Celebration Europe Opening Ceremonies

Fans from all over the world descended on London’s ExCeL Center Friday to kick off a weekend full of Star Wars events, photo-ops, parties and more. Starting things off, the opening ceremonies snuck through a cloudy afternoon that promised rain, but was spared. Low-flying planes overhead, however, brought their own style of drama to the event.

Host and Lucasfilm Head of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet introduced prequel actor Jerome Blake, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Warwick Davis (Wicket, Wald), and the unmatchable Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine) to an electric crowd, gathered to watch A New Hope outdoors for a pleasant, and thankfully dry, evening.

Check out the video short of the evening’s events.

[splashcast ASFC1200CQ]


24 Responses to Celebration Europe Opening Ceremonies

  1. Wari says:

    I wish I had a Semi with a 16 ft flat screen built into the side. Thats an amazing vehicle.

  2. Anthony says:

    Had a great time at Celebration Europe even though i waited in line for a millenia.
    Thanks Lucasfilm from staging a convention in the UK at last.
    The Guests and entertainment ROCKED!!

  3. lisa says:

    july 14th 2007

    i do feel that more could have been done at this event.
    i thought it was a poor layout overpriced. the autograhs were highly priced considering entrance fee, (for the children).
    couldn,t even find a reasonable priced sovonier even posters and clothes patches were extotunate.
    i’m afraid the place just had no atmosphere. i had a better time at a wwe event.

    it’s a shame. better luck next time

  4. dave says:

    it was a big let down the layout was rubbish the archive was rubbish, it was tiny 4 props is not enough the qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq`s were really long not like the proper system used at london comic con the security if thats what u call it were leting some people cut in on the q and doing nothing the whole event was over priced and the photographs that were signed were not like the 1`s u get at the celebration events in the u.s. they were dull u could bearly see the celebration europe logo only highlight was rick macallum he spoke to the fans 4 a long time outside the event 4 me he carried the whole event

  5. Steve says:

    In response to the above, these events are what you make them. Yes, there was no real ‘celebration’ as such, but everyone I met had a great time.

    They did miss a trick with the entertainment side of things, thats why we organised the Jedi fight on the Victoria Bridge last night. (filmed by lucasfilm, btw!).

    If you want entertainment, sometimes that comes from the fellow fans and what you want to make of the event. One thing that became apparent to me this weekend was that it wasn;t so much about Star Wars, but about the fans.

    And I would personally like to thank all that took part in our “Battle of Victoria Docks”.

    You made my weekend.


  6. Debbie says:

    I had a really great time, but then, I wasn’t interested in merchandise or autographs. I made loads of new friends and I’m absolutely gutted that I missed the Battle of Victoria Bridge, although from what I hear it was a little unfair on the Sith.

    Steve’s right about the event being what you made of it, I really miss all my new mates now that it’s all over.

  7. I have to agree with Steve…I was there for the whole 3 day event and loved every minute of it…I loved the atmoisphere…loved the fans…made new friends…it was just fantastic…Oh and Bonnie, thanks for for the wristband.


  8. Steve says:

    Yeah, there were 3 of us that went from our neck of the woods, we had 3 days of madness.

    The battle was awesome. if you are interested, i’ll tell you the story of how it came about.

    It was about 1pm on Saturday, and we’d gotten hungry. So we took a walk over the bridge to the restaurant on the other side of the dock.

    We were walking over there and we all agreed that it’d be cool to be standing down by the Waterfront bar, at night, and watch one Jedi and one Sith run from opposite ends of the bridge, and duel for the crowd below.

    It was just one of those ‘throw-away’ lines that all Star Wars fans dream of.

    Anyway, that evening, we met up with fellow fans outside the Fox bar, whilst Rick McCallum was being mobbed whilst he had a ciggy. We mentioned it to a few fans about how cool it would be at night, with lightsabres, on the bridge, etc etc….

    Anyway, we left to go to the celebration party on the waterfront, and at about 8:30pm the strangest thing happened. A man, in full Jedi regalia, from Brazil, came up to me and asked me what time the fight on the bridge was. I thought ‘bloody hell, someone has had the same idea as us!!!’. But he said he’d been told we were organising it!!!

    Well, turns out that the other guys I went with had sorted out approximately 30-40 sabre weilding nutters that were up for a rumble on the bridge. Oh, and as luck would have it, representatives of Lucasfilm were reviewing footage of the day over a quiet pint, in the bar area. So they agreed to film it for us too.

