As previously mentioned in the first part of my Star Wars Celebration wrap-up, there was so much to see and do at the event in Chicago. And after the amazing day we had on Friday, I honestly was already on cloud nine and anything after that was just the cherry on top.
With that being said, there were so many cherries on top. So let’s keep going, shall we?
Saturday saw me put on Jyn Erso, which will probably always be my favorite Star Wars costumes, as well as one of the hardest costumes I’ve ever put together. And there were a lot of us roaming around, but one thing I found is that we always would pass each other and maybe not say a word, but there was usually a slight nod of acknowledgement, like secret Jyn code, or something. I loved that.
Our first mission of the day was to get in line to meet Anthony Daniels, aka C3PO. He does his autograph sessions a little differently, so that meant a slightly longer line. We arrived and watched him sign for awhile, but then he went to take a break. But I was still in line, but had an autograph scheduled with Katee Sackhoff. So I ran to that and managed to tell Katee how much I loved Starbuck and seeing a kick-ass woman like that on TV at the time.
My good fortune continued, though, because after the autograph session, I ran back to the Anthony Daniels line (he was still on break), where everyone was kind enough to let me rejoin my friends there. Anthony came out immediately after and had a sort of little meet and greet with everyone and announced the title of his new book. I suggest everyone buy it when it comes out.
When I met Anthony, he commented on the photo I chose for him to sign and offered a little anecdote about how he remembered the pyrotechnics during that particular scene. He was absolutely wonderful when I shared my story about how the prequels were my introduction to Star Wars, and told me he found that very interesting. Then somehow I mentioned cats (people who know me aren’t surprised) and he mentioned that he missed his when he was away. He is a cat person! Of course! The total wait time for that interaction was three hours and it was worth every minute. We also made some new friends in line and spent the time sharing videos with each other on our phones. Star Wars fans are seriously the best.
We also stopped to sign this massive wall with Darth Vader art on it. I, obviously, felt the need to keep it simple.
Then we walked two miles throughout McCormick Place trying to find someone with glue to fix one little thing on my boot and eventually discovered a cosplay repair station. But hey, we learned the layout of that place like no one else did. 😛
After I got my boot fixed, I ran into an amazing Chirrut cosplayer and I had to get a photo with him:
We were really tired at that point, so we began to head out of McCormick Place, but we ran into a group of protestors:
Day 4, Or I Don’t Know What Day It Is Anymore
By the fourth day of Celebration, the mind gets fuzzy and everything feels like a dream. Maybe it is, and I still need to wake up. But that morning had my roommate cackling evilly when she figured out that the Lightspeed Lane (think FastPass) was now working for the Celebration store: before that, the only way to get inside was to wait in lines that lasted up to eight hours (no, thank you). So we got our Lightspeed Lane tickets for that and the day was off to a good start again. I dressed up as Jedi Merida.
I started the morning with an 11 a.m. autograph session with Hayden Christensen. As I previously mentioned, my introduction to Star Wars was through the prequels. But I had no idea how much that meant to me until Hayden came out and stood behind his table. As I got closer to the table, I got more and more emotional. At one point, I was like “I’m not going to cry,” whispering it over and over to myself. One of the staff members was like “You’re totally going to cry. And I’m going to cry when you cry.” We had a good laugh about it, but by the time I got in front of Hayden, I was trembling.
I told him how much it meant to me to have the opportunity to meet him and explained that I was a fan because of the prequels. That I was THERE because of the prequels. And I thanked him for that. He took my hand and held it and asked my name. There was more conversation after that, but I honestly don’t even remember what was said. I looked into his eyes and I was GONE. At some point, he dropped my hand and signed the photo I picked out and told me it was nice to meet me. And I stumbled away, completely starstruck.
I was still shaking when I ran into Jedi Prince:
Also, check out this Hamlet meets Stormtrooper cosplay. Alas, poor Darth, I knew him.
We also met up with a fellow Cause-Play Memphis family member, who dressed up as Jedi Aurora. Jedi princesses FOR THE WIN!
We went to our appointed time for the Lightspeed Lane for the Celebration store and got in within ten minutes. Although some things were still sold out, I got the Hux pin I wanted (which was part of a set) and the “Windu City” t-shirt (which is honestly the most bad-ass t-shirt to ever exist).
Now that we had pins, we started pin trading, looking for some very specific ones (I wanted a Qi’ra and there was another that we wanted to get for a friend). My roommate also got obsessed with the QR code scavenger hunt and was absolutely determined to find every single one. And she did. We all hunted together to give her all the glory (Team Dark Side!).
Day 5, or Whatever, The Dark Side Has Cookies
By the time day 5 rolled around, we were so sleep-deprived and exhausted that much of it is a blur. I was going to costume as an all-out Femme Hux, complete with long flowing red locks (a wig), but instead, I decided to do it with my short hair because I was done wearing wigs. Our first mission of the day was to find a Starbucks, which we did. And because I thought it would be funny, I told the barista my name was Hux.
It was pretty funny when they called the name:
With caffeine in hand, we set out for the Phantom Menace 20th Anniversary panel, which we won tickets for in the lottery for the overflow room. Although they promised us lots of surprises with the panel, there really weren’t any, although there was a tease of Liam Neeson and for a second, my roomie and I were falling out of our chairs. Even George Lucas didn’t show up and only sent in a video. The only part that was really awesome was that Ahmed Best (Jar Jar) got a standing ovation from the crowd. Although seeing Anthony Daniels and Warwick Davis throwing shade at each other was pretty hilarious. I also enjoyed Ray Park talking about Oreos, confirming the theory that the Dark Side really does have cookies.
Then we found a Kylo so that I could get a photo. Long live the Supreme Leader:
I soon realized that my boots felt kind of weird, like my feet were moving around inside of them. Then it dawned on me that I forgot socks!!! Fortunately, there was a vendor selling socks, who also had a pin that we really wanted. But he wanted my Hux pin to trade and that wasn’t about to happen. We spent several hours hunting down another Hux pin, trading this for that until we finally had it. We made it back to the socks booth to make the initial trade. Mission accomplished!
Feeling cute, might take over the Empire later, idk:
That photo was hilarious. The guy running the set was yelling “Hux, what are you doing? The new boss isn’t going to be happy.”
We spent much of the day also hunting down Matt, The Radar Technician cosplayers and yelling at them, “Matt straight up sucks.” The things you can get away with at Star Wars Celebration, right?
We also got to go into the Galaxy’s Edge exhibit, which was mostly just photo opp things, although they did have a display with the Parks’ new merchandise. I expected something more like a diorama of the new land, but nada. But we did get some funny fake ride photos:
At the end of the day, when it was all over, I felt sad. But a trip to Portillo’s with the 501st lifted my spirits. But it was the end of Celebration, although we now know there will be another one next year in Anaheim.
Needless to say, the planning for Celebration 2020 has already begun. So until next time, I would like to thank everyone who was so amazing during this crazy adventure. To everyone who chatted with us in line. To everyone we just bumped into and started talking to. To the staff who helped run the event. To the celebrities who showed up. To everyone: I love you and you made my first Celebration a truly memorable and special event. I have so many happy memories now because of you.