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FAN EXPO Philadelphia Anticipation, A Star Wars Weekend

By Mike Newnam

Most people associate the beginning of May with warmer weather, blooming flowers and preparation for summer vacations. For Star Wars fans it signifies the biggest holiday of the year – May the 4th. The first recorded use of the verbiage for the now famous Star Wars holiday dates back to May 4th 1979. A London journalist congratulated newly elected Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on her first day in office with a full page ad, “May the Fourth be With You, Maggie. Congratulations!” Forty-five years later the celebration of the most famous Space Opera will descend on Philadelphia for a weekend filled with excitement.

This year the folks at Fan Expo have brought a plethora of activities, vendors, artists and celebrities to help fans celebrate all things Star Wars in Philadelphia. No matter one’s interest in the Sci-Fi property there is something to wet the appetite. For those looking to enhance or practice their light saber techniques there are panels and meet ups taking place everyday. Also happening everyday are cosplay meet ups culminating in the Dark Side Burlesque scheduled for Saturday night May the 4th at 8:30 pm.. Attendees can purchase a separate ticket to enjoy “Philly’s premier nerdlesque show … a burlesque and drag style tribute to Star Wars.” The show is 18+ and will include characters from across the entire Star Wars universe.

If cosplay, meet ups an/or interactive activities are not for you, no worries, there are multiple panels to satisfy your Star Wars craving. On Friday night in the Main Theater the animated world of Stars Wars collide in “Clone Wars and Rebels Unite!” This panel features six voice actors from both Clone Wars and Rebels including Anakin and Ahsoka themselves Matt Lanter and Ashley Eckstein. The next night gives current live action fans a chance to celebrate Anakin and Ahsoka with a Panel titled, “Hayden Christensen and Rosario Dawson: A Galactic Reunion.” These two panels give fans the unique opportunity to see both the live action and animated versions of their favorite characters. If video games are more your speed, Cameron Monaghan will have a panel on Saturday morning where he will touch on his portrayal of Order 66 survivor Cal Kestis in the popular EA Star Wars adventure video game. These are just a few of the many offerings for Star Wars fans in which to participate.

No matter the aspect of Star Wars fandom within one resides, Philly Fan Expo has something to fill that Death Star size hole in your heart. Whether it is meeting a favorite Jedi for a photo or autograph or talking about the latest plot in a Star Wars comic with its writer and/or artist, there is something for all – padawans and masters alike. With over a dozen of Star Wars celebrities, nearly 100 Star Wars writers and artists, and limitless amounts of fans – the city of brotherly love will be the place to be for the May the 4th holiday in 2024. Til’ the Spire!

Are you at FAN EXPO Philadelphia? What are you looking forward to? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter/X at @TheConCollectve, Threads at @theconventioncollective, or Bluesky at @theconcollective.bsky.social

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