Storm troopers in Star Wars Image Credit: AP

It’s official: Star Wars Celebration is not happening this year.

The organisers announced on Monday that the event, which had been scheduled to take place at the Anaheim Convention Centre in August, has been cancelled due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus crisis. The news is unsurprising since most other major pop culture conventions have already been postponed or cancelled, including WonderCon and San Diego Comic-Con.

“Due to the global impact of the COVID-19 virus and in speaking with local and state authorities on the latest public health guidelines related to indoor conventions, we have made the decision to cancel Star Wars Celebration for 2020,” event organisers Lucasfilm and Reedpop said in their announcement.

The update also mentioned that Star Wars Celebration would return to the Anaheim Convention Centre on August 18-21, 2022. Fans who had purchased tickets to the 2020 event have the option of requesting a refund or merchandise credit or transferring their tickets to the 2022 event. Full details are available through the Star Wars Celebration website.

Since its 1999 inception, Star Wars Celebration has evolved into a mash-up between a fan convention and a mega-marketing event, where fan service and commerce collide. The earliest events were tied to promoting the releases of ‘Star Wars’’ trilogy of prequel films. The most recent Star Wars Celebration was held in Chicago in 2019, in advance of the release of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.’

Some other major pop culture conventions, including San Diego Comic-Con, have pivoted to offering fans an “at-home” virtual experience this year because of the inability to host large-scale, in-person events due to the pandemic.