CE16 The Good, the Bad, the Ugly (Praises and Grumbles Here)

Discussion in 'Star Wars Celebrations' started by LAJ_FETT , Jul 17, 2016.


    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    The bad - security lines. This was the line this morning. Picture shows approximately half the hall where we all had to line up to enter. (Apologies for pic quality - my partner took it on his phone while we were in line).
    CE2016 Linesmall.jpg

    If you had bags (backpacks, suitcases,etc) or prop weapons you had to undergo a separate screening with its own lines. (We left our backpacks at the hotel after day 1 but still had to queue in the main line before being allowed in by sections starting at 10 AM).

    The good - Doug Chiang gave a talk entitled Designing the Art of SW With the Master. Of the panels we attended, this was by far the best. Both of us enjoyed it immensely.

    The ugly - people management at the event. I know there has to be security but having people queuing en masse in one of the halls for over an hour in the morning to enter the event wasn't the way to do it. Quite a few families were there and younger children didn't understand the long wait (and some acted accordingly). There was no access to rest rooms in the hall (the ones we saw were locked), nor was there any way to buy water, etc. The hall was stuffy due to all of the people as well.
    And I'm not even going to go into the wrist bands since we didn't bother.

    Got any additions? Let us know here..
  2. Merga Duskseeker

    Merga Duskseeker Jedi Youngling

    Jul 9, 2016
    Going to massively disagree. I don't know what time you arrived but I had no issues with the queuing chutes. How else should they manage thousands of people? Likewise with wristbands, there wasn't a need to wait overnight even though people chose to, and it meant there wasn't people sittjng in line all day. Instead it meant being able to see the show floor before getting in line for the panel.

    And the event staff were good. All of them smiling, happy and friendly. I imagine their days were long and work was hard but they did their best.

    My only grumble was paying for Hamill's autograph but the head of the people running it telling us we couldn't get a quote or character name on our items as they were trying to get the last few people in. For the money it cost they really could have just overrun a bit longer for us. And the way everyone was fussing over him, forcing different pens in his hand and pointing to where he should just spoiled the moment. Carrie on the other hand was a delight and great fun. That meeting was much more enjoyable.
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    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    I didn't have any problem with the staff I encountered personally - all were friendly. It was more the security process in general. The queues were not allowed to start entering until at least 10 AM yet there were panels scheduled to start at 10:30 AM. If you were held up in the bag search process and ended up far back in the entry queue there was a pretty good chance you wouldn't get into a chosen panel if it was crowded. We had a couple we barely made in time.
    FettDOB likes this.
  4. Claire1976

    Claire1976 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 20, 2013
    The Celebration store was a VAST improvement over last year's fiasco. Walked straight in, got a light speed fast pass and went back an hour later and didn't have to queue at all. They had plenty of stock and it wasn't overly crowded. Big thumbs up from me.

    The wristband system though was woeful. Unfair on people who don't want to sleep in the queue hall all night, because if you didn't get inline by the very early hours then you had practically zero chance of getting anything for the big panels. Last year we got into all the big celebration panels with no problem at all (well apart from TFA one), this year it was impossible. Think this needs to be looked at for 2017 to try and make things fairer for everyone.

    The security staff were awful this year. Very abrupt and unpleasant when it really wasn't necessary. Politeness doesn't cost anything. Saw lots of people being yelled at by those miserable gits for doing nothing at all.
    TCF-1138 and Darthmaul208 like this.
  5. GodAtum

    GodAtum Jedi Master

    May 13, 2005
    This was my 1st con since 2007, and I was lucky enough to get a VIP pass, so had a separate entrance round the back with no queues. Enjoyed all the panels, especially the Rebels Season 3 premier.

    The bad thing was too many VIPs, and not enough reserved seats. Maybe a higher ticket level next time? Also, have to queue 60 mins before a show start was not good.#

    However, the price is good value, compared to £3k for a Star Trek VIP.
  6. sworrubsnz

    sworrubsnz Jedi Youngling

    Dec 17, 2015
    Can't speak of the queues (arrived at 1pm and walked straight to bag check which went smooth enough) but was a bit bemused by two payment related things:

    - No staff/crew (of the 5 we asked) could tell us where an ATM was - one sent us confidently in a direction that we not very quickly found out was wrong.

