by Rae Goodman
Is standing in line for 14 hours outside during a thunderstorm (and being sick as a result for the next week) really worth it for anything? For thousands of fans at Star Wars Celebration III it was, as the line was for the George Lucas panels. For many who attended C3, the opportunity to see Lucas in person was the highlight of the convention. It was a rare opportunity for fans to try to get information right from the source. Lucas confirmed that there will be two Star Wars universe television series coming out in the near future. According to Lucas, one is to be a live action series taking place during the period between Episodes 3 and 4. The other will be an animated series taking place during the Clone Wars years.
While the Lucas line was the longest wait (time wise), the theme of the convention seemed to be long lines. The weekend was a series of moving from one really long line to another with brief breaks to sit and watch incredible shows and panels or buy lots of Star Wars goodies.
Another thing that was very long was the list of things to do at C3. Things to do included Star Wars origami, a Jedi training academy for little kids, costume competitions, autograph room, guest panels, droid racing, droid building, Stormtrooper Olympics, Lucas Archives Museum, and even a Lego Star Destroyer building contest. There were even some impromptu photo shoots when Drath Yellow, Jedi Red, and Darth Tatter made guest appearances outside of the exhibit hall.
In addition to the normal programming there were some events on the schedule not to be missed. Warwick Davis showed a copy of the long lost Star Wars movie “Return of the Ewok” while providing commentary on the movie at his Mystery Ewok Theater 2005 panel. The One Man Star Wars Trilogy, the Star Wars Musical, and Star Wars in 30 Minutes all provided unique and highly entertaining looks at the original Star Wars movies.
Opening Ceremonies including an appearance by Darth Vader and the 501st, as well as some sneak peak video footage of “Revenge of the Sith”. Rick McCallum brought 12 minutes of never before seen footage from “Revege of the Sith” that brought massive cheering from the room every time the footage was showed. Celebration at Celebration was a street fair type party with a $15 cover charge and a life sized origami Jabba the Hut.
For those wishing to shop, you could either head to the exhibit hall or get in line for the Celebration Store. The Celebration Store was the place to go for all the convention merchandise. Unfortunately it took an average of about 7 hours from the time you got in line until the time you finished at the registers. In addition the store sold out of most of the really cool items on Thursday night or within the first couple hours on Friday morning. It is always fun to stand in line for 7 hours only to find out that almost everything you wanted to buy is already sold out.
A slightly less chaotic shopping experience was available in the exhibit hall. There were some lines around the booths selling exclusives, but in general the lines inside weren’t bad. The exhibit hall had all the usual Star Wars merchandise plus many hard to find and older items. Some of the displays were impressive, especially the Lego booth which had a lego Death Star, Star Destroyer, and life sized lego versions of Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and R2-D2.
Four hundred lucky Hyperspace members were able to get tickets to one or both of the fan club breakfasts. The Friday breakfast featured Jay Laga'aia (Captain Typho) and the Sunday breakfast featured Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok). The breakfasts were a chance for fans to hang out, get your plush Ewok signed, meet the guests of honor, and talk with Steve Sansweet and Mary Franklin.
For most people the long lines and high badge prices were well worth it for the experience of C3 and all the new people they met throughout the weekend.