Thursday 18 April 2019

Star Wars Celebration Chicago: Episode VI - Ending of the Celebration

The Celebration at Chicago proved to be a good one. But for the 20th of Celebration, it seemed a little… sparse. There was certainly a celebration of The Phantom Menace, but aside from its beginnings there seemed little about Celebration itself. It also doesn’t help that this year there seemed less going on during the livestream. It seems bad to say so, but it felt like Anaheim in 2015 – the first Celebration to have a livestream.

Panels that would have been entertaining to watch were missed out even with large gaps of roughly two hours where they could have easily slotted in. The interviews with the guests were good to listen in on, but there were times where they were recapping events we had just seen. Of course, this could just be me missing the spectacular amount of panels they managed to squeeze into the livestream of Orlando in 2017, but then – that was the 40th of the entire franchise. Even if there was just one more panel per day, I’d have been happier.

The content we did get was good, however. The Rise of Skywalker looks to be a solid end to the trilogy. The Mandalorian sounds like it’ll be a great addition to the franchise when it arrives on Disney+, but The Clone Wars inches ahead slightly in terms of excitement. Resistance I haven’t seen much of, but I’m hoping it comes to Disney Life soon so I can watch it with few breaks. And I'm sure when the second season comes to the UK I'll be waiting to tune in.

I have to mention Jedi: Fallen Order, and how I hope it lives up to the expectations people have. This will be the first true single player game since The Force Unleashed 2 back in 2010. From what I can see, it should deliver from a character standpoint, but it’s the gameplay that really needs to stand out. Respawn have been behind the Titanfall series, which has solid mechanics, so I’m hoping the same feeling of fluid movement is present with this title.

There were a number of things not on the livestream – that never make it onto the livestream. The novels and comics and other books of the franchise. Just as with the last two films of the sequel trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker will also be getting a Journey to… series, with more info to be revealed. I’ve got all the novelisations of the films, so The Rise of Skywalker will be another grand addition to my collection. Whether I take to any of the other books in the series depends on the focus.

In terms of what has been revealed, we at least have some info on the Age of Resistance comics. We’ll see Finn as he was before The Force Awakens, Rey and Chewie will have their journey to Ahch-To documented, with Phasma, Hux, and Poe also getting their own books within the series. There will also be Age of Resistance specials, with the first seemingly focusing on Admiral Holdo. I’ve been out of the comics for a while, having started on the main series and picking up a few others, but I might just come back to see what these are like.

Of course, I couldn’t be ending this without talking about Galaxy’s Edge. There’s a huge focus upon that Black Spire Outpost, with several books coming to reveal more about it. A Crash of Fate will be one of those, with the cover being shown off at Celebration. The five-issue comic series called Galaxy’s Edge will feature Dok-Ondar as he appears within the park, with a focus on his possession of some of the antiques available from it. How Black Spire Outpost appears in the series is “impossibly accurate” to how it will look at the park.

As for the park itself, it would be amazing to be able to go and visit. To feel as though I’m really inside a part of the Star Wars universe. And since Celebration is returning to Anaheim in 2020, would it not make sense to hold an exclusive event within Galaxy’s Edge for those at Celebration? If I could, I would absolutely go even if there wasn’t such an exclusive event. After all, tick two dream events from the list in one holiday.

I’ve always said at the end of covering Celebrations that I’d love to go to one, but such a dream has not yet become a reality. Being within the event and meeting all the guests and making new friends and just feeling the energy such an event brings with it. Revelling in the moment to moment interactions, and taking in the whole of what Celebrations offer.

It has been a good one, Chicago, but I have a feeling that Anaheim 2020 will be a big one.

Celebration Chicago Series
The Starting Celebration / Rise of the Heroes / Spirit of the Universe / A Shining Joy / The Fun Celebration Memories / Ending of the Celebration

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