Star Wars Celebration Japan 2008!!

July 30, 2008 · Print This Article

Like for many people of my generation, STAR WARS is the greatest genre series of my life.  In fact, the whole past decade of my life has been based on, and around, STAR WARS.  I have literally flown to other countries to be able to see the release of the prequels on time.  And also like many other STAR WARS fans, Episode III brought a significant close to the STAR WARS chapter of my life (read my Episode III journal).  Since 2005, STAR WARS has greatly waned in my consciousness.  Thus, I only found out about Star Wars Celebration Japan 2008 at the last minute.

And lucky that I did!  For a mini-revival in STAR WARS is about to begin with the release of the CG animated CLONE WARS movie in August 2008 and the related TV series soon after.  I write this post now while listening to the Episode III soundtrack.  Thusly I went to Makuhari-Messe in Chiba, Japan with UK Mike caught in surprise at this sudden burst of STAR WARS energy.  

We entered the large exhibition hall and surveyed all.  In actuality there were not as many Star Wars related exhibits and set items as there could have been in that space.  In appeared slightly empty.  We were of course there on the last day of the 3-day event.  Entry for one day cost ¥4,000.  

We took a look around for a bit, then at 12:30pm went to our first event, an on-stage interview with the director of the new CLONE WARS movie, Dave Filoni (at 2:30 in video below).  He was well versed in STAR WARS lore and hearing him speak so gave me confidence in how good CLONE WARS could be.  The audience was treated to two long clips from the movie.  These scenes were high on action.  The fighting in them was impressive, even if it didn’t make much sense (climbing an enormous wall to attack a high enemy??).  I am now stoked to see CLONE WARS.

Next up was the main event of the day, an interview, or rather a performance, by Anthony Daniels (C3PO) (at 3:42 in video below).  I had already know that he was quite the crowd pleaser, and undoubtedly he pleased the crowd once again, myself included.  As soon as he strode out on stage and then on into the audience for high fives, he had the audience hooked.  When he first spoke in C3PO’s voice and took the iconic pose (with elbows bent slightly), the crowd gasped.  I felt a buzz from it, like, “wow, C3PO is right here, right in sight.”  Such was the power he sent into the audience whenever he went into character, which he only wisely did in moderation.  He also does a wicked impersonation of George Lucas.  I know that’s how George really speaks, so it was extra funny to me.  This was by far my closest contact with true STAR WARS outside of the movies themselves.  I could have listened to him tell stories for hours.

The final speaker of the entire 3-day event was Ray Park (Darth Maul) (at 3:01 in video below).  Now all the day’s speakers of course spoke in English, which then had to painstakingly be translated into Japanese by an interpreter on stage.  Each person had a different translator, and unfortunately Ray had the worst one, a total ham who didn’t match with Ray’s badass-ness.  Still, Ray gamely answered questions about Darth Maul of course.  He is really keen to play the character again, and I’d love to see a movie about Maul’s training and early adventures.  The whole time UK Mike and I wanted to see Ray do some kung fu or something badass with a light saber on stage, but Ray said he was still recovering from a groin injury and couldn’t do much, but did invite someone to come up on stage with him for something, but that was quickly nixed by an official from backstage popping it out and 86-ing it for who knows what reason, maybe because they were running overtime.  The interview ended with a pretty good Q&A session.  All questions were asked by Japanese.

After Ray left the stage I walked back out onto the main exhibition area, ambled up the stairs to the exit, turned to look once more upon everything, and bid adieu to STAR WARS, until August 16th that is, taking with me my autographed photo of Princess Leia (I didn’t see her sign it) and other souvenirs.

