Celebration Con Report: Sun. Apr. 19

Knowing a lot of people were likely to check out that morning and try to use hotel storage to keep their bags while at the convention another day, I’d suggested we check out early and store our stuff before heading over to the convention center. The 501st travel with a LOT of huge storage containers and I had no idea how much space the Marriott had to store luggage.

So we’d taken care of everything by 8:30 and got into line inside the convention center. Debbie was still planning on getting exclusives then going to some more collector panels. She and Marie were going to stay another day to hit Disneyland (they were transferring to another hotel closer to the park later on) while I was driving home that afternoon because, work. I had no real plans other than to see whatever I’d missed and take some pictures. Originally I was going to stay until three to see the Doug Chiang panel but by this point, I’d had it with waiting an hour or more to see something for an hour and I wanted to beat returning beach traffic since I had to take the major coastal freeway home. Plus if I waited too long, it would take a long time to retrieve my bags and get my car from the valet since everyone would be leaving the same time.

Knowing a lot of people were likely to check out that morning and try to use hotel storage to keep their bags while at the convention another day, I’d suggested we check out early and store our stuff before heading over to the convention center. The 501st travel with a LOT of huge storage containers and I had no idea how much space the Marriott had to store luggage.

So we’d taken care of everything by 8:30 and got into line inside the convention center. Debbie was still planning on getting exclusives then going to some more collector panels. She and Marie were going to stay another day to hit Disneyland (they were transferring to another hotel closer to the park later on) while I was driving home that afternoon because, work. I had no real plans other than to see whatever I’d missed and take some pictures. Originally I was going to stay until three to see the Doug Chiang panel but by this point, I’d had it with waiting an hour or more to see something for an hour and I wanted to beat returning beach traffic since I had to take the major coastal freeway home. Plus if I waited too long, it would take a long time to retrieve my bags and get my car from the valet since everyone would be leaving the same time.

In spite of the aggravation, the annoyances, the outrages, the inconveniences, and tribulations, there’s always something sad about the last day of a convention. Everyone’s a little wilted because after today, it was all over. Back to life, back to reality, like the old Soul II Soul song goes. In 24 hours I was going to be back at work and the convention halls packed with Star Wars merchandise, recreations of various famous sets, cosplayers, stars signing autographs, fans knocking back cocktails at one of the many mini bars set up throughout, little kids playing with Artoo, and Celebration signs were going to be empty.

Also, on Sundays, fewer people are there in the morning. Even though Sunday was also sold out of badges, there were a lot less people than there had been any of the previous days. Was everybody hung over from that mixer Saturday night? Too much time spent in the lobby bar? Who knows?

After we were let in for the final day of fun, Debbie went and got her goodies, then we took pictures together before we split up. I revisited the exhibit hall, took pictures of the various set recreations and other stuff, got in some shots of the Soviet-style Celebration Store, checked out the R2 Builders exhibit, and took pictures outside. After lunch, I considered going to the Ian Doerscher book signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth, since I had my copy of “The Phantom of Menace” with me but then I saw there was as per usual a big line. Oh well.

My last purchase at the convention was a twisted bit of fan art for a mere five bucks. It showed Anakin winning on Mustafar while armed with Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. There had to be some kind of Terminator-esque backstory to that one.

Around 2 p.m.-ish it was time to get out of Dodge. I had my luggage and car brought out and off I went to the Five south. So long, Celebration, it’s been real. I saw that another con-goer, easily identified by Star Wars stickers all over his SUV, was also making an early start home. The car had New York plates so he had about four or five days’ drive ahead of him.

The odd thing with these cons is that they are fun almost in spite of themselves. This one was very much like Celebration II 13 years ago, with many of the same problems. I think the facilities and staff in Orlando were better than at Anaheim, but I think future U.S. Celebrations will alternate between Mouse House East and West for the foreseeable future anyway. Usually fans at Celebration are nicer than they are at other cons but this time around, I also noticed there was more anti-PT talk than I’d heard at other Celebrations and instead of talking, many fans in line just stuck with their devices. Still where else do you get to wear your most obscure Star Wars t-shirt and somebody will get it? Where else can you get chased by Artoo? Or stumble upon “pin-up” girls getting their photos taken in their trampy outfits? Where else can you watch an evening recreation of Dooku’s battle against Anakin and Obi-Wan? Or get free pizza from a big time movie director? Or see a bunch of former Ewok actors hang out in the lobby of your hotel? Or just casually catch Steve Sansweet and James Arnold Taylor greeting each other with a friendly hug? Or find Elsa as a Jedi or a Vulcan Jedi? Or listen to R-rated rap tracks?

I’m going to write ReedPOP a long letter about what could be done better at future U.S. Celebrations, namely the store and managing lines better. Fans should be treated like guests, not cattle. I’d also like to see more of a balanced program. I understand a lot is going to be dedicated to promoting the assembly line of Star Wars coming our way, but we can’t forget what came before either.

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One Response to Celebration Con Report: Sun. Apr. 19

  1. Pingback: Final Day Con Report |

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