    - One vendor tried to charge us in Euros without telling us. Whilst I don't know for certain, I think that could have cost us a Non Stirling Transaction fee?

    So I suppose that boils down to 'make sure your staff know the venue' and 'default payment in local currency'.

    Having said that! I thought the quality of the panels was fantastic and the atmosphere was great! I could only attend one day in a limited capacity but felt like I got my money's worth. Was otherwise happy to follow along on what I thought was a very well produced/presented stream...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. JEDImasterNick

    JEDImasterNick Jedi Youngling

    Dec 24, 2015
    The wristbanding process was horrendous.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
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  8. Glorious

    Glorious Jedi Knight

    Jul 17, 2015
    This was our first SWC (3 days passes) and I've been reading this forum for a while to try and prepare for it but I've learned so much and picked up some tips for our next one whenever we can go again.

    I had no problem with the security check and lines. My wife and I both took bags on Friday but were there at 09:10 and it wasn't that busy. Nothing like the pic above. We learned our lesson and on Sat only she took a bag and we got there an hour earlier - flew through easily.

    Queue lines - how else do you organise something of this scale? I organise events myself and was impressed with the system in place. On Saturday we stood talking to one the staff members about US sports (I had a TB Lightning t shirt on #gobolts) for about 15 mins and he couldn't have been nicer.

    Security - not SWC staff, but Excel employed staff - these guys maybe, maybe, lacked some of the exuberance of the actual SWC staff but most of them were fine. They have a job to do and I think they did it well.

    SWCE Store - no 90 minute queue for us, we grabbed lightspeed passes for 11:50 on Friday as soon as we saw the queue. Headed back at 11:45, Carrie Fisher and Gary came out of the photo area right past us, and we were soon in the store. The staff member even ran off to find a size for for me as there were none on the floor. Great service.

    VR Experience - both days their fast passes went so quickly that we didn't manage to get them, even heading there as son as we could after 10am. Just unlucky I guess so no complaints.

    Art Show - loved this. Chatting to some of the artists was great. Erik Maell was lovely and we chatted to him for about 10 mins. Also Crystal Fontan/Bamboota and we decided to buy her "Echoes of the Empire" limited print and a separate one with Fett, Grievous and Maul which you can see behind her here:

    On Saturday we managed to get in early to get Jeremy Bulloch and Ray Park to sign it and then realised Matthew Wood was also gonna be signing so we got all 3 to sign it - this was probs the highlight of our weekend as all 3 guys were happy to chat and we got pics with Matthew and Ray:

    Panels - we have 2 kids who just didn't want to get up that early so we didn't try for any wristbands - happy we didn't but next time I'd be more organised to get some and head into the panels.

    Rogue One poster - we were sitting outside our hotel (Premier Inn walking distance to Excel) after the RO panel and 3 guys came walking over to us, I think a Dad and 2 sons, and said "were you in the panel? We got an extra poster so you can have this one for your son". I was really taken aback and was so grateful - sums up my experience with fellow fans over the 2 days, everyone we spoke to was lovely.

    501st - we were heading in on Saturday morning and as we entered the 501st came marching past to head outside for pictures. We took loads of pics and videos and to see everyone up close and see the details on the uniforms and realise the effort they put in - even my wife who isn't a big SW fan was impressed - it was a great start to the day. One of the Kylo Rens had a wee chat with me as well when they had to stop for a minute. It was good timing on our part - a real treat.

    I can't think of anything that we were super disappointed with - we didn't use our passes on Sunday as we had some tourist stuff to do in London, and we've had a great weekend. We're in Orlando next year but not til July so will miss SWC17 - maybe in a few years time we'll make a US one. Look forward to it :)
    Padme501st likes this.
  9. Taggle

    Taggle Jedi Youngling

    Jul 9, 2016
    Gainsborough, the security firm hired by the Excel/organisers turn out to police most cons at the Excel (MCM Comic Con goers will be familiar with them, as with London Film and Comic Con) can be a bit brutal at times. Some of their staff seem to play it like full up East End hard boys and have been known to be less than helpful.

