To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Gen Con LLC will throw the largest party ever for fans of the saga, taking over the entire Los Angeles Convention Center in May 2007 for five days filled with live entertainment, celebrities from all six movies, special film and video presentations, an exhibit of movie props and costumes, exclusive merchandise sold at a 24-hour-a-day store, pop culture tributes, immersive events, costume contests, and scores of additional activities.
Star Wars Celebration IV will fill the L.A. Convention Center from Thursday, May 24 to Monday, May 28, 2007. Admission to the first day of the event will be for worldwide members of the Official Star Wars Fan Club, many of whom will help plan and run special programming themselves. The convention will be open to the general public from Friday through Monday, Memorial Day.
"Generations of fans have loved Star Wars, many passing along the 'Star Wars gene' to their children," said Steve Sansweet, Director of Content Management and head of Fan Relations for Lucasfilm. "This is the first chance to celebrate all six movies in the saga -- George Lucas' complete story -- as well as the vibrant future of Star Wars. If you've ever been to one of our Celebrations -- or if you haven't been before -- this is the one not to miss."
Celebration III, a four-day event held in Indianapolis in April 2005, attracted more than 34,000 fans from all over the world. "We started getting questions about a possible Celebration IV even while the last convention was running," Sansweet noted. "So we're determined to far outstrip anything we've done before, both in size and scope, as well as introduce many first-time activities and lots of exclusives."
Lucasfilm is also working on other Star Wars-related events in the Los Angeles area just prior to Celebration IV, "so we're expecting Southern California to become 'Destination: Star Wars' from the weekend before through Memorial Day weekend," Sansweet said.
The convention announcement was made jointly by Lucasfilm Ltd. and Gen Con LLC. Gen Con will once again manage the convention on behalf of Lucasfilm and the Official Star Wars Fan Club. The Celebration IV announcement is being made a year in advance to give fans worldwide a chance to plan for a week-long "Destination: Star Wars" blow-out in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is the ideal site for a 30th Anniversary convention, Sansweet said, since there are many Star Wars roots in the area. It was also the location of the first official Star Wars fan gathering, the 10th Anniversary Convention. Star Wars opened on May 25, 1977, on just 32 theater screens in North America, including Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.
One of the highlights for fans at a Star Wars convention is the chance to buy unique merchandise, including an exclusive, limited-edition action figure. Because this has led to bottlenecks and long lines in the past, the Celebration IV store will be bigger than ever, self-service, well-stocked with merchandise, have plenty of check-out lanes ... and be open 24 hours a day from the opening of the show on Thursday until the close on Monday!
"Gen Con is thrilled to be working again with Lucasfilm on this very special event," said Peter Adkison, owner of Gen Con LLC, producer of Gen Con Indy and other Gen Con events. "Together I know that we will produce a convention that will not only meet, but exceed, fans' expectations. With Lucasfilm 100% behind this show, it's going to be the biggest party in the history of the franchise. We are particularly focused on dramatically improving the selection and service in the Celebration store."
Specific details about programming, guests, activities, entertainment and exclusive merchandise at Celebration IV will be released as they are confirmed closer to the convention. The main place to check for updates is http://starwars.com, the official site. Online ordering for tickets to the event and for discounted hotel rooms is scheduled to begin late summer/early fall. There will also be information on getting around Los Angeles, traveling to and from the Convention Center, and on shuttle buses available for convention-goers who are staying in the city.