There’s no place you can get closer to a galaxy, far, far away than Star Wars Celebration. The fan convention, produced officially by Lucasfilm, first started in 1999 as a way to mark the upcoming release of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace (1999). Since then, the convention has been held 14 times, expanding from its roots in the U.S.A to take place in Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany. And this year, it returns to the U.K for the 15th event in London. Here’s everything you need to know about Star Wars Celebration 2023.
Star Wars Celebration 2023
Star Wars Celebration is a four-day event which brings fans together to celebration everything past, present and future in the Star Wars galaxy. It brings together everything from the movies, TV shows, comics, books and art. And the event tends to make some news headlines too.
The panels which make up a daily part of the Celebration schedule often include exclusive glimpses at future projects. There’s also exclusive merchandise, immersive exhibitions, autograph opportunities and lots and lots of cosplay to get stuck into. Since the fifth Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm has teamed up with ReedPop who organize New York Comic Con, PAX and more to create the mammoth fan event.
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The official Star Wars Celebration website describes the event:
“Star Wars Celebration is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience where memories are made, families are brought together, old friends are reunited, and new friendships forged — all in the setting of the ever-evolving Star Wars universe.”
Star Wars Celebration Europe has a lot to live up to in terms of previous reveals. Celebration V, AKA Star Wars Celebration Orlando, saw the first American appearance of Mark Hamill at a Star Wars Celebration event. Star Wars Celebration Anaheim was highly anticipated as the first event under Disney, and the big reveal of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015). It closed with the reveal of the Rogue One trailer. But Celebration isn’t just about new beginnings; it also announces endings too, such as the subsequent Star Wars Celebration in 2016, which saw the announcement that the fourth season of Star Wars Rebels (2014) would also be its last.
Where is Star Wars Celebration happening?
This year’s Star Wars Celebration is taking place at London’s ExCel Exhibition Center. This is the third time it has taken place at the ExCel; the first UK-based Star Wars Celebration, in 2007, was meant to take place in Earl’s Court but switched to the ExCel due to overwhelming fan demand leading organizers to up the capacity.
When is Star Wars Celebration happening?
This year’s Celebration is taking place from Friday April 7, 2023 through to the following Monday, April 10.
When was the last time Star Wars Celebration was in Europe?
The last time Star Wars Celebration was in Europe was 2016, where Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) was center stage.
How long is Star Wars Celebration on for? And what are the opening hours?
Celebration is an exclusive four-day event which runs from 10am-7pm on the first three days, Friday-Sunday, before switching to a slightly shorter day of 10am-5pm on the final day on the Monday.
Cast and Crew at Star Wars Celebration
Star Wars Celebration 2023 brings some of the biggest talent from the Star Wars galaxy to meet and greet fans, take part in panels and sometimes, make some big announcements. Star Wars Celebration 2023 looks to be no different, with some iconic stars from the Star Wars movies, TV shows and more coming along to say hello to fans in person.
What actors are confirmed to appear?
Stars from the Original Trilogy all the way up to the latest Sequel Trilogy — and everything in-between — will be at Star Wars Celebration, including…
Hayden played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). He most recently made a triumphant return to the character, transformed into the Sith Lord Darth Vader, in Obi Wan Kenobi (2022).
Ewan played iconic Jedi hero Obi-Wan Kenobi in the entirety of the prequel trilogy and last year, returned to the role for Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022). Alongside Hayden, he is an instantly recognisable face in the Star Wars fandom and his appearance will surely draw a big crowd.
Ian McDiarmid has played the biggest Star Wars villain of them all, Emperor Sheev Palpatine, across the entire saga. He’s even voiced the malevolent Sith Lord in the expanded universe. He reprised the role for Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus last year.
As C-3PO, Anthony Daniels has appeared in the most Star Wars cinematic projects out of anyone in the world. His take on the iconic protocol droid has been seen in 10 different movies, as well as having been involved in all of the theatrical projects. He helped create a Star Wars icon and has been part of George Lucas’ universe from the very start.
Billy Dee Williams
Billy Dee Williams appeared as General Lando Calrissian first in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1981), going on to appear again in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), and most recently in Star Wars: Episode IIX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019). The indelible rogue Lando is one of the galaxy’s most loveable rogues (perhaps second only to Han Solo himself).
