On May 29th 2022 during the closing ceremony of Celebration Anaheim it was announced that the next Celebration would be in London 2023 from Apr 7-10th, this gave us 10 months (including the Christmas period) to plan and prepare the DroidBuilder stand.
As it was a European Celebration we embraced the wider Droid Building community with an organisation team from the UK and Europe. We worked out what we already had available and what was buildable during those 9 months and submitted our plans. After a bit of back and forth we were offered a 13*24m main area and a 6*12m area for races, the first time in a European Celebration we were allowed to do this.
Over the 4 day weekend we had 58 Astromechs and 137 droids on the main stand which is a record for the number of droids we have had at a European Celebration. In addition we had 4 egg droids and 10 Galaxy’s Edge droids at the race track.
The stand was based upon a number of backdrops and areas. Going from entrance to exit these were:
Imperial hanger backdrop
Designed by Paul ‘Wiz’ Johnson for Celebration Europe 2016 and reused. K-2SO from Nik Harber and Imperial Astromechs from Chris Carpenter and Doug Inman really set this off. Next time a nice gloss flooring would work, but a nightmare to keep clean and shiny.
Designed again by Wiz with input from Giles Redpath. The chair was made by Chris Jones.
WIP (Work in Progress) area
Designed, built and managed by a combination of Chris Carpenter, Mark Leigh, Darren Poulson and Stuart Winstanley. 4 modular sections were built that included a turnable R2 dome and various screens showing droid 3D graphics. The door section was a very last minute addition due to not having a continuous 7m length of wall and really set off the area. Was great put the smaller droids on this out of the way of inquisitive hands.
Made for Celebration Essen on 2013 by Belgian builder Michel Michielsen and the first time in the UK.
Jabba’s door and gatekeeper droid
Door designed by James Fuertado and built by Mike Berry. Gatekeeper droid made by James. This was a great backdrop and looked awesome with protocol droids and Astromechs alike.
Rebel hanger backdrop
Rogue One hanger backdrop made for Celebration 2016 and used to display the size of Mike Berry’s R2-XL.
Hoth Hanger backdrop
A regular backdrop used at FACTS every year in Belgium, but the first time in the UK and used as a backdrop for Tom Powell’s full size Probe Droid and Dave Moog’s K-3PO.
Pit droids playing (well cheating) at Sabacc built by Chris Osbourne and finished the day before Celebration. We have lots of public praise for this and the amount of photos on social media show how popular it was.
Nik Harber’s DJ R3x from Oga’s Cantina was also very popular over Celebration and received a lot of attention. I’m not sure which was in more photos, Nik’s L0-LA59 (LO-LA) or DJ-R3x?
As a note Nik did a massive amount of graphic design for the Droidbuilders along with other groups such as the RL.
My thanks go out to everyone arranged in organising the DroidBuilders stands at Celebration along with everyone that helped over the four days.
I was amazed how popular the Droid Builders stand was and it goes to show what the public thought of the droids. The queues were regularly back to the Pit Droids playing Sabacc (30 min queue mark), and on Monday we had to add a double back due to the amount of people queueing.
In addition to the main droid area we also had the races. Sam Prentice, Mark Tadgell and Jamie Cox provided entertainment for the public with full size droid races for the builders (Astromech and Probe Droid amongst others) along with smaller Galaxy’s Edge droids for the public. On Monday Lee Towersey and Giles Redpath took over their duties.
The races also showed how popular the droids were, there was sitting and standing room only around the 6*9m perimeter during the activities and hopefully will become a regular activity for European Celebrations going forward.
Any Celebration is more than just the DroidBuilders and together the Rebel Legion, UKG, Mandalorian Mercs, Galactic Academy, Fantha Tracks, Jedi News, Sabre Guild and Dark Empire we were collecting for Make-A-Wish.
Over the 4 days the combined clubs raised £ (pending final amount)
Make-A-Wish is a charity for children with critical illnesses.
Over 60,000 children in the UK have been diagnosed with a critical condition, changing their lives and the lives of their families forever. For them, the joy of childhood is brought to an abrupt end, with treatment plans, hospital visits and sleepless nights taking over.
They rely on charitable donations to provide wishes.
A wish revives a childhood stolen by critical illness. It brings light and joy to children and their loved ones and leaves a profound and lasting impact on all their lives.
For more details please see https://www.make-a-wish.org.uk/
As part of the Make-A-Wish AmbassaDroid program R2-KT17 along with her new helper KT-PT1 represented R2-KT and provided another photo op for the public and created more awareness for the charity.
For more details of R2-KT please see:
Pictures from Celebration.
Pictures are from various sources on the internet, these include Emma Tysoe, Graham Round, Chris Carpenter, Mike Berry and Oliver Steeples. If your photo/s are used then please let us know and we can provide a credit. Likewise if you would like any pictures removed please email firstname.lastname@example.org