My calendar is always chock full, and between horse shows, family trips, and fandom opportunities I find it helpful to sit down and budget those vacation days from work early on. So for those who are thinking about including a Star Wars-related trip in your year, here are top events on my list for consideration. Needless to say, much as I might wish, I’m not going to be able to do them all!
Star Wars Weekends (May 18-June 10 on Fridays-Sundays in Orlando, FL)
Annual since 2003, this four-weekend event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is always great fun. Keep an eye out for future announcements of this year’s Star Wars VIPs and which weekends each of them will be there. Last year’s hosts, James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein, did a marvelous job at the stage, and I hope to see them back again this year.
San Diego Comic-Con (July 12-15 in San Diego, CA)
It still amazes me that Lucasfilm has one of the largest display areas on the exhibit floor at SDCC, and that’s not counting the substantial Star Wars presence at the Dark Horse pavilion or Del Rey’s booth. There’s sure to be just as much this summer. Everyone should experience SDCC once in their lifetime; I liken it to a fandom group hug. (Tip: Bring deodorant and your own food to the convention center!)
Star Wars Celebration VI (August 23-26 in Orlando, FL)
If anything is a can’t-miss in 2012, it would have to be Celebration. Reed Pop ran a fantastic convention for Celebration V in the same venue, so I have no doubt this one will be well-run and well-attended, too. Although it’s far too early to think about scheduling, here’s to hoping that Nick Gillard’s lightsaber training sessions and James Arnold Taylor’s one-man voice-actor extravaganza will be part of the convention schedule. I saw the abbreviated version of James’ show at Star Wars Weekends last summer, and it was absolutely incredible. Show your support for bringing it to Celebration by Liking his page on Facebook.
New York Comic Con (October 11-14 in New York, NY)
Smaller than SDCC but growing every year – and much closer for those of us on the East Coast. Del Rey and Dark Horse both have a presence at the convention, so Star Wars news is to be expected. Not to mention the cosplayers. I haven’t been to NYCC yet, but my one trip to the city made me fall in love with it. I’m hoping to go back, sightsee, and attend the con in the near future.
Fan Days (October 19-21 in Irving, TX)
Organized by the folks behind Rebelscum, the Forcecast, and TheForce.Net, there are always lot of well-known fans in attendance, as well as an impressive roster of VIPs. The ForceCast did a live podcast so fans can share the experience. Last year’s writers’ panel with Aaron Allston and Timothy Zahn was great; it would have been so much fun to see it live.
Geek Girl Con (August 11-12 in Seattle, WA)
The first annual Geek Girl Con was an amazing experience for everyone. I have to say this one makes the can’t-miss list for me in 2012, too. Hopefully many more fangirls can attend and join the camaraderie, fun, and mayhem.
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.