    Wristband situation. As mentioned before it's problematic but well, that particular system of allocation is going to get worse and increasingly chaotic the more popular the next generation of Star Wars becomes. Queuing for bands should not be a 'social event' in and of itself.

    If you were lucky enough to get into the Celebration Stage main events, then that's where the heart of Celebration Europe was. Outside, the exhibition floor was by contrast, rather mediocre, I've seen better at other cons that cost half the price and considering the size of this event, the limited number of celebrities signing (and the steep price curves) was disappointing, that's for sure.
    TCF-1138 likes this.
  10. TK--421

    TK--421 Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 30, 2002
    The wristband method is a slight improvement from the past where you'd queue up for a hall and then maybe or maybe not get in. At least you'll know whether you get in or not with this method.

    However, since it's handed out so early (6AM), it does make it more difficult for the casual fans to get to the bigger shows.
  11. MotivateR5D4

    MotivateR5D4 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 20, 2015
    From watching the live stream that's sort of the impression I got as well. At the start I kind of figured there was way more that just wasn't being shown. But then they did start to take cameras out more and film the show floor and it just didn't seem nearly as robust as last year's Celebration.
  12. TK--421

    TK--421 Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 30, 2002
    I'd say this was 1/2 to 1/4 the size of Anaheim, if that.
  13. lmhrpr

    lmhrpr Jedi Youngling

    Jun 23, 2016
    I also had real problems with the staff and management. Throughout the whole event, there was a lack of clear signage for queueing. If you've been to something like this before, it might seem obvious to you, but to newbies it was very confusing. The chutes in the main queue hall were signposted often below head height on small, hand-written notices. So you had no idea where to head without just wandering around and trying to peer through masses of people.

    There was also a lack of security on these queues. People streaming in from the main entrance were (perhaps unknowingly) cutting the main line that led into the chutes because there were no rope barriers up for most of the length of the hall. Later, we saw countless people cutting the line or joining the back of chutes that were supposedly closed, when they should've been joining the secondary chutes. There were no staff there to close them off or to stop people skipping the secondary chutes.

    We made it to the front of the second chute for the closing ceremony panel wristbands, and next to that was the chute for the exclusive Kylo Ren figure from Forbidden Planet. We saw the same people rejoining that queue multiple times as we waiting for the panel wristbands, taking multiple vouchers for Kylo Ren. Then people were jumping out of our chute to skip to the front of the Kylo Ren line, then back to their place in the chute. Then we saw the same people who were taking multiple Kylo vouchers join the back of the primary closing ceremony chute, which was supposed to be closed, effectively cutting in front of the entire secondary chute. Again, staff were either nowhere in sight or did nothing when they saw this happening. To be fair, I did see staff effectively handle queue jumpers on two occasions, but these were the exceptions.

    Perhaps the worst one for me personally was at the photoshoot when Mark Hamill was 50 minutes late. Reasons for that aside, the staff handled the whole thing terribly. No information was being passed down. There was a crowd of 400 anxious people who had paid £145 each, and no one knew when or if they should be in the line. The 1 or 2 staff members there only spoke to the 10-12 people within earshot of them and made no effort to answer questions by anyone further back. The woman supposedly controlling which batches were allowed through into the queue was useless. People were just walking past her and she was totally ineffective at preventing this happening over and over. She'd chase one person who slipped past while she was leaning on the wall chatting to someone, which then let another 5 slip in. She put her head in her hands and dropped to her knees in mock frustration, while ignoring pleas for information from me and many others.

    Eventually when the crowd has dispersed about an hour and 15 minutes later, I asked what was going on. She said to come back at the next session at 16:25. When I told her the Rogue One panel was due at that time, she said "Well, choose which one you want more, love." I was totally dumbfounded. I spoke to a few other distressed people in the same situation and decided I'd go to the Rogue One panel, thinking that surely the organisers would honour my ticket at some other session.

    I came back after Rogue One, at about 17:20, and there was a guy at the head of the queue shouting clear instructions for different batch numbers. I walked up and quickly explained my situation. He said no problem and let me in.

