Star Wars Celebration: Is Disney Sabotaging the Event?

Star Wars Celebration wrapped three weeks ago. As fans come down off of their force high, some are lamenting that this year’s Celebration in London was not as good as years past. Some fans have gone as far as calling it a disappointment. This begs the question, “Is Disney sabotaging the event?”

Despite Star Wars Celebration quickly fading from the rear-view mirror, many Star Wars-centered podcasts are just now digesting the information from this year’s largest Star Wars fan event. Many of these people have attended Star Wars Celebration from the very beginning. They recognize the shift in the focus of Celebrations of the past and the more current ones since Disney has taken over.

Image via Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images
Speaking on the Full of Sith Podcast this week, Bryan Young, frequent contributor to the official Star Wars website, talked about the reason Celebration began. At the 40:10 mark of “Episode CLXXVII: The Post-Celebration Show,” he recounts this.

“The point of Celebration was for fans to get together for their excitement for the franchise.”

He goes on to talk about how the first Star Wars Celebration in 1999 was not a promotional tool that Lucasfilm used for The Phantom Menace despite it being the first original Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi in 1983. The same case could not be made for last year’s Celebration in Anaheim or this year’s in London. Unfortunately, there may be nothing Disney can do to prevent this, and they may not even want to.

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm for $4 billion and announced new Star Wars films, the may have sealed the fate of Celebration for good. Over the course of the foreseeable future, fans can expect some sort of a Star Wars film every year. The precedent they set last year in Anaheim may have created an expectation with fans that no movie franchise can live up to.

Like them or hate them, the prequels were polarizing to fans of Star Wars. The Force Awakens was looked at as a film that could move all fans forward despite how they felt about the prequels. It was a phenomenal success, but Disney didn’t stop with just The Force Awakens.

Image via Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images
The lead up to last year’s hit was the culmination of a year’s worth of new Star Wars content that was considered canon. Books, comics and cartoons put Star Wars at the forefront practically every month.

This year, fans do not have the same onslaught of Star Wars merchandise. Despite receiving two episodes of Rebels and an exclusive trailer for Rouge One, some fans walked away feeling disappointed with this year’s Celebration. As with most things in the internet age, they have voiced their disappointment online for all of the world to see.

Here are just one reactions from the Star Wars Celebration was a huge disappointment thread on Reddit.

“Wow….this whole celebration has been a huge disappointment. Besides the behind the scenes trailer for Rogue One and Rebels trailer we got nothing. No new VIII news, no Han Solo news, no future movie news, no Rogue one trailer, no title announcements…..really a waste.”

So, is this what Disney has to look forward to every year? How can they possibly match the fans excitement from last year’s Star Wars Celebration? Episode VIII will likely not have the same attention surrounding it that The Force Awakens had. Has Disney ruined, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the purpose of this event?

Next year’s Star Wars Celebration will take place in Orlando on April 13, according to the official website. What are your feelings on Disney’s handling of Celebration? Is it too commercialized, or are you perfectly satisfied with it?

[Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images]