Posts Tagged ‘celebration’

Video: Celebration VI Exhibit Hall Walkthrough

Celebration VI

Have you never been to a Star Wars Celebration and would like a small taste of it? Or maybe you have, including Celebration VI, and would like to relive the exhibit hall? Well, here’s your chance to walk the giant exhibit hall once again!

But why release the video so long after Celebration VI? Well, it took months to get it online, which has been extremely frustrating. During my trip to Orlando, my video camera was damaged. Much of the footage I took was lost, in fact. I was able to recover 20 minutes of my exhibit hall walkthrough, but there is an addition 10 minutes that I’m still working on. Other walkthroughs simply didn’t make it.

I know the video quality isn’t the best, but it’s the best I could do under the circumstances. So, I hope you enjoy! You might even see some cool surprises!

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Celebration VI Day Four Diary by Bry Dean

I planned to leave early during the final day at Celebration VI for a few reasons. Mainly because we were driving back home that day, a good 1500+ miles. Secondly, there was a tropical system closing in. Orlando wasn’t in the path, but our route home was. We left with plenty of time to spare before landfall.

I planned to attend two panels, but ended up only seeing one: THE Essential Panel. It started at 1:30pm, so I decided skip the early panel and walk through the exhibit hall one last time. As I made my way around, I noticed a line at the Del Rey booth. It just so happens that I stumbled upon a spectacular signing session: Timothy Zahn, Drew Karpyshyn, James Luceno, Troy Denning, Aaron Allston and John Jackson Miller! They were signing copies of the 2012 Del Rey Sampler, a Celebration VI and New York Comic Con exclusive. What a sweet item to snag! I hung around a bit to chat with the authors, the Del Rey team and the Random House Audio team.

After some lunch, I headed over to THE Essential Panel room, early enough to be second in line. While waiting, I met a few fellow fans and had a great conversation about the weekend. One of them was Lindsey Hall, a talented artist. Check out her site here. The time went by quick and we were soon seated in the room. The panel consisted of Pablo Hidalgo, Erich Schoeneweiss, Doug Wheatley, Jason Fry, Chris Trevas and Jeff Carlisle. Here’s a few highlights from the panel:

  • The Essential Guides will be released as eBooks.
  • The Essential Reader’s Companion was much bigger than anticipated; it clocks in at nearly 500 pages.
  • The ERC doesn’t have an exhaustive list of comics.
  • The ERC contains 150-160 original pieces of art and 410 individual works.
  • The ERC is not in rigid chronological order; it’s a suggested reading order
  • Pablo Hidalgo started taking the bus to work so he would have more time to read up for ERC. He also listened to the audiobooks on double speed.

The information was great and the audience was very enthused to be there. After the panel, I had about 30 minutes before I planned to leave. I used that time to take pictures and keep up with the big news coming out of the closing ceremonies. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith 3D will be released on September 20, 2013 and October 11, 2013, respectively! Also, Star Wars Celebration Europe II will be held in Messe Essen, Germany, July 26th – 28th, 2013! I’m sure plans are well under way for what will be another spectacular event.

Well, there’s my Celebration VI wrap-up. Weeks of planning and four days of fun! The time went by so quick. I enjoyed meeting the people I’ve talked to for a while now, and all of the authors, celebs and staff who were so nice during this hectic weekend. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I would love to attend the next Celebration here in the US. Until then, may the Force be with you!

Celebration VI Day One Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Two Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Three Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Albums

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Celebration VI Day Three Diary by Bry Dean

I expected Saturday to be far busier than the previous two days, and the crowds didn’t disappoint. For the first time, I had to wait in line to get in. It was huge and snaked around the building. I arrived late, so it’s my fault, but I missed my first planned panel, The Clone Wars with Dave Filoni & Joel Aron. Shame too, because who would make a surprise appearance but George Lucas himself. Lucas made several appearances throughout the day in various locations throughout the building, and somehow I missed all of them. The only regret I have about Celebration VI is missing out on seeing him!

Sure, I probably could have walked in late for that panel, but I decided to get in line extra early for my next panel: See the Future of Star Wars 3D at Celebration VI! Because of doing so, I was rewarded with a front-row seat! Not only that, actor Sam Witwer was seated just a few chairs over! Once the panel started, I was simply blown away when Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisors Dennis Muren and John Knoll walked out on stage, just a few feet in front of me. They discussed in-depth the conversion of the Saga to 3D, and presented several slides showing various stages of development.