    Overall we had a great time. There was a stunning array of amazing looking cosplayers that turned the exhibition hall into a thriving spaceport, but the organisation of the event was distressing and disappointing. It seems like it would be so simple to correct these issues: overhead signage, perhaps those big inflatable archways you see at marathon finish lines, colour coding, updating TV screens, PA announcements. All these could be used to convey live information to the masses. Maybe next time?
    Claire1976 likes this.
  14. JediDotNet

    JediDotNet Jedi Knight star 1

    Oct 31, 2012
    This was my 6th Celebration. This was the first time we only went 1 day. Reason being is when the initial sale happened I was in meetings and they sold out immediately. We were planning a Europe trip and thought we would fit in Celebration. Time went by we made plans and then single day tickets went on sale. We were flying in and out of London and our date to leave was the 17th. So we were able to adjust plans to go to Celebration on Saturday.

    So Celebration still has kinks and I know since venues change that changes the kinks. Some of these are core issues and from someone who this was the first time attending for just 1 day I experience old kinks that effected our experience.

    First and foremost: Big events like the Rogue One Panel need to be either put on once or have items like trailers re-shown every day. Last year in Anaheim The Force Awakens trailer was shown many times all weekend long. I also think that The Force Awakens trailer should have been held from general public until after Celebration was complete. Since we were only at Celebration we missed seeing the Rogue One Celebration trailer. Likely will never see it.

    Second: Sunday is a travel day. The first 4 Celebrations I attended all realized Sunday was the least attended day because people need to travel to get back to work. So they were more low key non big deal events. Stuff that only the most dedicated would be able to see. When they were in Denver and Indianapolis I could stick around for the Sunday day. For California and London I needed to get on a plane. The future films panel shouldn't be held on Sunday. Next year in Orlando I dont know if we will be able to attend on Sunday. I need to get back to work and will have 2 sons in College that need to get back for Monday classes. This cant be uncommon. Put the future films panel late Saturday night. Saturday is the party everyone stays late.

    Third: Where have all the technical film making talks gone. We used to have many more talks on the art of XXX film. The costumes of XXX film. The sound effects of XXX film. This year I think there was only 1 Doug Chiang talk on the art of Star Wars. Would love to have seen a Art of The Force Awakens talk or the Art of Rogue One talk. Go over concept art for things we have seen. Dont give away anything, but focus on that new film.

    Finally crowd management and venue. I thought this was an awful venue. Most of the panels were in sectioned off areas in the exhibition halls. That was awful. The exhibition halls crowds never really decreased because well you were waiting for panels in the same place. The only time it did shrink was when the main hall was in session. Which brings up the thought that the main hall needs to be in constant use. The hall was huge, although exiting was awful, and should have had something going on at all times. There were times that the hall was empty for 4-5 hours. Get people into those seats. If nothing else play Star Wars movies or shows to pull people out of the exhibition halls. Do need to say this was one improvement over Anaheim. They played A New Hope and The Force Awakens in the main hall. That was a huge improvement. Better sight lines, more seats, more comfortable seats.

    We had a great time, but I could see how others going only 1 day would miss out and get angry. I hope they really knock it out of the park next year in Orlando. I really expect that Celebration to be huge.
  15. JediDotNet

    JediDotNet Jedi Knight star 1

    Oct 31, 2012
    Oh a couple of other things.

    Queues without ropes. At many of the panels the Queues were indicated by tape on the floor rather then rope lines. That was awful. Very easy for people to sneak in or to try to sneak in.

    Celebration Store: I am ready to give up in the store. Last year was awful, this year was better although we had no idea what merchandise was available. The program used to show everything that was available. So we waited only 50 minutes to get in and found really nothing of interest. They really should move the store online. You should gain access when you purchase tickets.
  16. sworrubsnz

    sworrubsnz Jedi Youngling

    Dec 17, 2015
    For what it's worth I really enjoyed the ILM - Star Wars Archaeology panel: Which covered John Knoll's pet Death Star project (tying into Rogue One), Doug Chiang talking about pre-production dioramas in the prequels and Kevin Jenkins talking about the VFX of TFA.

    There's also Droids of TFA: Hopefully they'll upload the Creatures, Droids & Aliens of TFA, Art of TFA and Doug's Art of SW panels etc. soon.

