The first day of Star Wars Celebration 2017 is crawling to a close, and stormtroopers by the legions are returning to their Holiday Inns and Airbnbs to rest and get ready for another day of grueling Orlando, Florida heat. This year’s show is held in the Orange County Convention Center, but this sprawling location isn’t nearly large enough for the Star Wars faithful. The show’s first panel, a look back at 40 years of Star Wars with George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill, had limited seating, and most people didn’t make it in.
Those who were turned away (me included) had one option left: explore the convention floor, which is comprised mostly of shops and photo opportunities. The real fun of Star Wars Celebration begins tomorrow with The Last Jedi panel, where we’ll likely see the first trailer for the film. Saturday brings a Star Wars Battlefront II panel, which should reveal more of the game than the trailer that leaked earlier this week.
If you’ve never been to Star Wars Celebration before, rule number one is watch your step. You could trip over a droid or Jawa. You also have to keep your distance from people in robes, since they often whip out lightsabers for photos. I’m not joking around here. I almost got decapitated by Darth Maul earlier today. A good number of attendees are in costume, and just to put how surreal this experience can be into context, it feels somewhat strange when you don’t have a stormtrooper next to you.
Here’s the path I took through the show on day one:
The line to get in moves slow. Security isn’t screwing around with their bag checks.
I first stopped at the Ireland booth since no one was there. Remember when Rey climbed those stairs in The Force Awakens? Ireland is trying to turn that location into a tourist trap. It looks dangerous and boring. Don’t do it, Star Wars fans.
This little darling gave me a tour of the Hall of Ugly Carpet.
I asked the Emperor for a picture and he shot force lightning at me. Darth Vader did some dumb thing with his fist. The Royal Guard did nothing.
The Dewback remains one of my favorite Star Wars critters/vehicles.
The Luggabeast is also awesome, but I wonder what he looks like without the iron mask. Regardless, this is an awesome fan-made model of it.
A Star Wars-themed grill for sale.
In this new Oculus Rift VR experience you can experience a Star Wars battle while riding in a Nissan Rogue. NOPE.
The coolest couch in the history of couches is at Star Wars Celebration.
I wasn’t kidding when I said you have to watch your step here. Droids are everywhere.
Most of them are willing to chat. This little guy flashed an angry light at me.
The silver Captain Phasma thought she was pretty damn cool, but then a gold Phasma showed up.
The floor is littered with art vendors.
I wanted to buy most of it.
A party? A cult? I dunno. I didn’t stick around to ask.
Most Star Wars toy manufacturers are here. Gentle Giant’s action figure display is amazing.
The 501 showed off just how talented its builders are.
My last photo is of an awesome fan-made Sith Starfighter. I’ll be back with plenty more photos tomorrow! See you then.