Category Archives: conventions and events

SWCO sets new Celebration attendance record

Another Celebration is in the books, and that means another attendance record. Celebration Orlando attendance was more than 70,000 people, StarWars.com says. That’s up from Anaheim’s 65K in 2015, and double our last Orlando outing in 2012. No wonder things got a bit… Messy. Attendees, look out for the surveys and be sure to fill them out.


We learned before the con that the next Celebration won’t be until 2019 – probably skipping the overseas outings that we had in 2014 and 2016. The leading speculation seems to be that we’ll be headed back to Anaheim, but since we didn’t get a location on Sunday we’ll be left hanging for a while longer. On the plus side, Pablo made a cannon canon.

In the meantime, here are a few other things we learned that I never got around to writing up, because cons are crazy.

→ Here’s a bit more from the Forces of Destiny panel.

→ Hasbro’s panel included looks at the new 6″ Thrawn and Jaina Solo figures, both of which will be available in the fall. Thrawn is also the SDCC exclusive, in a special box resembling his Rebels office. Also: The new Hallmark ornaments.

→ A few details on how the Star Wars lands will work. They’ll be “set” on a brand-new planet and be super interactive, which sounds like… Something. Something very new. Meanwhile, there’s a survey going around that seems to indicate that Disney is considering a Star Wars-themed resort hotel/experience in Florida that ties in with a lot of what they announced.

Doug Chiang talks Rogue One concepts and designs.

A bit of The Clone Wars and Rebels from Dave Filoni and Pablo. Filoni also told /Film that we won’t see the battle of Scariff on Rebels. (Though note that doesn’t count out other mediums.)

→ Meet the costume contest winners.

Celebration Orlando is almost here!

Star Wars Celebration Orlando begins on Thursday, and we’ll be there! Well, some of us. Our own James and Dan are running the Bounty Hunt puzzle race again, and the rest of us will be around. As always, keep an eye on Twitter! James is @jamesjawa, Paula is @Rosiewook (Check out her public health tips) and I’m @clubjade. Find one of us and you can get a button!

If this is your first time at Celebration, we’ve done a convention tips series in past year that’s still (mostly) relevant. How to photograph fans in costume, packing, what to carry around the con, the quick guide to Q&As, avoiding con crud and basic human decency. I didn’t get a chance to update any of it this year, but hey, maybe for 2019.

If you can’t make it, StarWars.com will be livestreaming again this time, so you can catch at least a few panels. (They’ll begin Thursday – keep an eye on their Youtube.) It’s the next best thing to being there!

Head below the cut for a few hand-picked highlights from the schedule:

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Hayden Christensen returning to Celebration for Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary

Hayden Christensen will be returning to Celebration for the first time since 2002 as part of the 40th Anniversary panel, joining Mark Hamill, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Dave Filoni and Kathleen Kennedy. “Many galactic-sized surprises” are still being promised, but this is a fairly big one. (And yes, he’s signing.)

In other Celebration news, there’s now more previews up for the Store, mostly t-shirts.

Mark Hamill hosting Carrie Fisher tribute at Celebration

Not only does he get to actually speak in The Last Jedi, but Mark Hamill has been officially announced as a guest at Celebration Orlando. He’ll have two panels: A tribute to Carrie Fisher on Friday and a solo show on Sunday.

(We also expect he’ll make an appearance at The Last Jedi panel.)

The news was announced on today’s Star Wars Show, and you can check out the con schedule as well.

Del Rey’s Celebration Orlando schedule, exclusives

Del Rey has announced their Celebration Orlando activities, and they’ll have three panels. The biggest, which will feature what’s “in the works for 2017 and beyond” is Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and will have authors Chuck Wendig, Christie Golden, Timothy Zahn, and Delilah S. Dawson, plus Del Rey’s Elizabeth Schaefer. There’s also five University talks with various authors and a whole boatload of signings.

Their exclusives are a Thrawn pin – which you get when you buy the Celebration edition of Zahn’s new book – and a tote bag which is free with #25 in purchases from any of the Penguin Random House booths. (AKA Del Rey, Random House Audio and DK.)

Celebration Orlando will be livestreamed

We got an early announcement that Celebration Orlando will be livestreamed, just like the last two. Straight from the most correct time zone! (For those not on EDT, here’s a handy tool. Customize it!)

All that, plus a few more guests, newspaper comic reprints, and ILM’s Hal Hickel talks about Rogue One on today’s Star Wars Show.

This week in Rogue One: Gareth Edwards on the ending, Leia, Vader and more

With the Rogue One home release imminent, director Gareth Edwards has been making the rounds. At SWSW, he talked about how Scariff’s name came about. With /Film, he explains the original ending and what changed, plus. how he got away with killing everyone off.

At Fandango, he discusses why we won’t see cut scenes, Carrie Fisher’s reaction to Leia’s cameo and how Vader’s big moment came to be. He also stopped by Reddit for an AMA.

Meanwhile, Ingvild Deila, the actress who helped recreate young Leia, talks to The Hollywood Reporter.

We’ve also seen a few aditional Rogue One guests named for Celebration, namely Riz Ahmed and Alan Tudyk. (There’s been some speculation that Tudyk might host The Last Jedi panel, as Gwendoline Christie did for Rogue One’s at Celebration Europe.)

Star Wars Celebration is skipping 2018

There will be no Celebration in 2018, Reed announced today. The next Celebration – after April’s Celebration Orlando – will be in 2019.

That’s the year Episode IX is due, and the Star Wars Lands are expected to open, and so far, U.S. Celebrations have been held in the years saga films are released. A return to Anaheim is probably the best bet – I doubt we’re ever going to see a domestic Celebration not held within a few miles of a Disney theme park ever again.

We don’t have a location yet, but these things have in the past few years been announced at the closing ceremonies of the preceding Celebration, so we may find out April 16. Skipping years in nothing new, either – Celebrations started at 3-year intervals with the prequels and swapped to every other year until Celebration Anaheim in 2015.

Meanwhile, we also got details on Rebels programming and new guests for Orlando.