    Did feel that there was a lot of focus on Lucasfilm culture and Story Group...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    jordantwodelta likes this.
  17. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    We didn't even try for the Celebration Store. On Sunday as we were walking around the signs gave the wait time as 45 mins to 60 mins.
  18. J_Girl

    J_Girl Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 18, 2001
    While I didn't attend, I watched every single streaming minute I could find, read the event schedule and the 'instructions' for queuing for the wristbands and chutes, etc.. I've been to 3 past Celebrations and I'm looking forward to Orlando in April. The first one I attended was in Indianapolis and that was poorly organized and even more poorly run complicated with not enough room.

    Reading the various paraphernalia for this one and actually watching it has led me to believe that not much has changed for the better.

    There's never enough staff to ensure everyone is on their best behaviour when it comes to not cutting the lines. That is a huge frustration after you've not only paid your money like everyone else, but followed the rules and done the right thing.

    As far as autographs/photos, you're kinda stuck with the stars and their schedules. I was at the Orlando one online waiting for Mark and Carrie to come back from lunch which turned out to be over an hour longer than originally stated before they showed back up on the Hall. Well, turns out they were at lunch with George Lucas who was telling them about selling to Disney, and securing their return to what would become TFA. At the time, we were just freaking out wondering if we were going to make the panels we were trying to see. I agree it shouldn't be either or. We pay enough and should be able to do both.I'm so very grateful that they consistently show up and it's all worth it for the 30 seconds you are standing in front of them. I do wish that they wouldn't oversell the tickets knowing that there are other obligations the stars need to attend to because it just leads your once in a lifetime moment with them to be a stressful memory.

    There is too little forethought into crowd movement/lineup/flow for the panels whether they be medium or large-sized. Getting wristbands early just means lining up even earlier. The only thing different about that is the timing. You either wait an incredible amount of hours during the short enough Celebration and miss out on a lot or you do it beforehand. I wish they would sell more VIP tickets and maybe have the final schedule of panels ready to go at that time and you have to pick the panels you are going to so you are assured of them having enough seats. The normal tickets are expensive and the VIP's are super expensive. I should get what I'm paying for and was promised for that price without a hassle.

    The fact that there are Star Wars Celebrations at all is most awesome! It would be great if Reedpop or whoever is running them would staff them adequately and put trained people into positions that deal with line control so nobody feels cheated for doing the right thing.

    Oh, and can we talk about the panels for a moment? How many Celebrations have to happen before you pick 'volunteers' ahead of time and get them staged and prepped for whatever but you are trying to do? Why are you wasting the precious hour that we have with Carrie, etc. by first having members of the audience come up and do whatever dumb bit you are trying to do? People came to see the person they hold in such high esteem that it is a 'once in a lifetime' deal to get to see them live. How about keeping that as the foremost thing? Warmups for the audience are for before the start time, not during. Get the people in their seats and get going. BEST thing was Mark Hamill doing away with a host and just talking and handling things himself. Carrie Fisher is also very likely to be able to do her best with that as well since she did spend quite a bit of time performing her one woman show on Broadway.

    The focus on the storygroup an how Lucasfilm 'is one of us,' 'has our back,' and pushed for each of their personal connection to Star Wars back in their childhoods, how coming to the Celebrations reinvigorates them to the brand ... seemed a little too staged for me and overly pushed. I'm sure it's all true. Yet... perhaps they are trying to reassure us because they are all too aware of alienating a portion of their original client base recently? It just was becoming weird at a certain point for me, anyway.

    The propbuilders appeared to be one of the best things about the whole Celebration. They are amazing in their work. Same deal with the droid builders and cosplayers. I wish they would build a 'world' for us to walk through immersion style like Dagobah complete with Yoda's hut or something.

