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Friday, May 1, 2015

Comic Convention Report: Star Wars Celebration 2015 Review (Los Angeles, CA, (4/16-4/19/2015)

Star Wars Celebration 2015 was held in Anaheim at the Convention Center from April 16-19. This four day event was the first Star Wars Celebration held in the city and the follow-up to the one held back in 2012 in Germany.

With the new Star Wars movie due out later this year and the past event two years ago in Europe, you bet that the event was crowded and packed to the gills. Parking at the convention was made worse with the front parking lot off Katella Ave. roped off due to construction with many attendees being directed to the Anaheim Angels baseball stadium for parking.

On Thursday the beginning of the Celebration kicked off with a panel of the director and major stars of the movie along with the reveal of the second trailer for the movie which caused many a fans to camp out overnight to be able to attend the main hall event with the stars.

Those of us that were not able to fit into the main hall were moved into other meeting rooms to watch both the panel and trailer on the screens. After the trailer was shown, it was replayed one more time and then attendees were given a limited edition Force Awakens poster.

The exhibit hall was packed with mainly vendors and a small artist alley. There were many backdrops from the Star Wars universe attendants could take pictures with as well as a good amount of cosplayers at the event.

Actors from the film were not available in the exhibit hall and could only be met via purchase of photo op or signing tickets, which of course caused people at the event to mainly line up for exclusives or the booths that had interactivity attached to them; which of course caused major lines for every booth there.

If you did not want to mainly walk the floor, you could also attend panels for which got filled up fast and if you did not make it to the panel by the time the doors closed you would not be admitted in.

With the lack of guests to interact with and booths at the event mainly relegated to selling Star Wars trinkets that you could buy online or at your local store, the lines for freebies or booths such as the Battlefront, Star Wars XD sections and booths selling exclusives such as Funko, Hot Wheels, were hours long.

There were some odd choices for the event such as an alley just for onsite tattoos. The artist alley was very small with no more than 20 artists inside a closed off area.

I was able to walk the main floor and see a majority of the vendors all within a few hours. With the lack of novelty freebies or the lines for them so long, I was dissuaded from staying any longer than necessary.

Passes to the event sold out for the 4-day pass as well as Saturday's event. Tickets were not cheap, with Saturday being $85 and other days around $65.

Overall it was an amusing event, but the long lines and lack of significant items and people to meet from the Star Wars universe hampered the fun of the event.

Comics Alliance