My Final Day: The unwritten rule of Star Wars Celebration: When you get comfortable with stormtroopers walking next to you, it's time to go. I felt that way today. I didn't mind having Sith Lords wave to me or ewoks block my path. That all felt normal, which is a sensation that makes Star Wars Celebration special. Fans are here to celebrate in a variety of ways, many in elaborate cosplay costumes. They are as much a part of the event as Lucasfilm's big reveals.
My fourth day at the show was mostly uneventful, but I did finally get into the official Star Wars Store, which only had a 15-minute line during a panel. I was able to snag a few things (my favorite is the Sebulba shirt, which you'll see below). Otherwise, I walked around and made sure I saw everything of note.
I also watched The Mandalorian and Clone Wars panels. The Mandalorian delivered plenty to be excited about, but oddly didn't debut a trailer. Instead, showgoers got to see three minutes of behind-the-scenes footage (which was lightly peppered with clips), and those watching online were told to sit back and look at a black screen until the footage was over. Yes, it's great that showgoers got something exclusive, but Jon Favreau jokingly said he forgot to tell people not to record it – almost saying, I hope you did and share it. The Clone Wars panel was packed full of trailers and clips, but didn't release them of it afterwards, which again is a little weird.
And on to the photos: Here's my final selection of shots that I thought summed up the show:
An Avengers/Star Wars crossover might just work. Okay. It wouldn't, but the costumes would be cool.
Yes, they were looking for stuff with that comb.
Another fan-made creation that is crazy in scale.
Chopper was in my hotel. His head turned and he blurted something out to me, but I had no time for his vulgarity.
This costume looked official.
I had to get this. Sebulba doesn't get enough credit for making great hot dugs.
Ubisoft's Stone Chin ended up photobombing most of my pictures. This is the only one I'll share.
I loved seeing friends united with matching cosplay all across the show.
Most of the droids are handmade by fans and work exactly like you would want them to.
Day Three: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was finally revealed, and I urge you all to watch the trailer, soak up the details, and read what the developers at Respawn and Lucasfilm have to say. I was impressed with the story direction the game is going in – showing how a Jedi tries to disappear after Order 66. It's a cool idea that thankfully takes us to a new place in the Star Wars universe. Bracca looks like a wild place to live and work, especially with giant creatures devouring the junk that drops from spacecraft that are being disassembled.
I was able to walk around the show floor both before and after the Jedi: Fallen Order panel. The morning was as busy as ever, with huge lines, but I was able to get a little shopping done in the afternoon, as less people were in the convention hall. I didn't get any of the big exclusive items, like Hasbro's Episode I Darth Maul and Obi-Wan, but did snag Rebel Alliance shoes for the wife.
I also spent some time just exploring the show, which is spread across numerous floors of the McCormick Center. If you need to get off of your feet, there's an animation theater with a giant movie screen that is playing episodes of Star Wars Rebels back to back. I was most intrigued in the Rogue One diorama which is being constructed by kids and adults alike across all five days of the show. You can see images of the diorama below. It's definitely one of the most unique things here, and I love that it focuses on creativity. Day four is kicking off with a snowstorm, so it'll be interesting to see how many people brave the elements. Again, you can see my photo tour of the show below:
The Diorama Builders Workshop invites showgoers to help recreate The Battle of Scarif. They give you a set piece and walk you through what needs to be on it.
Once your piece is done, they bring it over to the construction zone, which looks like a huge puzzle with people figuring out how it all connects.
Here it is a little later in the day with more pieces locked into place. It's starting to look great.
More love for the Knights of the Old Republic.
I grew up with this R2 unit and played with it until the sticker wore off. It was nice seeing the little guy again, but in a much bigger way.
The unique costumes are truly great. People have wild ideas for stormtroopers and a lot of them work.
Yup. I want this.
Or do I want this more? Everything here is so tempting.
My seat for the Jedi: Fallen Order panel.
Day Two: The talk of the show was Star Wars: Episode IX (now known as The Rise of Skywalker). Even before the Episode IX panel kicked off at 11 a.m., fans were gossiping about what they might see in the footage. Once the trailer was shown, the discussion transitioned to speculation. Who is the Skywalker mentioned in the title? Is the Emperor really back? It was awesome to be a part of some of these talks, and just being around the enthusiasm from fans was electric.
Since my day was bogged down with appointments and having to jet off to write stories, I didn't get to take many pictures, but I hope to focus on that for a few hours tomorrow. From what I could tell, the lines were maybe even longer today, given more people were at the show. Getting the exclusive merchandise is a time commitment. On the plus side, The Star Wars Show stage has great viewing lines from within the convention hall and great audio too. All of the big stars from the Episode IX panel came out to chat and shoot t-shirts to the crowd.
Here are the images I captured on day two:
The detail in this outfit is nothing short of amazing. She also didn't break character.
Now I just want to play Knights of the Old Republic II again.
Stormtroopers were everywhere on day two. I also had to stop to pay my respects to Rogue One's Raddus.
Muftak but no Kabe. Star Wars action figure collectors will get that one.
Day One: Star Wars Celebration is currently underway in Chicago's McCormick Place convention center. If there really is Star Wars fatigue, it isn't here. This place is packed with fans decked out in Star Wars gear who are eager to find out what the future holds and want to celebrate the past.
When the doors opened at 1 p.m., people immediately formed lines for the exclusive items you can only get at the show. The official Star Wars shop has a line so long that I couldn't find its end; it just kept snaking around corners. Hasbro also has a sizable line filled with people waiting to buy Darth Maul and Obi-Wan action figures.
Today's focus is mostly on shopping, photo ops, and autographs. Although twice as many people are expected each day through the weekend, the fun stuff begins tomorrow. Episode IX's panel kicks off at 11 a.m., hopefully giving us our first look and a title. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order is Saturday. The Mandalorian gets its own time in the spotlight on Sunday.
I braved the crowd today and snapped as many interesting pictures as I could. Oddly, the cosplayers were not out in full force, but a 501st Legion representative I talked to thought it would be a different story come tomorrow. Below is a captioned tour of the show that I will update each day:
The 501st Legion has a booth set up for photo shoots with some of its members. The detail in these fan-made costumes is insane.
I couldn't escape these Empire-loving Muppets at the show. They were everywhere, and each time I saw them, I liked them less. Nightmare fuel, but awesome awesome costumes.
This isn't a prop. A fan apparently made this and brought it to the show.
Some of the artwork that is for sale is absolutely stunning.
If you have any holes in your action figure collection, you'll likely find what you are looking for here – both carded and loose.
Lego is celebrating 20 years of making Star Wars sets with a booth that walks through some of the toy makers more memorable releases.
Lego also constructed this stormtrooper mural…
…which upon further inspection is made up of 36,440 LEGO stormtrooper minifigures.
A young fan attacks a royale guard.
Once you reach the show floor, this is the first view you see.
Uhhh, guys. Don't look behind you.
Yup. You can get Star Wars tattoos here.
An impressive assortment of dolls that will kill you in your sleep.
This Ewok didn't try to attack the escalator when he left for the day.
Over a dozen Star Wars actors are on hand at any time to sign autographs.
Vintage toys are also for sale for big bucks.
Droids were also hard to come by on the first show day, but were everywhere on day two, which brought in more fans.
A speeder bike from Disney's forthcoming The Mandalorian.
Anthony Daniels, the actor who plays C-3PO, apparently signs everything – even model airplanes. He must be stopped.
You can buy pretty much everything at Star Wars Celebration, even watches that you'll wear once.
The hottest thing at Celebration is BB-8 cars.
Don't believe me. Here's another.
And one more.