Star Wars Celebration

(Thomas - 124th)

1999: May

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Denver, CO



It was a rainy weekend in Denver, but twenty thousand Star Wars fans didn't care. They gathered on April 30 - May 2, 1999, at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver, Colorado, for three days of hype and merchandising in celebration of The Phantom Menace. Despite torrential rain, overcrowding, and mismanagement, everyone had a great deal of fun.

Curator Thomas Atkinson went to the Celebration (at his own expense) to represent the Star Toys Museum. He handed out a thousand brochures, and brought back much bounty, including a ceramic Luke Skywalker on Tauntaun Teapot, vintage 1983 (item 7192).

Phantom Menace merchandise officially went on sale on Monday, May 3; the Toys-R-Us store in Denver opened at midnight Monday morning. Thomas was there, as well as a long line of fans. He describes the ensuing chaos as something more out of Jaws than Star Wars, but he did come home with an assortment of figures, vehicles, and other products.

Upon arriving home early Tuesday morning, Thomas tumbled into bed, taking only a moment to look at the calendar, note the date, and utter his annual cry of "May the Fourth be with you!"


Thomas and friend outside the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.


Thomas poses with a fella in costume. Can you tell which is which?


Thomas poses with mannequins of Darth Maul and Jar Jar.


The line waiting for Toys-R-Us to open.


Thomas with two friends waiting in line for Toys-R-Us to open.