Star Wars Celebration Japan Monday-only pass Star Wars Celebration Japan flyer Star Wars Celebration logo
Mike getting busted in front of Jabba Jason touching Jabba's tummy! Obi-Wan and another jedi
Darth Vader samurai Jason and Mike at Star Wars Celebration Japan 2008
autographed Carrie Fisher photograph If you want this signed, you'd have to pay Mark Hamill $200! This black & white photo of Lando and Boba Fett caught my eye
Star Wars LEGOS rule the school! All my Star Wars Celebration souvenirs (I bought even more photos)  


Anthony Daniels (C3PO) at 3:42
Ray Park (Darth Maul) at 3:01
Dave Filoni (Clone Wars director) at 2:30


16 Responses to “Star Wars Celebration Japan 2008!!”

  1. on July 30th, 2008 1:26 AM

    I still don’t know why they couldn’t do simultaneous subtitled translation on the screen in kanji like they do on CNN. That would’ve so been the better thing. It was slower for everyone having to listen to the same content twice.

    I still can’t believe Ray Park didn’t do something bad-ass. What a huge disappointment. Just let him do something mildly bad-ass, just spin a bo-light saber or something. Ah well. Awesome opportunity missed.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    It seemed like if it were up to Ray, he would have done something at least mildly badass, but that backstage official nixed things quickly.

    Maybe those on-screen instantaneous translations are too expensive for an event like Celebration.


  2. on July 30th, 2008 8:38 AM

    I am gutted that Chewy was on his todd.
    This looks pretty cool, but I wanted to administer some cyber pain to the muppet who said ‘Kawaii’ about R2D2.
    How ace was Antony Daniels – he’s a real card.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Hi Sigsy,

    Yeah, the “K” word does get bounced around way too much, and about R2D2? But then again, there aren’t really that many more adjective choices in Japanese, are there?

    AD was totally ace. Perhaps I’m most impressed about how he has kept his weight down and is the same size as he was in 1977. Same can’t be said for Georgie boy!


    Jason Collin Reply:


    Sigsy, would you like to exchange links? I already put you on my blogroll section.


  3. on July 30th, 2008 11:49 PM

    Was waiting for a while to see this video.

    Amazingly, it doesn’t look too crowded there! Maybe the event wasn’t widely publicized?

    Pretty cool to see Anthony Daniels speak like C3PO!


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Hey Can,

    Yeah, we were both surprised it wasn’t that crowded. Maybe because it was day three of a 3-day event? and on a holiday Monday? And perhaps lesser known speakers that day?

    But since I only found out about it at the last minute, I guess publicity wasn’t that good for it.

    I have an extended 15-minute cut of the same video above, with much more of Anthony Daniel’s speech in it. Can screen that for you sometime if you like. Plus much more of all interviews, and some shenanigans with UK Mike and I.


  4. on August 7th, 2008 11:25 AM

    Star Wars Celebration Japan 2008!! : Jacked-in ||…

    A photo gallery and HD video from Star Wars Celebration Japan 2008. The HD video includes live interview footage of Anthony Daniels (C3PO) and Ray Park (Darth Maul)….

  5. on August 13th, 2008 6:32 AM

    so Lucas finally got to make (or a least approve of) a whole Star Wars movie after his love for CGI… looks fun though


    Jason Collin Reply:

    True…the morphing of Star Wars into complete CGI is now complete, which first started with the mostly horrible CGI additions to the original trilogy (though Clone Wars I don’t think can be counted as anywhere near canon).


  6. MBCE
    on January 19th, 2009 2:19 AM

    Oh, man! Please, oh please! Do you have the complete video of Anthony Daniels speech?

    I was the guy that went up on stage to help at the beginning and have no video of it. I would really apprieciate it if I could get a copy of it somehow.


  7. on January 20th, 2009 11:29 AM

    I have still shots of you MBCE….. quite a few of them. I was shooting the event for a news agency.


    MBCE Reply:

    Really? Would it be possible for me to get copies of them?


    Alfie Goodrich Reply:

    Drop me an email to alfie [@] alfiegoodrich dot com and I will send one over to you.


  8. on January 20th, 2009 2:40 PM

    Maybe we saw each other there then Alfie!

    I’ll get the video to you as soon as I settle after my temporary move MBCE.


    MBCE Reply:

    Thank you very much, both of you! I’ve sent off the emial, Alfie, so you should see it soon.

    I’ll be waiting for the DVD as well, Jason.


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