Why I Think Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 Will Forever be the Most Important Star Wars Celebration
Like most fans of Star Wars, I truly have a love for the franchise. I honestly do not remember the first time I ever saw Star Wars on VHS but, like my parents, Star Wars was has always been there for me. It was my go to for a quick escape to that galaxy far, far away. I have enjoyed every film in the franchise, yes even the prequels. I live in the Midwest (Illinois) and have always dreamed of attending Star Wars Celebration, but it was always too expensive to travel wherever they were hosting the event, so I would have to settle for local comic book conventions in or around Chicago.
Two years prior to Celebration coming to Chicago, I was talking to my friends about preparing for my wedding in 2018 and telling them that 2017 was the last time I would be attending a comic con and with a sarcastic tone I said, “Unless Star Wars Celebration comes to Chicago.” As if the living force heard me, a few months before I got married, it was announced that Chicago would be the next city to host Star Wars Celebration in 2019. I was beyond shocked and thrilled to hear the news and I knew that I had to go. I got my five-day pass during my honeymoon in London waiting on the computer at the hotel’s guest office, and my beautiful wife even offered to help and grabbed the second computer to increase my chances of getting tickets. I told myself that I would somehow have to make this up to her one day.
With my purchase made, all I had to do was wait. Ten months later, April was finally here. I had everything prepared from booking the hotel room to preparing for the autographs and photo ops. I even entered into the online lottery for the morning panels one week prior. From the first day to the last, I had a blast! It was beyond what I expected and, after a couple of weeks of digesting my experience at Celebration, I came up with a list of reasons why I think this may be the most important Star Wars Celebration ever, and forever will be.
This was the return of Star Wars Celebration after taking a hiatus in 2018 to build content for the following year, and Chicago was chosen to share all the amazing things that would be coming for 2019. The eyes of the whole world were on Chicago for five days. Chicago became part of Star Wars history and I, along with thousands of other fans, was part of that history.
The teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was released, along with the realization that the Skywalker saga, which had been building for the past forty years, was ending. Seeing that trailer at the Galaxy Stage with a couple of my friends was an overwhelming experience that brought tears to my eyes after the second showing. It made me feel like child again with hope and wonderment. It was a truly a great experience.
I was able to meet in person my favorite podcasters that I listen to on weekly basis. It was definitely one of my highlights of going to Celebration. I was able to meet and talk to Holly Frey and Bryan Young from Full of Sith, and Dan Z, Cory Clubb and Tom Gross from Coffee With Kenobi. I was over the moon when I got the chance to be on Coffee With Kenobi for a Q&A. I will never forget this iconic moment.
We were able to see and get details of the Galaxy's Edge theme park that will be opening this year in Disneyland and Disney World. The first ever completely immersive Star Wars theme park that will be around for generations to come, much like the movies that it is based on, giving fans the life-long dream of actually being in a Star Wars world.
The Mandalorian will be the first live-action Star Wars television show. It opens up completely a new media for story telling in the Star Wars universe and Celebration Chicago was the first place footage of this new series was shown. From what I saw at the panel it will be an amazing show and I was one of the first to see a sneak peek.
We got to see exclusive preview of a Star Wars story driven video game that fans have been asking for years and it looks to be the must-have video game for this holiday season.
The toxic negativity that Star Wars fans were tied to over the past year or more was completely demolished at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Everyone who attended Celebration showed that Star Wars fans are a “Force” for good and not for the Dark Side. From the audience giving standing ovations to both Kelly Marie Tran and Ahmed Best, to seeing attendees on the show floor being kind, welcoming and offering a hand of friendship to everyone they met. Proving once more that Star Wars fans are the greatest fans in the whole world.
Finally, my personal reason why I feel Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 is the best Celebration ever is because I was able to meet Peter Mayhew. The weeks leading to Celebration I had doubts if I should go to the convention because of work reasons, and that I would be leaving my wife alone for five days. Guilt started to take over until my wife intervened and told me that I needed to go and enjoy myself and not to worry about work or her because she would be with her family that weekend. Now I am so glad I took her advice and went. I will forever cherish meeting Peter Mayhew and it saddens me that I will not ever meet him again. His passing, just weeks after Celebration, truly gave me a perspective on making every moment count and to meet those you admire because you may not get another chance.
I truly understand now why Star Wars Celebration is so different from other comic cons, and the love from fans is what truly makes Celebration so special. I hope I get another opportunity to go, but if I do not I know that I attended the best one out of them all, held in the best city in the world. I hope I gave you some good reasons why I feel this will forever be the best Star Wars Celebration. Thank you for reading, and May the Force be with You.
–Alex ProcaccioPowered by Sidelines