Has it really been over a month and a half since Star Wars Celebration VII Anaheim? Time really does fly when you’re having fun. Too bad time has to keep flying after the music stops and the lights go dim. Thankfully, I have this blog to keep the good times rolling. What better way to start rolling along than to stand in a line? I’m not standing in line now, but just a short while ago Brandy and I were in it for the long haul.
If you have ever been to even just one con you know that there will be a line for just about anything. The line is a great plan killer, time sucker, and painful experience. The line can also be a great place to meet new people, find friends, see cosplayers, wander off if you have a line buddy (like Brandy, my trooper), or the best part…getting to the spoils waiting for you at the end of the journey. With eleven San Diego Comic Cons and Star Wars Celebration IV under my belt, I knew there was going to be some standing at Celebration Anaheim.
I started working on my plan of attack about two days before Celebration. I never wait that long to plan my cons. Making a plan is a mistake lined with hope. You can have every booth, experience, and shopping time planned to the second. Once that door opens, all bets are off in regards to the perfect plan. This was the first convention I decided to go for some autographs. It really is a great opportunity to meet the stars from our beloved galaxy, if even for just a moment. I worked that into “my plan” allowing myself “one whole day” to get my autographs done. OK, day one I’ll hit the Celebration store and get my exclusives, day two will be autographs, and then I’ll have two days to wing it and hit up everything else. What was I thinking?
As 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, saw the trailer, Coffee With Kenobi podcast, yadda, yadda, and awesome. After the CWK podcast it was time to get to the store. I convinced my recently realized long-lost brother Jeff McGee that if he wanted anything from the store he’d better go now. The three of us headed off to the official Celebration store.
It’s so hard to just go straight to the store when you first step foot on the floor. So many eye-catching things just scream at you, begging you to stray from your plan. We could see the store in the distance, which provided the needed focus. As we got close we could hear things like “something *mumble* three hours,” “line closed,” “everything is sold out,” and other plan killing ear worms. Not discouraged we trudged along toward as the end of the line. We came around the first corner and lo and behold our Comic Con sister Cynthia was in line! She let us in line with her and updated us on the store situation, which was: half-staffed, downed registers, need to restock, pins are sold out, just to name a few. We settled in for the long haul. It was great to catch up with Cynthia, who we hadn’t seen since last July at SDCC. We also got to know Jeff in person, who is one of the coolest guys, great collector, and taller than he sounds.
The first two hours passed pretty painlessly thanks to thick carpet and good conversation. Jeff finally got to see the trailer. Whatever was wrong was finally fixed and they let us in to the store. It wasn’t all “smash and grab” like I thought. Everyone was mellow and courteous. That’s why I love Star Wars fans. I picked out my gets (for another blog), then got into the “so this is why no one is rushing around” two hour checkout line. That one was a little painful, but only because of the concrete floor. Before I forget to mention the bonus, your level of purchase would get you one or two of the coveted Star Wars Pin Trading pins – Han Solo in carbonite and Yoda. I was ready to get both. Just then — plan smasher — a guy starts walking the line saying the Yoda pins are gone for the con and Han was close. As we got closer to the register they announced Han was gone for the con. At least I got what I did get, right? I get to the register with my little haul and notice a pin, turned over, just sitting by the cashier. I ask, “What’s the story on that pin?” She replied, “That’s yours, and it’s the last one.” I got the last Han Solo in carbonite pin! Sometimes the galaxy aligns and the con gods smile down on you. I just sometimes wish it didn’t take five hours to happen.
There was no chance of getting much of anything else that day, so we just freestyled around the collecting groups and fan tables. As many con-goers know, those types of groups usually have great swag. Star Wars Celebration Anaheim was no exception for great daily giveaways. I saw a booth for a group called “Line Force Fan Club”. Since we had line experience and some time to kill, we stopped by for a visit. Not only were they giving away a sweet patch set they were great people. From their Facebook page, “Line Force is a fan club for all “fanboys” & “fangirls” of all genres that make the sacrifice of getting up at 2 AM or camping out in order to go sit in line for movie premiers, conventions, or other related events.” Well that sounds familiar to our lives. I got to talking with them, explained how Cynthia was part of our “Con Line Family.” how long we’ve known each other now, how we tag-team lines to get exclusives, and the bonds that are formed in something as insane as a line. They thought our story was cool and right up their alley. A few of them gave us “their patch” and gave us hints on how to find the rest. You had to find members of their group somewhere in Celebration and ask them for their patch. By the end of Celebration, I had the full patch set and a t-shirt. That was a plan I didn’t plan, but I’m glad it happened. They were all very generous and I’m grateful.
I would have to say that our line experience for Day 1 was enough for four days, but you know there has to be more. Next month, Epiblog 3 — “The Return of the Line,” I’ll cover Day 2 and Day 3’s line action. It’s going to be a great journey standing still…it’s autograph time. Spoiler alert, I’ll never do autographs again. However, I am glad I did it this time.
Thanks for checking out my blog this month and for your support of Coffee With Kenobi “The Podcast You’ve Been Looking For”.
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