Those who spend a few days at Star Wars Celebration in London sometimes feel as if they have ended up on a movie set. For four days, this convention brings together 45,000 fans, most of whom have dressed up as one of their favorite heroes or villains from the Star Wars movies and series.
Several trends stand out. Of course, there are still the Darth Vaders and Princess Leia from the early movies. But today there are so many spinoff series available on the Disney+ streaming service that it stands out plus countless other variations.
This year, among the younger fans, who come mainly from Europe, Asia and North America, Ahsoka Tano, the rebel, warrior and Jedi who has had supporting roles in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett series, but who will soon will have its own series. Performer Rosario Dawson, who hosted the series on a London talk show, saw many lookalikes walk by who had donned her suit and her stunning headdress. Some had even applied Ahsoka’s deep red complexion. An Italian lover had even sat in front of the mirror at five in the morning to measure appearance. The result deserves respect.
Anyone who enters this subculture will find mostly nice fans who will give a lot to mingle with like-minded people. That costs a few cents. You have to pay one hundred euros for a Star Wars Celebration day ticket. But it only gets really expensive if one can’t resist taking advantage of the vast amount of merchandising on offer.
500 euros for Baby Yoda
Some examples; a Stormtrooper helmet costs 45 euros, a Return of The Jedi lunch box costs double. Tattoo artists are also around and command hefty prices, ranging from $150 for a modest image to $500 for the popular Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian. An American visitor takes the cake with a Princess Leia tattoo on her calf that has cost her 2,500 euros in several sessions.
Those who want to delve even deeper into the Star Wars universe can also purchase vacation trips to former filming locations. A four-day trip to Tunisia costs €2,000 to see where Luke Skywalker walked.
Despite the congestion in the halls of the Excel London Complex, the atmosphere at the convention is friendly. Sometimes there are seemingly spontaneous parades of fans imitating the prison riot from the Andor series, among other things. Lots of screaming, but not too scary. Rather endearing.
One of the masters of ceremonies for the Four Day Marches is American DJ Elliot, who has attended nearly all of the 15 Star Wars celebrations. He holds contests on stage that prove that sci-fi movies and series appeal to different generations. For example, during a competition for the best person to imitate a sound from Star Wars, a doctor from London might take the stage alongside a teenager from France for a chance to win an exclusive T-shirt.
In his pep talks, the DJ constantly insists that fans should fraternize. “I met my best friends at these conventions. Star Wars creates a bond between people. There have even been marriages. So give your neighbor or wife a hand. Who knows, something beautiful will turn out.”
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