James picks his favorite Celebration Europe moments

Go home, Greedo, you're drunk!

Here’s some of the highlights of Star Wars Celebration Europe for me. I worked the convention as part of the crew at the Celebration stage in the Grugahalle, which was a giant concert hall next door to the main convention halls, so most of my memories involve being at the Celebration stage, but really it’s all about the people that one encounters at a Star Wars convention – we’re all here because of one thing: we love Star Wars!

As a member of the stage crew, our main job was to make sure the programmed activities went off without a hitch and our main roles were escorting the talent (usually from/to the Autograph Hall via cart), setting the stage for each show, and helping our fellow fans: passing out freebies given out at panels, providing assistance to fans with disabilities.

Warwick Davis, Oliver and the Elite Squad

So, some of my favorite Celebration memories:

Working with Warwick Davis: Mr. Davis was a fantastic host for the Celebration stage, and poured a lot of work into preparing for every show. Usually, we would have a bit of time to rehearse for a show, and I got to assist a few times: filling in for Ian McDiarmid meant answering some Star Wars trivia questions while on the couch, then practicing a lightsaber duel with Mr. Davis on stage for re-creating the Yoda/Sidious battle in Revenge of the Sith. Though, in the real show, Ian McDiarmid outdid me by doing back somersaults on stage when Yoda Force-pushed him back to his chair. Then, while figuring out how the Fett-astic Four panel activities would work, Mr. Davis used me as a target for his Nerf blaster range testing. Yes, Wicket the Ewok was shooting me with nerf guns on stage in Germany.

Fetts, friends, and me

Seeing friends and fans: To me, a convention is about the people. I was really lucky to see so many old friends, and meet so many new ones! A special bonus was the chance to bring some close friends who used to live in San Diego and now live in Germany to the convention for their first Celebration. While I didn’t get to spend much time with them, I had a fantastic time watching Return of the Jedi in Grugapark with them… and several thousand other fans. As you know, Jedi is my favorite Star Wars film, and getting to see it again, with some kids who are like family to me, was really special. I also got to catch up with so many pals from all over – Mark and the gang from Jedi News UK, Aaron and others from Star Wars Union, Johanna from Fan Force Sweden, Pavel of Czech Star Wars Universe (and trivia contest champion), and even meet some Club Jade readers – I went to take a photo of a fan in her steampunk Rebel pilot dress, and wouldn’t you know? She’s a reader from Scotland!

Dave Filoni watches backstage with some friends

Meeting and working with such wonderful people: not only was working with Warwick Davis a great experience, we had so many other great people on the Celebration stage – the rest of the Elite Squad (lead Christine, Sam, and Nadine) but also DJ Elliot and Mark Daniel, who helped entertain and warm up the crowds before each show, and show producer Oliver, and Dan, an R2 builder who operated R4-CE2 on stage, and the sound/video/lights crew. Plus a number of great people from Reed and Lucasfilm, especially when the Costume Contest was on stage (and Dave Filoni said “Nice hat!” to me in the hall).

I had such a great time doing things such as driving Femi Taylor, Tim Rose and Gerald Home around in the electric cart on the bike lane, or chatting with John Morton and Daniel Logan backstage, or trying to avoid getting hit by cyclists with DJ Elliot and Mark Daniel on the Rüttenscheider Straße, or running into Ashley and David Eckstein on the U-bahn, or getting recognized in the halls as “Hat Guy” or “Waiter Guy” from being a stage ninja, or spending every night out with Trina, Nadine and Sam. You guys are awesome!

Want more photos? I’ve got galleries for Celebration Europe: Thursday (setup), Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Watching ROTJ in Grugapark Steampunk Rebel Pilot dress Elite Squad in the park
Pablo Hidalgo and the Tattoo Contest winner Four Fetts Let the Jawa win!

And I leave you with this: the crowds in the Celebration stage worshiping Anthony Daniels like some sort of god (courtesy of Nadine).

9 Replies to “James picks his favorite Celebration Europe moments”

  1. Great write-up, James! Thank you so much for all your hard work. You, Sam and Nadine made a great team and I was honored to serve with you!

  2. Thanks, Christine – i had a great time driving you crazy!

    Jason: Thanks! Personally, other than livetweeting one or two panels, i really didn’t have time/energy to cover all that much – it takes a lot of work to keep the stage going! also, the wifi was spotty.

  3. Love your report! You are so right, it is all about the people and I loved working with you, Sam and Christine as well as going out with you, Sam, Trina, Keith and Mike! Great times!!

    Btw, I stole the blue Jedi picture of us and made it my facebook pic. Hope you don’t mind ;)

  4. James – thanks so much for the fantastic coverage. Best photos I’ve seen from a Celebration. plus enjoyed your vid of the con floor so much. Warwick is incredibly poised and about perfection as a host and so able to go with whatever flow was happening and making things happen when need be. Ian really seemed to enjoy himself. Everyone seems so relaxed and happy to be where they were. –

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