Celebration VI


Star Wars Celebration 6 was back in Orlando for the 2nd time in a row.  This time Frank Diorio and the crew decided on a return to Tatooine.  We did Tatooine once before but it was at Celebration 2 back on 2002 and we had the workshop had grown so much since then and we had only focused on A New Hope.  This time we decided to try and top our Hoth display and make one continuous diorama that wrapped all around our massive booth telling one narrative story of all the scenes on Tatooine in both A New Hope & Return of the Jedi.

As always fans worked on pre-planned and cut kits. They could choose from a variety of Tatooine city buildings, Tusken huts, rock sets, and advanced builders could get a little more ambitious.

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Eventually the smaller buildings made by the fans were combined to create one long diorama scene.  We use everyone we can to set up the scene including some of our younger crew members.   Every piece made by a fan gets displayed and a figure is usually placed in the diorama that the builder gets to keep.  One of favorite parts is the creating of the scenes with the figures and the small hidden jokes throughout.

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One of the highlights of the display were 2 massive set pieces.  Jabba’s Sail Barge and a Jawa Sandcrawler built entirely on the show floor during the con completely in scale with the action figures.  This was a massive team effort with multiple staff members working off of Frank Diorio’s plans almost constantly through the show.  I helped in the construction and did the painting as well as setting up the scene with the figures

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Some of the crew took a few moments to recreate the iconic pre-production shot of Richard Marquand, George Lucas and Norman Reynolds at ILM with their model version of the Sail Barge.



I was proud to display 3 of my dioramas as part of the massive display.  My Obi-Wan Hut, Lars Pit, and Lars Garage were all integrated into the massive Tatooine display.   I gave one to a fan, one was actually stolen during the toy giveaway, and the other found a home in Steve Sansweet’s Rancho Obi Wan Star Wars museum.

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Robert Cunningham, who worked with a group of fans to help save the actual Lars homestead in Tunisia stopped by to christen the scene with actual sand from the Tunisia set and some small shards of plaster from the actual homestead dome.

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As a gift for all their support I created 2 custom figures as gifts for Lucasfilm’s Mary Franklin and Steve Sansweet.   Mary is featured as her favorite character, the bounty hunter Bossk.  I have been told it is featured prominently in her office.  Steve is featured as his one of his favorite characters, Obi-Wan Kenobi holding a smaller Obi-Wan figure in his hands of course.  That piece has been included in the Rancho Obi-Wan museum as well as being included in their traveling road show and Steve’s book Inspired by the Force: Star Wars Fan Artifacts & Art


Lucasfilm approved the first ever panel for action figure customizing.  I envisioned the panel as being for people new to the hobby as well as seasoned customizers.  Click on the link below to learn more about the panel.




Anthony Daniels, who plays C-3PO, always stops by the booth and is very complimentary of the experience.  He is honestly one of the nicest and most supportive people we have encountered.  So we thought we would give him a small token of our appreciation, a staff shirt with his name on the back.

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And then the crowing achievement in fandom.  We were fortunate enough to get to meet and talk for awhile with George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson.  I have met and talked to virtually every actor in the Star Wars films and good amount of the famous members of the crew, this was and will always be the biggest moment where I was instantly 5 year old little Jamie meeting the man that greatly shaped his interests, hobbies, and studies in college.