lazypadawan: (Default)
Conclusion

Celebration IV definitely had a different vibe than Celebration II, because back in 2002 everybody was anticipating a new movie. People who attended Celebration III or even the Great Mud Party of 1999 might agree. It was like a big pep rally before the game as opposed to a high school reunion. As a result, there weren't as many Rocky Mountain Highs this time as there was at the last Celebration I attended.

But don't get me wrong. Celebration IV was a LOT of fun. It was the chance to see old friends again and meet new ones. It was a chance to geek out for five days and not worry about how you're going to look. Everybody here understands what you're into and it's all right. I saw a lot of camaraderie among strangers; I'd forgotten how easy it is to talk to other SW fans. I've been to three Comic Cons now and as much fun as it is, it doesn't have the je ne sais quoi among the attendees at a Celebration. I guess that at a big multiple interest convention, SW fans are just another brick in the wall. At a Celebration, we're all family. A little dysfunctional at times, but family nonetheless.

Celebration IV was by far a better-run convention than Celebration II, Badgegate notwithstanding; those aforementioned Rocky Mountain Highs were accomodated by a tremendous amount of aggravation. C IV was actually up to Comic Con level in terms of running the event. Once the StarWarsShop fiasco of Thursday was resolved, it was smooth sailing the rest of the time. Believe me, it's unreal I'm even writing this. But it's the truth. The facilities at LACC were fantastic. It was big enough for a Celebration with an efficient, professional staff to boot. I recall the clueless, frightened people working Celebration II, its mean security staff (501st aside), and how 27,000 of us were shoeboxed into a center almost too small for us. So you had to walk a little; exercise is good for you, fanboy! I also appreciated how there were lots of places to eat. Food cost me more this trip not because the concessions were necessarily more expensive than in Indianapolis, but because I actually had time for a meal. The concessions didn't all run out of everything either.

Time was actually the greatest benefit of better organization. I had time to do more and smell the roses at my own pace instead of spending the bulk of the day in some line or other. Since the con was longer, fans didn't cram into the same things all at once. I didn't go to a single panel at Celebration II. I had to use a friend's press credentials to see the Lucasfilm Archives because the lines were so ridiculously long. I didn't see any shows like "Star Wars Trilogy In 30 Minutes." This time I could see and do anything I wanted. While it was impossible to do everything, even the "hot ticket" shows or presentations were accessible with just a little planning and a willingness to be the early bird.

Of course there is room for improvement. Some zing and zow at the opening ceremony would've gone a long way. We happen to belong to a fandom where many of the stars involved are not terribly interested in fan gatherings and I have no idea how hard con organizers tried for an OT3 reunion or whatever. But the program could've nevertheless could have had more focus and offer more inspiration. I forgot to mention in my entry about the opening ceremony that one of the most inspired--even if downbeat--segments was a tribute to cast and crew members who have since died. The guy who suggested it and put it together wasn't from Lucasfilm or GenCon. He was a a fan!

I also have a minor quibble about the policy of not allowing anyone to go into a presentation once it has started. I understand how people walking in and out of a room during a live interview with someone onstage could be distracting. But if the room isn't full, I don't see why letting in a couple of people to slip in discreetly would be a big deal.

My guess is Celebration V will happen around the time they are ready to launch the live action t.v. movies/series. That way there's something to excite everyone and they can trot out the show's cast and crew. If it turns out to be 2009, it will also mark the tenth anniversary of the Great Denver Mud Party as well as the tenth anniversary of TPM. The Clone Wars series will be gearing up for its second season by then. If you can combine the anticipation of SW t.v. with the efficiency of Celebration IV, then it will be the best con yet.

See you all there!

Epilogue

*As of writing, I'm almost recovered from The Cold From Hell. Actually, I suspect it was more likely a really bad allergy attack. I noticed several TFNers complained about allergies and someone noted that particular week there was a huge amount of pollen in the air. I've had bad allegery attacks disguised as colds before.

*On Friday, June 1, while home sick, I purchased Jason Palmer's Celebration IV Padmé print online. It arrived this past Tuesday.

*Correction: On Saturday morning, Debbie went to the Robot Chicken presentation, not a collector's panel.

*Debbie got 10 out of the 12 coins.

*celosia2 told me she spotted Mark Hamill's wife Marilou and daughter Chelsea in the Exhibit Hall...she wasn't alone, several other fans saw them too.

Thanks to the DCSWCC, LACC staff, my online friends, [livejournal.com profile] jawajames and [livejournal.com profile] miana_dude
for letting me babble every time I passed by their tables, Bryan for being a good sport, Matt Busch, Jason Palmer, the New Otani Hotel, the makers of Pitfire Pizza's watermelon lemonade, the folks at Topps and Hasbro for having lousy memories, the fine and talented people putting together that awesome Clone Wars series, the nice people at the Celebration Store, Line Lady, the fan from Arizona who helped me save seats, all of the bus drivers, Starbucks at the New Otani, the staff from the USPS, Jake Lloyd, and most of all to the folks I've known a long time: Marie, Jamie, Todd, Mike, and of course, Debbie. I'll make it to an odd-numbered Celebration...I promise!
lazypadawan: (Pilot Anakin)
After I woke up this morning sounding like Froggy from the old Little Rascals series, I decided to call in sick to work. Nobody wants you around when you sound like that. It drives people crazy.

This means I have time to start bringing you my Celebration experiences(TM). Bear in mind I couldn't be everywhere. I focused my activities on things I haven't done or seen before. You can find tons of stories and pics from other people on the internet, including stuff posted at starwars.com's special Celebration blog. Without further ado:

May 23-May 24, 2007 )

December 2012

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