Star Wars Celebration Chicago

Full disclosure: I’m back-dating this post, but it’s taken me two years to get around to finally posting about Star Wars Celebration Chicago. As soon as I got back, things were crazy and didn’t stop being crazy. So, my memory is kind of foggy on a lot of details, but I’ll try my best!

Star Wars Celebration Chicago was my first Celebration. Because it was in Chicago, that made it much more affordable to attend (we could drive there, as opposed to having to fly).

Wednesday – April 10th

Wednesday was our travel day. We left early in the morning and arrived in Chicago in the early afternoon. We had a room at the host hotel, which was awesome and made things so much easier. We loaded in (which took a while) and while doing so, we ran into Warwick Davis in the elevator. I kept my cool, although inside I was fangirling. He was actually staying on our floor just a few doors down from us, which I thought was pretty amusing. This was the start of many “Warwick Encounters” my friends had throughout the convention.

Thursday – April 11th

Day one of the convention! I wore my “Girl Gang” General Hux. We wandered around the convention hall and took everything in, mostly. Later in the afternoon, we had a Minnesota Force meetup and took photos of our “Girl Gang” costumes, and then had a “Girl Gang” dinner afterward. It was a pretty good start to the convention since it was pretty low-key.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

Friday – April 12th

Friday was a lot busier. I wore my General Hux costume the entire time, and went to several photo meet-ups.

General Hux and First Order Officers.

I was so excited to meet fellow General Hux costumers! Several are friends I’ve only ever met online, so it was so awesome to meet them in person.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

I also got to meet a few of my Kylo Ren costumer friends in person!

Saturday – April 13th

Saturday was a very, very busy day. I started off by wearing my Rebel, Rebel Princess costume and took part in the Mandalorian Mash-Ups meetup, which was awesome!

With my friends Beth and Gregory! Purple Rey and Purple Ren.
Muppet Troopers!

After that meetup, I went to help my friend Paul as handler for his Chewie. There was a big Wookiee meet-up, and of course I couldn’t miss that. The meet-up was awesome, and seeing so many Wookiee costumes was awesome! There was a plan to meet up with Peter Mayhew, so all the handlers ushered the Wookiees to Peter’s autograph booth, but then we were told he would be late and to come back a bit later. The Rebel Legion meetup was happening, and some of the Wookiees wanted to go to that, but all of the handlers went off somewhere. I ended up handling a half dozen Wookiees to where the meetup was happening (which doesn’t sound like a big deal, I know – but keep in mind most Wookiee costumers are walking in stilts or risers that are over a foot tall, so tripping hazards are a real thing). After somehow shuttling Wookiees up and down escalators and elevators and through skyways, they made it for the meet-up.

Exhausted Wookiees.

After that, we headed back to Peter Mayhew’s booth and the Wookiees got to meet him. It ended up being Peter’s last convention, I believe, before he passed away later in the year. A bittersweet moment, for sure, but I was so glad I was able to help get everyone back to meet him.

Peter with a bunch of the Wookiees.
Photo Credit: Steve Heineman.

After all of the Wookiee shenanigans, I went back to my hotel room and switched into Kylo Ren. About five minutes into hanging out in the convention hall, I was approached to do an interview with Yahoo! to talk about how Star Wars changed my life. You can view the video here!

After that, I just took every opportunity to take silly photos as Kylo.

Destroying stuff again. Like ya do.
Vice Admiral Holdo pushed her seat back while my beverage was on the tray. TANTRUM TIME.
PORG!!!

After hanging out in the convention hall, the Minnesota Force had a meet-up at the U.S. Pizza Museum. It was awesome!

Just a bunch of nerds. And pizza.

Sunday – April 14th

So, for the entire year prior to Celebration, my friends and I were planning and making a surprise group costume – a mash-up of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Imperial Officers. It was a huge project, and it took months to complete, but we did it. And it was a hit!

Admiral Pepper’s Lonely Death Star Band!

We had a Bluetooth speaker attached to the back of the kick drum head and we were playing the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album on repeat. We maybe did one round around the convention hall because we were constantly stopped for photos. I honestly had no idea it’d be such a hit.

At one point, a representative from LucasFilm brought us back to this “secret” photo room to get a photo taken for LFL. I guess they only asked certain people to do that, so that was cool.

Monday – April 15th

Monday was sort of a low-key day. I wore my Twi’lek, and basically just wandered around the convention hall taking photos with different props and such. It was nice, though!

Speeder bike!
Getting revenge on Jabba.
R2-KT!

Tuesday – April 16th

The drive back home felt very, very long. I was exhausted! But the convention was an absolute blast, and I hope I can attend again someday.

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