Star Wars Celebration VII Anaheim Experience – Epiblog 1 – “We’re home”

Star Wars Celebration VII Anaheim Experience – Epiblog 1 – “We’re home”

CWK Logo 2 Well hello CWK and Star Wars Fans! It has certainly been an exciting couple of weeks for Star Wars Fans. Somewhere around 100,000 of us flocked to Anaheim, California for the amazing Star Wars Celebration VII. I could go on for days about my experience, but I’m going to break it up into Epiblogs. If that’s not a word yet, I claim it.

Did you happen to see any good trailers lately? Well, if you were lucky like us you got to see it (twice) at Star Wars Celebration VII Anaheim! For those of you that couldn’t make it, hopefully you were streaming it live. What a great way to share the Celebration experience. Once they announced the simulcast I was so happy for the fans that couldn’t make it. Another great aspect was getting to sleep a little later. I knew we didn’t have to get there at the crack of dawn to get in line to see JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy open the event. With 11 San Diego Comic Cons and 1 Celebration (IV) under our belts, we have come to be OK with arriving closer to opening of 10:00. If we couldn’t get into the live room, we could get into a simulcast room. If we didn’t get into a simulcast room, we could watch it on our phones. No worries.

Right when we got off the freeway the signs were saying “Convention Center full, Park here”. It was still 3 miles away, so no way. As a resident of SoCal, I am familiar with the shenanigans of that area and know to never believe the signs. It’s their way of controlling traffic, plus you can always make a U-turn later. After three signs advising against going to the Convention Center, we pulled around to the back of the Anaheim Convention Center to a very available parking garage. It’s about 9:20 and the day is already good to go.

We get to the end of a line that was near the garage and start to feel the energy. There was a staff guy with a fistful of blue bracelets that made me wonder aloud, “Are those for the opening?” His reply, “Simulcast room.” Well isn’t that swell?
tbone may 001

Me outside – note the blue bracelet

After a few minutes we started moving and my heart started pounding. We got into the simulcast room a little after 10:00, stood in the back with no crowd, just in time to see BB8 leave the stage. That wasn’t a big deal since the next guests to take the stage were the youngsters of The Force Awakens – Daisy Ridley (Rey), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), and John Boyega (Finn). It was great to get to know the actors behind the new faces in our Galaxy. Right after they left the stage, enter the new Stormtroopers. I don’t know how you feel about the new Troopers, but I am more than digging the new look of them. Then as if the stars aligned, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, and Peter Mayhew with his helper Mark Hamill were on the stage! This was the first time we have seen Mark Hamill in person. The 6-year-old in me was just screaming so loud in my head. The adult in me was just screaming out loud. Knowing I was going to meet all of them when I got their autographs later was just surreal. They left the stage and I knew…I knew it was time for the trailer.
20150416_103419 20150416_110120 DSC07385 DSC07388 DSC07389 Kathleen Kennedy says there’s a surprise for us. I yell, “Jar Jar lives!” A lot of the room laughs. Kennedy then threatens the crowd with JJ Abrams detailing his childhood love for Star Wars. JJ says otherwise and asks if we want to see the new teaser trailer. The rooms explode with uproarious cheers, the lights go dark, and the rooms go silent. The awesomeness summation – Crashed Imperial Cruiser with X-wing, Luke’s voiceover begins, melty Vader helmet, Luke (we assume) and R2, Leia (we assume) and a lightsaber, awesome, awesome, Kylo Ren, more awesome, Falcon, new TIE fighter pilot, then “Chewie…we’re home.” And the crowd goes wild. Both Brandy and I felt like crying. I was connected to that 6-year-old kid again. Honestly, as much as I love the prequels, I don’t think I had “that” feeling about new Star Wars like I did this day. Then, they played it again…perfect.

