The first weekend in May, 2002 marked the return of the “Star Wars Celebration” convention. The first convention was held in 1999 in Denver, Colorado right before “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” was released. From those that attended, it seems that there was rain, mud, and about 5,000 attendees.
For the second Celebration, Lucasfilms stepped it up a notch. Held at the Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, there was no rain, no mud, and about 50,000 attendees. It was 3 days of Star Wars Goodness, almost too much to take in. There were conferences, demonstrations, guest speakers, and a huge vendor area, selling everything from the original Land Speeder toy (in mint condition, in the box) to the latest Interactive R2-D2, that responds to over 40 voice commands.
There was a lot to do and see in 3 days, and it seemed like everyone wanted to do and see the same things. Long lines were normal, and you had to wait to get where ever you wanted to get, even out: the halls were so crowded, it made navigation a risky proposition at best.
One room of the convention center was set aside, and 11 fan clubs from aross the country were invited to set up and operate a booth. Chicago Force was very proud to be one of those selected for this honor, along with the 501st, Rebel Legion, the Indy Knights, and Brick to Bothans, a LEGO building group. Chicago Force used this opportunity to talk to fellow fans and spread the word about our activities and events. We had a great time running the booth, and thank everyone who stopped by for spending a few minutes to talk to us.
Ask anyone that was there, though, and they will tell you they had a great time. Star Wars fan normally get along quite well with one another and there were so many people there, it was like having a friend around every corner. It’s a safe bet that there will be a Celebration III in the weeks proceeding the release of Episode III in May 2005, so start saving today!