And so it ends.
Celebration VI is over, and the last day was pretty quiet, compared to the excitement of the previous days.
I checked out the Tatooine diorama on the show floor. It was amazing; unfortunately, it was also unfinished. And considering it was the last day, I doubt they completed everything they had planned. There was Watto’s junk shop, a podrace, Ben’s hovel, docking bay 94, Jabba’s palace, the Sarlacc Pit and more. Congrats to all the hard workers who busted their butts all weekend to make it look as good as it did!
The Warwick Davis panel, Return of the Ewok, was the highlight of the day. Zooming out on his Segway, Davis was extremely personable and funny, playing off host James Arnold Taylor’s own humor to keep the audience laughing and entertained. Davis shared anecdotes from the sets of Return of the Jedi, Harry Potter and Willow. He also talked about the mockumentary, Return of the Ewok, which was filmed during the making of Return of the Jedi. A few clips were shown and, apparently, the whole thing has been screened at other conventions. He also discussed his new book (Size Matters Not) and television show (Life’s Too Short). James and Davis reenacted the opening scene from Return of the Jedi (with Davis playing the role of Darth Vader) – hilarity ensued. And there was some fun audience participation as Davis led the crowd in a Harry Potter/Star Wars mash-up – charms class with lightsabers!
Deciding to skip the Star Wars in 60 Minutes show and The Essential Guides panel, I secured my spot in line for the highly anticipated Closing Ceremonies. James Arnold Taylor kicked things off, bringing out fellow hosts Pablo Hidalgo and David Collins. They played a great recap video of all the fun events of the Celebration and then showed the same Episode II 3D sizzle reel as the previous day’s panel. There was an added scene at the end, however; the opening space battle over Coruscant from Episode III. After the clips, a video of Ian McDiarmid and George Lucas appeared and the release dates for Episode II and Episode III in 3D were announced (September 20, 2013 and October 11, 2013, respectively, mere weeks apart!).
Celebration event organizer, Mary Franklin, was paraded onstage to give the big news of the day. The air was electric with anticipation. And they announced Star Wars Celebration Europe II in Messe Essen, Germany, July 26-28, 2013. The applause was scattered and not even close to thunderous. And that was it. The attendees sitting around me (myself included) were dumbfounded, and murmurs of “That’s it?!” could be heard rippling through the crowd. A cheesy polka band played a “German” version of the Star Wars theme song and for a split second, I thought it was all a joke. It wasn’t. No big announcements, no secret info, no special appearances. Just another convention, less than a year away, across the world, with no chance that 90% of the people in attendance would have the time to save enough money to even go. I was bummed that I missed two really interesting panels for this lackluster news. It was a disappointing way to end an otherwise incredible event.
And an incredible event it was! I wandered around the show floor a bit more, taking some final photos and collecting any last minute trinkets. Then it was off to the hotel, preparing to leave a galaxy far, far away and head back to reality.
I hope you all enjoyed the coverage of Celebration VI. Can’t wait to hear news about what’s in store for Celebration VII!