Then, the moment we all were waiting for arrived: An exclusive preview of Attack of the Clones in 3D! The visuals were very impressive. From start to finish, the 3D conversion looked top-notch. After the preview and some additional discussion, they surprised the audience with a repeat viewing of the preview. The audience, of course, was thrilled. Afterward we got to keep the 3D glasses they handed out for the viewing.

Bethany and Riley (The Star Wars Report) and Thomas and William Devereux (EUCantina)

I decided to take a long lunch break and walk-through of the exhibit hall. During this time, I was able to catch a glimpse of The Clone Wars voice actors Dee Bradley Baker, Ashley Eckstein and Matt Lanter. I again met up with a few friends from The Star Wars Report and EU Cantina, and got a group pic of them. My next panel I wanted to attend was Star Wars Audio Books Behind The Scenes. This was the inaugural panel debut from the Random House Audio division, and it was quite informative. Mark Thompson (narrator), Aaron Blank (producer), and Kevin Thomsen (director) and Leland Chee (Lucasfilm) were the panelists, and they led a lively discussion of Star Wars audiobooks; how they’re built, how the narration works, and what to expect in the future.

After a fan Q&A, we were treated to an exclusive audio clip from the upcoming The Old Republic: Annihilation, written by Drew Karpyshyn. Afterwards, I was able to meet and chat with the entire panel! It was a pleasure to finally meet and chat with Leland Chee, the man behind the Holocron database at Lucasfilm. Afterwards, I had to hurry to make my next planned panel: Unlearn What You Have Learned: Storytelling in an Evolving Galaxy.

This turned out to be my favorite panel of the weekend, mainly because of the sheer simplicity of it. Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo, visibly exhausted from the events thus far, were very kicked back, Dave even laid aside his hat. Right away the discussion focused on The Clone Wars and more notably, continuity. Dave pointed out that George Lucas is very invested in the development of the series, and even came up with the ideas for several characters, including General Krell, the Nightsisters, the return of Darth Maul, and the upcoming Maul/Mandalorian story arcs. Dave made clear that he is very aware of continuity and issues that have transpired. He recognized that their interpretation of Mandalorians was a huge bomb in the realm of continuity, but Lucas wanted to do it, and as he trumps Filoni, there’s not much he can say about it.

Regarding Jedi Master Even Piell, Dave had discussions with Pablo and Leland Chee about how bad the continuity damage of could possibly be. Pablo said that there is an effort to keep continuity as smooth as possible, but they will always have artistic license within the Star Wars universe; there are bound to be differences. During The Clone Wars discussions with Lucas, Dave said he brings up the Expanded Universe and that Essential Guides are on the table. Listening to them talk, I got the impression that they’re aware of and understand fan frustration regarding continuity issues, but I didn’t get the impression that we wouldn’t see issues again. And while it wasn’t brought up, there does seem to be a bit of tension between The Clone Wars production and the Expanded Universe division, particularly the Del Rey side of things, mainly with the Even Piell situation. That’s my own observation, though.

The panel then opened up an audience Q&A, and Dave specifically asked for continuity questions, but unfortunately he didn’t receive many. Here’s a few highlights of the Q&A:

  • Lucas said no to Dave’s initial Rex, Ahsoka resolution.
  • The name Pre Vizsla a play on “previsualization”
  • Lucas requested not to use a lot of John Williams music; he wanted The Clone Wars music to be different
  • Dave would love to do a The Clone Wars soundtrack but it’s not his call.
  • George asked Dave not to use the Trade Federation battleships anymore.
  • Pablo said the upcoming Detours comedy series occupies it’s own universe; Dave loves that there is a continuity panic about it online as it gets the spotlight off him.

There was a funny moment when members of the 501st, particularly a rather impressive General Krell and his troops, crashed the panel. Pablo and Dave got a kick out of that, Dave saying how incredible it was that a character that he drew on paper was now walking and talking to him. This panel actually ran a bit late, but I don’t think anyone would complain. Honestly, they should make this panel two hours long for the next Celebration. I could sit and listen to Dave and Pablo talk forever.

After the panel ended, I decided to watch some of The Empire Strikes Back on the big screen, until the doors opened for the Celebration Fan Mixer: Presented By Pringles. I have to mention a hilarious moment during the movie. When the first Rebel transport evacuated Hoth, and the announcement came that “The first transport is away!”, a group of fans dressed as Rebel pilots stood up at their seats, raised a fist and shouted “hooray” when the Rebels did in the movie. Most in the audience had a good laugh at that, and during that moment, I thought to myself how incredible the Saga is and how amazing its fans are.