Mads Mikkelsen played the important role of Galen Erso in Rogue One, the original designer of the Death Star superweapon and the man who built in the fatal flaw that enabled it to be destroyed at the end of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).
Former professional basketball player Joonas Suotamo played the iconic role of Chewbacca in Disney’s Sequel Trilogy of Star Wars movies, sharing the role with original actor Peter Mayhew and eventually adopting it entirely himself after Mayhew’s retirement post-The Force Awakens.
Gwendoline Christie played the gleaming chrome villain Captain Phasma in the Sequel Trilogy of Star Wars movies. Her intimidating First Order captain was a devilish foil for the efforts of the heroic Resistance.
Caroline Blakiston played the Rebel Alliance hero Mon Mothma in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983).
Denis Lawson is instantly recognisable as heroic Rebel pilot and friend of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Wedge Antilles.
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You’d be hard pressed to find someone more in love with Star Wars than voice of Ahsoka Tano, Ashley Eckstein. Eckstein’s Her Universe company helps create stunning fan clothing inspired by fandoms across pop culture, and she is proud of the legacy she has helped force with her work in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) and beyond.
When Anakin Skywalker went animated, Matt Lanter stepped up to take on the mantle. He voiced the Jedi hero in The Clone Wars and more.
James Arnold Taylor
Alec Guinness, Ewan McGregor, and James Arnold Taylor. All three have helped bring sardonic Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to life, with Taylor voicing the character in the hit animated shows.
Dee Bradley Baker
When you hear an animated Clone Trooper, that voice is Dee Bradley Baker. He voices the entirety of the Bad Batch in Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021) and many of the voices across the other animated projects, including The Clone Wars.
Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon is the center stage villain for The Mandalorian (2019), facing off against Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and his allies in the aftermath of the events of Return of the Jedi. The veteran character actor is also famous for his villainous appearance in Breaking Bad (2008).
Rosario Dawson brought iconic Jedi Ahsoka Tano to live-action life in The Mandalorian, making appearances in The Book of Boba Fett (2022) and soon to helm her own show, Ahsoka (2023).
Katee Sackhoff brought Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan Kryze to life in The Mandalorian, and is appearing at Celebration alongside her soon-to-be big part in the new third season.
Andy Serkis stood out in the incredible cast of Andor (2022) for his moving portrayal of Kino Loy, the prisoner trapped within the hostile Imperial system who risked it all to save his friends. His appearance is a coup for this year’s Celebration.
Ming-Na Wen brought fierce bounty hunter Fennec Shand to life in TV and live action. The Agents of Shield (2013) and Mulan (1998) star will be bringing herself to fans in person at this year’s Celebration.
Vivien Lyra Blair
It’s hard to share a role with the iconic Carrie Fisher, but for the part of Young Leia Organa in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Vivien Lyra Blair stepped up. The young actor will be making an appearance at Celebration after her star role in last year’s monumental Star Wars show.
Indira Varma appeared as a vital member of a Rebel network, Tala Durith, in Obi-Wan Kenobi. While her character met a noble end sacrificing herself to slow down the Empire, she will be there to greet fans at Celebration.
Also Appearing: Femi Taylor (Oona, Return of the Jedi); Aidan Cook (Bobbaajo, The Force Awakens; Two Tubes, Rogue One, Andor; Doctor Quadpaw, Andor); Michael Carter (Bib Fortuna, Return of the Jedi); Mike Edmonds (Ewok Logray, Return of the Jedi); Mike Quinn (Nien Numb, Return of the Jedi); Sean Crawford (Mon Calamari Officer, Return of the Jedi); Silas Carson (Ki-Adi Mundi, Viceroy Nute Gunray, Prequel Trilogy); Tim Dry (Mon Calamari Officer, Return of the Jedi); Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar).
What creatives are confirmed to appear?
Matthew Wood is an Oscar-nominated Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer at Skywalker Sound, the company who bring the sounds of Star Wars to life. Wood also has a second role: he voiced General Grievous across Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars.
Will you be coming to Star Wars Celebration 2023 this year? Tell us in the comments below.