CEII CEII Reviews and Stories

Discussion in 'FanForce: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim' started by Matsemitsu, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Matsemitsu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 1
    So, CE 2 is over as of a few hours ago. This forum being rather quiet anyway, I'm still surprised I haven't seen any reactions yet (all the while there is already a thread on the upcoming Anaheim edition in 2015), so I created this new thread. Please feel free to comment on the event.

    Let me start by listing a few highlights of my own weekend there:

    1. This being my first Celebration, I was surprised by how international the crowd was. All my other convention experiences never seemed to have that level of diversity - which was great fun. I guess it shows just how dedicated SW fans are, travelling all around the world for this. Hopefully I will be able to manage the expense of travelling to Anaheim in two years...
    2. Lucky us that the notoriously unreliable weather came through for SW fans at least this one time for the Jedi screening on Friday.
    3. Loved how well-organized everything was. Lines moved quickly. I didn't have to wait for any autograph for more than 10 minutes... And the guests were so game, for chats, for photos - amazing. Hadn't expected that.
    4. The Celebration Stage shows with Warwick Davis. A born host, I'd say. Very entertaining throughout. Did anyone else feel as if they were watching a very well thought-out late-night show?

    As for the other end of the spectrum, the lowpoint (really the only one I can think of) was the AOTC 3D screening. I like the theoretical idea of being in a privileged minority of those who have seen it in 3D, but in practice, it wasn't a privilege at all. This was the most painfully bad 3D I've ever seen, ghosting a-go-go. Maybe it was the projection, maybe it was the seating arrangement, I'm not very knowledgable on these technical things, but it was a pain to sit through (that's on top of the "romance" scenes, which still make me ache inside). I wonder: Did anybody else have the same experience or was it just me?

    But that's a minor issue. Altogether, a beautiful, beautiful event that made me wish it could go on for another three days.

    How about you?
    ffluff73 likes this.
  2. -Jedi Joe- Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2013
    star 1
    That's weird that people didn't like the 3D of Attack of the Clones. The footage they showed at CVI was marvelous, but I've seen nothing but bad reviews for the feature at CEII.
  3. Matsemitsu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 1
    I didn't really get to talk to a lot of people who were in the screening I attended because I left before the credits ended (didn't want to waste more time on this). I wonder what they all thought individually. But if the reviews are all bad, maybe it was in fact a projection issue. Because the ghosting was so horrible that I actually couldn't believe that Lucasfilm would let something like this pass muster.

    That said, the sense of depth and immersion was indeed good. And the sound was a straight-up Wow!
  4. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    Which screening were you on? I didn't go to it personally, but all the people I talked to said that it was the best 3D-conversion that they had ever seen. They saw the screening on Sunday, so if it was a technical issue they maybe fixed it for the last screening.

    I have loads to say but I'll try to wait until I get home and can write coherently again. I had to leave Essen at 4 am and is currently sitting and waiting for my train at the airport in Stockholm. In general I'm very impressed with the organisation of it all, the bad sides are mostly due to some things with the convention centre itself and that's nothing you can blame Reed for.
  5. DARTHLARS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 4
    From what I understand of what people have written above, and told me in person, is that people liked the 3D-conversion and how it added immersion and depth to the movie, but they were dissatisfied with how the movie was projected in the movie theatre. With the projection tech that was used, you will always get some ghosting, but if the equipment is set up the right way the ghosting can be minimized to not be a nuisance ... for most people. Some people can not experience the 3D effect at all.

    This was my first Celebration, not that I had not wanted to go to any before. I have certainly stood in line more than ever before at a convention, but I think that it worked smoothly. The crew was flexible and accommodated to the size of the crowd for each panel.
    For me, Warwick Davis was the best thing with the whole convention.
    SithLordDarthRichie likes this.
  6. Matsemitsu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 1
    In was in fact in the Sunday screening. Weird. Or does it have to do with where you were sitting in the venue? I was in the second row, three seats from the aisle, so relatively near to the middle. In any event, I can only attest to my own experience, and it was horrid.

