From 2002 to 2019 the dioramas were made at Star Wars Celebration under the Diorama Workshop group. The founders and facilitators of DIYorama Events have worked in a crew, planning and facilitation capacity since the beginning. With Jamie starting in 2002 and Alissa in 2007. In 2019 the dioramas at Celebration shifted to be run by DIYorama Events. Here is a look a back at the origins and history of dioramas at Star Wars Celebration.
Celebration II – Indianapolis, IN – 2002
Our first build was in a small side-room in the Indianapolis Convention Center with a small crew. But the event was a success and the beginning of something much bigger. Fans made buildings from Tatooine using foamcore, plaster, and paint.
Celebration III – Indianpolis, IN – 2005
In 2005, we moved into the large fan hall. Our participants re-created various rooms and halls from the Death Star. This was more of a precision build—using foamcore and custom-designed decals on adhesive-backed paper.
Celebration IV – Los Angeles, CA – 2007
The Celebration moved to L.A. and we moved into the main hall, where fans created trees and huts from Endor. The build used mulch, packing tubes, wrinkled craft paper rolls, and fake plants to complete the look.
Celebration V – Orlando, FL – 2010
The convention moved to Orlando, where we created one of our largest builds to-date with the Battle of Hoth. Our build had both the AT-AT battle with trenches and the Rebel Base with halls, rooms, and hanger bays. Fans made rocky ice features, trenches, turrets, and the Rebel Base out of foam, foamcore, cups, and plates.
Celebration VI – Orlando, FL – 2012
The convention stayed in Orlando and we returned to Tatooine. This time, the build spanned scenes from both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, as the entire diorama wrapped around the perimeter of our booth. George Lucas even stopped by to admire the workshop, and inquired about the process.
Celebration Anaheim – Anaheim, CA – 2015
The convention moved to Anaheim and we officially partnered with Hasbro to build Cloud City, using foamcore, plates, and a variety of odds and ends. Billy Dee Williams even dropped in to check out his former home of Cloud City.
Celebration Orlando – Orlando, FL – 2017
The convention returned to Orlando, and we officially partnered with Mattel/Hot Wheels to create the surface of the Death Star out of EVA foam tiles. It was the first build not centered around traditional 3.75″ action figures, and it added an interactive element of racing Hot Wheels down the 50-foot-long orange track in the trench—with the winner getting a special photo opportunity at the Mattel booth.
Celebration Chicago – Chicago, IL – 2019
The convention moved to the Windy City. The theme of this build was the Battle of Scarif, from Rogue One. We changed scale again—this time to 1:48 scale—partnering with Fantasy Flight Games and using their game, Star Wars: Legion, as a basis. The build was our tallest to-date and featured a moving element with the orange shuttle, which ran back and forth across the scene. Forrest Whitaker and Rogue One writer and special effects legend, John Knoll, stopped by to give their approval.