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    Conventions, Geekdom, Star Wars, Star Wars Celebration, Travel

    Star Wars Celebration Orlando: Exhibit Floor Fun

    Star Wars Celebration Orlando // The Geeky Fashionista

    My final day recap of Star Wars Celebration Orlando! Having spent the first two days camping in lines and attending panels, I had not once stepped foot onto the main floor to check out all the cool exhibitors and vendors. I decided for this last day, I would don my Han Solo cosplay (minus holster and blaster) and finally check out out the main floor. I was expecting to go it alone, but there was a pleasant surprise in store for me!

    Keep reading to see my exhibit hall highlights and fun cosplay photos!

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    Conventions, Geekdom, Star Wars Celebration, Travel

    Star Wars Celebration Orlando: 40th Anniversary

    Star Wars Celebration Orlando // The Geeky Fashionista

    I was planning to do just one Star Wars Celebration Orlando recap post but because of the sheer number of photos I took, especially on Sunday, I decided to split it up into three posts, one for each day I was there. This post will recap my first day of the convention which I spent pretty much doing one of two things: in panels or waiting in lines to get into those panels (or waiting in line to get a wristband to wait in the line for that panel…yes, that was a thing). 

    Despite all the line waiting though, the panels were amazing and well worth the wait for any Star Wars fan! Keep reading for my experience recap and be sure to check out my cosplay post from the event as well!

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

    Star Wars Celebration: Day Two

    Star Wars Celebration started off with quite a bang with The Force Awakens panel and you might think it’d be hard to top such an awesome start, but Celebration was just beginning.
     
    For Day Two, we planned to kick things off with the 10am Battlefront panel, but by the time we arrived at the convention center, it was already completely filled up so we instead went to the Ralph McQuarrie: Star Wars Art panel where we were able to walk right in and get great seats. The panel consisted of Lucasfilm executive editor J.W. Rinzler, Abrams senior editor Eric Klopfer and authors Brandon Alinger, David Mandel and Wade Lageose. They discussed the visionary artist and the upcoming book on his work. Consisting of 1600-1800 of McQuarrie’s Star Wars drawings, sketches, and paintings, it is set to be the most comprehensive volume of his work ever assembled. The book is set to be released in April 2016.
     
    Since 2010, the team has been rescanning photos, sketches, and other art pieces from the Lucasfilm archives for the best possible quality for the book. They showed photos comparing their new scans with the old previous ones and the difference in tremendous. 
     
    I know this will hurt my cred as a Star Wars fan, but I honestly didn’t know much about McQuarrie before this panel – I really just went because of my boyfriend who greatly admires his work – definitely glad I went though! I learned a lot and now can say I am definitely an admirer and fan as well.

    The revealed cover for the new comprehensive Ralph McQuarrie book coming Spring 2016.
    The line for Carrie Fisher’s panel.
    There was a Princess Leia fashion show before the panel.
    Once the McQuarrie panel finished, my group got into the quickly-growing, already-very-large line for Carrie Fisher’s “A Date With the Princess” panel. After a “fashion show” consisting of female audience members (and some guys too!) dressed in various Princess Leia costumes, James Arnold Taylor came out and introduced the princess herself Carrie Fisher.
     
    After walking in with her adorable dog, Gary, Carrie proceeded to do her thing, no filter style. While she didn’t talk much about The Force Awakens (she said they keep her away from that stuff because they know she “inadvertently has a big mouth”), she kept the audience laughing and very entertained with racy jokes and euphemisms, funny Star Wars memories, and even one long passionate kiss with a fan from the audience! JAT did his best, but there’s just no moderating what will come out of Carrie’s mouth or what she will do next. Perhaps this is why the panel seemed to be cut off a little short – after allowing two onstage photos and that kiss, the con probably feared what audience members might ask for (and what Carrie will indulge them) next! Oh well, the panel was definitely a lot of fun and very memorable! It was great to see Carrie enjoying herself and interacting with fans. You can tell she truly appreciates them and that was wonderful to see.
     
