The force awakens in Anaheim

Sarah Espiritu

Hundreds of people lined up at the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday evening in anticipation for the beginning of the Star Wars Celebration weekend.

Rolled up in their blankets, playing video games, building legos and of course watching a Star Wars marathon, fans spent the night inside the convention center in order to receive a wristband that guaranteed access to the most sought after panel of the event.

Director J.J. Abrams and president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy discussed the seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens at the Anaheim Convention Center on Thursday. Photo credit: Sarah Espiritu

The panel featured director J.J. Abrams and president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy as they discussed the seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens.

Around 11 p.m. a spokeswoman woman for the event entered the room to inform the attendees that a sympathetic Abrams and Kennedy bought pizza for everyone as a token of their appreciation for waiting in line for so long.

The crowd went wild and the morale seems to go up even higher as people walked in with stacks of pizza boxes being handed out to every group within the building.

The high energy never wavered and excitement only grew as the crowd was finally allowed access into the hall despite waiting for six hours.

“Star Wars Celebration is special to me,” said Jack Cummings, one of the first 100 people in line. “This celebration in particular is going to reveal information about the first new Star Wars movies in my adult life. These movies meant so much to me as a kid and being a part of this community and event allows me to reconnect with that.”

Every so often, a random sound of a light saber being activated could be heard in the distance and most ringtones chirped with R2-D2’s iconic voice.

After twelve hours of waiting, fans received their wristbands in the early morning and moved into another holding area closer to the arena. DJ Elliot hyped up the crowd while spinning tracks featuring sounds and music from the films, while the fans held their light sabers in the air.

At last, the moment the fans had been waiting for, Abrams and Kennedy walked out on stage to a cheering crowd as Abrams took a panorama shot of the arena and said he was going to immediately tweet the photo.

One fan in particular yelled, “Thanks for the pizza!”

“Thank you for waiting!” exclaimed both Abrams and Kennedy with big smiles.

The panel, hosted by Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly, and many others throughout the weekend, can be viewed on