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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Star Wars stars to meet fans, raise funds for charity at Arcadia mall

Star Wars stars to meet fans, raise funds for charity at Arcadia mall

by F Diaz
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International Star Wars Day on May the 4th is days away and Chalice Collectibles at The Shops at Santa Anita in Arcadia will be hosting a fan event featuring stars from across the franchise’s galaxy to raise funds for two of LucasFilm’s favorite charities: the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Starlight Foundation.

Fans in the San Gabriel Valley, and beyond, will have the opportunity to meet: 

  • Chris Bartlett, the human behind C-3PO and 1-JAC on the Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Bartlett has played the role of C-3PO in various projects when Anthony Daniels was unavailable. Bartlett has also played Q9-0, or “Zero,” and The Ferryman on “The Mandalorian”;
  • Kat Cressida, the voice of Princess Leia in “Star Wars: Rebellion,” “X-Wing Alliance” and “Star Wars: Rogue Squadron,” as well as the voice of Dee Dee from “Dexter’s Laboratory,” Jessie the Cowgirl from “Toy Story,” Constance Hatchaway from “The Haunted Mansion” and Marvel’s Elektra; 
  • Misty Rosas, who portrayed Kuiil and Frog Lady on “The Mandalorian”; and 
  • Leilani Shiu, who portrayed Teeka The Jawa on “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Tatooine Jawa and Offworld Jawa on “The Mandalorian,” and Tatooine Jawa and Chadra Fan in “The Book of Boba Fett.” 

Additionally, there will be fully interactive, cinema-grade, life-size droids of R2-D2 and BB-8 interacting and taking photos with event guests. 

Bartlett, Cressida, Rosas and Shiu will be selling and signing Funko Pops, including vaulted ones, 8-by-10s, photo opportunities and other exclusive Star Wars and Disney merchandise. A representative for JSA, a third-party authenticator of collectibles, will be present to authenticate autographs at $5 per item.

Fans are not the only ones looking forward to this celebration. “Finally meeting fans in person is the greatest reward,” shares Shiu. “I love (hearing) all their stories why they love Star Wars.”

To raise funds for Make-A-Wish and the Starlight Foundation, guests can enter a charity raffle to win autographed Funko Pops by all participating celebrities. Chalice Collectibles will also be making a large donation. Additionally, all four celebrities will be donating partial proceeds of what they make in autograph sales.

Cressida shared her appreciation for Princess Leia and what an “unexpected gift” it was to voice match for Carrie Fisher.

“For a lot of young girls in the era that I grew up in, which was the late 70s, early 80s, she was it! There were very few female heroes in the movies back in those days and the fact she was a princess but also strong-willed, self-sufficient and a leader, was an amazing boon for every little girl, teenager, and young female adult because she was beautiful and intelligent and one of the big stars of the biggest sci-fi franchise in the world,” she told Arcadia Weekly. “It’s such an honor to be representing her, in a sense, for this awesome Star Wars celebration because it gives all of us a connection back to the amazing character that she created. So signing the (Funko) Pops is a real joy.”

Rosas’ introduction to Star Wars happened when she was three years old and watched “Star Wars: A New Hope” with her family. “I. Was. Mesmerized!” Rosas shares through email. “It is a dream come true to now be a part of ‘a galaxy far, far away.’”

In addition to the aforementioned Star Wars celebrities, award-winning balloon sculptor Jeremy Johnston of Atomic Balloons, who has previously participated in Star Wars events, will also be on site creating elaborate balloon figures for attendees. Johnston will also donate partial proceeds from the day to charity. “We’re beyond excited and honored to be involved with this incredible event, and working with Starlight Foundation and Make a Wish Foundation,” says Johnston.

This will be Cressida’s second signing event at Chalice Collectibles. She was last there more than two years ago and commended the store for creating a “mini convention space” for fans.

“It’s a beautiful space with tons of room but is also very accessible. It’s a personalized experience,” she enthused. “It’s a big celebration but it makes it much easier to enjoy the day and to take a piece of that amazing universe home with you.”

Z Merbegian, co-owner of Chalice Collectibles Ltd., shares that the flagship store was built with fan interactions in mind. Merbegian adds: “When we had an opportunity to team up with such great talent, on this iconic Star Wars Day and be able to donate to charity … well, that sounded like a win-win-win for everyone!”

Adding to the out-of-this-world magic of the day, guests may also see some of their favorite rebels and imperialists decked out in authentic regalia and weaponry. The 501st Legion, a worldwide “Star Wars” costuming organization, has been invited to the event.

“Star Wars is such a joyful, bigger-than-life phenomenon,” Cressida said. “— giving fans a chance to meet some of the actors behind characters they love, get their collectibles signed as a memory to take home, getting to interact with a life-size R2-D2 and BB-8 — is pretty amazing.”

Tickets to guarantee a preferred time slot are available for $5 at chalicecollectibles.com. Fans may also drop in on the day of the event but will need to wait in line.

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