In a Facebook post this afternoon, Steve Sansweet pegs the attendee numbers of Celebration V at 28,000 – the lowest since Celebration I in 1999. Celebration IV in 2007, which also had no movie to boost awareness and attendance (but did have the advantage of being in movie-loving Los Angeles) weighed in at 35,000.
It’s no shock that the numbers are lower for this round – in addition to the economy, the late announcement and a less-than-inspiring locale, August is smack dab in the middle of convention season – most notably in that CV was bracketed by the biggest cons of all: San Diego Comic-Con in July and Atlanta’s Dragon*Con coming up on Labor Day weekend. Both are huge draws for much of the same audience, and we even had a Jader or two choose D*C over CV.
Really, between all that, 28,000 doesn’t look all that shabby!
Wherever Celebration VI may be (and I am not asking for suggestions) I hope they return to a late-spring date – if nothing else, because that would make almost any location fairly palatable. (And a note to our delicate warm-weather flowers: Orlando’s life-sapping humidity has more than paid back the midwest’s debt for CIII’s ridiculously light snow, okay? We’re even.)
UPDATE: Steve in the comments of his FB post:
For those of you questioning the attendance number at Celebration V, there are several things to remember. Lucasfilm and Reed are thrilled with the final total; I had been predicting a max of 25,000. We are still in the worst economic times… since the Great Depression of the 1930s. We had less than 8 months to promote the show, and many European fans—who have to make August vacation plans a year in advance—could not change those plans. And we had 8,000 more attendees than the last event, Celebration Japan. The Orange County Convention Center was a perfect location: its layout, total cooperation from all the great people who work there, and because Orlando is the ideal family vacation spot.
So the internet (or at least what I’ve caught in my box-surrounded haze) has been buzzing about this bit out of Sansweet’s presentation at C2E2, as reported by IGN:
During the Q&A section of the panel, a fan said, “I would really love to see new adventures after Jedi with our favorite characters Luke, Han and Leia,” to which Sansweet replied, “And you will, in the new animation.”
Sansweet told the Forcecast that he’s “in the dark,” but guesses that the comedy show may be “a mix” of the different eras. Stand down, canon savants: For one, it’s too early to tell, and for another IT’S THE COMEDY SHOW. Save your dignity and keep the pearl-clutching in reserve.
As for the comedy show and the ‘Squishies’ rumor, Sansweet did imply there is a connection, but said “How it develops, we don’t know.”
It’s hard for me to get excited about this (Florida in August, ugh) but will the location/timing keep you away? I think I’ll still probably go, but I’ve already seen several folks declare that they won’t.
The 4 Stages of Celebration Announcements: whining, denial, envy, purchase.
Back to news: Wizard has moved Chicago Comic Con back a week to avoid a conflict: Consider that a consolation prize for the midwest fans. (Cross your fingers for an Indianapolis CVI: Their expansion will be done by that point.) As for other major cons, GenCon (August 5-8) will certainly see a few less Jaders, but I doubt the usually stuffed-to-the-gills Dragon*Con (September 3-6) will suffer many ill effects. (Anything to help the elevator wait times.)
AICN got a denial out of Lucasfilm on the very day the rumor ‘broke,’ but Movie Geek Feed got a statement out of Steve Sansweet himself at Fan Days III. It’s at the tail end (2:58) of the video above. But first, he talks about 1000 Collectibles. (via)
The book is divided into sections based on the type of collectibles. Sections like “Wear It” and “Eat It” are particularly amusing.
The photography by his curator and co-author, Anne Neumann, really allows you to see the detail in each of the selected pieces. This is particularly useful for some of the more insane collectibles that just have to be seen to be believed.
For me, though, the best part of the book are the stories. You can find out how he started. He tries to answer all the usual questions he gets when he’s giving a tour. But the captions for each of the items are the most entertaining. They’re often a large paragraph long and include fun stories about how they were created and the odd ways in which some of them came into his collection.
This is like getting to take a tour of Rancho Obi-Wan without having to go there. And even though you don’t get to be washed over with the full show, the sheer volume of the book will help make up for it.
If you’re looking to add this to your holiday wish list, tell your loved ones that they can find it in the collectibles section of the bookstore.
Unless you’ve been living in a hole or don’t read TFN (or Twitter,) this weekend brings Official Pix’s Fan Days III to Texas, and our latest update on the state of Celebration 5. To sum it up: They say Steve Sansweet said that a partner contract hasn’t been signed, but should be in the next six to eight weeks. Extend your betting pools into December!