    You know, I always thought that once Lucasfilm became more a part of the Celebrations, they would have a hand in making it better run and more spectacular they way they say they like to be on the forefront of things, creating it and making it the best vs waiting for someone else to develop it. Disney owns Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm has had this culture. You would think between those two companies, they would be able to put on a very smooth running, ultra cool, and fair to everyone Celebration. From what I've seen, read and heard from others, it looks like I can just expect more of the same in the future.
  19. Claire1976

    Claire1976 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 20, 2013

    Did they not have any light speed lane passes left? They were a great idea, but I noticed that hardly anyone was using them. They had tons left when I got mine, yet still the majority of people were joining the regular queue which was never ending.
  20. OliffWanKenobi

    OliffWanKenobi Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 13, 2016
    The Good.
    Honestly most of it, we loved the atmosphere, being around so many people with the same passion, being surrounded by Star Wars, seeing all the cosplayers.

    The Bad.
    I don't collect autographs or usually get pictures with celebrities, but I would have loved to meet Mark Hamill though but the costs were prohibitive. But then the lines for those things were always busy so it is what is I guess.

    The Ugly.
    People's willingness to let something like not getting into a panel they want or long queues ruin their day or weekend. Managing an event this big must be a nightmare, but I think for the most part it was done pretty well. I thought the wristband system was good, just that they should cap the number of people who camp overnight and then hand them out a bit later. having wristbands means you don't have to queue all day and miss out on everything else just to get in a panel.

    I thought the light speed ticket system was great, maybe in future they should make the Store ALL light speed tickets, and give out a time for you to go when you collect your passes, or when you order them.
    ChrisLyne likes this.
  21. OliffWanKenobi

    OliffWanKenobi Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 13, 2016
    We went Friday and Sunday, on friday we arrived at 8.45am and pretty much walked through security in 5 mins, whereas Sunday we got there just after 10 and it was much busier and took at least 15mins to get through. You'd think it would be the other way round!
  22. OliffWanKenobi

    OliffWanKenobi Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 13, 2016

    I did get that impression from the build up, that there were less guests and panels, and indeed things revealed. Is Celebration outside the US the ugly cousin? Like there's not as much effort. Maybe it suffers as a lot of US companies wouldn't come to non-US Celebrations as it would cost a lot more to travel and get stock here. Same for guests maybe, mind you there are plenty of british SW stars, I notice Ian McDiarmid & David Prowse are signing at a comic convention next week, why couldn't they be there? Same goes for John Boyega & Daisy Ridley, (I'd give all my money to meet Ewan McGregor). It makes me wonder if the high prices were partly because there were less guests, so the prices were hiked to make up the shortfall for the company that arranged that area.
  23. jeykey

    jeykey Jedi Knight

    Jun 27, 2013
    Queuing for pretty much everything was quite tiring, but i don't think there's another way to handle so many people
    as for the security, living in France being in Emergency State since last year, it felt like home
    also remember that the Nice's killing event (i don't know how it's labelled in English) happened few hours before the celebration started,
    so probably the security have been told to be more focused than usual.

    the good :
    -the fans, always, sharing their passions all the cosplayers, R2 & Props builders are fantastic
    -crew & staff people have always been friendly & nice to me, they were only little bit limited in their knowledge of some event that were supposed to be happening during the celebration...
    -the VR thing was nice, but it's only the 1st step into something bigger, so far you're inside a video game without much interactions, but in couple of years, it will be most probably amazing
    -it was my 2nd Celebration (1st being Essen) and i fell the range of items available was wider (not just usual toys/comics/poster/tshirt) with more US based online store (Anovos & ThinkGeek) even if it was quite limited
    -Gwendoline Christie was a great host for the R1 panel, she's full of energy, funny and very elegant about the Nice's event

    the bad :
    -the overall management of the event was bad from my point of view.
    -the way we got the informations so late, the Schedule, the autograph/pics prices, actor list, celebration's exclusive items.
    -the wristband thing that came out of nowhere, at the last moment, most probably because they outsold ticket to the celebration.
    -some "events" during the celebration were unknown to the staff/crew, most of them weren't aware of the #SWCEHUNT, well actually it's unknown to most of the people, only 5 tweets with this hashtag so far...

