The Universe in Anaheim: “Star Wars” Convention

Actors, screenings, and special appearances festoon the April celebration.

THE FORCE BE WITH ANAHEIM: Every passion-filled devotee of "Star Wars" knows that timing is key in all battles, negotiations, and escapes. Luke Skywalker's fabled trench run at the Death Star required split-second decision-making, and Han and Chewie always had to act fast as they were piloting the Millennium Falcon in enemy territory (let us also acknowledge that Han Solo's sassy comebacks rely much on comedic timing, too). So let's call it great timing, the sort of timing that possesses force-like mystery, that a whole caboodle of "Star Wars" movie info was announced just a few weeks ahead of the mondo, galaxy-big Star Wars Celebration: The Ultimate Fan Experience. The mega fan convention shall set its Y-wing Starfighter gently down at the Anaheim Convention Center from Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, April 19.

TRUE-BLUE MAVENS... of the StarWarsverse don't require fun announcements to get super-stoked over a huge gathering of actors, fans, merch dealers, film producers, and other purveyors of StarWarsiana, of course, but hearing word of future film releases and plans can stoke an already stoked person even further. (This is pretty much fact in any fandom.) So while you think about watching "Star Wars: Episode VIII" on May 26, 2017, forty years and a day after the debut of Episode IV, you can polish on your Stormtrooper costume and get to planning all that you might want to see while visiting a galaxy far, faraway via Orange County.

J.J. ABRAMS AND KATHLEEN KENNEDY... will make an appearance, so those fans who are eager for peeks into the new films will want to catch that action. Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker will all be in the force-cool flow of the proceedings, too. (Here we must pause to unleash several exclamation points over Lando, Luke, Chewbacca, and R2D2 being in the house: !!!!) Tech wizards, creative smarties, and so many people who had a hand in the complex and dynamic "Star Wars" world will join the jamboree, too. So will you? Really, you still have time to spiffy-up that Ewok outfit, comb it out, make sure it is looking its cuddly best. Now hold up a second: Don't be sore that we just called Ewoks "cuddly," okay? Fearsome warriors can have a softer side, too. Exhibit A: Yoda.

WE MAY ALL DREAM... of visiting outer space, but how often does outer space call upon Orange County? This is your chance to enter the "Star Wars" cosmos for a weekend. (All respect, Space Mountain; you've got the whole outer space-meets-Orange County thing down, too.) 

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