Conventions, Geekdom, Life, Personal, Star Wars, Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars Celebration: Day Zero

Check out who got herself a media pass!
Happy May, everyone! I’m back from my unnanounced two-month mini hiatus – something that was definitely needed as I dealt with many personal issues including an intrusive surgery, my car being stolen, and the death of my spunky and beloved cat, Serina aka Spawn. After two months of ups and downs, life still isn’t perfect, but I feel like I have come out a much stronger and resilient person and my relationship with God has never been better. While there have been some pretty low lows, there have also been some REALLY high highs which I’ve been itching to return to the blog and write about. 
First of these things is Star Wars Celebration which, although it happened two weeks ago, still seems relevant especially with May the Fourth only days away. Before I begin, let me just say it was an incredible 4 day experience. I probably enjoyed it more than any Comic Con or other convention I’ve previously gone to and that’s no small statement on my part.
Sisters on their way to Anaheim!
My Celebration experience started Wednesday evening (or technically Tuesday when I drove down to get my badge but.. moving along), a day before the convention officially started. As soon as I got off from work, my sister and I jumped into LA rush hour traffic up to Anaheim to secure a spot in the overnight The Force Awakens panel line. 
The 15+ hour wait – which is the longest I’ve EVER waited in line for something (previous personal record was 10 hours for the Firefly 10 year reunion/Community/Legend of Korra back-to-back panels at SDCC one year) – wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be. The cold hard cement floor, harsh bright lights, and cramped space weren’t ideal for anyone who hoped to get some sleep – although some managed to make it work (including the other 4 members of my party, see below), but I could not. Instead, I passed time chatting with fellow Star Wars fans in line and planning my con schedule. Apparently, getting the program guide early was a perk for those with Media passes and wouldn’t be available to others until the next day which made it quite the commodity.
My group all totally passed out in line – I couldn’t help taking a picture, sorry guys
Around 11pm, loads of pizzas began arriving courtesy of JJ Abrams. We were later informed during the panel it was Kathleen Kennedy’s idea – they called up a local pizza place minutes before closing (which I’m sure they loved) and had them make 200 pizzas which was more than enough for everyone in line at the time. #THANKSFORTHEPIZZAJJ
James Arnold Taylor who voices Obi-Wan in the Clone Wars also came through the line greeting and taking pictures with fans. I don’t watch Clone Wars (sorry!) so I actually didn’t know who he was at the time, but by the end of the convention, I was definitely a fan and regret not giving him at least a high five or fist bump.
The program guide and free pizza from JJ!
Staff informed everyone around 5am to return whatever overnight gear they had and that they must be back in line by 6am which is when they would begin wristbanding people. We brought back our pillows and blankets to our car and waited patiently as the orange wristbands were distributed and finally received ours! It guaranteed us into the panel (not like waiting overnight wouldn’t do that as well…) and brought us one step closer to hearing what new Star Wars announcements would be made with our own ears.
Posting the obligatory “I got my wristband” photo on social media
…and here are said obligatory wristband photos. Some time after pizza, I got around to putting on some makeup.
At 9am, they finally started moving the huge crowd of people and assembled us outside the large Celebration room…into more lines. After just a bit more waiting (it’s already been 15 hours for us so what’s a bit more?), they finally lead us into the huge arena and my group is able to snag some pretty sweet seats on the floor. It’s hard to imagine anyone in that room not being super excited upon entering that room and seeing that stage, but just in case you were still a little sleepy, they had a DJ blasting music and a guy with a t-shirt cannon to wake you up and get you pumped.
Before we knew it, the moment we had all been waiting for had arrived. It was time for JJ and KK to take the stage…what gifts they brought and bestowed upon us, the world pretty much knows at this point as it was live-streamed online for Star Wars fans everywhere to see, but I’m still going to write about it – or at least my favorite parts – along with the rest of my official first day of Star Wars Celebration in my next post so be sure to check it out tomorrow!
The MASSIVE line eagerly waiting for The Force Awakens panel
What is the longest thing you’ve ever waited in line for?
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