Tue, 28 May 2019
On Episode 44 of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia, B.J. and Kay discuss Star Wars Celebration in Chicago and share our reactions to, and favorite moments from, the convention. The convention was definitely a busy one: we didn’t even have time to record the episode live at the con, but hopefully the clearer audio quality is a worthwhile tradeoff.
We begin, of course, with the Episode IX panel that kicked off the convention on Friday morning, April 12. In addition to the panel itself, we give our initial impression of the movie’s title, The Rise of Skywalker, and the teaser trailer unveiled at the conclusion of the panel – including a surprise appearance by the Emperor’s Ian McDiarmid on the Celebration stage.
We then talk about a wide range of other experiences from the convention. Panels discussed include The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, Galaxy’s Edge, and Claudia Gray’s writer workshop. Other topics include merchandise, cosplay, the fan-organized Ahsoka Lives picture, and the fun of socializing with friends from all over the country and around the world. We also offer some constructive criticism on several of the logistical problems that arose before and during the convention, in the hope that these issues can be resolved for Celebration Anaheim in 2020.
We conclude the show with our favorite moments from the convention. For each of us, these were more personally important than anything else – but that’s what conventions like Celebration are really all about.
FANgirl Coverage of Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019:
Wed, 8 May 2019
Many Star Wars fans, including the team here at FANgirl, have long urged the franchise to release a novel centered on Padmé and her political career. That moment has finally arrived from Disney Lucasfilm Press, in the form of the Young Adult novel Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston, who previously wrote the YA novel Ahsoka.
As usual, we begin with our meta segment, in which we consider influential forces and figures that have shaped the Star Wars franchise. Part of what makes this Padmé novel special is that Johnston is one of the first Star Wars creators from the Prequel Trilogy generation to attain the opportunity to contribute as a professional. In interviews, she shares that she first saw The Phantom Menace on her fifteenth birthday, and immediately built her fandom around Padmé, Sabé, and the rest of Amidala’s handmaidens. From fanfic to her career as a published author to books about Ahsoka and Padmé, Johnston brings priorities, values, and emphases to her Star Wars work that differ greatly from most contributors from the Original Trilogy generation. As even more peers from her generation join the franchise, Star Wars will broaden with new perspectives from new voices.
We share our reactions to Queen’s Shadow in the storytelling segment. Padmé and Sabé are the principal characters, but the book has a lot of other elements to discuss, as well. In addition to the handmaidens from the Prequel Trilogy films, the novel includes appearances from characters in The Clone Wars animated series and connections to Claudia Gray’s novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan. Also noteworthy are several of Johnston’s new characters, as well as the variety of different forms of representation she includes in the story.
For the world-building segment, we discuss the recently revealed details about Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, opening later this year at that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansions at Disneyland (May 31) and Disney World (August 29). From cast member costumes to food and beverage options, in-universe toys and attire for purchase, the Imagineers have developed an impressive range of immersive qualities for the theme parks. Fortunately, Disney has anticipated the high demand for the openings, and has several guest-flow control measures prepared to keep the experience from being overwhelmed by dense crowds.
April brings the Star Wars Celebration convention in Chicago. Hyperspace Theories will be there, so check back for our coverage from the event.