    Carrie Fisher on stage with her dog, Gary // With moderator James Arnold Taylor at last year’s SWC
    I started not feeling so great so I got some gelato (because cold yummy food always make you feel better.. or is that just me?) and headed to the nurse’s office for some painkillers. On the way, we passed a huge crowd surrounding the fountain in front of the convention center. I initially thought it was a cosplay photo op, but then realized there were few costumes. Took a few photos anyway and I now think it was an #AhsokaLives fan gathering – reasonable assumption given the shirts many are wearing. Once I reassured my boyfriend I was fine on my own, I went off to watch the Cosplay Contest while the rest of the male members of my party went to an ILM panel.

    What I believe was the #AhsokaLives fan gathering
    The cosplay contest was awesome! Costumes were divided up into five categories: Jedi & Rebels; Empire & Sith; Princesses & Droids; Armored Troopers; and Aliens, Creatures, and Outer Rim. James Arnold Taylor once again moderated sharing the hosting duties with judge Dee Bradley Baker. One of my favorite moments was Dee mispronouncing the word “crochet” as “crotch-et” while reading a costume description. Her Universe creator and voice of Ahsoka Tano Ashley Eckstein also served as a judge.

    I was really impressed with the creativity and quality of the costumes! Honestly, I cannot choose a favorite, but I loved the various styles of Boba Fett: Wolverine, Spartacus, being eaten by the Sarlacc…very creative and fun! I’m also a sucker for Gonk so I loved seeing the “Steampunk Gonk” costume. The winning costume was a much deserved, very accurate and complex costume of Jedi Master Tera Sinube.

    Warning: Photo Overload Ahead! I did my best to cut back, but there were just too many cool costumes!

    Loved the variety of cosplay characters!
    How cute is the Ewok? He missed the contest deadline due to illness (I believe) but was given a special award – awww
    How great are these? Loved the creativity!
    Jedi & Rebels category
    Sith & Empire category
    Aliens, Creatures, and Outer Rim category
    Armored Troopers category
    Princesses & Droids category
    Best in Category winners
    The Best in Show winner is announced!
    After the contest, I met up with my party on the main floor. They were in a HUGE line for the Star Wars: Battlefront floor exhibit. We waited and waited. We knew we’d be cutting it close to the Anthony Daniels panel which we all wanted to see, but after waiting so long in line, we didn’t want to leave it. The main floor was closing when the Battlefront exhibitors announced that our group would be the very last of the day – we had made it! Inside was a circular room that resembled the Rebel briefing room seen in Return of the Jedi. With everyone standing up, they played the game trailer that was revealed earlier that morning at the 10am panel we had missed as well as an exclusive private demo of the game. The multiplayer session took place on Endor and included AT-STs, AT-ATs, speeder bikes and concluded with you and your Rebel forces entering the bunker… you’re not there very long, however, before Darth Vader himself makes an appearance killing your character and cutting the screen to black.

    The trailer and demo definitely has me pumped about the game! There’s just something so neat about being able to interact in these environments that we are all so familiar with from the movies whether it’s riding a speeder bike, taking down an AT-AT, exploring an Endor bunker, or running into Darth Vader.

    We were informed that the game would be released November 17, one month before The Force Awakens is released. A free tie-in DLC featuring a prominent battle in the movie, The Battle of Jakku, will be available for free on December 8 (December 1st for those who pre-order the game). As if I needed another reason to get a PS4!

    The Star Wars Battlefront floor exhibit
    As awesome as it was to make it into that last group, we sadly ended up missing the Anthony Daniels panel. At that point, all there was left to do were the screenings of Revenge of the Sith in 3D (world premiere!) and A New Hope. I was a bit skeptical that we’d be able to make it into RotS, but Luke and I miraculously somehow managed – our friends, on the other hand, had to wait till it was over and joined for ANH (although their wait was compensated with sweet SWC-exclusive collectible buttons).
     
