April 12, 2017 – Here, then, is a split-personality essay on “Why I go to Star Wars Celebration Orlando”.
A View from the Light Side:
I go to Celebration, giddy with excitement, because it gives me an emotional high unlike anything else.
I go because I’ve been planning, researching, saving for, dreaming and fantasizing about Celebration for the last year, and now it’s finally happening.
I go because I’m an Ultra Passionate Fan, and a super-über collector, of all things Star Wars, and I have been since childhood.
I go like the wind possessed, rushing between panels, the show floor and exhibits, frantic to meet as many celebrities, grab as many exclusives, and see and do as many Star Wars activities as possible.
I go to eat, drink, breathe, watch, absorb and live Star Wars.
I go to learn about the latest movies, games, collectibles, and future developments.
I go to this place where I can feel comfortable in my own skin, free from the curious stares and judgment of others because – guess what – you’re a geeky nerd, too.
I go to feed my inner-nerd and wave the Nerd Flag high.
I go for the nostalgia kick and to relive my childhood.
I go in wonder, happy to see so many fans, old and young, from so many cities and countries from around the world.
I go to re-connect with old friends and to build new friendships.
I go, thrilled to finally meet and see Mark, Hayden, Felicity, and all the rest.
I go because the Star Wars artists, their creativity and perspectives, blow my socks off.
I go to pay homage to Star Wars‘ 40th anniversary. Wow, 40 years!!
I go because I worked so hard on my expensive costume, and this is the best cosplay around.
I go because I need an incredible Star Wars tatoo.
I go for all the swag.
I go because it’s my happy place.
I go because I’ve been to so many great Celebrations.
I go because I love fan-cons.
I go because it’s a con.
And Now a View from the Dark Side:
I go to Celebration Orlando, lemming-like, because that’s what everyone else is doing.
I go to keep my boyfriend/girlfriend happy because they’re a HUGE Star Wars fan, and I pretend and smile and try to psych myself that “this is great”, and yet I still remember the first time he/she shamed me for confusing Star Trek with Star Wars.
I go in horrific fascination, watching a sweaty guy in front of me with man-boobs, but I’m ashamed cuz I can’t stop staring. (“Are those real or implants?“)
I go for sport, to count all the guys and girls wearing that damn red Millenium Falcon T-shirt from yesteryear. So far, I’ve counted 24. I win!
I go wondering, “Do these man-kids have jobs? Have they ever kissed anyone before?”
I go around thinking to myself: “So this is what arrested development looks like.”
I go to snicker at some larger cosplayers (mostly ladies but, on occasion, even a guy) squeezed into a Slave Leia costume, and I think to myself, “OMG, that’s a bit too much to see there, sister. Move along….”
And, yes, I’m a horrible person. I know that.
I go because it’s a freak-show and people are running and throwing money at anything that says “Star Wars” or “40th Anniversary” on it.
I go because all my friends are going and somehow they pressured me to go with them.
I go because out of all my friends, my car is the only reliable one that will get us there and back.
I go to experience camping overnight, on this cold hard floor and in this endless queue, and I look at the time and it’s still only 2:00 AM, and I can’t sleep because of all the bright lights and that non-stop yammering motor-mouth over there, and by the way, where are the bathrooms?
I have to go.
I go because even though I can barely afford the tickets, oh what the hell, I’m afraid I might miss something good.
I go, hoping against hope, that I might meet George Lucas or Harrison Ford.
I go knowing that that will never happen.
I go agitated, bothered that certain longtime Star Wars actors (I won’t name names here) have become incredibly rich and famous, thanks to the many fans – and yet certain of these actors can’t show a morsel of gratitude to their fans by attending even one Celebration panel or meet-and-greet because “it’s beneath their dignity”? (SMH)
I go sadly with a hole in my heart in remembrance of the late great Carrie Fisher, and I marvel at what a class-act she always was.
I recall how Carrie would patiently attend countless Celebrations, giving back to the Star Wars community and never charging more than a reasonable fee, because she appreciated her fans and understood that life is usually hard. And, oh yeah, she was sassy and funny as hell!
Now there walked a true Princess….
I go past Hasbro’s booth, fantasizing about shaking the Hasbro representatives and shouting aloud, “Wake up! You’ve killed the 3.75-inch super-articulated action figure line, you bastards. Stop squatting on the license and give it up to someone else.”
I go, rushed through the photo op line in 10 seconds or less, like so many mooing cattle, and I exit wondering, “Did I just spend $150 on THAT? Was it even worth it?”
I go off in my thoughts, wondering where I can find a great job like that, getting paid $150 every 10-15 seconds while smiling at a camera.
I go off in a daze, pining for the more casual Celebrations of the past, where you could take a candid photo with a celebrity – for FREE! – during the autograph session and not have to pay the organizer another one of your kidneys or a right arm.
I go because I am (insert your city, state, country)’s BIGGEST Star Wars fan there is, and nobody better get in my way.
I go like an industrial vacuum, sucking up every Star Wars-related product in my path, no matter how trivial or silly they may be.
I go because I am a noob, paying $5.00 for a bottle of water when I could’ve/should’ve bought that 24-pack from the grocery store back home which, by the way, works out to 25 cents per bottle.
I go to stand in line at the Convention Center’s portable ATM because I forgot to bring cash from home… Wait. What?! The ATM just charged me $20 for that transaction?
I go get into yet another panel line, plop myself down on the floor, and draw an imaginary “This is my personal space” circle around me, but the magical charm is soon broken when someone’s shoe or bag penetrates the circle.
I go to bow before the gods of Disney and Lucasfilm and to throw next month’s rent at them.
I go because I still have lots more room to store all my new Star Wars junk at the rental storage space or in my basement, or so I hope.
I go because I’m a Star Wars hoarder.
I go because I’m bored.
I go because I’m shameless.
I go because it’s a con.