The long-awaited and much anticipated Star Wars Celebration at the Anaheim Convention Center has come to an end. The April 16-19, 2015 gathering attracted more than 60,000 serious devotees of the science-fiction space odyssey phenomenon. By all accounts and reports, Star Wars Celebration went off without a hitch and can only be classified as a smashing success.
Fans came from as far away as Australia and Japan. They came from every state in the nation and they came from only a few miles away in Orange County. Everyone was hoping to catch an early preview of TStarhe Force Awakens. The excitement about the new Star Wars movie, scheduled to be released on Christmas Day in theaters all around the globe, was undeniable. The Force Awakens is the first of a trilogy of new Star Wars movies to be produced since Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise back in 2012. The new movie will mark the return of Luke Skywalker and Hans Solo. Director J.J. Abrams is said to have created something very special.
The celebration kicked-off on Thursday morning in the 7,000-seat main arena of the Anaheim Convention Center. It was packed with loyal followers. They were not your casual fans, but rather, fans who could tell you that Luke and Leia were born in Polis Massa or that there were 12 members in the Jedi Council. They were emotional, excited and just dying to absorb everything that had anything to do with The Force Awakens. When the stars of the new movie cam on stage along with the stars from the original Star Wars, the crowd roared. Fans got to see Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill along with John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.
When the lights went down and a short teaser trailer came up on the screen, the reaction intensified. There was Harrison Ford as Hans Solo and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca!
While the screening was obviously one of the big highlights of the Star Wars Celebration, it was hardly the only thing that got fans excited. Young and old had a ridiculously good time playing, shopping, getting pictures and autographs, and so much more.
On the main floor, fans got a chance to take a picture with Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher. Darth Vader was available for autographs and Chewbacca was ready to shake hands. All kinds of cool Star Wars merchandise was being sold by the vendors. There were shirts, hats, and masks. There were statues, toys and books. It was the place to shop if you wanted to add a special piece to your Star Wars collection.
The movie sets were a real fan favorite. If you wanted a great souvenir photo, you could step inside the set of one of your favorite Star Wars scenes and become part of the scene. Every effort was taken to make sure the props, costumes and sets were as authentic as the ones used in the movies.
Other crowd favorites included the droid races, the Princess Leia fashion show and a cosplay contest. Kids got a chance to build their own characters in the Lego X-Wing and there was even a speed dating event for the single and unattached adults.
Curious fans got a few more insights into what is ahead for the Star Wars franchise. They got to see a preview of Rogue One, another new Star Wars movie scheduled to be released in 2016. The world premiere of Revenge of the Sith in 3D was screened and there was new information about the second season of the Star Wars Rebels television series.
Thanks to all of you who chose to stay at the Anaheim Express Inn Maingate during the big Star Wars Celebration at the Anaheim Convention Center. We hope you had a great time and look forward to seeing you again the next time you are in town on vacation or for business.
Thank you so much for sharing the use of your photos and letting others see your artistry!
Anaheim Express Inn Maingate