The force was strong in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend as 50,000 fans of all ages from all over the world gathered for the 2017 Star Wars Celebration. Those present at the four-day annual convention were also the first to see the trailer for the upcoming film "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
The annual gathering in Orlando that ran from Thursday to Sunday saw a convergence of fans in costumes appearing as Jedi, Rebels, droids, Ewoks and galactic beings. What creator George Lucas intended to be "a film for 12-year-olds" spawned the pop-culture phenomenon and became a favorite cosplay costume, a lucrative merchandise and even inspired real-world robotics. The fun-filled event also offered fans with plenty of exclusive treats that's all things "Star Wars."
One of those treats is seeing together the stars of the film such as Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson trading banters with Lucas during Thursday's Star Wars Celebration Day 1. The moment when the fans together with the cast and crew stood at attention while listening to John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic play the film's celebrated theme song made the opening ceremony as touching as it could get, according to Chicago Tribune. Billie Lourd's also made an appearance Thursday, adding a nostalgic mood as Carrie Fisher, her mother and the actress who played Princess Leia, passed away last year.
It's been 40 years since the release of the "Star Wars" film that started it all but the force still continues to remain strong across generations of fans. Lucas' brainchild about "a galaxy far, far away" became one of the most successful film franchises with a total of seven released films to date. "It connects people, it binds people, it brings the Force together, that's what makes 'Star Wars' fans, 'Star Wars' fans," abc7 quoted a fan who attended the celebration in Orlando as saying.