    I was very excited to see A New Hope on the big screen for the first time with a room full of diehard Star Wars fans and was surprised to see so many people leave after RotS – maybe they were tired? Didn’t bother me though, just meant that we were able to move up and get awesome seats with our friends nearby. The movie was, of course, amazing and never gets old to me no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

    That concludes Day Two of my Star Wars Celebration experience. Definitely a full and eventful day, I would say it was even better than Day One!

     

    What was your favorite cosplay contest costume?
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    Conventions, Geekdom, Life, Personal, Star Wars, Star Wars Celebration

    Star Wars Celebration: Day One

    So happy to soon be seeing The Force Awakens panel!

    Happy Free Comic Book Day! Hope you all got yourself some sweet free comics! There’s tons of events happening all over LA, but, unfortunately, I’m a bit limited in what I can do for the time being as I am still without a car. *tear*

     
    In yesterday’s post, I recounted the beginning of my first Star Wars Celebration experience. An experience that began with an epic 15+ hour wait that led up to the eagerly anticipated The Force Awakens panel with JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy. This post picks up where that one left off…
     
    As mentioned previously, the panel was live-streamed online for the world to see so most Star Wars fans pretty much know what went down. It looks like the original live stream on the official Star Wars channel was made private but you can still find the entire thing elsewhere on Youtube (see below).
     

    The new film seems to be in good hands with these two.
    Some highlights…
    Good things to come – More practical sets and effects, awesome locations, and strong female characters! All good stuff in my book!

    Star Wars emojis – When you used certain hashtags on Twitter such as #TheForceAwakens, #SWCA, #BB8, etc. one of three Star Wars emojis would appear next to it – so cute! What do we have to do to make these permanent and useable on our phones??

    New planet – The desert planet in the teaser is NOT Tatooine but actually a new planet, Jakku.

    Droid builders – KK was so impressed with two droid builders at her last Celebration in Germany that she hired them for the new movie! Talk about the ultimate fan dream!

    R2-D2 and BB-8 – It was awesome to see the actual R2-D2 used in the upcoming movie come out on stage, but the crowd seriously went crazy when BB-8 rolled out. He’s much bigger than I thought but just as adorable in person – and I love the little rivalry there seems to be between him and Artoo. Even though I was seeing him in person, it was still hard to believe my eyes that BB-8 was an actual working prop and not CGI. Just…HOW??

    R2-D2 greets the excited crowd!
    BB-8 joins R2 on stage! Droid cuteness overload!
    The insane crowd reaction as BB-8 rolled on stage.
    The new trio… – The three new protagonists of the film – John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac all seemed very excited to be there and I’m optimistic as they seem like a fun group with good chemistry. We learned that Boyega’s character Finn is indeed a stormtrooper, Ridley’s Rey is a scavenger on Jakku, and Isaac’s Poe is an excellent X-Wing pilot (in his words the “frickin’ best pilot in the galaxy”). Although they are all relatively unknowns right now, I know once the movie comes out, they’re going to be everywhere. I hope when that happens they continue to stay grounded and appreciative of the Star Wars universe.
     
    …Joined by the old cast – It was incredible to be in the same room as Luke, Leia, Chewie, and Threepio. Peter Mayhew came out with his cane and was just as tall as Mark Hamill sitting down. Anthony Daniels got C-3PO’s name wrong but it’s forgivable because he delivered such a heartfelt and eloquent speech and stands as the only cast member to appear in all 7 films. Harrison Ford was noticeably absent as he’s still recovering from his plane crash but we’re told he would’ve loved to be there. Their time on stage is brief, but their gratitude and appreciation for the fans and Star Wars is clearly evident and very touching.

