… or “Why Would You do THAT??”

As I mentioned earlier, I will officially be going to Orlando, Florida in August to attend Star Wars Celebration V.

Fan Breakfast at Star Wars Fan Days III

Celebration is… well, a celebration of Star Wars.  It’s an official convention dedicated to all things Wars.  And by ‘all things’, I really mean it – from the main stream to the obscure.  One (of the many) things that makes it special is that it doesn’t happen every year.  CIV (Celebration 4) took place May 2007 in Los Angeles with a focus on celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars: A New Hope and introducing the new Clone Wars cartoon that would be released 2008.  This go around, it’s a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Empire Strikes Back.  I’m really looking forward to the week, though I’d hoped to take a bit longer vacation and visit a friend on the way.  Gotta love with lack of money and ability to drink rear their ugly heads!

Something that was mentioned on a recent episode of The Forcecast, and discussed a bit on the Rebel Scum Forums, got me thinking about why I wanted to go to Celebration; what I hope to get out of it.  Really, it’s about why I go to fan conventions at all.

My first convention was MoonlightCon in Los Angeles in 2008, followed by the Moonlight Gala in Chicago later that year (I seem to have neglected to write that trip up… my bad!) and Breakout Before Moonlight in London, England last June.  (Sensing a theme?)  Unfortunately, that will probably be my last Moonlight event.  Money is just too tight.  My first (and only, to date) Star Wars even was Star Wars Fan Days III in Dallas last October (working on that trip soon!); then, of course, will come Star Wars Celebration V in August and a small sci-fi convention in Halifax in October that will include some Star Wars guests.  After that, I’ll be pulling back from cons, at least for a while, to build my bank account up again and/or concentrate on ‘regular’ travelling.  I’m sure it won’t be forever, though!

So… why?  Why 6 fan conventions in three years?

Well, the first is travel.  I love to travel above almost all else.  (It’s my bank account that doesn’t).  Chicago would be the exception, as I didn’t see any of the city.  England is like a second or third home to me; I always love going back!  I’ll be honest – Los Angeles, Dallas and Orlando were never on my ‘to-do list’, but they were still new to me and I love to visit new places!  Los Angeles was awesome and I’d love to go back one day.  In fact, I had contemplated, for a while, revisiting the city briefly this spring.  I found an ‘angle’ for my free time in Dallas that piqued my interest – an architectural tour of a few areas of the city.  I quite enjoyed it and though it’s not on my list of places to revisit, if I ever did find myself back there, I left plenty of things to do!  In Orlando, I’ve left myself a day or two to explore and though I haven’t done a lot of research yet, I’m sure I’ll find something I’ll enjoy… that doesn’t involve a theme park or mouse.

I’d heard of conventions before the advent of the Interwebz, of course, but never dreamed of ever even wanting to attend one.  Thanks to the communities I’ve become a part of through various fan boards, this is what I look forward to the most – hanging out and having fun with friends, but mostly with fans.  Maybe if I lived somewhere else, this wouldn’t be such an important part for me.  I never get to just hang out and talk Star Wars or Moonlight with people around here.  A perfect episode or movie is made even better when you can watch it with other die-hards.  Sure I can read about a panel or event online, but it’s not nearly as fun as being there with your fellow fans.  I’m a bit worried about Orlando, though.  With the sheer number of people and how spread out we are (or I am, at least – money again; I had to get a hotel a bit further away to save money) I’m worried that I won’t even be able to find everyone, let alone spend a lot of time hanging out.

If I were to say meeting the stars and attending panels had nothing to do with it, that would be a big, big lie.  That’s not always why I travel to these things – there were no Moonlight stars at the LA Con and had I gone to Vegas this past Memorial Day weekend, there would have been none there, as well.  It’s definitely a bonus, of course, especially the ones who seem to be having just as much fun as the fans are.  Skipping the stars and the panels entirely, however, would be a huge waste so I’ll be sure to take some in, but plan to make sure the first two points are properly covered!  I hope to volunteer in Orlando, which will mean more time with the stars and more…

…Free swag.  Star Wars cons, at least, seem famous for the free swag.  I like free stuff!  Especially free Star Wars stuff.

I can’t want to see what Orlando has in store!

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