Star Wars Celebration Chicago: A Celebration of Fandom
If you didn’t already know, Star Wars Celebration is the official convention for Star Wars that occurs every one to two years. It is a time for Star Wars fans to get together and embrace their fandom by cosplaying, hosting panels and getting to see exclusive footage for the first time ever together. While the fandom seemed to have been divided after the controversial film, The Last Jedi, came out, all of that seemed to fade away as Star Wars fans shared their love together at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Here’s what some people had to say about this amazing year.
This #StarWarsCelebration felt like a beacon of hope. It was as if the fans were actively pushing back against the negativity of the last year and a half. It was reinvigorating both personally and professionally. I love this community, see you in Anaheim! https://t.co/tsLjkuZ3X5
— Matt Martin (@missingwords) April 16, 2019
Star Wars Celebration was, as it always is, a warm and fuzzy hug for fandom. I felt nothing but light and kindness and incredible passion over the last 5 days. I’m grateful to be part of this galactic family.
— Amy Ratcliffe (@amy_geek) April 16, 2019
Along with the positive interaction between fans, attendees also gave an emotional standing ovation to Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico) who was bullied off of Instagram last year. Fans showed the rising star the love that she deserved from the start and set a positive precedent for all Star Wars fans. Tran couldn’t help but get a little emotional during the encounter and we could barely hold the tears in either.
Ahmed Best also had a triumphant welcome to his first Star Wars Celebration after he recently opened up about once considering suicide due to the backlash he received after playing Jar Jar Binks. The audience chanted his name as he took the stage for the “Phantom Menace: 40th Anniversary” panel. Hopefully, with the warm welcome he received, we’ll continue to see Best at more Celebrations to come.
Ashley Eckstein wrapped all of these feelings up in one special panel she hosted, Sisters of the Force: A Celebration of Women and Star Wars, where she left us with the message that Star Wars is not just for men or just for women; Star Wars is for everyone.
Whether it be celebrating with each other or celebrating the team behind the beloved Star Wars franchise, Star Wars fans prevailed and showed that we’re going to win, not by fighting what we hate, but celebrating what we love.