    The old cast members backed by a line of the new stormtroopers.
    The new and old cast members together on stage.
    The new teaser – The above moment could only be topped by one thing – new footage from the film. While we didn’t get a full trailer, we got a pretty satisfying teaser. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, you’ve probably seen the by now ubiquitous 2-minute clip. I’ve never teared up watching a teaser or trailer before (not even for Star Trek), but I couldn’t stop the tears forming around my eyes as I took in every shot, on the edge of my seat, my hands clasped together under my chin. The overly enthusiastic group of guys in the row in front of my group recorded the crowd reaction as the teaser played. They were a bit over the top and made it difficult to hear a lot of stuff so thank goodness they played an encore! I noticed as they were filming that I could definitely see myself in their video and was going to grab their contact info so they could send me a copy, but my friend Bill actually found their video on YouTube. Check it out below! I love how you can see me wiping my eyes after the teaser plays and recording my own immediate reaction video – look for it in a future video very soon!

    So many Star Wars fans!
    So where does one go from there? The first official day of Celebration was just beginning and I was in an emotional, sleep-deprived daze. My sister wasn’t feeling too well so we headed back to our car so she could rest a bit.  It didn’t help much though as along with being beyond tired, we both were extremely hungry and needed to eat. There was a food court and a bunch of food trucks to choose from for your dining needs. Lines were long but I can’t say no to food trucks. After looking at all my options (and their line waits), I decided to go with a tasty grilled chicken sandwich from Spud Runners.

    When I finished eating, it was time to line up for Ian McDiarmid aka Emperor Palpatine’s panel. James Arnold Taylor made his first on-stage Celebration appearance (at least I think so) and immediately got my approval as an awesome moderator and impressive voice actor. I must admit that it took all my strength to not fall asleep during the panel. Not that it wasn’t interesting. Quite the contrary. I found it to be very entertaining and informative and that’s how I was able to stay awake.

    My highlights from “The Emperor Strikes Back” panel include…

    Confirming that, unlike the Expanded Universe, the Emperor is indeed dead, dead so don’t expect him showing up anywhere in The Force Awakens.

    I love how Ian was originally cast as the Emperor in Return of the Jedi at age 39 and had to wear a lot of makeup and prosthetics to make him appear older and then 16 years later was able to reprise the role and play the character at his actual age.

    They played a funny clip of Robot Chicken featuring the Emperor that Ian had never seen before.

    Absolute hands down favorite moment was Ian doing a reading of Shakespeare’s Star Wars as Emperor Palpatine. Serious chills.

    James Arnold Taylor introduces Ian McDiarmid on to stage.
    Haha Inside the “Ackbar’s” Studio – I loved that.
    Ian doing his incredible Star Wars Shakespeare reading
    After the panel, Luke and I headed to the main floor. We walked around Artists Alley, admiring the amazing artwork, and passed through the dozen or so tattoo artists all busily at work. The floor was much larger than I anticipated and we only covered maybe a third of it before we headed up to the Digital Stage to get in line to watch The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones in 3D. More about the main floor in a later post.

    Just some awesome Star Wars artwork
    Queued up in line in our exclusive SWCA 3D glasses!
    I’m not a big fan of the prequels, but I wasn’t quite ready to end my first day of Celebration. Plus, if I were going to watch those movie again, what better place to watch it than at Star Wars Celebration in a room full of huge Star Wars fans from all over the world? I can also say I saw the world premiere of Attack of the Clones in 3D.
     
    I thought maybe I would gain a new appreciation for the first two prequel films after watching them this time around (the last time I had seen either has been several years), but my opinion has stayed the same. The only scene I find interesting in TPM is still the Duel of the Fates scene, I still cringe at ALL the romantic dialogue in AotC, and I still find Anakin in that movie very creepy. I, by no means, hate the movies, I just really, really wished they were better and I liked them more, but I just can’t and it saddens me. Sigh.
     
    Don’t think that means the day ended on a bad note, however! I actually really enjoyed the experience of rewatching the movies even if I don’t love them like the original trilogy. I was in good company, got a much needed nap in, and got to walk away with a pair of cool 3D glasses! All in all, I had a pretty incredible day. Thus concludes my Day One recap of Star Wars Celebration. 
     
    A life-size Wookiee made of Legos!

    What did you think of the new teaser?

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    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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