    I had the unenviable task of walking up and down the quayside shouting “All Jedi to the bridge please”, over and over at approximately 9:30pm. And I’ll say this…. We had people running back to their hotels to grab their sabres! It was amazing.

    Anyway, to the delight of the crowd all the Jedi got onto the bridge. Sith one side (about 10 people), Jedi the other (about 20-30 people). And the sith, (after many photo opportunities on the bridge), charged the Jedi, and it was on! The crowd on the quayside were going absolutely nuts! It was totally surreal, but definitely one of those life ‘moments’ that everyone has.

    About 10 minutes later, who should appear to come and find out who’s responsible for it, but Steve Sansweet (head of Fan Relations for Lucasfilm). He’d been in his hotel room, and his PA (Mary) had called him and told him to look out of his window at the bridge, as it would blow him away. He told us he just HAD to come down and see who was responsible.

    That night was so so memorable for a lot of reasons. And I for one, am happy, and humbled, by the sheer enthusiasm, and passion shown by the fellow fans. I realised that I was part of a world that is truly special.

    So, once again, on behalf of us all that organised it, THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU!!!!

    We have heard that the next Europe Convention could be in Paris. I think I’d better learn the French for “ALL JEDI TO THE EIFFEL TOWER”. (Seriously)

    May the Force be with us all.


  9. T-fett says:

    Personally I found it a let down! I left early on the Saturday, it was heavingly packed, you could not move or get into anything and all the vip guests were just seemed to be there to sign bits of paper and milk the cash cow for all that its worth! As a real Star Wars fan (Yes,the prequals too! so I have no axe to grind there) I was really disappointed in the show as it really seemed like a trade show where people paid for the privilage of attending. Those who did participate for the fun and hell of it were the one’s who saved it a bit for me, I’m talking of the fan’s who dressed up (e.g. 501st) and made it feel like a party! Plus the public were treated like a heard of cattle by the crowd staff. I’m glad that some fans enjoyed it but for me the best celebration of Star Wars and its 30 years is to leaf through The Art of RalphMcQuarrie. I just got my copy and its worth every penny and then some!

  10. gaza says:

    i would just like to say IT ROCKED!

  11. barrie says:

    yes i have to agree that everthing was overpriced and there was not enough stuff on display.The event was badly managed really….too much merchandise and not enough substance..friday was a good day because you could move around freely but saturday was a joke.TOO SMALL AN AREA,TOO MANY PEOPLE.so much so i got fed up and left at 1.00 pm and went back to my home in cornwall missing sunday altogether…and i didnt even get my hyperspace lanyard because the bozos at the pickup point couldnt find my name on the system even though im a member…and by the way what on earth were the armed forces doing there?????a recruitment drive at a show where children are present………disgusting…..

  12. Darren says:

    Well it was my first time at an event like this, an even though I was only there for the saturday, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved the tantive IV experience and the Rick McCallum interview was great. I found the whole atmosphere great, everyone involved ( with exception of the security blokes who were pretty useless) were extremely welcoming, and i managed to find some great bargains.
    Overall I had a great time and cant wait for the next one.

  13. Fish says:

    It was totally uber! I loved it! Yes it was overcrowded and there was too much merchandise, but the fans made the day, especially the ones who dressed up (all the Leias, I’m looking at you).

  14. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2413633499

    Facebook group for those at the battle on saturday night 🙂

  15. vadergirl says:

    Great video Pete!!

  16. Sidney says:

    We had a great time at CE. The lines were long and the schedule was such you had to choose between too many good things, which made you miss some you might have wanted to see. But overall it was great. The venue might noyt be the best for these things though. I once attended a Star Trek Convention in the Royal Albert Hall, That was much better, the room is large enough for everyone and there was enough room for dealers as well.

    Also getting an autograph was a mission onto itself. I guess most who did get the good ones didn’t see much of the other convention events as they were standing in line (sometimes for 4 hours!)

    So all in all a great experience that could have been better.

  17. Sidney says:

    I have to agree with Barrie on some points.

    The British Army or Navy or whatever was a pretty weird thing to see at this convention, especially since they seemed to Identify themselves with Imperial Forces mostly. They actually advertised joining the navy by showing a comparison between a navy ship and a Stardestroyer. I don’t think haing them there was a smart moove, it seemed to give the message that war and fighting is fun and games just as in the movies, and being a soldier is just as much fun as dressing up as a clonetrooper. Oh and there’s another comparisson, are British Marines just mindless clones? They are according to the advertising on display.

