The dreaded last day of Celebration V wasn’t spent hunting down events (though Carrie Fisher canceling her chat freed up the schedule some), but simply stalking the floors and halls, taking one final glimpse of this amazing layout -- a superb day spent crunching on some serious eye candy.
- My favorite booth of the con belonged to toy masters Hasbro, who deviously drummed up achy nostalgia by running classic “Star Wars” toy commercials on a loop during show hours, making me stand there like a tool and long for the advertising of old, when ads showed kids playing with their figures and vehicles in natural, backyard environments, not twirling in front of cheapy green screens.
Hasbro played up their “Star Wars” history the best they could, displaying prized figures and weapons most fans would love to own (or already did at one point in their lives), but the finest achievements were the two major dioramas set up on the floor. Highlighting the wars of Hoth and (I believe) Geonosis, the gifted madmen of Hasbro erected massively detailed battle zones -- plastic storytelling on a startling scale, with pockets of insider surprises and figure articulation waiting for anyone who took the time to scope out all four sides.
The dioramas were a huge hit with attendees, with many smooshed up against the glass to take in the meticulous construction. A third diorama, covering the carbonite freezing chamber, was also available, but a little less epic in scope. Still, damn cool work all around, bringing the pegwarmer world to dramatic life. Is it too weird to want to live inside of these things?
- Speaking of mind-boggling construction efforts, nothing topped the work of the Belgian 501st Garrison, who shipped their collection of life-sized vehicles and environments to the con so everyone could have a chance to sit inside a Snowspeeder, lounge in Jabba’s Palace, or hang out around the Millennium Falcon. By far the greatest set of photo opportunities Celebration V had to offer, it’s shocking that these exhaustive creations didn’t emerge from the Lucas archives. Instead, they were crafted by the miraculous hands of devoted Belgian fans, who wanted to pass along their own brand of magic to the masses. Their work was flawless. You really haven’t lived until you’ve had your picture taken underneath a realistic, slap-yo-momma-sized replica of a Tie Interceptor. Those Belgians know how to party.
Four days are gone and I’m not quite ready to go. Star Wars Celebration V was a magnificent escape into a galaxy far, far away (well, at least Orlando), supplying the righteous square footage needed to fully feel around what the franchise means to people. This event is a blast, making its rarity all the more cruel. Still, we are three years away from the 30th anniversary of “Return of the Jedi.” Gives me time to save up, work on my line-fu, and figure out how to pull off a Lando costume without coming off racist.