Tastes Like Clorox Smells

In my opinion, life is not worth living. But spending 5 days in Indianapolis at Star Wars Celebration III (aka CIII) has changed my outlook (temporarily of course).

CIII was the ultimate experience. And this is coming from someone who never attended CI or CII or was a very large Star Wars fan in the first place. I really liked the movies, but I didn't consider myself a large fan (and I'm not talking about my weight). Before CIII, I thought the people who dressed up in costumes were just plain weird, but now – let's just say for the next one, I plan on being a stormtrooper.

I was going to go into grave detail about what happened during CIII, but I was told what happens at CIII stays at CIII. So, I'll just summarize.

The Players: A friend (the big Star Wars fan), A friend of a friend (whom I previously met on a few occasions and a member of the 501st), and A complete stranger (who is a friend of the friend of a friend and the director of some documentary called Heart of an Empire). Oh yes, and per definition, we are all men.

The Drive From NC to IN: Although we spent over 9 hours driving to CIII, it was clear after a few hours that were all going to get along very well. Which was good considering we were going to spend 4 days in a hotel room together and would have to drive back. There were a few incidents on the way, including:

  • Tailgating a flatbed loaded with a large metal beam and seeing how close we could get to the beam without touching the windshield.
  • An incident involving a unisex public restroom and a lock that didn't quite work ('nuff said)
  • A seemingly psychotic breakdown of one of the passengers as he uttered into nothingness, “Home...Home...This isn't good” (turns out he has a wireless headset for his cell phone and it takes voice commands)
  • Numerous stories (which should never be repeated).
  • Re-design of the website for Heart of an Empire by Matt
  • Cruising around the hotel several times in circles trying to figure out where the hell to park the van.
  • A lot of swearing (that's just because I spoke)
  • Saw the footage of Heart of an Empire that would be shown in 2 panels during CIII (click here for a review on starwars.com).
  • Waiting in my first line at Steak-and-Shake

The Days and Nights of CIII:

All the days and nights seem to meld together, but here are a few of the highlights: (keep in mind there there was roughly 30,000 people at the convention)

  • Waiting in line almost 4 hours the first day just to get into CIII (and there were people much farther back then we were).
  • Lined up at 5am on day 2, just to get into CIII
  • Saw tons of people in costumes – saw Darth Vaders, Storm Troopers, Clone Troopers, Fem Troopers, the Elvis Trooper (only 1 of those exist), Imperial Officers, Jedi, Emperor Palpatines, General Grievous', Lukes, Leahs, Slave Leahs (which attract an excessive amount of attention), Chewys and dozens of other characters I couldn't begin to name.
  • Waiting in line for almost 6 hours to buy CIII stuff including the “CIII Exclusive” Vader figure (which I plan on running over with my car and posting the results on my website).
  • Saw clips of Episode III, B-actors, and other really cool stuff.
  • Met lots of interesting people while waiting in line.
  • Learned there is nothing more intimidating then a storm trooper pointing his gun at you and saying, “Move along”.
  • Was within inches of meeting George Lucas, but it turns we were being punked.
  • Had an attractive girl talk to me in the mall – I'm not sure what happened, I blacked out once she spoke.
  • May have had sex (but it has been so long, I don't remember how it goes)
  • Slept with a director of some documentary (ok, it was just sleeping in the same hotel room)
  • Helped out with setup on the 2 panels for Heart of an Empire.
  • Spread the word about Heart of an Empire and even carried the poster around the convention center.
  • Learned about the 501st and the work they do.
  • Also discovered I need to build my own Storm Trooper costume and join the 501st.
  • Updates made to Heart of an Empire website by Matt

The Drive From IN to NC:

  • More stories (which should never be repeated)
  • A lot of swearing (that's just because I spoke)
  • Snow
  • More Updates made to Heart of an Empire website by Matt
  • Recap of all the experiences of the past 5 days (never to be spoken again)

All in all, the trip was the most awesome experience I have had for as long as I can remember (although the birth of my son may be a close 2nd). I would definitely do it again.

And if I didn't mention it, see “Heart of an Empire”, a documentary on the 501st, to be in theaters in 2006.