As I mentioned, I left the movie early to check out the Fan Mixer. It was a cool environment for everybody. It was a night club setting, complete with a DJ, several food vendors and even had alcohol available. I didn’t stay long, but from what I saw, everyone was having a great time dancing and chatting with fellow fans.

Saturday was a long day for me, the longest of all four days. I had a great time, and was ready, yet not ready, for the bitter-sweet end to come on Sunday.

Celebration VI Day One Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Two Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Four Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Albums

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Celebration VI Day Two Diary by Bry Dean

I arrived at Celebration VI on Friday much earlier, and much more relaxed now that I was more familiar with the place. My first destination of the day was the What’s Coming From Del Rey panel, which started at 10:30am. The schedule promised a great lineup and it didn’t disappoint. The panel featured Pablo Hidalgo, Aaron Allston, James Luceno, Drew Karpyshyn, Jennifer Heddle, Shelly Shapiro, Troy Denning, and Timothy Zahn: The Dream Team of the Expanded Universe!

First up for discussion was the upcoming Star Wars Reads Day, which will feature several major publishing companies engaging in a major reading campaign across the US on October 6th. From there the panel discussed upcoming releases, and I jotted down a few main points:

  • The Essential Reader’s Companion is the most incredible undertaking Erich (Del Rey editor) has ever done.
  • The Old Republic: Annihilation an action-packed spy novel that features “a regular guy” instead of a Sith.
  • Shelly Shapiro considers Star Wars: Scoundrels to be Timothy Zahn’s best book ever, and that’s saying a lot. We will also see an eBook short story prequel to Scoundrels entitled Winner Lose All.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be the final Coruscant Nights novel.
  • Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi is a fully self-contained story.
  • Star Wars: Crucible will be one big adventure that only the Big 3 can handle.
  • Newly announced is a series of novels from the Classic Trilogy era tentatively entitled Rebels. There will be a Princess Leia novel by Martha Wells and a Luke Skywalker novel by Kevin Hearn. Release dates forthcoming.
  • Another announcement: There’s a new post-Fate of the Jedi trilogy in the works entitled Sword of the Jedi by Christie Golden. Release dates forthcoming.

The panel then opened up a fan Q&A. Some highlights:

  • James Luceno joked about using large words.
  • Troy Denning calls Star Wars the greatest writer’s workshop.
  • Aaron Allston told the audience to ‘make your future X-Wing novel wishes known!’
  • There are no plans at this time to kill off the Big 3. At the moment George is not ready to see them go.
  • Jennifer Heddle said regarding same-sex characters that discussions are being had, and to be on the lookout for more of them.
  • The Paul S. Kemp duology is “super-secret”
  • Shelly Shapiro said that continuing the Republic Commando series is a “maybe”.
  • When asked about the Even Piell continuity blunder, Shelly Shapiro said: ‘What can you do? We’d like to pretend it’s not there’.

The panel then talked in-length about Leland Chee and all he does. From start to finish, it was a great panel. Afterward, I met Drew Karpyshyn and Erich Schoeneweiss, who are, of course, a couple of nice guys. From there I decided to tape a walkthrough of the exhibit hall. Be sure to check it out once I upload it; you might be on tape!

A major highlight for me was being able to meet Steve Sansweet, a fan favorite. His Rancho Obi-Wan Experience was a gem of the exhibit hall, and I’m glad he brought some of his treasures for fans to look at and appreciate. I happened to walk up just as was filming an interview with him, and the interviewer turned out to be Alison Haislip! It was neat to watch that take place. After about 30 minutes, I finally got the chance to meet Steve and talk a bit about his exhibit. After reading his column for years in Star Wars Insider, it was surreal to finally meet him in person.

Afterward, I got in line at the Dark Horse Comics booth where author John Jackson Miller was signing. I brought along my copy of Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories and got it signed! He’s another really nice guy; we chatted a bit about my review and some of his other publications.

During the rest of the day, I met many people and exchanged business cards. I nearly choked on my lunch, though, when I just happened to casually pass Anthony Daniels in one of the corridors. I’m sure I looked ridiculous just staring at him, as he walked my just oozing charisma, no doubt preparing himself mentally for his panel. I’ll never forget that moment.