    Also as I said, the venue wasn’t the best for this. I agree friday was better and I can’t comment on sunday as w decided to miss that, but Saturday was horrible at times. The lines/cues were extreme, even just to get a bite to eat.

    Just one last thing, I think it’s wrong to make people who already paid an entrance fee such amazing amounts of money to get autographs. Especially the whole Mark Hamill disaster, he wasn’t even on stage (except for the opening ceremonie when he said three words). I mean lots of visitors are just kids who are in awe of all this stuff, how can you refuse them the chance to get Darth Vaders autograph, not by telling them it’s 28 quid (and therefor cheaper to buy elsewhere)!

    Again we (me and my 13 year old) had a great time, and Lucas did a great job with the guestlist and the presentations, but the venue wasn’t equipped for this and the schedule wasn’t well thought out.

    Next time book the Albert Hall!

  18. Sidney says:

    Oh and the 501st rocked! All of them, and all the other fans who dressed up.

    I hope they were somehow compensated for they made the convention for us. They were so patient taking pictures with everyone and just acting the part. Stormtroopers checking ID’s and playing the Droid Hunt, Imperial Officers giving citations after posing for a picture because you were disturbing the flow of traffic (lol).

    The Darth Vader project was nice, the merchandise dealers were cool (you can’t hold it against them they want to make money, that’s what they do), the mock-ups of ships and sets were well done, the artists selling their work were cool.

    But the thing that they realy had to organise, the talks and presentations, the things you really paid to see, it was just rubbish to have to wait so long for them.

  19. JJPenguin says:

    We had a great time, but it was definitely the fans that made the event.
    Saturday was horrendously crowded so we were glad we were there all 3 days and could take time off and not be pressured to “do it all”
    I agree with the comments on the venue, it was badly set up and too small. Also as noted the schedule wasn’t thought out well.

    I also really missed a closing ceremony, we came downstairs after the presentation with Peter Mayhew and it had gone out like a light. Bit of a let down.

    We didn’t do the autograph thing, way too expensive!!

  20. Tom Olsen says:

    Exellent, what can I say! This is my first celebration, I pray it will happen many times in the future and I`ll go to USA next time, thats for sure. I both both 1997 crew jacket from ep 1, lots of autograps, etc etc etc to decorate my homecinema:-) I got to know great people from many countrys that I hope to see again. To the people who made this possible: Thank you! May the Force be with you! Regards from Tom Olsen, from Sandnes, in Norway

  21. Shaak Ti says:

    To Steeve :

    I don’t know if you are the guy who came fetch us to go on the bridge, but whether or not, I thought it was so awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!
    I personnally don’t have a FX lightsaber, but my sister was part of the siths, and another friend of ours (which we met at Star Wars Reunion, Paris in May 2005) was a green lightsabered Jedi…
    I filmed the whole thing, it was so cool ! And I didn’t know about Steeve Sansweet coming back from his hostel, that means something too !

    Personnally, I thought CE rocked, and I can’t wait to see all the people I’ve met in Paris next October… And don’t worry about your French, if you have anything as funny and cool as that battle on the bridge planned for Paris, I’ll be happy to translate it to every French people who’ll come (I’m french, by the way…) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m sorry for people who didn’t enjoy the celebration, because I soooooooo did !!!

    Thanks everyone (because the event, I think, really belonged to everyone who came) and may Paris be with you… always !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Shaak Ti says:

    Oh, and I agree with Sydney and Barrie about the navy. How inappropriate !

  23. Sidney says:

    Thanx Shaak Ti…

    When is there going to be a celebration in Paris though? First thing I hear coming up is The Exhibition visiting Brussels.

    I just wish that in two years or so, they do CE II en then it will be in the Albert Hall.

  24. Shaak Ti says:

    To Sidney :
    Star Wars Reunion II will take place in Paris, grand Rex, on October 28th and 29th if I remember correctly. ( http://www.courleciel.com for more details)
    A few guest stars are already announced, and we’ll be able to see the 6 movies in a cinema for the first time…
    There will also be a costume pageant and other events as well…
    Star Wars Reunion I (May 2005, just before Episode III) had been a real success !You really should come to this one !!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: