Indianapolis, RCA Convention Center, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, we must be cautious... Where Star Wars Celebration III was held, and man what a site it was. This was my second Star Wars (SW) celebration, which is slightly different than your typical convention, I was prepared, or so I thought…
If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to be in a SW universe full of Jedi, Storm/Clone Troopers, Darth Vader’s, Bounty Hunters, Wookies, and Droids, then this was the place to be. Walking towards the RCA convention center the first day was interesting; we came up on 100's of Storm Troopers gathered together waiting to beat us commoners into submission. They were the 501st Legion of Storm Troopers assigned to keeping the piece throughout the celebration each wearing authentic Storm Trooper uniforms. It was a site to see let me tell ya, I have pictures too, so you can see for yourselves.
OK, so what goes on at a SW Celebration event?
There were tons of things to see. We started off by eating lunch. Lame as that sounds it took us 2.5-3 hours just to get through the damn doors. The lines were insane to say the least. I have a pic posted, and let me just tell you that what that shows is NOTHING compared to what it really was. That picture is a 3rd of the actual length of the line. It was like Great American twist and turn type lines times 20!! Just insanity, so by the time we finally made it into the event, we were starved. So we sat in the cafeteria eating with Jedi and Storm Troopers alike, as if we were good enough to sit with them… crazy!
The event had many sites to see. There was a room that had a constant loop of fan films always playing all day, perfect place to chill and let your feet come back to life (some funny shit too). They had a room that was dedicated to showing off some of the items that were used in the movies, museum style (see my pics) which were very cool, the wookies and Vader costume specifically. There was a room dedicated to those crazy ass peeps who create their very own remote control R2 units, which were bad ass let me tell you. There was usually one R2 roaming around the main floors beeping and chirping as everyone walked by, very cool! There was a main room where all of the vendors set up booths to sell their wares, your typical shop keeper types and then there were the real store booths, Hasbro, Lego and Lucas Arts. Each one was a spectacle to be seen.
The new SW Hasbro line of toys look very bad ass, I’ll post pics in my Flickr site soon so check back later. The Lego section was crazy, life size Vader, Wookie (no pic sorry) and R2-D2, plus sections for the kids to just get there hands wet and PLAY. When I say kids I mean me And the Lucas Arts section was always mobbed because they were letting everyone play SW Battlefront II and of course SW Revenge of the Sith. Battlefront II looked old school. At least from what I saw it had a feel from one of the original first person SW PC games that I can’t think of the name of at the moment, but I dug it. ROTS game looked VERY cool. They had the jedi moves down. You can play in two modes, movie mode where you literally go through the movie as your main characters or Mortal Kombat mode (that’s what I call it anyway) where you pick your character and then fight each other over two rounds. Force throws, force electricity, force running, light saber moves etc. Gameplay was smooth and easy, typical of what we’ve come to expect… even though the 10 year old kid next to me kicked my ass and I was out of there after two lame rounds Little bastard I’ll find you!!
The best parts for me at this event where the guest speakers. I had the privilege of watching a live interview with Nick Gillard the stunt coordinator on all of the prequel episodes and many other films like Sleepy Hallow, Rein of Fire and many more. He’s responsible for CREATING the light saber styles as we have come to know it, fast and furious as Jedi at their zenith would be expected to be. He was very cool and expressed a possibility of writing a book in the future where he will teach his light saber martial art style, which is essentially a style that takes everything that is good and useful from multiple sword styles and combines them into one…which for any martial artists out there is very Bruce Lee (that’s what his Jeet Kune Do was all about).
I also had the privilege of watching an interview of all the lead pre-visualization designers in the art department of Skywalker Ranch. These are the guys responsible for creating the characters, ships and landscapes prior to ILM turning them into 3D models. They were all very cool and just talked about what it was like working for Lucas on these SW projects. One of the guys had been there since ’77, that’s the beginning folks, and was responsible for building many of the models that were used throughout each movie. The model department has gravitated from making the ship models which are all primarily done CG now into making the landscape models. Like the Wookie tree dwellings on Kashyyyk and the Lava pits on Mustafar. They showed several pictures of the models which were of course very cool and interesting to see the scale.
What you really want to know
Before this becomes a book or a post in the league of JS I’ll get to what you all want to know… did I see any extra footage of the movie and if so, how the hell was it? The answer… yes, we got to see about 10 minutes of the film in a montage type form which was accompanied by music composed by John Williams. The presentation was given by Rick McCallum who has produced each of these prequels and the Young Indiana Jones’s. But before he really did much talking he showed the clip. Let me just tell you that if this movie turns out to suck, their marketing department, or whoever cut this clip up, deservers a fucking raise. This clip had me and the entire audience salivating for more.
***begin potential spoilers here, if you know nothing about the movie that is***
The fight between Yoda and the Emperor Palpatine… IN-FUCKING-SANE!!!! Well worth the price of admission, but wait, there’s more. They showed a nice chunk of the light saber battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin, which is said to be between 10 and 15 minutes long mind you, and it too was IN-FUCKING-SANE!!! As DS would say, it Rocks the Clit ™... BIG TIME! Many other scenes, landscapes and what not that looked amazing. Opening battle looked very cool, camera angles used, sheer number of ships, so impressive sooooo much to look at. Talk about eye candy, DAMN! There were clips of Obi talking to a pretty damn pregnant Amidala, which looked like they were plotting what should happen to the kids, clips with Bail Organa looking very distraught, and his ship… can you say the opening scene in A New Hope, SAME FUCKING SHIP all white, so bad ass!! Can you tell I’m geeked about this, sorry.
Let me just tell you, this clip by itself was well worth all of the line standing that I did the entire trip.
***end potential spoilers ***
After the presentation of the clip Rick went on to talk abut what Lucas had to see earlier that day. Yes, Lucas was there, but I sure as hell wasn’t about to sleep inline outside just to hear him talk and besides Rick told us what he said This was about the upcoming SW TV show which will occur between Episode III and IV. They are going to film about 100 hours of shows, similar to how they did the Young Indie and then put them on TV. Nothing has been completely ironed out as they’ve been busy with ROTS, which had just been completed with visual F/X, sound and score two days prior. He and George had watched it then and he said it was exactly what we’ve all been waiting for. Lets hope he’s right this time and that their marketing department aren’t just full of genius’s.
He then proceeded to play the clip for us one more time
That’s about it. I never stood in this many lines in my life and hope to never have to again. There were some great costumes of which I tried to capture and there were some lame costumes of which I laughed at and wondered why they even bothered (I didn’t take pics of those). It was a 4 day event and it was fun as hell.
One more thing, if you want to talk surreal, on Saturday night we went to a bar right around the corner from the convention center and there were Storm Troopers in full uniform drinking, Jedi eating… it was great!
So, I hope I didn’t bore you with too much detail. It was fun as hell and I’m glad that I did it. The movie looks like it’s going to rock so until then, we wait!
Peace and thanks for reading… see you on live!
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