Star Wars Celebration Highlights

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Being a huge Star Wars fan, attending Star Wars Celebration was an absolute dream, and I loved every second of it. I know lots of people are keen to see what it was like and possibly eager to visit one in the future, so I thought I would share some of the highlights that SWC London had to offer.

Panels

The panels were definitely one of my top reasons for attending SWC, but it was pretty difficult to get into some of the main ones if you hadn’t won the seating lottery in advance. As you can imagine, I was thrilled that there were two streaming stages where you had the opportunity to catch a live broadcast of some of these bigger panels if you failed to get into the main stage (which was necessary on more than one occasion).

The Look Back at Obi-Wan panel, the surprisingly emotional The Clone Wars panel, and the unexpectedly amazing Visions panel were my top 3 big ones (I wish I could’ve attended the Ahsoka one), but being able to see my friends Star Wars Sessions record a live podcast for their 200th episode was a massive highlight for me.

I wasn’t there on the Friday, but the Lucasfilm showcase was definitely the best panel of the weekend for so many people, especially with all of the huge movie news, trailers and teasers that were featured. While I didn’t spend much time at the Live Stage, it was a hot spot to see some of Star Wars’ most famous people being interviewed and I know people who spent hours there.

Collector Highlights

SWC was THE place for collectors and for a few of my friends, this was one of the absolute highlights of the con. There were so many opportunities to pick up collectibles, con exclusives (or pre release sales), and find out about future releases. Topps did 4 UK-exclusive, limited edition illustrated card sets that were mega popular, there were a lot of exclusive pins (which people were crazy about collecting and swapping), and a huge number of vendors selling older figures that had people using their best bargaining skills to get hold of.

The Hasbro, Funko and Lego booths were, unsurprisingly, flooded with guests, and the latter two drew huge queues over the weekend. Hasbro also had a hugely popular panel showcasing the new releases for both over the weekend and for the near future, with collectors sharing the news immediately on social media. If anyone has a direct line to the guys there, tell them I really need the Chatter Back Chopper and the 332nd Clone Trooper helmet!

Live Screenings

SWC is famous for screening exclusive trailers and clips from up and coming movies and series, but this year they allowed us to see an episode of The Mandalorian early and also the Aardman episode of Visions. My friends all attended the Mando episode and absolutely loved the atmosphere around seeing it on the big screen surrounded by other SW fans, as it just made the experience second to none. Even the Visions screening had such a fantastic atmosphere, especially from the local attendees who adored having Aardman representing the UK, and our reaction to it made the director especially emotional.

The Show Floor

The show floor was hard to cover, even over 3 days, but I did as much as I could with the time I had. My top pick over everything was seeing Sabine’s mural (see photo below) of her fellow rebels from the upcoming Ahsoka series (and previously seen in Star Wars Rebels). The 501st Legion had an enormous section with photo spots dedicated to their amazing movie accurate costumes within themed areas, and Droid Builders UK had a fantastic selection of droids from throughout the franchise to take a look at. These areas were both incredible, so, unsurprisingly, they had huge queues the whole weekend.

The art featured throughout Celebration was stunning, including the official artwork by Alice Zhang, the limited editions featured in the Art Show, and the super talented artists in the Tattoo Pavilion inking their designs on a different kind of canvas. There were also areas to try out lightsabers, race droids and even play games. We got the chance to try out Funko’s new game, Star Wars Rivals, which I loved and won, so I highly recommend checking it out when it’s released in a few months.

Cosplay & Meetups

As I said in my convention tips post, I think that dressing up for a convention is such a fantastic way of sharing your favourite franchises and characters with others. SWC was filled with cosplayers fully embracing their love for the Star Wars universe, and seeing how much hard work went into them was such a highlight for me. There were meet-ups outside the entrances for groups of specific characters, shows or organisations, and some of the stars and writers even attended ones focused on their characters or stories.

The huge 501st Legion meet up (that included a proposal!!) was absolutely insane to witness, with hundreds of people all kitted out in the most detailed of costumes and creations. There was even a panel dedicated to the wardrobe of Padmé Amidala, where all of the panel hosts were dressed in some of her famous, and more elaborate, outfits. I actually dressed up for 2 of the days and it really made the whole experience so much more fun, especially when interacting with other people who had cosplayed as a character related to mine.

Star Wars Celebration London 2023

The People

As much as I loved everything I saw and experienced at SWC, the absolute highlight for me was the people I spent it with. Nothing beat sharing all of these amazing experiences with people who feel the same about Star Wars as I do and I know that the rest of our crew felt the same. From spending our days freaking out over all of the exciting news and releases, to spending our nights at Star Wars afterparties around London, we all had an absolute blast. The Star Wars community is honestly the best.

Star Wars Celebration 2023

You can see even more photos and videos on my Instagram @thelittleedition. The next Star Wars Celebration is going to be in Japan in 2025, so I can imagine there will be a lot of us combining a trip to Japan with some Star Wars fun and I can’t wait to see you all there. This is the way…

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