My Celebration Anaheim Experience

April 27, 2015

Every time I go to a major Star Wars event, like Star Wars Celebration, I feel like my life changes in so many ways. I look forward to these conventions for a couple years and then when the big weekend comes, it goes by in a flash. One of my favorite parts about Celebration is coming home and writing about all my favorite memories. In this post, I'm going to mention some highlights from last weekend and some really special moments that I got to experience. There were so many wonderful moments at Celebration that I can't choose which one was my most favorite so these are in no particular order.

I absolutely love meeting people at conventions. I've met some of my closest friends and my soul mate at Star Wars Celebration, which is such a special thing. This time around I got to finally meet Dan Madsen in person. I've known Dan through social media and PR requests for a few years now but I've never had the pleasure of meeting him in person. He is a former President of the Official Star Wars Fan Club and the Founder and former Publisher of the Star Wars Insider magazine. Dan is also the original producer and event organizer of the very first Star Wars Celebration in Denver, Colorado in 1999. As a fan Celebration, I feel like I owe him many thanks for starting this convention which has brought me so much happiness. Dan is currently working with Her Universe, which is how I became aware of his work. I met him immediately after getting engaged on Friday, so I was still very overwhelmed and surprised from the previous few minutes. However, I was able to get a photo with him which was awesome. 

Another great thing that Star Wars Celebration offers is good cosplayers showing off their new costumes. On Friday afternoon, I was on the second floor of the convention center waiting for a panel and I saw through the glass windows that two Star Wars: Rebels cosplayers were outside near the fountain. I dashed downstairs to see their costumes in person and I was amazed. The costumes were Hera Syndulla and Zeb Orrelios. The cool part was that their costumes had full face masks, it wasn't just a human face painted green or purple. The colors of their outfits looked spot-on and all of the materials they used were high quality. Dave Filoni even stopped by to get some photos with them.

I'm a huge fan of clone troopers and as you might notice in my website header, Captain Keeli is one of my favorite clones. On Saturday, I ran into Jahkeeli Garnett, who has an interesting history with Captain Keeli. Jahkeeli worked for Lucasfilm on The Clone Wars as a Layout/Previz Artist from mid-Season 1 all the way through Season 6 of the show. He and some co-workers were joking around one day about what their Star Wars names would be and that joke eventually turned into a real character. Dave Filoni kept the name "Keeli" in the script for the episode "Supply Lines" and Kilian Plunkett helped come up with a color and design for the clone armor. When I saw Jahkeeli at the convention, I got super excited because I wanted to give him one of my Dorky Diva button pins that featured Keeli's helmet on it. After giving him a button, he pulled out an orange shirt from his backpack and gave it to me. This was not just any normal shirt- it was a 2007 Clone Wars crew member shirt with Ahsoka's face tattoos on the front. Words can't even express how honored I was to receive this gift. It was nice to meet someone who worked on a show that I've loved for many years. 

On Friday afternoon, I went to Joel Aron's panel about lighting and animation in Star Wars Rebels. As always, the panel blew my mind and impressed me in many ways with how much work and detail that goes into the show. I've been a longtime fan of Joel's work so I stayed after the panel for a few minutes to get a photo with him. After that, he took some pictures of me with my engagement ring. He showed me the images on his camera and I couldn't believe how amazing they looked. The three photos below were taken just outside of the convention doors. I'm in love with the colors of the dress, lighting, and focus within the pictures. It was a dream come true for me to have Joel take my portrait. 

The last thing that really made my weekend was getting to see the new "The Force Awakens" trailer. It was even more special that I got to see the trailer with my fiancé, Eric. We have been dating long distance for a while and somehow managed to see the first TFA trailer together when it came out in November. I'm glad we got to see the second one together as well, especially with thousands of other Star Wars fans and JJ Abrams himself. It was also neat to see costumes from the new movie on display and First Order Stormtroopers walking around the convention. 

That sums up just a few highlights from my weekend at Star Wars Celebration. There are so many more things that I could mention but I wanted to keep it somewhat brief. I hope everyone else that attended SWCA had a great time! It will be a convention that I'll remember for a lifetime. 

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  1. I am glad that you had fun time there and you made some really good memories there. I also had been to an event at Chicago venues and it was a wonderful event with various different costumes stalls. It was great.