Tips: Get Yourself in Star Wars Celebration 2015

Jabba's Palace at Star Wars Celebration

As mentioned in my most recent blog, new Star Wars Celebration 2015 announcements are coming up this April, probably later in the month, to commemorate the one-year-out point of what promises to be one really big Star Wars show.

A integral part of every Star Wars Celebration is what fans bring to the event, both informally and as part of the official program. Just like Bantha Tracks, with the motto, “By the Fans; For the Fans,” Celebrations are as much fun as they are because fans are involved; because they contribute talent, energy, ideas, and creativity.

Want to be part of the show at Celebration 2015? Read on for some tips on what we’re looking for.

Fan-Built Props

The Millennium Falcon set from the Belgian 501st Garrison, as it was set up at Celebration Europe in Germany last year

The Millennium Falcon set from the Belgian 501st Garrison, as it was set up at Celebration Europe in Germany last year.

I might be wrong — I actually hope I am wrong — but large-scale Star Wars props and sets built by fans seem to be the specialty of the European fan community. The Belgians come to mind first, with their show-stopping creations which we have displayed at Celebrations in the States, Germany, England, and Japan. The German, British, French, Spanish, and Italian fans have some impressive Star Wars items they have built as well.

The reason I hope I am wrong in my notion that most of the fan-built props and sets are in Europe is that I am really curious to know if there are any sets and props made by US fan builders? It is always fun to show off when you’re the home team. At Star Wars Celebration VI in 2012 the Florida fans did it up with Roxy the Rancor and with the Wampa cave, both shown below. Is there more where that came from? Anyone else in the US want to come out and play with their really big toys in Anaheim in 2015?

Wampa set at Star Wars Celebration

Rancor set at Star Wars Celebration

Submissions for fan-built props and sets are being accepted now at fanevents@starwars.com. (That address goes directly to me).

Tips for getting your fan-built prop at Star Wars Celebration 2015:

  • Submit on time. The deadline for fan-built prop and set submissions is July 15, 2014. To learn more about how to enter, click here.
  • Offer something interactive. It’s more fun when people can get inside of or onto the prop, or otherwise feel like they are part of the Star Wars world when they are taking a picture with your prop.
  • Be clear on what you need to make it happen. Provide as much detail as possible on the weight of your set or prop; shipping readiness; if you need help getting it to Anaheim; and if you do need help, how much help.
  • Offer something new to Celebrations. Fans love firsts in any galaxy.

Fan Panels and Interactive Programming

Darth Maul makeup class in the Star Wars University, Celebration Europe.

Darth Maul makeup class in the Star Wars University, Celebration Europe.

Something I love about Celebrations is that many, many levels of fandom are enjoyed and shared. From the Star Wars movie and television screenings that any enthusiast can get excited for, all the way to a class on how to make Star Wars scrapbooks or preserve your vintage Star Wars toy collection — Celebrations have it all.

Chances are you have some good ideas you could share with your fellow fans. It’s pretty easy to throw your lightsaber into the ring to be considered to present a fan panel or host an interactive event at Star Wars Celebration. If you check the guidelines here you’ll see we’re just looking for a 500-word description to get started thinking about your proposal, which is not terribly difficult if you have a good idea.

Here’s how to make your idea stand out above the many fan panel and interactive event ideas that will be received between now and December 15, 2014, the deadline.

Tips to Make Your Celebration Fan Panel Idea Shine

  • Get to the point. Start right out with what’s unique and exciting about your idea. If we have to wade through your personal history of fandom before getting to your proposal, we might miss the idea.
  • Think differently. Celebrations claim audiences that cover a huge range of Star Wars enthusiasms. You might think your idea is far in left field, but at a Celebration there could still be people who would love to hear and experience what you have to share.
  • Add interaction when you can. It’s old wisdom but often overlooked that people enjoy doing in addition to listening when they learn something new.
  • Think through the logistics before submitting. Be up front if you need supplies or other funding from the show in order to do your panel or activity. That helps us budget up front, and it’s better for us all to find out sooner rather than later if money is a make-or-break consideration.

Fan Tables

PSWCS.com at Star Wars Celebration

Perhaps the most straightforward idea of all, fan tables at Star Wars Celebrations, gives clubs and organizations a home base at the show, while allowing them to share what they do with others, and likely recruit new members.

There’s an application with more information here. Fill it out and send it in to be considered for a Fan Table. The questions are pretty straightforward, but there’s one thing to always keep in mind.

Tip: For A Fan Table, Think “Add to the Fan Experience.”

Your Star Wars organization or club needs to add to the fan experience at Celebration in order to be given one of the tables in the fan table area. Educate about costuming or collecting; host an activity that’s fun for attendees; demonstrate your club’s charity or community service; entertain with a performance. Add something that makes the show a little — or a lot — better than it was without you.

But wait. There’s more!

Coming up this summer, look for even more ways you can actively contribute to the fun at Star Wars Celebration 2015. Some might be new; some might be a surprise. Keep checking back to www.starwarscelebration.com.

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