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Star Wars Celebration IV – Los Angeles, CA
by Chuck Paskovics & Peter Hauerstein
May 25, 2007 – Opening Ceremonies

May 25th quicklinks:

Opening Ceremonies: Celebration IV

Every Celebration kicks off with the official Opening Ceremonies for the event. This time was no different. While well organized, the event itself was a little lackluster. Everyone around seemed to be of the same opinion: their time would have been better spent doing other Star Wars activities. The event seemed to be filled with a huge anticipation of something yet to come, but that something never came. Some of the highlights included the 501st marching in flags of the world followed by the USC marching band playing (what else) the Imperial March. We then were treated to the parade of stars, where the host reading the stars names was so off that the names did not match who was walking on the stage. During the ceremony, all the stars were treated to cake that resembled the one year cake from 1978, and then the audience were all treated to a piece of cake too.

After that, the USPS unveiled the Star Wars stamp that won the contest (Yoda stamp), which was supposed to be the grand unveiling. We later found out that the stamp was actually unveiled earlier that day in New York City. To get the audience into the festivities Jay Lagalia then sang a nice rendition of Celebration, although I think it would have been more fitting to sing a Star Wars related song like he did at CIII. The remainder of the show seemed to be a recount of the Celebration IV program schedule, highlighting events-to-come for the weekend. This included the four stage hosts coming out and talking about the events happening on their respective stages. We were also treated to a sample of the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, and the team from Star Wars in 30 Minutes gave us a sample of their talent by performing The History of Lucasfilm in 3 minutes, which concluded with the birth of the twins in ROTS.

At the end, Steve Sansweet told the audience not to go anywhere because there was one more thing to come. At this, a fully functional Rocket-Fett launched into the air from the left side of the stage and blasted over the stage to land on the other side. You will notice that we have no pictures of this, because as soon as he launched I was forced to drop my camera to cover my ears because the sound coming from the backpack was painfully loud. To say my ears have never felt such pain would be an understatement. I was also hit by a heat blast from the rockets that for a microsecond I thought I might actually be on fire. By the time I could recover he had already landed and the confetti started to fall (that was a nice touch). This was obviously one of those events that was really good in theory, but once they performed it in the Celebration hall it was way louder than planned! So many things could have gone wrong with that stunt that I shudder to think about it!

All and all, the event was slow and the only way I can describe it is to say it was like going to a movie where you keep expecting something to happen, but it never does and then the movie ends. You are left wondering why you sat through the movie in the first place. If you want to get a feel for what this was like, take a look at this picture of the VIP row where all the stars were supposed to go after the parade of stars. And no, the seats never did fill up, and yes, that is David Prowse all by his lonesome in the front row, looking like he could fall asleep at any moment. If you want a truly humorous account of this event, make sure you download and listen to Arnie and Marjorie's account in their CIV update pod cast. Oh, and did I mention there was an unannounced bomb scare that kept the room from filling to capacity and leaving many angry fans standing outside unable to attend the festivities? You can read a first hand account here and official statement here. Well, take a picture tour of the event below, from start to finish...

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