Star Wars Celebration 2002 Memories: Cosplay ‘n’ Stuff


After their humiliating loss against the teddy bears from the space moon, many Stormtroopers were drummed out of Imperial service and forced to rely on the job skills they had before they signed on.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This coming weekend is Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, where thousands upon thousands of lucky Star Wars fans will rendezvous to share their love and respect for the galaxy George Lucas built, meet other people who made it possible, and hopefully learn lots of news and spoilers about The Force Awakens. California is beyond our reach, but a few of our friends will be there and should provide us with lots of updates and photos or else.

I’ve been digging through our photos and writings from our experiences at the second and third Celebrations, which were each held here in Indianapolis in 2002 and 2005…

Some of our Celebration II pics have never been shared online before because (a) I hated my terrible old scanner; (b) posting large photo collections wasn’t fun in the days of 56K modems, when uploading took years and any webpage with more than a few pics could take forever to load if the files were large; and (c) back then I prided myself on entertaining friends with more text than pictures. That line of thought probably lost me a lot of readers — and maybe even friends, for all I know.

Tonight’s presentation: the first of two Celebration II photo galleries, this one featuring costumes and other fun objects from the experience. Enjoy!

Crimson Guard!

A member of the Emperor’s Crimson Guard. Of all the Star Wars action figures o possess immovable legs, they were the coolest.


The 501st Legion naturally had an expanded role in the proceedings. This was in the years before Stormtrooper cosplayers were commonplace and easy to take for granted.

X-Wing Pilot!

Jedi costumes were everywhere. X-Wing Pilots, not so much.


If you’re a typical, unskilled Stormtrooper marksman who can’t hit the flat side of a Star Destroyer, the problem surely isn’t your aim. You just need more firepower.

Jar-Jar Unemployed!

Three years after The Phantom Menace, times were rough for poor Jar-Jar, but somehow he endured anyway. Rats.

Han Leia Chewie!

This crew, on the other hand, will remain waist-deep in film residuals forever.


The Jawas are still bitter that “Utinni!” hasn’t been listed in Webster’s Dictionary to this day.

Bulloch + Sacul!

Celebration II featured the world premiere of Jorg Sacul, an Expanded Universe characters with zero stories to his name, as he’s just George Lucas in an X-Wing Pilot suit, which was Celebration II’s exclusive action figure. That was good enough backstory for this fan, who’s exchanging thoughts with actor Jeremy Bulloch at left.


After the final victory by the Rebel Alliance, some Stormtroopers signed up for tours of duty in other military units. Or they’re just fans of the good ol’ USA.


A Wampa walked among us.

Storytime intermission:

Saturday night, we’re at Steak ‘n Shake down the street from the Indiana Convention Center, hanging out with several internet friends. A Chewbacca cosplayer walks in the front door, strolls up to the “Wait Here to Be Seated” sign, and bellows at top volume in authentic Wookiee style. He approaches the cash register and bellows again.

His Han Solo’d companion steps just inside the foyer doors and yells, “GET OUTTA THERE YA BIG FURBALL! WE NEED YA BACK ON THE FALCON!” Chewie turns toward our table, bellows yet again for all to hear, then reluctantly exits.

This guy wearing a Stormtrooper outfit strides in past them, walks directly up to our table, waves his gun at us, and paraphrases directly from one of the SW movies, “Nothing to see here! Move along, move along,” then follows them out the door.


We SW fans find ourselves helplessly in hysterics at this impromptu ten-second production.

Millennium Falcon pics!

Photo ops abounded even for those of us who didn’t wear costumes. I think this Millennium Falcon super-banner fell short of actual size.

Lego Jango Fett!

Lego Star Wars wasn’t a video game franchise yet, only a line of actual Lego sets. Lego Jango Fett may be slightly larger than life-size.

Lego Yoda!

Lego Yoda was absolutely larger than life-size.


A selection of Star Wars cardboard standees allowed us to pose with replicas of any actors or characters who wouldn’t be attending. Before we were dating and then married, Anne used to think highly of Obi-Wan Kenobi.


I refused to settle for cardboard companionship and instead found myself face-to-face with a more rounded Yoda at a dealer’s table. Now that is life-size Yoda.

Jar-Jar Justice!

One last pic for the road, which I like to call “Justice Comes for Jar-Jar”.

To be continued!

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