REVIEW: Medal of Yavin Lanyard for Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017

March 28, 2017 – If you pre-ordered a lanyard for Star Wars Celebration Orlando, the lanyards have been shipped and should now be arriving in mailboxes across the United States. For non-U.S. residents, you can pick up your lanyards at the Will Call box office at Star Wars Celebration Orlando (April 13-16, 2017).

This year’s lanyard is a pleasant surprise and will definitely be a keeper. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, the light brown/coffee-colored lanyard proudly displays a shiny gold-like 3D sculpted replica of the Medal of Yavin at its base.

The medal feels relatively “heavy” and substantial at just under 3 ounces (85 grams). It is cast from a metal alloy with a brass-plated finish. It’s so shiny, you can see your reflection in it.

At the bottom of the Medal of Yavin, a small eyehook holds a flexible clip, through which you will attach your pre-punched laminated pass in order to enter the Orange County (Florida) Convention Hall.

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The obverse or front of the medal replicates the actual design, if not the correct proportions, of the medal seen in the ceremonial hall of Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). Imprinted on the reverse of the medal is the official 40th anniversary logo for Star Wars (Luke and Leia superimposed over a giant “40” with the “Star Wars” title at their feet). Below the logo is the standard “© and ™Lucasfilm Ltd. Made in China” imprint.

At the very top of the light-brown lanyard – the portion that will be centered on the back of your neck as you wear it – is the black-red-white logo for the convention, which says “Orlando 2017 Star Wars Celebration”.

It’s hard to overstate how impressed we are with this 3D sculpted replica of the Medal of Yavin, albeit in reduced size. Compared to past Celebration events, the 2017 lanyard is by far the most aesthetically pleasing and shows that a great deal of thought went into its execution.

In addition, the medal pays perfect homage to the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. Priced at only $8.00 each (the pre-order price), the lanyard is an amazing bargain.

The Celebration Orlando store will be selling the lanyard once doors open April 13th, but we do not know what the retail price will be or how long quantities will last. Recommend you purchase one ASAP as the Celebration exclusives almost always sell out.

You can compare your lanyard medal to the iconic medal bestowed by Princess Leia upon Luke and Han in the A New Hope clip below:

Comparing Celebration Orlando’s 2017 Medal to Disney’s Star Wars Weekends 2014 Medal

Medal of Yavin replicas, even if only in reduced size, started hitting the market around the mid-2010’s. Disney Parks, for example, first introduced its replica in 2014 at Star Wars Weekends.

The limited edition (2,200) medal set pictured below is a mish-mash of three pins featuring Ralph McQuarrie’s Star Wars concept designs as well as a fourth pin – a mini-Medal of Yavin pin. All four pins are attached to a dark brown lanyard. At the bottom of the lanyard is the reduced-size metallic Medal of Yavin.

Originally priced at $24.95, the medal set features a 3D sculpted Medal of Yavin replica hanging from the bottom of the lanyard. The finish is a matted (not shiny) brushed gold-like sheen. The reverse of the medal reads “Star Wars Weekends 2014 / Limited Edition of 2200 / ©Disney ©2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. China”

So what are the differences between Disney’s 2014 version and Celebration Orlando’s 2017 iteration?

1) The Celebration medal is a tad larger, but not noticeable at first glance. Both medals are not movie-accurate as far as size and, therefore, are smaller.

2) The Disney medal has a (nicer) gold-matte finish. Three years since its release, the medal and finish have not tarnished. By comparison, the Celebration Orlando medal appears to have a brass finish, which will likely oxidize and become duller over the years.

Disney’s Star Wars Weekends 2014 Medal of Yavin (left) has a gold-matte finish. The Celebration Orlando medal (right) sports a much shinier, polished brass-like finish.

3) The Disney medal has a spring-loaded clasp, allowing you to remove it from the lanyard. The Celebration medal is permanently attached to a D-ring at the base of the lanyard.

4) The reverse of the Celebration medal is imprinted with the 40th anniversary logo of Star Wars while the Disney medal is imprinted with the Star Wars Weekends 2014 logo.

5) The Disney medal set has the added bonus of a “mini-Yavin of Medal” pin, which you can wear independently.

(L to R): mini-Medal of Yavin pin; Disney’s Star Wars Weekends 2014 Medal of Yavin pin set; and Star Wars Celebration Orlando Medal of Yavin lanyard.

In addition to the above, Disney is now selling a boxed full-size replica of the Medal of Yavin. If you cannot access any of the Disney parks, you can find the medals on Ebay (listed HERE).

Whichever medal or lanyard you acquire, wear them proudly. The 40th anniversary of Star Wars comes but once, and then it’s gone.

TIP: To prevent your heavy-metal lanyard and pass from banging up and down against your belly or turning wrong-side-out, you can hotgun-glue a magnet to the back of the pass or the bottom of the lanyard, and wear another magnet beneath your shirt or top. Alternatively, a safety pin works in a pinch.

Comparing the Celebration Europe (London 2016) and the Celebration Anaheim (2015) Lanyards

For the sake of completion – and to show you how admirably ReedPOP, the event organizer, has upped its attention to detail – pictured below are the lanyards for London (2016) and Anaheim (2015).

Last year’s Celebration Europe lanyard was the first to feature a glowing red lightsaber beam on the cloth lanyard. A nifty lightsaber (flat on one side, 3-D sculpted on the other) hung from the lanyard, to hold and display your convention pass.

In 2015, the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim lanyard showed an X-Wing fighter, TIE fighter and the Millenium Falcon engaged in battle.

ThinkGeek was a featured sponsor on the Celebration Anaheim lanyard.

You could also purchase a more colorful lanyard at Anaheim along with a certain Jedi’s pin.

The days of the plain, uninspired lanyard appear to be over. With money to be made and a galaxy of Star Wars themes and characters to be exploited, tomorrow’s lanyards are going to have their work cut out for them.


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