Yes, we saw a new trailer for The Force Awakens!


J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy’s “special guests” included the new trio – Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac – who confirmed some of what we’d already heard and/or guessed about their characters. We also got to see the (real!) BB-8 and Artoo, plus their makers, and of course Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew also showed up. I’ll be back later with more, but for now just keep an eye on @clubjade, where I’ve been far more active than on the blog. (Sorry!)

In the meantime, you can backwatch the panel yourself!

And another video that StarWars.com dropped on us today:


Here’s just the BB-8 portion of the livestream:

There’s a Force Awakens exhibit at Celebration

Fans started picking up their badges in Anaheim today, and a sign pointing towards The Force Awakens Exhibit was soon spotted. Here’s the description:

Here's a look at the description for #TheForceAwakens exhibit at #StarWarsCelebration #SWCelebration #SWCA #SWCATips

A photo posted by Parks And Cons (@parksandcons) on

Celebration Anaheim: More from the store

The latest – maybe last? – batch of item reveals for the Celebration Anaheim store are here, and now they include the first bit of The Force Awakens swag. (A portion of the proceeds will go to UNICEF as a part of Force for Change.) There’s also a nifty Rebels crew jacket, some messenger bags, and a few other curiosities.

Celebration Anaheim will be streaming live

swca-live665Just in the nick of time, we have the Celebration announcement we knew was coming: The con will be streamed live on StarWars.com. Beginning with the J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy’s panel, they promise “30-plus hours of live streamed content.”

Here are a few of the things they’ll be showing:

…Discussions with actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, and several other performers associated with the Star Wars saga. Additionally, StarWars.com and Verizon will be live streaming the Star Wars Fan Film Awards; the Smuggler’s Bounty radio drama; EA’s new Battlefront videogame; and several other exclusive Celebration events that might otherwise be missed by members from Star Wars’ global fan community.

StarWars.com will also have live interviews with celebrity guests in a “Star Wars Cantina set.” It all begins at at 10:00 a.m. PST, Thursday, April 16.

Star Wars Celebration: Last-minute tips, maneuvering and where you’ll find us

2/3rds of the banner up Monday morning. (@missingwords)

2/3rds of the Celebration banner up Monday at the Anaheim Convention Center. (@missingwords)

Banners and other preparations are well underway in Anaheim today as many of us start packing and arriving.

There are a few unofficial events you might want to add to your schedule: The Podcast Listener Meet-Up Thursday evening, hosted by our friends at Full of Sith, and #AhsokaLives Day on Friday, when Ahsoka-decked fans will meet for a group photo at 3 p.m. by the convention center’s fountain. And don’t forget to wear your tackiest gear on Saturday to honor Aaron Allston.

Con tips
Amy Ratcliffe has a nice overview of tips at StarWars.com, and she covers at lot of Anaheim-specific stuff that we’re not quite up to yet. Another good overview is the visual guide from Parks and Cons, including a walk around the convention center from Monday afternoon.

On that note, many of our own convention tips have been updated for Celebration Anaheim, most extensively lines and the autograph hall. Our most popular tips include photographing fans in costume, avoiding con crud, basic human decency 101 and a quick guide to Q&As.

Where to find us
Follow @clubjade and @jamesjawa for live updates during the con, but there are a few places we’re sure to be:

swca-buttons→ James is one of the masterminds behind the Bounty Hunt. This probably isn’t the place to catch him for a chat, but if you want a spot there’ll be some limited registration on-site at the Marriott next to the convention center. He’ll also be on the panels From a Certain Point of View, and Building a Thriving Local Fan Club on Sunday.

→ I’ll be on Friday’s Star Wars Journalism panel, and I also hope to make the Podcast Listener meetup.

→ There will be other Jaders around… Maybe you’ll see them.

→ Yes, we have buttons! I’ll have the logo and #beardwatch buttons on me at all times, but I’ll only take Yub Yub Commander out on Saturday – so try and make the Tribute to Aaron Allston. We only have a limited supply of Yub Yub and #beardwatch, plus a few remaining SPF 66 ones from last Celebration.

Celebration Anaheim: A quick and dirty guide to panels

ceii-kennedy-warwick

There’s almost always been only one formal track at Celebration, the one for collectors, but the truth is there are usually several informal tracks, and I’ve collected a few on different subjects here. This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list by any means, but if you’re still confused the schedule, consider these suggestions for Anaheim.

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Celebration tips: The business of panel lines

This post has been completely updated for Celebration Anaheim.

There will be lines for panels. There is no avoiding the lines: There’ll even be a line to get in in the morning. There will be lines to get into the exhibit hall when it first opens. Lines are a Star Wars tradition; Realize that they will happen, and that you will have to stand in them. (There are Medical Badges available to those who need them.)

The good news is that rooms are cleared between panels, so don’t plan to spend the entire day in one place ala San Diego Comic-Con.

Check in early (at least an hour) if you plan to see any big stars.

Check in early (at least an hour) if you plan to see any big stars.

Some of the lines will be long; It entirely depends on the popularity of the panel. There is no doubt that the longest line at Celebration Anaheim will be the one for J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy on Thursday morning, and we already have all the details on that. Expect something similar, if lower key, for things like Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank on Sunday.

The next longest lines will likely be for celebrity panels and screenings; Plan to queue up at least an hour ahead of time for those, and be aware they will close off the queue if it gets full. Be sure to pick backups for the big events, just in case.

Most smaller panels for things like books will have much smaller queues; Give yourself time, but historically you can show up as early as 10 minutes beforehand and still get in the room.

However, Anaheim is looking like it could be the biggest Celebration yet, so it’s hard to say exactly how things will shape up. Many of the rooms, particularly the theater, are bigger than what we’ve seen in the past, though. Whatever the case, keep your eyes open, plan to be early, and have something on hand to amuse yourself and your friends if you need to wait.

(Autograph lines are a whole different ball game. Luckily, we have a post on them, too.)

Celebration Anaheim: Store exclusives, line queue details, and the floor plan

It’s the final Friday before Celebration, and the news is flowing.

First up, we have a look at what will be in the official Celebration store. Today we got the second batch, and I guess it’s just as well I forgot to blog the first part the other day, right? (Though at least I remembered the apparel.) My personal highlights are above, but there’s lots for everyone. And yes, the Death Star soccer ball from last Celebration Europe IS BACK!

We also have the details of how queuing up for Thursday’s big J.J. Abrams/Kathleen Kennedy panel will work. The indoor queue will open up at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, with wristbands being handed out at 6:00 am Thursday… Wristbands for all the rooms, not just the Celebration Stage. So even if you don’t mind a simulcast, plan to get up early.

And finally, the floor plan, in PDF form or see the gallery below.