Buckle up baby, this is going to be a long one.
For my 30th birthday, the gift-giving queen asked me what I wanted and after some thinking and a modicum of research, I asked for two day tickets for Star Wars Celebration 2016 in London and a T-Shirt and Badge Set, I got tickets for Friday and Saturday. She agreed and said she would join me on the trip and act as bag lady, so I would be able to buy as much as I wanted and she would look after it in nearby location.
As the convention approached, all necessary arrangements were made. We got a hotel room not far from the convention centre, spending money was saved and/or given for birthday, research was conducted on Convention Exclusive merchandise and a plan of what panels I would attend was made.
So on the 15th of July, I woke my wife up at 5 am and we drove to London. The goal, to arrive in time for the doors to open and total geek immersion to occur.
I timed it really well and was able to run to the Underground Toys booth first to buy the four Con Exclusive Pop! Vinyls before going to the Ahsoka Lives panel with Dave Filoni, Pablo Hidalgo and Ashley Eckstein.
I then went to a DK Books panel with authors Pablo Hidalgo, Jason Fry and artist Kemp Remillard. I asked Pablo where the little tid-bits of backstory, such as where Phasma got her armour (in universe) cane from and was told that generally he comes up with them but runs them by the film directors first.
Then the three of them signed my copy of The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections. Major geek moment, I met Pablo Hidalgo!!!
I went back to my wife, who had been sat in the food court with all of our luggage just as the Running of the Willrow Hoods. It was incredibly surreal. My wife told me about an incredible Darth Maul cosplayer she had seen but he had left the area by then.
The Rogue One panel was streamed into the main where hundreds of us were gathered, after the Behind the Scenes clip I went into the nearby EA booth and played some Battlefront, on the new and upcoming Bespin map. We got a free t-shirt from EA, and whilst it may not look like much it now holds incredible sentimental value, it was the t-shirt I wore when my daughter was born.
Anyway, after that it was the ‘Hanging with the Fetts’ panel with Jeremy Bulloch and Daniel Logan. It was a fun panel and they both answers my questions, which can be seen on the Star Wars YouTube channel. I’ll let you guess which one I am.
And after that it was off to the hotel, a quick walk down the road and it was full of Celebration attendees (I made the assumption by the amount of Star Wars t-shirts by square foot). An early night was had ready to wake up early to get in the queue for the Rebels panel on the main stage, wristbands were being handed out at 6.