Friday, October 22, 2010

Star Wars Celebration V Part 4

The same person, who accused me of not knowing what a modern convention was all about, also said that he did not go to conventions to meet other fans. So attending both Celebration V and Megacon this year had me worried that each would be attended by an inhospitable crowd. That is not the case! Large professionally run conventions are still about fans meeting other fans. Everyone I had already known before the convention was finding online friends they had to link back up with. Everyone attending was easily approachable to talk about our joint interest and the things we do for it. Everyone there was there to have fun, make new friends and share what they do.

While I didn't pursue the topic but all of the fan displays present at the experiences were non-commercial. The fans responsible for them did not charge any fees for photographs and they weren't selling anything. Those that were selling related products were like Hasbro and had licensed their displays. A lot of booths were giving away related items, like the two photos I got of myself; one as Han Solo frozen in carbonite and another as Starkiller from The Force Unleashed II. They had a fan building area for the Hoth battle scene from The Empire Strikes Back (it was the 30th anniversary of the film), afterwards people were able to take the sections they built home as souvenirs of the experience.

The 501st organized a "Droid Hunt" the third day of the event, as a way to get not costumed attendees to play in the Star Wars environment. It was great fun. I understand a local member of the 501st is trying to bring Droid hunting to all the conventions in Omaha. Make it work, Ben, it's sure to be a hit.

Since the area of the convention was so big you never really got an idea of how many people were in each of the recognized fan groups until they did their photo shoots in the main entrance or their parade around the facility. I don't think I got everyone in any of the photos I shot those days. These are people from around the world coming together to meet other people sharing their interest.

It really doesn't matter what part of fandom you are in. It is all about coming together and sharing our experiences with people who care about those experiences. Try describing what TARDIS means to someone at a NU football game. It is one thing to be a fan, but a much more encompassing experience to be part of fandom. Support your local conventions, like OSFest, and become part of our family.

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