Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 – My Experience


Star Wars Celebration 2015 Anaheim 2

A convention to celebrate all things Star Wars did not fail to disappoint. Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 (California) had it all: big stars, costumes, cosplayers, set dioramas, sneak peeks of the upcoming movie and various other Star Wars related TV shows and video games. Anything you could think of to buy that is Star Wars related was available too.

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 Entrance Banner
Old School

I have been immersed in that galaxy far, far away ever since I a kid and saw Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in the cinema in 1977 (no other movie has captured my imagination as much as Star Wars), so I was very happy to get to an event like this (previously I have only attended Star Wars exhibitions in Australia, the United States and Canada such as Star Wars Identities in 2013). The dark side of the celebration was the huge crowd and long lines (the event was sold out).

Crowds Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Join the masses

I attended the Sunday of the 4 day event. Seeing the huge queue to get in, I can only imagine the crush of people the day before! Anyway I gave up trying to see any of the main events, panels and special exhibitions such as the new Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens props (there was apparently a 4 hour wait in the queue and it was capped at midday! I tried to jump on the end of the queue at about 4pm but I was told the last 100 people or so were probably not going to get in before the convention closed at 5pm). I went in to the official merchandise store area but it had virtually been picked clean! Despite all that it was still a lot of fun being a big kid again!

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015  Cosplayers
Celebrate Star Wars

You could pose for photos in many of the dioramas and cosplayers were happy to pose for a photo too. Jabba the Hutt and Roxy the Rancor were pretty cool!

Wicket Ewok Speederbike Endor Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Lookout Wicket has the Speederbike!
Roxy the Rancor Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 CA
Roxy the Rancor
Speederbike Endor Moon Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Hey, take it easy. I am on your side!
Imperial Speederbike on the Endor Moon
Jabba the Hutt Twilek Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
The mighty Jabba and a Twilek friend. Ho Ho Ho!
Jawas Star Wars Celebration
Busy little Jawas
AT-AT Walker Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 CA
AT-AT Walker
Mos Eisley Cantina Star Wars Celebration 2015
Mos Eisley Cantina
Mos Eisley Cantina Star Wars Celebration 2015
Hanging out in the Cantina

Some of the set dioramas had come all the way from Belgium. The medical room as seen in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) with replica medical droids and the bacta healing tank was fun.

The medical room and Bacta tank as seen in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Star Wars Celebration 2015
The medical room and Bacta tank as seen in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

There were literally R2 astromech droids all over the place (static and remote control) as the R2-D2 Builders Club were in attendance. Kenny Baker (R2-D2) was about somewhere but unfortunately I never saw him.

Jawas Droids Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Need a good used droid?
R2 Units Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 R2-D2 Builders Club
R2 astromech units galore!
R2 Units Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 R2-D2 Builders Club
R2-Units and his relatives are always a sentimental favourite

From Star Wars action figures (old and new) to Lego, hand crafted sculpted figurines, life-size statues, video games, costumes and t-shirts, you name and you could buy it at the celebration. Infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett is always a fan favourite and mine too (note the t-shirt I am wearing in some of these photos).

Lego Darth Vader Boba Fett Yoda statue
From Lego to action figures and hand crafted statues you could buy it all at the Star Wars Celebration
Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Star Wars Lego, collectibles and art
costumes figurines Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Imperial Star Wars costumes including a new Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens Stormtrooper
art and figurines Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Star Wars art and figurines
helmets costumes figurines Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Star Wars helmets and figurines
Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
From R2 units to giant bobble heads
All Nippon Airways are planning to launch an R2-D2 theme on one of their Boeing 787 Dreamliners
All Nippon Airways are planning to launch an R2-D2 theme on one of their Boeing 787 Dreamliners
Star Wars Battlefront video game launch Star Wars Celebration 2015
Star Wars Battlefront video game launch
Star Wars Rebels video game launch Battlefront video game launch Star Wars Celebration 2015
Star Wars Rebels video game launch

Speaking of the famous bounty hunter, the Mandalorian Mercs were very active at the celebration. Lots of cosplayers were about in very creative Mandalorian armour. One guy had real metal armour that weighed 54 kg / 120 pounds!

Mandalorian Mercs Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Mandalorian Mercs

There were even Star Wars inspired cars (carfighters) near the main entrance. My favourite was the Boba Fett themed Hyundai.

