Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017: The Fandom Continues
A look back at experiences at SWCO 2017.
by Lawrence Green
For Star Wars fans around the world, celebrating Star Wars remains a way of life, with any number of conventions to meet at, collectibles to trade, new story ideas to discuss, and, for costumers, another project to begin or continue to refine. But first among all those opportunities to celebrate Star Wars fandom remains Star Wars Celebration!
This year, Star Wars Celebration returned to Orlando, Florida, home of Celebrations V and VI, larger and more feature-packed than ever before, including a very Happy 40th Birthday to the film that started the Star Wars phenomenon, “Episode IV: A New Hope”! And as Celebration was that much greater, so was the fan excitement over four packed days of rejoicing in what lies ahead in the ever-growing Star Wars galaxy.
Fans at Celebration Orlando not only celebrated the 40 years since Star Wars first premiered, but they also gathered for a very special tribute to Carrie Fisher, anticipated a look ahead with the riveting trailer for “The Last Jedi,” and participated in discussions of what has transpired and what lies ahead for everyone’s favorite characters in Star Wars: Rebels.
Of course, no Star Wars Celebration would be complete without large contingents from the 501st and Rebel Legions, as well as their friends in the Mandalorian Mercs, and other Star Wars costuming and fan groups. Along the way, attendees snapped photos with their favorite heroes, Sith Lords, Mandalorians, and more than a handful of dedicated costumers as their favorite denizens from a galaxy far, far away…
Attendees also posed next to life-size props from some of their favorite scenes in the Star Wars saga and with more than a few truly creative outfits borne out of the dedicated efforts of the costuming clubs’ members! For the members of the Legions, Mandalorian Mercs, and other groups, Star Wars Celebration remains the ultimate destination to show off the latest outfit with attention to accuracy, and celebrate with other members from across the world in a very special kind of family reunion!
And as part of Celebration programming, attendees visited panels on costuming and membership hosted by each of the Legions. The panels included discussions on building a droid, what it means to be a member of the Mandalorian Mercs, and all the community and charitable activities the fan groups perform.
For the fan groups, Star Wars Celebration also meant celebrating their love of Star Wars with their brothers and sisters from across the world, and no such gathering would be complete without trading and sharing tales of the latest event, or speculating what lies ahead for Star Wars.
After four fun and exciting days, it was necessary to say farewell until the next time. For the fan group members, there are community events to attend and always another project to focus on. But with all eyes looking to “The Last Jedi” and what lies ahead, plans are already underway for the next opportunity to share in everyone’s love of Star Wars, and members left for home near and far, saying: “I’ll see you at Star Wars Celebration 2019!”
Lawrence Green — civil servant by day, Jedi by night. He is a photographer. MacGyver to geeks. He loves good film, television, food — and coffee. Good coffee. The Dark Knight is his spirit animal.