    @DARTHLARS: Sorry to hear you waited in line so much. I can say for myself that I've never stood in line so little before. Well, there were many lines, sure, but they always moved rather quickly in my estimation.
  7. ffluff73 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2013
    my first (and I thought my only Celebration) and in summary I have had the time of my life:

    Highlights: Warwick Davis, Mark Daniel and DJ Elliott were an absolute blast (goes and watches that Warwick intro film and dreams of Chewbacca films again)
    The people I met were just great - all friendly and all out to have a good time
    Dave Filani - what a nice man/fan!
    Ben Burtt - I could listen to his stories all day
    The 501st - just make it for me
    I saw all the main stage panels bar 1 (I think) and all the guests looked up for it
    Ashley Eckstein helping me shop for my daughter on the preview night!
    The VIP pass - I have been spoilt.....
    The Bounty Hunt

    Low points: I will have to get back to you on that one

    2015 looks very tempting.......
  8. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    I thought AOTC was great, the guy announcing it said ILM went frame-by-frame and altered the images so you got one for each eye as you do with proper 3D and it showed. It was far superior to TPM 3D, and much more than other horrid retrofitted movies such as Clash of the Titans. I was sitting in the second row though so the 3D sometimes made a double-image of things which was distracting. It just goes to show that conventional 3D can work if you put enough effort in.
    Any issues are likely to be projection-based, the room didn't strike me as the right kind of place to run a big movie.

    The whole event was indeed very well organised, certainly when compared to CE1. More halls, a big stage across the way and extra rooms upstairs for things.

    The sets they had built were great, as were the TIE X1 & AT-AT scale models.
    Many great costumes too, some were crazy (a guy in a huge Wampa suit for example).

    Warwick was awesome, but then he always is. Nice that most of the guests were willing to mess about (though I heard Hamill refused to participate in a scene re-enactment which is odd because he's usually a cool guy) and the pre-show hosts were funny too.

    I liked the Bounty Hunt, although the glitch in the app allowed me to go back every day and get a reward coin without having to do the whole thing again since the answer page simply came up whenever I tapped the icon.

    Great seeing ROTJ outdoors, shame it was the Blu-Ray version though.
    ffluff73 likes this.
  9. ffluff73 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Good News Hamill didn't refuse as such - Warwick sort of gave him the option to Mentor someone to play Luke. In the pre-show there was a Luke shouting "Noooooooooooooo!" completion in the audience and Hamill had already said how well the guy had done so he took the option to direct rather than participate. He will still very active in the recreation.


    Hamill was in good form and overran - nearly every question he had in the quiz ended up with a story and he made a point of referencing the actors by there real name when he mention a character in his talks which I though was a nice and very respectful touch.
    Last edited by ffluff73, Jul 29, 2013
    SithLordDarthRichie likes this.
  10. Matsemitsu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 1
    Agreed on all your points. (Also being tempted about 2015, although that would be way more expensive for me than this one. We'll see.) But what was the Bounty Hunt about? I read about it, but the description was cryptic, I felt. Was there a prize? If so, what?
    ffluff73 likes this.
  11. jeykey Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2013
    It was my 1st convention, and i have mixed feeling about it.

    At first i was little worried about what the mood would be, and it was nice/friendly & relaxed.
    It was trully amazing to see all the fans, associations, panels guys, showing theirs passion about Star Wars.

    I was way less impressed with some organisation points,
    like the queue to go in the park to see ROTJ,
    Hall5 was often too crowded,
    the constant buzzing of the tatoo's tool as a background noise in Hall11
    or why there weren't more subway after ROTJ screening,
    i know it was after 22h00 but wait almost 30 mins and then take the subway with tons of people isn't really funny.
    i think it's part of the organisation to ask for more traffic for this special event.

    i wasn't happy about the Lego's stand, which was just a store,
    but seeing the recent news about SDCC minifigure's giveaway, it's maybe possible they changed their plans at last moment.

    it was about scanning QRcode (black & white mosaic of pixels) with the official app from a smartphone.
    there was hint in the app on where to find the QRcode in the convention.
    [IMG]
    there you get a special coin as a reward
    ffluff73 likes this.
  12. DARTHLARS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 4
    Yes. I blocked on remembering that. The organisers came and told us in line about a second gate later, after many people (locals?) had already taken that unofficial route before the rest of us.

    When I got to the gate, a guard wanted to search my bag for forbidden items. He found a tiny glass bottle of nasal spray that I could not bring because it was glass. There was no bin to throw it in, so he wanted me to throw it in the bushes...
    After I had yelled, "Hey, I'm not going to throw a glass bottle in the bushes!" he decided that he did not want an argument (or he saw the mass of people coming his way) so he let me through anyway.

    Yes, the aisles were too narrow. Also, at the beginning of the convention, the line to the autograph tickets was blocking the way to Hall 5.
  13. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    The transport thing is not CE's fault, transport obviously runs down much earlier there than some of us are used to.

    The line for Jedi was long, as were some lines for the talks, but there was always enough space for everyone.
    The only real hassle was queuing for AOTC in 3D, I managed to get like the last seat on Sunday but there were lots of people outside still waiting who couldn't get in.

    There were scan codes dotted around the centre and if you had the app you could scan them with your phone. Each one revealed a word and together they formed a question. Answer the question and you get a coin stating you are "Jabba's Most Wanted". It was a very easy question, I completed the hunt on Friday.
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Jul 31, 2013
  14. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    By now I've been to quite a few Celebrations, and I must say I liked this one a lot. Most of the negatives were things that you can't blame Reed for, but I'll come to that later.

