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I Was Among my People at Star Wars Celebration Orlando

Last week I was in Star Wars heaven. Four lovely days of everyone around me knowing exactly what I’m talking about when I mention names like Hondo Ohnaka, Cad Bane, Rae Sloane, and Momaw Nadon. Everywhere I looked, my eyes landed on a Star Wars shirt. They were like finger prints—I don’t think I saw the same one twice. Entire families were cosplaying Star Wars characters.

People just like me teared up when George Lucas arrived on stage, and when Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd spoke at length about her mom’s connection with her character Princess Leia Organa and most of all her connection with the fans. But most of all when John Williams appeared behind a curtain to conduct the Orlando Philharmonic into renditions of Princess Leia’s Theme, The Main Theme, and The Imperial March.

captain-phasma-1-tall

Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 ran from Thursday 4/13 to Sunday 4/16, and had nearly done me in by Friday afternoon. The folks at ReedPop and Lucasfilm give the fans so many panels they’re going to want to attend the only way to attend every one is to pull a Darth Maul and cut yourself in half so you can be at more than one at a time. I quickly learned that attending every one was impossible considering I had to, you know, eat and sleep. Much to my chagrin I had to skip out on the Lucasfilm Publishers Roundtable so I could actually eat lunch. For a lover of Star Wars lit that pained me. During that panel was announced a new Captain Phasma novel written by Delilah Dawson releasing this September along with a Phasma mini-comic series written by Kelly Thompson with art by Mark Checchetto. A novel called Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Grey (if you haven’t read her other Star Wars books Lost Stars and Bloodline you should) and Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu are set to release later this year.

leia-novel-tall

My only regret of this Celebration was not meeting as many people as I would’ve liked. My excuse is it was my first con and I really wanted to hit up as many panels as I could. Next time I want to make more of an effort to say hi to more people. I was lucky enough to make a couple new friends while waiting in those endlessly long lines! Oh yeah, before I forget, I cannot emphasize how pleasant everyone was. Star Wars fans are literally the best. Everyone was is such good spirits—not a frown, whiny kid, or attitude to be found. That was so nice to experience.

Since 2015, there has been a Celebration yearly, except it was already announced that this is the last until 2019. I’m sure Disney/Lucasfilm have their reasons, and I’m sure the Star Wars themed park at Disney which is scheduled to open in 2019 is one of them. I can’t wait!
@EricOnkenhout