My final event was watching Revenge of the Sith on the big screen there at the convention center. They replayed all six movies there, and they were hosted by Mary Franklin. Such a great atmosphere. Every time a character made a debut appearance in the movie, there were claps and cheers all around. To that audience, Revenge of the Sith was new again, and being there with them made the experience one of my Celebration highlights. After a late night, it was time to get some sleep, so I could start it all over again the next day.

Celebration VI Day One Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Three Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Four Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Albums

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Celebration VI Day One Diary by Bry Dean

Day one of Celebration VI was very much a day of learning for me. This was my first Celebration. So not only did I not know what to expect (other than seeing pictures of past Celebrations), I really had no idea of the layout, even though I looked at the maps. Seeing it on a picture and being there are two very different things.

My first objective was to find the press room so I could pick up my media badge. Once I got there, I was a bit nervous. I had a what if my name isn’t on the list? feeling. To my delight, it was there, and I quickly received the golden ticket, er, my media badge. Once I put it around my neck and walked out of the room, I had a moment of awe wash over me. Here I was, at the greatest Star Wars fan gathering in the world, and I now had access to it. I had a brief moment of hesitation. What do I do next? Then all of a sudden, the months of preparation came to me: A panel I was wanting to see was just about to start!

As it turns out, my first Star Wars Celebration panel would be Inside The Clone Wars Tech, featuring Dave Filoni and Joel Aron. This was quite exciting for me. Until now, I had never seen a member of the Star Wars cast or crew in front of me, live. This was quickly about to change. I found a seat, then unloaded my camera and laptop (nope, I’m not a part of the iPhone crowd). The panel was great. Lots of great information from the masters and a great reception from the audience. I believe it was before this panel that I met a few of the staff from EU Cantina and The Star Wars Report. After this I knew the next four days would be unforgettable. My photos of Inside The Clone Wars Tech

I had planned to visit another panel that started 30 minutes later, but decided not to. I wanted to head to the exhibit hall, which was easily the busiest hub of people in the building. Once I reached the doors, I was blown away by what I saw. The Star Wars Celebration exhibit hall is every Star Wars fan’s dream world. From wall to wall, there’s toys, shirts, books, comics, props, games, fans in costumes, the occasional celebrity that walks by, droids… anything and everything Star Wars. What should I look at first?

Then I remembered: The Del Rey, DK Publishing and Her Universe booths were all side-by-side. Because I’m very familiar with those companies, I decided to visit their booths first. I’m glad I made that decision, because once I reached the Del Rey booth, I saw that they were giving out free stuff! I scored a paperback copy of The Old Republic: Deceived, four Scoundrels bookmarks and a 2012 Del Rey Sampler, a Celebration VI and New York Comic Con exclusive (I’ll share more about this book in another Celebration VI diary). From there, I continued to meet people that I’ve chatted with online for many months. Finally, my online world was beginning to mix with reality. Afterwards, I basically walked through each aisle one-by-one, taking pictures as I walked.

The rest of the day was pretty much uneventful for me; eating lunch, taking pictures and finding a spot out of the way to sit, upload pics and charge my electronics. Because of a prior engagement, I had to leave early on Thursday, but a shortened day was pretty much all I could handle. My first day at a Star Wars Celebration was fairly overwhelming, but in a good way.

I was finally here, and this would be an event I’d never forget.

Celebration VI Day Two Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Three Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Four Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Albums

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The Clone Wars Season 5 Celebration VI Trailer

Here is the spectacular The Clone Wars season 5 trailer that debuted at Star Wars Celebration VI! Prepare yourself: It’s nothing short of awesome!

The Clone Wars Season 5 Premiere Screening
The Clone Wars Season 5 Teasers
The Clone Wars Season 5 Trailer
Introducing: Clone Commander Thorn
The Clone Wars Season 5 Teaser

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Celebration VI: Sunday Event Schedule

Here is the schedule of events for Sunday, August 26th at the Star Wars Celebration VI.

The panels that we plan to attend are highlighted in blue.
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Celebration VI: Saturday Event Schedule

Here is the schedule of events for Saturday, August 25th at the Star Wars Celebration VI.

The panels that we plan to attend are highlighted in blue.
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Celebration VI: Friday Event Schedule

Here is the schedule of events for Friday, August 24th at the Star Wars Celebration VI.

The panels that we plan to attend are highlighted in blue.
Read more

Celebration VI: Thursday Event Schedule

Here is the schedule of events for Thursday, August 23rd at the Star Wars Celebration VI.

