You may have seen the cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last Friday night. I saw them, too…in person. From the front row of Kimmel’s show.
Our tale of kismet begins 12 months ago: December 2016. After securing ridiculously inexpensive airfare to Los Angeles, we purchased annual passes for Universal Studios Hollywood (mostly so we could imbibe in all the butterbeer deliciousness we could handle). As our year of wizarding drew to a close, we decided to make one last pilgrimage before our passes expired. That trip, booked several months ago, was scheduled for 30 Nov. – 4 Dec.
Knowing we were headed west again, I started checking 1iota for tickets to tapings of “Talking Dead.” And that’s when I found the Star Wars Super Fan search. Initially there weren’t any details about the event other than that it was on 1 December, perfectly situated during our brief time in Los Angeles. To enter, I just needed to submit a short video about why I’m a so-called Super Fan.
You know that feeling when confidence washes over you and you think, “Well, that’s in the bag!” Yeah, me neither. But this was about as close as I’ve ever come to feeling it.
I wrote an unimpressive script, tidied up my impressive (most impressive) Star Wars haven and stepped in front of the camera, awkward and unflattering as could be. After fighting with some video editing apps on my phone, it was done. I exploited a moment of bravery, posted it to social media and waited.
Wednesday afternoon I received word that I’d been chosen by the 1iota team as a Star Wars Super Fan!
After a day of travel and an evening at Universal Studios—the new holiday decorations and light show at Wizarding World are STUNNING btw—I found it impossible to sleep Thursday night. And so I arrived at the 1iota offices on Friday morning to film a Super Fan video interview with puffy eyes and a stomach full of butterflies… all before heading to the Jimmy Kimmel studio.
Guys, I can’t say enough good things about everybody I met at 1iota. They were every bit as cool as you’d expect from a team of L.A. creatives with the added benefit of being super nice, funny and relatable, too. I’m told the video will go live sometime next week ahead of the release of The Last Jedi. I’ll update here when it happens (unless I’m even more awkward and terrible than I thought, in which case we’ll just pretend it doesn’t exist).
The Kimmel taping was a really cool experience. We found ourselves seated in the front row, which ended up being somewhat uncomfortably close to the man of the hour when he filmed his monologue. It took every bit of my self control to keep from chasing down surprise guest BB-8 to take home when he rolled our way. And I couldn’t hold back the tears when Rian Johnson, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Mark Hamill first took the stage not 20 feet away from us. For better or worse, I managed to maintain some semblance of self-control; otherwise the watery eyes would have inevitably escalated to sobbing, which probably would have drawn unwanted attention and created a scene. I mean, I desperately wanted to meet them all but not like a blubbering idiot.
A few observations from the taping: the entire cast seemed so charming! I didn’t have quite the same visceral reaction when John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, Andy Serkis and Gwendoline Christie came on stage—instead of crying, I wanted to fist pump. They were all flawless, of course, but Gwendoline Christie looked especially ethereal in person. I was a little surprised there was virtually no mention of our beloved Carrie; since the actors were unable to talk about plot points, I thought they might have engaged in a more lively discussion about behind-the-scenes interactions, which I assumed would have revolved largely around the late Ms. Fisher. The entire show seemed to go by so much more quickly than I expected, I was so engrossed. I’ve heard from friends and family that we were briefly spotted on TV but we still haven’t watched the episode.
Our 1iota pals caught up with us afterwards for another quick interview on Hollywood Boulevard, then we were on our way to the rest of our vacation adventures (read: more butterbeer and Disneyland). The entire day was absolutely priceless and one that will live in my memory for as long as genetics and brain functions allow.
I need to go stock up on tissues now because The Last Jedi happens in less than a week and I know I’m going to be a hot mess. May the Force be with you!
One month from today I’ll be sitting with a bunch of kindred spirits in a movie theater watching a 7-film Star Wars marathon. The fact that we are only a month away from the 7th installment has me more than a little excited!!!
As such, today marks day 1 of #TheWardrobeAwakens, wherein I will don Star Wars attire every day leading up to the new film. The goal is to wear something different each day, though I may have to recycle a couple of shirts as some have apparently shrunk in the wash…or something like that.
I’ll have to get a little creative tomorrow and Thursday as I take in the wonder of Mockingjay Part 2 (advance screening then opening night). After all, I’ve got Hunger Games fangirling to express, too.
Lead the way, Captain Phasma!
UPDATE: I’ll be posting daily pics on Instagram. You can find me there or check out the widget to the right of this page.
Just in time for a tidal wave of new toys to hit the market—we’re only about a week away from FORCE FRIDAY!—I’m making steady progress on the Star Wars room. You’ll have to forgive the truly horrible quality of these photos, I was tired and just taking quick snaps on the phone. Still, I think this gives a decent idea of how it’s coming together.
Empty space above the Stormtrooper shelf will eventually feature mounted Stormtrooper and Shadowtrooper helmets. First Order Stormtrooper helmet from The Force Awakens will live on the shelf where classic trooper helmet currently resides. I’ve got more posters and art to fill the blank space on Vader gallery wall. Not sure if I’ll mount the Vader helmet when it arrives (preordered from Anovos) or rearrange the shelf space there.
It’s very much still a work in progress, but it’s come a long way over the last few months. And if I ever get tired of the display there are a half dozen plastic tubs still filled with toys that I can swap out.
As promised. Still plenty of stuff packed in the plastic tubs you see pictured. Very much a work in progress…
Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to take a “free” half-day off from work as part of my company’s Creative Division Refuel campaign. Big kudos to the people who crafted this brilliant idea! We have little pop-up Refuel events on-site from time to time—popcorn and lemonade, a cookie buffet, root beer floats—but being able to rejuvenate in whatever way we saw fit…simply fantastic.
I chose to spend the extra time at home. After a quick power nap, I set out to conquer my Star Wars room. While I did not emerge the victor, I did make some decent progress. Everything was first moved to one side of the room so we could stabilize one of my three floating shelves. It would probably have been all right, but the wobble factor had me a little concerned.
In addition to the floating shelves, the remaining bookcase units were settled into place. Aside from the pegboard in the walk-in closet (on which I’ll mount the mid-90s carded figures), all of my display venues are installed; no more excuses for not getting things done.
The lowest of the floating shelves is almost in order. It’s the speeder bike shrine with my Gentle Giant statue, McQuarrie print/film cell, DiBiase originals and a battalion of mounted troopers. Only a little tweaking needed before I’m satisfied with it.
The middle shelf is dedicated to Stormtroopers and Lord Vader. It remains a work in progress, as does the top shelf which honors other original trilogy characters.
I’ll be working on the room again this evening so will hopefully have more progress to show. For now, I leave you with this.