Now it was time to go to work for Coffee with Kenobi, meet Dan and Cory in person for the first time, and do whatever we can to help. We head downstairs to the Podcast Stage in Room 208B to be part of the first podcast to broadcast at Celebration. Seriously, it’s truly an honor to be a part of this family. We get to the room and there is a line outside. I tell the staff member watching the door that we were there to help, she saw my CWK shirt, then let us into the room. We’re just that VIP. Aside from Dan, Cory, Tha Mike Pilot from the podcast “Full of Sith”, and John “Dak Ralter” Morton, we were the first ones in the room. Yeah, we had Dak! After hugs, handshakes, and some setting up we were ready. More of the CWK and GHG family arrived – Becca, Jeff, Pamela, Jay, Deej, and Ilan. It was time to let the listeners join in our awesome energy that was already filling the room. I was handing out CWK trading cards and Brandy handed out raffle tickets.

From L to R: John “Dak Ralter” Morton, Dan Z, and Cory.
tbone may 003 Marvindog Media/CWK’s Jeff McGee joins the discussion to talk about the Celebration exclusives. Poor guy missed the trailer and was given no spoiler alert.20150416_120506 CWK Q&A with Tommy “DJ Maul” Mac

Well my friends, it’s time to end this tale of Geekdom just for now. Please come back next month for Epiblog 2: Day 1 – “The Line Strikes Back”.

Be sure to keep your ears and eyes on Coffee with Kenobi – “The Podcast you’ve been looking for”. We are growing, and it is all thanks to you…


Find me on Instagram: @darthtbone

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  1. Melinda
    May 6, 2015 at 09:37 Reply

    You can lay claim to “epiblog”. I like it. 🙂 (I just may have to … procure … it from you at a future date. 😉 )

    Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!!! 😀

    Thank you so very, very much, Troy! You know I wasn’t able to attend CVII, and while I accepted that (a long time ago), I was bummed about it. Besides immersing myself in Star Wars for a full 4+ days (we always arrive early/stay longer), I really missed being with friends I haven’t seen in a long, long time as well as missed meeting some I’ve connected with only through cyberspace and snail mail. I did watch a lot of the live feed, and I scoured the footage from (the major) panels and crowds — actually finding some of you! 🙂

    Reading your recollections, and feeling your energy in every single word put me right there with you! 🙂 Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! 🙂

    I loved every single word … and can’t wait for Epiblog # 2! 😀

    MTFBWY 🙂

    1. Troy Metzler
      May 11, 2015 at 12:06 Reply

      It wasn’t the same without you and so many others. However, you were all there in “Jedi Spirit”. Even though you weren’t there to provide “line sustenance” like you so generously did at CIV, you did manage to get us some custom SW MnMs (among other goodies).

      Stay tuned for Epiblog #2…


      1. Melinda
        June 11, 2015 at 13:29 Reply

        I can’t wait! 🙂

        [and I try to do what little I can to help out my friends. 😉 ]

        1. Troy Metzler
          June 12, 2015 at 09:25 Reply

          “Little”? Lady, nothing you do for your friends is “little”. Your actions are only shadowed by your heart. We all adore you for that.

  2. Star Wars Celebration VII Anaheim Experience – Epiblog 2 – “The Line Strikes Back” | Coffee With Kenobi
    October 17, 2016 at 12:53 Reply

    […] detailed in my last blog (May 2015) the first day we got in a line right outside our parking garage, got a wristband for the opening, […]

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I was Darth Vader for Halloween when I was 5 almost 6 (1978). My mom wouldn't stand for the plastic bag Vader outfit which we bought for the mask. She made me a costume while my dad made me a lightsaber. At that time no one had a lightsaber. It was an old Ever/Ready flashlight - remember the classic all chrome with the red cap on the end? He electrical-taped a clear golf club tube - the ones that go into golf bags - onto the lens. The costume was a fabric cape and a shirt complete with chest box made from a box top covered in fabric and felt squares. Of the 5 or 6 Vaders on the block that year I was the coolest. Now I am in my 40's, have my awesome and supportive wife Brandy, an impressive collection, friends that I consider family, and not ashamed to be a lifelong Geek.

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