Riley’s Bantha-sized Recap of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Star Wars land? Well, I found out at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. What an incredible event. Seeing old friends, meeting new ones, Watching the Rebels season 2 premier, watching the TFA teaser 2 with thousands of other SW fans, there are so many highlights, I know I’ll never be able to commit them all to this post, but I’m going to do my best. Before jumping into the heart of this post, be sure to check out the very special “Audio Diary” edition of the Star Wars Report podcast. It’s a great way to hear what celebration is like.

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I flew out to Anaheim at some ungracious hour to be able to have as much time Wed. as I could to pick up my press badge, take a look at the scene at the convention center, and of course, see a bit of Disney. This was my 1st visit to California, and I figured that I couldn’t possibly get all the way to Anaheim and not see Disneyland.
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I was floored that even in the mid-afternoon, people had already started lining up.2015-04-15 17.01.06

After getting situated, we headed to Disney!2015-04-15 17.01.42

Fun fact, with going to Star Wars Weekends last summer, this means I’ve visited both parks for the 1st time in less than 1 year. I blame Teresa.2015-04-15 18.30.29

Cars-land was awesome.2015-04-15 21.04.28

I also had the chance to go to the RebelForce Radio Celebration Bash. It was an absolute blast, and it was great to see Jason and Jimmy in their element. What a way to get pumped for the big show the next day!2015-04-16 07.57.34

The above picture is my sister Bethany and Wampa’s Lair podcaster Jason Hunt chatting while waiting to head over to the convention center for the big J.J. Panel.2015-04-16 07.57.58

Selfie time! Less than an hour until the big panel.2015-04-16 08.20.03

Star Wars news goes mainstream!2015-04-16 08.38.41This moment was great. My buddies Karl and Matt engage in an impromptu arm-wrestling contest while waiting in line.

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Jason and Karl are having fun!2015-04-16 10.08.39

Finally, we’re being let inside. The sheer amount of people was overwhelming. I turned around to snap this pic while riding the escalator to the Digital stage for the J.J. panel.2015-04-16 10.37.20

And now for some pics of the panel itself. Here is the beautiful Daisy Ridley.2015-04-16 10.51.49

New troopers!2015-04-16 10.54.27I loved this moment. I wasn’t scripted, but Mark Hamill came out with Peter Mayhew helping him walk across the long stage and it was adorable.

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One of the nicest guys I’ve had the pleasure of knowing throughout fandom is Erich Schoeneweiss from Del Rey publishing. I had the opportunity to chart on a few different instances with him and he’s always beyond nice.2015-04-16 12.55.04

Ran into Dave Filoni in one of the halls signing a Fan’s hat. 2015-04-16 13.49.26

Of course, everyone has been raving about the TFA exibit and for good reason. Besides the trailer, it was my favorite part of the celebration programming.  2015-04-16 13.49.41

Finally, we get a sense of the size and scale of BB-8. I feel like celebration was a coming out party for everyone’s new favorite droid. Poor R2.

2015-04-16 13.50.02This was by far my favorite costume. I love the Eastern-nomad feel to it. And if you look closely, you’ll see what looks like a very familiar lightsaber hilt…
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KYLO REN!2015-04-16 16.36.53Hanging with Mark and Bethany right after the Clone Wars Untold Stories panel. IT was really cool to see even more of what the TCW team had in store.

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How about this guy?2015-04-16 16.43.06 So, funny story. This is Mike Pilot of the amazing Full of Sith podcast. Throughout the con, I KEPT running into him! At least twice a day. On Sunday, we ran into each other and it was just getting comical at that point. As we say in the South “Mike’s good people.” 2015-04-17 10.37.22 This is Karl. He’s talking to a Banana. 2015-04-17 11.24.57 This is Me and Karl. He’s not talking to a Banana. At this point, we were both in line to see the TFA exhibit. (The 2nd run through for me)2015-04-17 14.45.49 This was one of the few times I made it to the RebelForce Radio – I mean – The Behind the Scenes stage. I had a brief chance to meet up with the inimitable James Macintosh. He was really cool. Screening at the time was Star Wars in Navajo.2015-04-17 17.00.35 I had the pleasure of helping out at the Star Wars Bookworms live podcast. I briefly met Drew Karpyshyn. He was really laid back and a pleasure to talk to. I think it’s the nicest encounter I’ve ever had with a Star Wars author. Aaron and Teresa were amazing. They’ve really come into their own with the SW Bookworms podcast. 
2015-04-17 21.11.21 That night, I made my way to the 501st bash. The Comlink was there broadcasting live!2015-04-17 21.31.28Here’s the Comlink crew hard at work on the broadcast. Pictured is the enterprising J.C. Reifenberg. This man is going places.
2015-04-17 22.24.12 JAT! This is a selfie I took and had to text to Steve Glosson. #ThisOnesForSteve.
2015-04-18 12.34.46Saturday was Rebels day at celebration! Here are the cast and crew at the press conference following the amazing season 2 panel and trailer!
2015-04-18 13.22.38 No idea who this guy is.

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The Fangirls Going Rogue crew did an amazing live show as well!2015-04-18 20.40.16 It was also Bethany’s birthday!2015-04-19 09.23.34 Oh yeah, Sunday morning, Antony Daniels was just hanging out outside the con center talking to fans, enjoying himself.

Very much enjoying himself.2015-04-19 10.39.41 This was really cool. I had the pleasure of doing some interviews at the Autograph halls and talked to Anthony Forrest. Fun fact, he was one of the first Star Wars actors I ever interviewed at my first tiny con in Pigeon Forge TN. I was just out of Highschool and hadn’t even started this site, but he was super nice and let me interview him. I had to tell him this story and thank him.2015-04-19 12.38.50 I met the amazing Paul Bateman!2015-04-19 13.37.12 We closed out the Con at the Star Wars Rebels podcast show!2015-04-19 13.57.11It was a blast! 
2015-04-22 05.11.11Mark and I capped off the last few hours at the Con filming for a top secret project. News coming soon!
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Thanks for reading! I landed early morning Monday and found out that I’d recieved a full  type 2 Air Force ROTC scholarship. What a week.


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