To the Fett Mobile! A Boba Fett inspired Hyundai Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
To the Fett Mobile! A Boba Fett inspired Hyundai
Star Wars inspired carfighters Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Star Wars inspired carfighters
Star Wars inspired carfighters Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Star Wars inspired carfighters
Star Wars inspired carfighters Star Wars Celebration 2015
Sithspawn Vader Mustang and a Star Wars inspired carfighter

Hot Wheels also had a Darth Vader car on display the main exhibition hall. I got the chance to speak with one of the guys who built the Hot Wheels car and got all the details including that it was based on the chassis and engine of a 1995/1996 Chevrolet Corvette and really does drive. Hot Wheels fantasy comes to life and it even has lightsaber side exhausts!

Hot Wheels Darth Vader car Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
Hot Wheels Darth Vader car

The 501st Legion Imperial cosplayers (Vader’s Fist) were out in force from around the world too (I even met some Aussie members). Actually in general from all the accents and foreign languages I heard during the day, the popularity of Star Wars just keeps getting stronger across the world.

Imperials Star Wars Celebration 2015
Hanging out with my Imperial friends
Darth Vader Storm Trooper Imperial Guard Star Wars Celebration
Empire Strong
Imperials and Clone Troopers Star Wars Celebration 2015
Imperials and Clone Troopers
Snowtrooper to a Sandtrooper Star Wars Celebration
From a Snowtrooper to a Sandtrooper
Imperials and Clones
Imperials and Clones

The Imperial legion was no better displayed than in an incredible diorama by Kotobukiya of 1,000 Stormtrooper figurines standing behind Darth Vader and two Imperial Royal Guards (the Emperor’s Royal Guard). This was really impressive to see and an absolute crowd favourite!

Kotobukiya Imperial Figurines Star Wars Celebration 2015
Kotobukiya Imperial Figurines

The Jedi Training Academy lightsaber sessions were fun. Little kids got to face up to Darth Vader in a lightsaber battle. Some were terrified and others took on the dark lord with gusto!

Jedi Training Academy Star Wars Celebration 2015
Jedi Training Academy

It was especially cool to see all the famous and not so famous faces (i.e. actors who played a role behind a mask or inside a costume) of the Star Wars universe in the autograph booths (a pricey exercise! Prices ranged from $30 to $100+ depending on the importance of the actor/character). Some significant familiar faces included John Ratzenberger (Empire Strikes Back, Cheers, Toy Story), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and Ian McDiarmid (Senator/Emperor Palpatine). I really wanted to get the autograph of Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) but tickets to this were all sold out (they were reasonably priced). A highlight was seeing Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace) and the legendary Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) wandering amongst the crowd and dioramas. Anthony Daniels was not in costume, but they way he walks you could picture C-3PO wandering about (someone else was in costume on the day).

Ray Park Darth Maul - Star Wars Celebration 2015
Ray Park (Darth Maul)
Lightsaber fun with Ray Park Star Wars Celebration 2015
Lightsaber fun with Ray Park
Anthony Daniels C-3PO Star Wars Celebration 2015
Anthony Daniels (C-3PO)
Anthony Daniels C-3PO promotional photo for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Anthony Daniels C-3PO promotional photo for Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
R2-D2 & C-3PO Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015
R2-D2 & C-3PO

So that was my first Star Wars Celebration. Quite an experience and definitely a celebration of one of the most memorable movie franchises there has ever been. Next year it is in London, UK and no doubt this event will be just as popular as the one in 2015. May the Force be with you (be it the way of the Jedi or the Dark Lords of the Sith).

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 3
Star Wars swag
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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh wow, so many pictures !!! It looks awesome !!

    1. Deano says:

      So much to see. So many more photos too! 🙂

  2. is there any way i can get some full size copies of the Captain America Clonetrooper in the cantina? That was me and unfortunately i did NOT have anyone i knew taking photos for me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. You can find my facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/CaptainAmericaClonetrooper)

    1. Deano says:

      Hi Sean, Yeah sure. I will send you some via facebook later today. Cool concept by the way

      1. thanks…. you rock… and i had a blast designing it, painting it and trooping in it. Got lots of positive responses.

      2. Deano says:

        You certainly stood out. You did a great job with the paint etc

  3. any chance you could send them again… every time i try to click on them to download error saying content no longer available… any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Deano says:

      Ah Ok. No problem. I will try again later today

  4. full error is… “The content you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.”

  5. I’m so glad you like the Boba Fett car.
    Thats our car, my wife did the design and I helped with the digital textures. Its so much fun to drive. It really brings the Fett fans out of the wood work. We love the reactions we get.
    You took great photos you summed it up well. The celebration was awesome I can wait to go back again.
    ~Josh

    1. Deano says:

      Great to hear from you and well done. Do you call it Slave III?

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