The panels that we plan to attend are highlighted in blue.
Read more

Celebration VI: Exhibit Hall Floor Plan

The Star Wars Celebration VI exhibit hall floor plan is now available to view! Link

Click on the link above for an interactive look at exhibitor locations!

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What to Expect at Rancho Obi-Wan Experience at Celebration VI!‏

As we previously reported, a small portion of the massive Star Wars memorabilia collection that is Rancho Obi-Wan will be present at the upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando, FL. It is sure to be a fan favorite among all the booths! Here are additional details about the exhibit:

The Rancho Obi-Wan Experience (booth #1235) at Star Wars Celebration VI will exhibit items ranging from the first, 1978 prototype Boba Fett laser rifle, to unproduced Star Wars action figures, to an incredible two-foot high piñata of Luke on a tauntaun. About 300 special pieces from the world’s largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia, owned by Steve Sansweet, will be on display at the 800-square-foot exhibit.

To mark the occasion, Rancho Obi-Wan (ROW) will be offering special Celebration VI membership packages that include an exclusive ROW C VI patch (while they last) as well as specially-priced family memberships. Even better, you’ll be able to pick up your full, personalized membership kit at the booth. Members get a 10% discount on all merchandise purchased at C VI.

Bronze Darth Vader Bust

There will be a chance to take home a limited edition solid-bronze bust of Darth Vader as conceived by Ralph McQuarrie ($1,500 retail price) for a small donation. Giveaways will include postcards, stickers, and bookplates. Rancho Obi-Wan is a nonprofit museum depending on the generous support of the public to share the excitement, fun, and friendship that Star Warshas brought. Its motto is “Inspired by the Force of Imagination.”For the first time outside the museum, limited amounts of exclusive Rancho Obi-Wan branded souvenirs will be available, including T-shirts (two styles), an embroidered baseball cap, a 15-ounce bistro mug, a coaster-paperweight, and other items. Copies of some of Sansweet’s most popular Star Wars books will also be available. And you can get your book personally autographed by Steve.

Special illustrated bookplates for the upcoming book, Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection (Chronicle Books, fall 2012) will be available at no charge and will be signed by all four contributors at least once each day of the show. Times will be posted. Also, The ROW Experience will be headquarters for the Curto/Burns Collectors’ Cast, a monthly podcast about Star Wars collecting.

“We’ve got so many incredible things to share with fellow fans that we asked for and got more floor space to show them all,” Sansweet said. “I look forward to saying hello to old friends and making lots of new ones at the show.”

Photos of the merchandise are at: More information about the mission of Rancho Obi-Wan and booking tours is available at Follow us on twitter @RanchoObiWan and at


C VI Membership Kits

The first 300 Memberships purchased will include a special Yoda Celebration VI patch with art by Jerry Vanderstelt, a great companion to the already-included Obi-Wan Kenobi Charter patch, also by Jerry. The $40 kit includes:

  • A welcome letter from Steve Sansweet
  • Exclusive 4-inch square 2012 Obi-Wan Charter Member patch
  • Celebration VI Exclusive 4-inch square Yoda Patch
  • Charter Membership card personalized for you and signed by Steve
  • Quarterly email newsletter with the latest news about ROW
  • $30 discount towards tour-level membership within a year of purchase

New Family Membership

With the purchase of any regular membership, you are entitled to a Padawan Membership for your children 12 and under for only $20 per child. The Padawan Membership includes everything in the regular Membership Kit. Already a Member? Stop by and pick up your special C VI Yoda Patch for only $5.


Specially-designed adhesive bookplates for the upcoming Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection will be signed by Sansweet and contributors Anne Neumann, Dan Curto, and Paul Harrison.

Rancho Obi-Wan Souvenirs

  • The Rancho Obi-Wan Experience T-Shirt: $25.00
    (Hanes Nano 100% premium combed cotton)
  • Rancho Obi-Wan Logo T-Shirt: $25.00
    (Hanes 5250 Tagless 100% cotton, 6oz)
  • Rancho Obi-Wan Embroidered Logo Baseball Cap: $25.00
  • Rancho Obi-Wan Logo 15oz. Bistro Mug: $15.00
  • Rancho Obi-Wan Logo Coaster-Paper Weight: $30.00
  • Rancho Obi-Wan “Challenge Coin”: $10
  • Rancho Obi-Wan Patches (color or gold metallic): $10 each
  • Rancho Obi-Wan Logo Pen: $5.00
  • Rancho Obi-Wan Logo Bamboo Keychain: $5.00

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