Thursday, April 16, 2015

Goodbye Thomas, Hello Star Wars Celebration - Day 1

After the workout Thomas and I headed back to my place and packed up. I was dropping off Thomas at LAX for his flight to Calgary to visit family and attend Comic Expo and I was heading to Anaheim for Star Wars Celebration VII.

Just when we entered LAX the news broke about the new Star Wars trailer and sitting in the middle of LAX traffic I just had to watch it with Thomas. I was blown away, I even got misty eyed towards the end. The entire thing made my heart smile and it really got me pumped for the upcoming four days.

After I dropped off Thomas I got out of LAX and pulled to the side of the road so I could properly watch the trailer... five or six more times. As soon as the music started my could feel the tears start to well. Star Wars has and always will be a HUGE part of my life. It's the reason I am the geek that I am today. I may not live and breath Star Wars on a daily bases like some fans but that doesn't make me any less of a fan. I can't wait for this new movie and for any and all things Star Wars to come.

So I got my fill of the new Star Wars trailer (though I do want to watch it on a screen bigger then my cell phone). I made my way to Anaheim, traffic was bad from time to time so it was a slow process. The con started at 11am today and I was hoping to get there around noon. I actually got there closer to 12:45pm.

I arrived at my hotel which is directly across the street from the convention center. Check in wasn't until 3pm but I went in to see if they had early check in and lucky for me our room was ready to I was able to check in then. I unloaded my car and headed over to the convention center. It was only Thursday but it was already crazy busy. I made my way onto the main con floor and figured I'd start on one end and make my way to the other end.

As you can see from the picture the main area is broken into four halls (A, B, C, & D). We enter through Hall D, where registration is. It's also where you line up before the con starts. There isn't much there other then some very cool Star Wars cars. And when I say cars I mean cars that are painted and made up to look like an X-Wing, Boba Fett, etc..

The bulk of the stuff is in Hall B & C with some stuff in Hall A. As you enter Hall C from the right you come across two fan made sets. The first one is a bunker on Endor and there is a speeder bike in front. The second is a very large Rancor called Roxy. Both have photo ops and both had long lines to get said photo ops.

Across from Roxy is a mock up of the Mos Eisley Cantina, which you can enter if you are in costume. Next to those sets was a Landspeeder with the back drop of Tatooine. There is a Jawa and R2D2 statue next to it. There is also a set up with a Moisture Evaporator and a few odds and end droids standing around it.

And then in the corner is what looks like the inside of one of the Jawa's Sandcraweler. There are a handful of Jawas working on pieces of droids. And speaking of Sandcrawler there is a big backdrop with a picture of the outside of the Sandcrawler with several droids standing in front of it. This is also a photo opportunity.

Next to that was a fenced off section where they had remote control R2's that the kids could play with. Also it were the Astro Droid races happened. A large portion of Hall C is made up of the autographed area and there is also a few merchandise booths in this section.

Hall B is made of Merchandise booths, several "company' booths, ie Her Universe, Lego, Hasbro, etc.. as well as Fan based groups like the 501's and Rebel Alliance. There is also the Jedi Academy stage at the back of the hall. And there is also three photo op set ups.. the first one is Jabba the Hutt, you can actually sit right next to him. There is a medical room set up with a Bacta tank and then next to that is a section of the Millennium Falcon with a Dejarik table and corridor. There was a entire section where you could play BattleFront and also a section for you to build your own Cloud city.

The Last Hall.. Hall A had a large area set up for getting in line for the Arena stage. Rancho Obi-Wan had their mini set in the section. There was a very cool ATAT that you could get a photo with, Artiest alley was here as well as the tattoo section. And last but not least there was the Celebration store.

Of course the Halls weren't the only things to visit.. the second floor had a Droids room, Collectors room, VIP room and a SW VII Prop room. And both the second and third floors had conference rooms were panels were held.

As for what I did today.. I roamed the halls solo for a bit before running into my friend Kim who joined me pretty much for the rest of the day. My brother and his friend Jason made it down to con around 3 so Kim and I headed back to my hotel to get them settled in. Once they were done we all went back to con and did a few of the photo ops and walked around the halls until about 8pm when the halls closed.

Michael, Jason and I then walked to Downtown Disney to grab some dinner at the ESPN Zone before calling it a night around 11pm.

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