Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2020 has officially been postponed to 2022. It was expected by everyone, took absolutely no one by surprise, if anything we were all sitting on pins and needles just waiting for it to be confirmed as postponed or canceled. (Full press release here)
But, 2022? That has a lot of people scratching their heads.
Let’s take a look back at Star Wars Celebrations of the past. A convention organized by fans first in 1999 (Celebration I) , with a little help from Lucasfilm. It was held in Denver, Colorado, the home base for the Star Wars fanclub. After the first event, Celebration II & III were both held in Indianapolis in 2002 and 2005. Note, each Celebration so far here has had a big release to go with it, each prequel movie.
From here a pattern tries to develop, but doesn’t get very far. In 2007 TWO Celebrations were held, Celebration IV in Los Angeles, California and then a few months later the first Celebration Europe, in London, England . Skip ahead one year, first Celebration in Asia in 2008, Celebration Japan in Chiba, Japan. Then the pattern really develops for two conventions at least, Celebration V in 2010 and Celebration VI in 2012, both in Orlando.
Then, Disney acquired Lucasfilm and a convention was held the very next year. Celebration Europe II took place in 2013, in Essen, Germany. A two year break from conventions again, and in 2015 Celebration Anaheim, in Anaheim, California, was held. This was leading into another pattern for conventions, this time though having one every year for the next three. 2016 they returned to London for Celebration Europe III and 2017 returned to Orlando, for Celebration Orlando. It seems after Disney stepped in, the cons being held in America took on the name of the city, and dropped the number. (Even though in 2017 this was the third time they had returned to Orlando.)
Then our 2019 wildcard happened, Chicago. A place they had never been, nowhere near any Disney property. The only thing similar about it was the naming convention Disney had adopted. Star Wars Celebration Chicago came and went and at the end of the convention, they announced the next event would be Anaheim 2020.
Now, I’ve been holding onto this theory since we were on the train back from Chicago on April 15, 2019 and first heard the news about Anaheim. Sit tight. This history is easier than the SWC history.
Ya’ll ever heard of D23? D23 is the official Disney fanclub. (If you’re curious where this number came from, Walt Disney started his company in 1923!) The D23 Expo is the Walt Disney Company’s convention. Anything new about their movies, parks, and all of their fun stuff is covered in this convention. It has historically always happened every other year since 2009, and has only taken place in Anaheim. They have also had three D23 Expos in Japan as well, at Tokyo Disney Resort. Again every other year since 2013.
Celebration is organized by ReedPop. (And ReedPop does a wonderful job running their shows!) But at the tip top, we know that it’s Disney’s show now. I would not shut up at Celebration Chicago about the travel cups you could buy and get unlimited refills the entire weekend from the soda fountains. Hello, that’s a Disney resort thing!
So 2022 is the next Celebration! The next D23 is in 2021. THAT is your reason why we’re not getting a Celebration in 2021.
They won’t move it to another city, they wanted Anaheim. They wanted Anaheim for 2022 as well. I bet a Death Star’s worth of Kyber Crystals they would have announced at the end of Anaheim 2020, IF it actually happened, that they would be back in 2022, in Anaheim..
At the end of the day here, it’s going to fully develop into a pattern to mirror D23. Disney will have their show one year, and Celebration the other year.
They’ll have it in Anaheim from here on out, because they can attract people to the park as well. Maybe they’ll switch to Orlando, maybe they won’t. Maybe one year they’ll really make a change and go to Paris! Of corse, only after they get a Galaxy’s Edge of their own though.
The future of Star Wars Celebration lives at the outskirts of a Disney park, it’s that simple.
I’ll go, and I’ll love it. I’ve always loved the parks and that won’t change. I also love being able to go to places of the country, or the world, that I’ve never been before. I’ve been to Disney countless times, there’s more to the world than a Disney park. But you know, follow the money.