On Station At Celebration: Day 1

April 16, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Celebration, Conventions, Events, News, Star Wars, Star Wars News | 1 Comment

on-station-at-celebrationStar Wars Celebration Anaheim day one. Exciting, huh? For all of those who didn’t attend, you’ve probably all watched the trailer at least a dozen times. Aside from that craziness, it was a whole lot of fun.

The Line

As it usually goes, it all started with a line, and this was a big one. I did not camp out for the night, so I missed out on J.J. Abrams’ pizza and John ‘Dak’ Morton’s free autographs. However, I got plenty of sleep and sitting second row at the Digital Stage wasn’t too bad. Oddly David Collins wasn’t there to host the simulcast for the room, but it was still cool to see it on a big screen, and so awesome when they got to the trailer. Yet as mind blowing as that was, as heart warming and sentimental as Chewie and Han were, I have to admit seeing the real working BB-8 was something special. I’m thinking a weighted rotating ring for motion inside the sphere and magnets that stay stationary at the top for the head with some room for movement…yeah, I’m ready for those blueprints :)

Coffee With Kenobi Podcast Panel, that’s John ‘Dak’ Morton facing the camera, Dan and Cory at the table, and Mike Pilot from Full of Sith in the hat on the right.

With everyone coming off the high of the big opening event, I then headed over to the Coffee With Kenobi podcast panel. These guys are great to listen to week-to-week, but I was really impressed by how well they did their live show. Keep in mind there’s no editing, there’s a big audience putting on the pressure, and everyone just saw a new trailer for a new Star Wars movie. Yet they still delivered. I won’t spoil too much as I’m sure they’ll be releasing the audio for the panel in an upcoming episode. Plus I’ll do a full review next week. However, they did have John ‘Dak’ Morton on who shared some great stories, they talked about the trailer, brought on some friends, Jeff from Marvin Dog Media and Assembly of Geeks chatted with them about Celebration collectibles, and Kevin Liell from Norse Legion gave away some goodies (I got a cool ring!).

Afterwards, I decided to get the jump on the John Jackson Miller panel and queued up early, which led to a nice surprise. Author John Jackson Miller was hanging out with the keeper of the holocron, Leland Chee. John’s panel also had a really good turn out. I got there an hour early and was still not first in line. ‘Rule the Galaxy Together – Writing In A Shared Universe’ turned out to be a great panel. John briefly laid out all the books and comics he’s done, then surprised everyone by showing us something very unexpected: the comics he did as a kid. Yes, John had a panel, complete with illustrations of Commander Duck and other space adventures, including the Duckhawk space ship. John then went over six guidelines for tie-in fiction. 1. Respect the park and keep it clean. 2. Never say never. 3. Blame the speaker. 4. Write for earthlings. 5. Eat your mistakes. 6. How stories connect is not a story. It was a mixture of wisdom, insight and humor as John pulled off a great panel that everyone enjoyed. Hopefully the audio turned out good as that’s one I’d like to share (keep an eye out next week).

Main drag at front of con floor

AT-AT near Celebration Stage queue area

Celebration Store

When not chasing down Hondo for a picture or stopping to take pics of some impressive Sabine costumes, I managed to walk the con floor a bit. First off, this convention center is big. The floor space is way bigger than Orlando. The Celebration Store alone is ten times bigger than CVI (and with a line to match).

Ian McDiarmid Panel

Fortunately I was able to go to the Ian McDiarmid panel. I got there two hours early and had about a hundred people in front of me, but still got good seats. The Celebration Stage is big, with arena seating, and I got a spot fairly close in the floor seating. It was the first row not marked reserved. Hosted by James Arnold Taylor, he and Ian did not disappoint. James kicked things off lip synching AC/DC’s “Back in Black”. He got Ian to read a passage from Ian Doescher’s Shakespeare version of Return of the Jedi. He played clip from Robot Chicken, and overall it was terrific. They shared fun stories, threw in a lot of humor, and kept everyone entertained.

Radio 1138: Steve Sansweet, James Burns and Mark Newbold

Following that, I went to the Radio 1138 podcast panel, which also turned out really well. According to Mark and James, this was their first live podcast, and they did a great job. They shared some humorous stories about their first days at the convention center, revealed that the planet Jakku is Japanese for tranquility, talked with Tim Stanton from the He Said He Said podcast, brought on Steve Sansweet who had a funny Celebration Store experience, and then John ‘Dak’ Morton who teased what his next articles for Jedi News would be (another James Luceno article, this time with both of them covering their Celebration experience, and a chat with author Ryder Windham). He also talked about visiting the queue the night before, the positive buzz permeating all the fans, and what it’s like leaving Star Wars and coming back to it, living into our expectations but being one of us. All in all, a terrific panel. These guys put on an impressive live show.

Capping the day off, I went to the podcast meet-up at the Hilton lounge and met a bunch of podcasters for the first time. All of them were super nice and it was a great experience. I was able to meet Mark, Riley and Bethany from Star Wars Report, Tricia from Fangirls Going Rogue, Sarah and Richard from Skywalking Through Neverland, Mark from Talking Apes TV, Mike Pilot and Bryan Young from Full of Sith, Dan and Cory from Coffee with Kenobit, Scott and Jeff from Assembly of Geeks, Justin Bolger from ForceCast, Kay and Amy Ratcliffe who have been a guests on a lot of podcasts, as well as Erich Schoeneweiss from Del Rey. For anyone who enjoys Star Wars podcasts, it was a wonderful way to meet and socialize with all the hosts. For all those who helped put that together and attended, thank you. It was a lot of fun.

With it only being day one, there is still three more days of awesomeness to ensue.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot

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  1. Sounds Like A Great Day In Anaheim! Boris & Natasha

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