars hosted by Luke Ski.  I also got to see Ghent and a couple other online friends for the first time in years.  Whew!  My only regret is that there is just too much to do, and it's impossible to see everything.

Day two is tomorrow.  My nephew Lucas will be joining me for the day.  I'll post another report tomorrow; but, in the meantime, TheForce.net has good coverage of the Celebration and all things Star Wars.

Lucas with Princess Leia

Lucas with Princess Leia in Slave Girl outfit

May 4 2002 My nephew joined me for day two of the convention.  We attended a panel with heroes from the classic trilogy and another about costumes in AOTC.  We visited the R2 droid builders' workshop and attended a collectibles auction, where we witnessed a small toy Darth Vader sell for over $2,000.  I got many more pictures of fans in costume.  Lucas seemed to have a knack for getting in pictures with ladies in costume.  After Lucas returned home, I watched a bit of The Empire Strikes Back on the big screen and then attended the Star Wars 25th Anniversary Concert with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis.  The highlight of the performance was their rendition of Dual of the Fates with a full choir.

Tomorrow is the third and final day of the Celebration.

Daniels and Fisher

Anthony Daniels (note gold jacket) and Carrie Fisher

May 5 2002 Star Wars Celebration II has come to an end.  The final day went by quickly.  Besides a final sweep through the exhibit hall, I only had time to attend two (very long) events.  The first featured a few Star Wars celebrities including Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) making her first Star Wars convention appearance.  The second event was the costume contest featuring some amazing fan-made outfits.

Luke and Wampa

Not action figures!  These are full-size Luke and Wampa fan costumes (note severed arm on floor)

Overall, I had a blast.  The lines weren't fun, but I'm kind of sneaky and was able to avoid most of them.  I got to see many old friends--including ABoyScout who I've known for 8 years and who took over AOLSWFC trivia after me.

You can be sure that I will attend Celebration III in 2005.  Hopefully my family will be able to join me next time.

Full Celebration II Photo Album

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