Have your own Star Wars Celebrationby Todd King, contributing writer
Star Wars… coming soon
There's a lot going on with Star Wars… in April. As for this month (March), it seems to be the revving of engines before the Pod Race. For now, things are building up to a great deal of activity at the start of spring. Here in the closing days of winter, however, it is quiet. Rogue One has been out of the theaters for a little while, next to no news has issued forth from Lucasfilm, the actors in Episode VIII: The Last Jedi keep mum, the Han Solo movie is only beginning production, and Disney has been focused on the opening of "Pandora: the World of Avatar." So, Disney is careful not to overshadow it with any announcements of Star Wars land. So it is pretty quiet out here in the Outer Rim.
Looking ahead to April, there are a two events to anticipate:
- The release of Rogue One on DVD and digital on the Tuesday, April 4.
- A little something called "Star Wars Celebration" in Orlando, Florida April 13–16.
This year's Star Wars Celebration will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars itself; the original movie was released in May 1977 at which time the franchise and the fandom were born. Like celebrations past, it will be a festive occasion with the cosplaying fans and with the magic-makers from Lucasfilm. I only wish I could be there in the midst of the Star Wars fever and be in the vicinity of Walt Disney World, too. Without that chance, I must have my own celebration from a distance, all the while watching Rogue One on my own home TV.
During the events of Star Wars Celebration, I anticipate a few noteworthy happenings:
First, I'm fairly sure they will premiere the first trailer for The Last Jedi. What better time to release it and get the hype started in high gear?
Second, we may receive some news about Star Wars lands in Disney parks; perhaps they'll reveal the name of it, show off more concepts, or offer details on the major attractions.
Third, I expect they will display some of the new toys coming out for the new movie—perhaps including some action figures and LEGO sets.
Fourth, maybe we'll see some new video games or an app.
I reckon this will be a special extravaganza because of the anniversary, so I believe some surprises will be in store. Sigh, if only I could be there in person. Which brings me to…
How to have your own Star Wars Celebration
Can't be in Orlando?
Catch the livestream! The past couple Star Wars Celebrations have had livestream content and it has been handled quite well. Without being an actual attendee we won't get to see all the panels. However, the Star Wars web team has put some exclusive content in the stream before such as interviews with staff at Lucasfilm and other makers of the movies. If any trailers come out, they'll be up for viewing, too, along with some commentary. I hope they continue to utilize streaming technology to share the love of the galaxy from not so far away.
Can't meet the celebrities?
See what they're tweeting! Most of the celebrities and guests of Star Wars Celebration are on social media, and it might be a good time to look them up and give them a follow. I bet they'll be sharing their own stories on Twitter and Instagram so that we can get an inside look. I highly recommend Mark Hamill (@hamillhimself) on Twitter, and not just because of being Luke Skywalker, but because he is a genuinely funny man.
Can't see the new merchandise?
This desire is not so easy to comfort. You can't just get your hands on the new toys and stuff (and neither could anyone else in April since most of the stuff will come out until "Force Friday" September 1). As for me, I may get a few pieces of things out from storage and maybe find a home for them on a new display in my house. I have a few older Star Wars LEGO sets that I would love to take the time to rebuild like my favorite, the Imperial Shuttle; building it again (since it is currently in pieces) would be fun during some of the livestream lulls.
Need the feeling of Star Wars?
Easy. Pop in the movies, especially Rogue One since it will be new to home release. Perhaps take this a little further and coincide it with those New Year's Resolutions and put any of the Star Wars soundtracks on while exercising! In either April or most certainly by May I plan to watch Star Wars (Episode IV, A New Hope, the very first one… you know, the one originally simply called Star Wars, perhaps the original cut) to mark the occasion of the 40th anniversary and wallow in nostalgia to push back those feelings of getting old.
Desire some new Star Wars material before December?
Well, it's perhaps time to watch (read: binge watch) Star Wars Rebels and see for myself this entry into the new canon to find out what everyone is talking about. It just so happens my esteemed older brother got me the first two seasons on DVD for Christmas, so I no longer have an excuse not to catch up. For those who have already been following the series and still need more new material, the place to go is definitely the novels, such as the newly released Empire's End, and the plethora of comic books.
Need some Star Wars grub?
Follow a recipe and make some blue milk (or this version from Disney). I've mentioned before when thinking about the kind of food we may get in Star Wars Land that Star Wars really isn't known for its food. That means you can just make up stuff like Wookie Cookies, Yoda Soda, Edible Ewoks (gummy bears or Teddy Grahams) and Vader Taters (potato chips or fries) all served at your own Ackbar's Snack Bar. Then, play the cantina music in the background for a unique party. Speaking of party…
Need to be with other fans?
Call 'em up for a party! Said party could include all the above activities or some combination of them. At the very least I will text "May the Force be with You" to my friends if a Star Wars shindig isn't possible in these busy times.
Whatever we may do, I believe we owe it to ourselves to take a little time and get back to the source of our fandom, back to the point where we first met these characters and first felt the impact of these stories. Leave alone the speculation for a while, step out of the discussion forums and comments just to experience again the personal journey on which Star Wars took us.
Will you be having any sort of Star Wars celebration of your own? Will you be attending the official Celebration event in Orlando? Please comment and share since it is a communal activity to share the passion we have for Star Wars with each other and take heart in that common ground of a franchise that values courage and peace.