The first day of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim began with thousands of Star Wars fans making their way to the Anaheim Convention Center for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel with J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy. This panel took place live and was also simulcast for those who could not be there live. Murray was in the hall watching it live, and I was able to watch from one of the simulcast rooms (after they finally got people in a few minutes late). The panel was a lot of fun to watch with both new and old Star Wars cast members joining J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy on the stage. They were also joined by droids R2-D2 and BB-8. By the end of the panel new Stormtroopers joined the Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast members on stage for a fantastic group picture. While there were a lot of awesome moments throughout this panel, the highlight was easily the unveiling of the second trailer in front of the thousands of Star Wars fans. This is something that could be written about, but thankfully was captured on video and is much better to watch.
After the trailer was played twice for the enthralled fans, the panel ended. The next panel that was on our agenda was Restored Music from The Empire Strikes Back with David Collins. This panel, which really was more of an exercise, dug into the music of The Empire Strikes Back. David Collins showed various scenes throughout the movie as they are currently known and recognized in the movie….without music. He then played the scenes with the music that was originally written for them. This was an experience that completely changed the feel of these scenes, some of them rather comedically or dramatically. This presentation really showed the importance of music and also the importance of restraint. It also showed what a fantastic job the team behind The Empire Strikes Back did with the movie and its music.
Throughout the day, there was a lot of other things to do and see. One highlight is the R2-D2 exhibit. The R2-D2 Builders’ Display & Photo Area was FILLED with droids, many of them recreations of R2-D2. There were also other droids along with the history of R2-D2. Chopper from Star Wars Rebels also joined R2 in the final room of the exhibit.
The main hall had a ton of things to do, see, and buy. This floor could easily take up a day of exploring and shopping. People in costumes were everywhere. Legos and costumes could be found in many different places. There were also a ton of collectibles waiting to be taken home. Finally, there were a bunch of photo locations… that were quite popular as people lined up for each memorable photo. Jedi Training Academy also taught young Padawans throughout the day and defeat the dark side.
For those who stayed into the evening, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones was screened, both in 3D. This was the first time that The Attack of the Clones was shown in 3D publicly. The rest of the movies will be played throughout the weekend.
Star Wars Celebration Day One definitely had a few bumps but overall the light side definitely overpowered the dark. If given the opportunity, it is definitely worth checking out!