    -Gareth Edwards signing autograph was only noticeable on twitter (as far as i know), no informations live during the celebration
    -there was supposed to be an "ObiWantsToKnowMe" focus group, but staff/crew looked at me weird when i tried to explained them, i even showed an email about it, but it was quite mysterious to them
    -it's not like i particulary care about them, but removing the tote toy things that were free, to bring emoji pins (not free), it makes me feel they were trying to cash on pretty much everything they could
    -the awesome set built by some very talented belgium fans, i wanted to have a pic of me there, i asked them if it was possible to have a pic, they explained me that Star Wars show people asked the belgium guys to have it just for their show
    but usually in other conventions it's totally ok to have pictures, i really felt bad about it

    not particulary bad, but still he could have been easily better :
    -Warwick Davies was an awkward host about video games, he's fine when he's interviewing other actors, but during the EA panel, i felt he wasn't exactly interested/aware in what people were talking about.
    -the Lego Star Wars Panel seemed to be exactly the same as the one in Essen, i left after 5 minutes (it was very boring in Essen)

    i feel it's more becoming a fair for LucasFilm's Partners to show/sell their new products than a real celebration of Star Wars (maybe huge US Comic Con are like this these days ?)
  24. Taggle

    Taggle Jedi Youngling

    Jul 9, 2016
    It would have been better for example to allow people to queue for wristbands shortly after the show finished on each day (ie after 7pm, and on the Thursday at the same time before the first day) with a handout of bands for the following days events commencing either directly then, or a little later, say 8pm or 9pm. The wristband handout would then have been completed a couple of hours later (by 9pm, 10pm or 11pm), allowing people to then go back to their hotels or home, get some decent sleep and turn up fresh for the next day. Since they already had staff working late this would have worked just as well, in fact better.

    Overnight queuing or even early 6am handouts on the day were not required to control crowds, it was a gimmick, it was engineered to make overnight queues happen for the publicity. It was done so Kathleen Kennedy could have the event director Mary Franklin go to the queue and sort out the pizzas for the die hards etc.
    TCF-1138 likes this.
  25. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne Celebration Mistress of Ceremonies star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 4, 1998
    I had some troubles getting home, and I didn't feel like posting long texts on the phone, but here are some of my reflections.

    The Good
    Now it should be said that I did never try to get a wristband for the main stage, but I really liked the idea of the wristbands for the main stage and fastpasses on the floor. That meant that you didn't spend the whole day in a queue, with the risk of not even getting a chance to come. The people I talked to seemed to be satisfied with going up early, getting their wristbands, then sleep for a while and get into the con. This is of course if you had stayed at one of the hotels nearby and could go back to you room inbetween.

    The artshow was really good this year, a lot better than in Essen. All the Celebration regulars were there and brought with them some glorious art.

    There were a lot of people, but once when people got inside it didn't feel unbearably crowded. You could get to the bathroom without having to wait for a long time, which is always a good thing.

    There were plenty of food options around, sure it was a bit on the expensive side, but not extremely so, and if you could plan your lunch so you didn't eat between 12-13 there lines weren't too long.

    The bad
    When I tried to buy something to drink in the machines they had run out of everything except regular coke on Saturday, so the only option was to stand in a line and by drinks at the vendors, which of course was more expensive than the machine.

    I found the side panels to be lacklustre. The main stage events were apparently super amazing, but I missed all the smaller panels about details in the films or books. Usually on a Celebration there is so much to choose from that I need a B and a C plan, this time I only went to a panel on Sunday because I felt that " I must go to at least one panel in the weekend, this will be interesting enough".

    The store. I got in straight away in the morning on Sunday. Sure I expected things to be sold out, but even if it hadn't been sold out I would have been disappointed about the fact that the whole store was simply t-shirts in different versions, and some Loth cats.

    The ugly
    The Her Universe stand in the store was the biggest disappointment of all. The fact that the one brand that focuses on female SW items, but still after all these years don't ship to Europe, couldn't have brougth more goods in. I heard many of my female friends who were excited about finally being able to buy some HU stuff, and when you come to CE there are just 4 things to chose from, and it's tucked away in the main Celebration store.

    Overall I feel as someone posted above that unfortunately the Celebration Europes are the ugly cousin to the American ones. It had improved from Essen, but it does not have the same content as the American ones, and it's especially content that fills up the celebration behind the main events and main licencees that is missing.

    Also for being a Star Wars Celebration I'm a bit sad that they seem to do everything to forget that prequels even existed. :(
    TCF-1138 likes this.