    The Good
    • No lines! - I didn't care about getting the best seat, but that also meant that I never stood in a line. The last few celebrations I've hardly gone to any panels, since I rather spent time with friends on the floor than standing in line. Now I could walk just right in to all the panels that I wanted to see. It hasn't been like this since CIV back in 2007.
    • Twitter questions - Sure using twitter for the questions on the main stage meant that I couldn't ask anything, since I didn't want to spend a fortune on a dataplan from abroad, but more importantly was that we didn't have to spend too much time on people who only go up and say "I love you so much, thank you for coming here...." for way too long.
    • The Hosts - I saw Warwick Davis and Pablo Hidalgo, and they were both great I'm looking forward to seeing them again in Anaheim, together with the pre-show hosts as well. Great job!

    The bad
    • Hall 5 - it was too crowded to have both the 501st, the Rebel Legion and the Droids so close to each other. There was always a crowd around those booths, which made it hard to just pass through.
    • The Merchandise - the official merchandise was ok, but I bought a lot more things in the previous celebrations. I also missed several companies, like Think Geek, and the Her Universe selection was really bad compared to what they have on their website.

    The Ugly
    • The price of drinks. This is more about the venue than the organizers. I thought the food prices were actually quite decent, but having to pay almost as much for the drink as for the food is outrageous, especially during a heat wave.
    • One ATM, and it ran out of money on Sunday morning. I can't have been the only one who skipped a lot of the shopping because I simply didn't have that much cash on me left on Sunday.
    • The Heat - I've never felt so bad in costume during a con like this. It would have been nice with some air conditioning.

    In the end though. Celebrations are about meeting people, and I'm so happy for all the people I either met again or got to know for the first time. I had a blast and can't wait for Anaheim.
  15. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    Seems there is always one really crowded area that hasn't been thought out well. At the first CE at ExCel in London it was that area around the armed forces display - really hard to get around in that area, especially on the weekend days. That display should really have been in its own hall. And always too few ATMs. We went to the London Comic Con at Earls Court in early July on the Saturday. They had two ATMs in the hall and the line for both stretched the length of the hall by the afternoon.
    Last edited by LAJ_FETT, Aug 1, 2013
  16. DARTHLARS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 4
    If they are going to have Twitter questions, I think that they should have had free Wifi in the hall. At least set it up so that it is free to use it for Twitter.

    I think that there was air conditioning, but maybe it was not really dimensioned for this large amount of people in the same place during a heat wave. I did personally not find it too hot inside the large halls, only that it was too hot in the queue for the main stage. I read from exhibitors on another forum before the convention that they thought the halls were air-conditioned. At least, it was definitely better inside than outside. I noticed an improvement in climate when I entered the halls early on Friday and Sunday after having stood in line outside.
  17. jawajames FF Pacific RSA President/Chapter Rep San Diego, CA

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2002
    star 6
    i totally agree on the wifi!

    and here's my favorite memories:
    http://clubjade.net/?p=52650
  18. jawajames FF Pacific RSA President/Chapter Rep San Diego, CA

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2002
    star 6
    As someone who worked on the stage crew (I'm hat-guy or waiter-guy), Warwick Davis was very well prepared and rehearsed for each of his shows. This was no fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants interview, but as you say, something polished like a good late-night show.
  19. Matsemitsu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 1
    Great photos! So, with all the behind-the-scenes work you did, did you feel you had enough time to walk around the show floor and see things? Or did you miss out on anything you would've liked to do?
  20. jawajames FF Pacific RSA President/Chapter Rep San Diego, CA

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2002
    star 6
    There were obviously a lot of panels and programs that I missed as they were at different stages - and I actually missed most of the Rebels panel (which i wanted most to see) because I was trying to track down a panelist for the next panel. Definitely enough time to see stuff on the show floor (could slip in before opening). But i worked with a great group of people and we had a lot of fun making the shows happen, and i managed to say hi to almost all the friends i wanted to.
    ffluff73 and Matsemitsu like this.
  21. Darth_Haggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2002
    star 4
    I have to agree with this completely. It is very rare to be able to get in to pretty much any panel you want to. You might not get the best seats, but you still got in.
    As for the merchandise, the selection wasn't the greatest. For the companies there from North America, I'm sure their limitations was getting merchandise into Europe affordably. As for the LFL selection, while some of it was fun and unique to the event, there weren't so amazing when compared to their high prices.
    And yes, the drinks were ridiculous (€3.80). A lot of people were going across the street and purchasing drinks at the fuel station and then just refilling the bottles with water for free.