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BGN Exclusive: Top 10 Things Seen at Star Wars Celebration

BGN Exclusive: Top 10 Things Seen at Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars: A New Hope was released on May 25, 1977. 40 years later, we have 8 movies, animated shows, several books and comic books, and generations of fans. This year’s Star Wars Celebration aimed to pay tribute to this rich history, and they more than succeeded. Here’s a list of some of my favorite things from the convention:

      1. The Last Jedi panel. Prior to the convention, the thing I was looking forward to the most (besides meeting John Boyega and Mark Hamill, which sadly still hasn’t happened) was to be with Star Wars fans at the first viewing of the trailer for The Last Jedi. Getting in line at 3 AM, waiting around on the hard concrete floor — all of it was worth it to be in that room together. That alone was enough for me, but they also gave us a panel of the stars including Kathleen Kennedy, Rian Johnson (who happens to be one of my favorite directors), Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill and new addition Kelly Marie Tran.

      2. The 40th Anniversary panel. A celebration of everything Star Wars – the originals, the prequels, the animated shows. It featured several guests including Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford, and John Williams even gave a surprise performance. Check out my article, it includes a link to the entire panel.

      3. Tributes to Carrie Fisher. It all began with a video shown at the 40th Anniversary panel and poignant speeches from her daughter, Billie Lourd, Kathleen Kennedy, and George Lucas. Later that day, fans gathered in cosplay and formal wear to celebrate her at the Drowning in Moonlight Gala.The highlight, though, was Mark Hamill’s Tribute to Carrie Fisher panel. It was at times funny, heart-rending, and cathartic. It very much felt like a wake, one we all needed.

      4. Star Wars Rebels panel. I’ve grown to love the crew of the Ghost. The panel included: Dave Filoni, Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger), Freddie Prinze Jr. (Kanan Jarrus), Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulla), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), and Steve Blum (Zeb Orrelios). Dave Filoni confirmed that this will be the last season of Rebels. A trailer for Season 4 was shown that displayed the growth of the team while hinting at an ending closer to that of Rogue One than I would like, although that might be me being too pessimistic. We also saw the first episode of the season. I won’t give away spoilers but I will advise you to the prepare your emotions.
      5. Black Girl Nerds live podcast. This was the event I was most worried about and it turned out to be the easiest one. Our guest Diana Williams, producer and member of the exclusive Lucasfilm Story Group, was engaging and funny. I loved being able to sit down with my fellow BGN contributors and meet people who love the site.
      6. The Heroines of Star Wars panel. We’ve had a lot of conversations about how representation is being handled by Star Wars. While they have moved forward in some areas, there is still a lot of work to be done in others. This panel illustrated one of the areas that they have been making progress in. My only regret is that Natalie Portman and Felicity Jones weren’t there too.
      7. Cosplay. There was some amazing cosplay over the weekend. I tweeted a lot of what I saw but I found my favorite after the convention: 5-year-old Harley Ignacio came dressed as Jyn Erso and handed out Death Star plans to Princess Leia cosplayers. The final plans were delivered to the display of the original Princess Leia dress from A New Hope.
        Dino Ignacio
        Dino Ignacio
        Dino Ignacio
        Dino Ignacio
        Dino Ignacio
      8. Closing Ceremony. What an amazing weekend – there was so much to do and see. The Closing Ceremony gave us a peek at what we may have missed, as well as the things that we loved. Being at Celebration was like being in a different world, one that revolved around Star Wars. It was an environment where camping overnight to watch a trailer made complete sense. The closing ceremony reflected the love and happiness we experienced all weekend.
      9. The Music of Rogue One. This was one of my con surprises. It was an analysis of the Rogue One score and how musical elements both defined the characters and warned of their deaths. David W. Collins expertly broke down the score, including explaining that a prequel to the main Star Wars theme was a thread running through the Rogue One soundtrack. I re-watched Rogue One that night and haven’t stopped listening to the soundtrack since. If you have any interest in score analysis, I recommend listening to Star Wars Oxygen.
      10. I saw a parade of Death troopers and a large group dressed as Matt the radar technician who traveled everywhere en masse, yelling and bowing to Darth Vaders, but this was my favorite group cosplay.

      Have any favorite moments I missed? Let me know in the comments or tweet them.

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