Sunday, September 2, 2012

Return of the Jedi

 .... at least from the four day extravaganza that was Star Wars Celebration VI.

Early on, I made it very clear that if Celebration VI wasn’t one of the greatest weekends in the history of Western civilization, I was going to be very disappointed. I wasn’t disappointed. My first Star Wars Celebration was well worth the wait, being everything I had counted on, as well as a little bit more.
For four days, the world essentially blurred into lightspeed, and I was catapulted to that long ago, far away galaxy. Only last week, it was tantalizing close, in Orlando, Florida. Karen Armstrong once noted that mythic drama and ritual had an element to it she thought of as “sacred play,” and as my reality pleasantly widened to include astromech droids, bounty hunters, Sith Lords, and Jedi Knights, that phrase sums up Celebration rather well.

As per my advice, many readers did "friend" me on Facebook. And as such, you pretty much got an hour-by-hour playback of how magical the time down in Florida was. I am currently going back through and making notes from there, as well as organizing an endless collection of camera pics, phone photos, and shaky videos.

However, there is so much material it is going to be awhile before I can do much of anything with it. I'm pondering doing some blog posts, or perhaps even a little website. Regardless, it needs an online home somewhere, even though I currently simply do not have the time necessary for such a task. The book contract looms at the beginning of November, as well as another side Star Wars project in the works.

But so much happened. In the span of four or five days, I catalogued a series of colorful adventures with a stuffed Ewok; won a tip of the hat from none other than Dave Filoni; discussed Alan Watts with Matthew Wood in the lobby of our hotel; saw a sneak preview of season five of the Clone Wars; made new friends from as far away as Sweden; discussed midichlorians with a molecular biologist who wasn't even at the con; secured a set of Forcecast trading cards; met Kenny Baker in a bar; had a reunion with Anthony Daniels; enjoyed the best screening of Return of the Jedi since the initial one in 1983; watched Ian McDiarmid Sith lightning James Arnold Taylor on stage; cheered Warwick Davis as he rode around on a segue; congratulated Mary Franklin on a con well done; got blasted into the Battle of Coruscant on Star Tours at Disney World; shook hands with a gazillion people; and actually saw George Lucas with my own eyes.

Oh, and about a thousand other things.

In short, it was some of the best days of my entire existence. And thanks to my friend Dean who accompanied me. If it hadn't been for him, I would still be wondering around in circles around the Exhibition Hall, jaw scraping the floor. It was like falling through a portal into your favorite world of fiction, with panels and podcasts and celebrities and costumes and just endless awesome.

If anyone has the means and a deep, abiding love of The Wars, I cannot suggest going highly enough. Bring on Celebration VII. In the meantime, you can check out this wonderful recount of some of the Force magic that went down at A Certain Point of View.