Another Star Wars Celebration has come and gone. And while there have been many opinions shared, both online and in my hearing (from the OMG it was the greatest thing ever to What a waste of money I’ll never go again!), I can only share my own experiences.

I knew going in that this con would be different. I suffered a personal loss the week before my trip began—my beloved dog Vader. Named so because of his solid black color and my love of, what else? Star Wars. So while reeling from that loss I knew my plans to attend Disney and the con were ambitious.

So I wasn’t surprised when the first day led to ugly tears. I missed the 40th anniversary panel but did watch the moving Carrie Fisher tribute followed by the maestro himself, John Williams. Conducting Leia’s theme. Tears. Carrie Fisher’s death hit me very hard as well, and this was the first convention without our Princess. I am forever grateful I had the opportunity to pose for a photo with her at the last Celebration. I even petted Gary the dog. 

And here's the wonderful tribute. Fans who attended the event received Leia posters.

The Last Jedi panel revealed the new eagerly awaited trailer, but naturally it raised far more questions than answers. I watched the trailer as it played on the large screen in the Exhibit Hall, and as the Lucasfilm logo appeared on the screen, everyone in the food court stood up, transfixed by the images as they raced by. We could barely hear the audio, but the cheers as the trailer ended were deafening. And upon a second viewing on my computer, I wonder if I heard Yoda's voice? (I'm often accused of hearing Yoda's voice, though). And now I feel like I need a YouTube fan video of Rey training, 80's movie montage style. 

Panels weren't easy to attend, with many people camping out or getting up extremely early for wristbands. Still, I managed to attend a few. One was a fascinating discussion by David Collins about Michael Giacchino’s work for Rogue One. Another was the Star Wars Rebels panel, in which we learned the upcoming Season 4 will be the last, and Warwick Davis of Willow and Wicket fame will perform the voice of Grand Admiral Thrawn’s bodyguard Rukh. 

The final day included the closing ceremonies, where nearly everyone I knew expected the next Celebration date and location to be announced, but Warwick Davis simply said wherever it may be. 

I also attended some exciting events after con hours. The Drowning in Moonlight Gala was a lovely tribute to Carrie Fisher, with music and a silent auction and people sharing their memories of the Princess.

The 501st party featured Weird Al singing a variety of songs, including (of course!) Yoda and The Saga Begins. Everyone who attended received a bag of goodies, and Jawas kept trying to steal my purse. Utinni! Acrobats dressed like Twi'leks also performed stunts high above us. It was quite the party.

Disney held a special event called Galactic Nights. I working on my write up in a separate report, but it was worth the price of admission. We were able to get right on the Toy Story ride, which never ever happens. The park transformed into a Star Wars paradise, readying itself for the much awaited Star Wars land.

I can’t say it was the best Celebration ever. Grief makes celebrating difficult, but spending time with friends helped the pain a bit. And that’s one of the most important things about Star Wars to me. Through the years, I’ve met amazing people and had unbelievable opportunities as a result of my love for the movies. 

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Tags: Star Wars , Carrie Fisher , Celebration , Disney