Los Angeles Times

'Star Wars' fans keep fueling the Force as Disney expands the galaxy far, far, away

CHICAGO - A few days ago in a galaxy not so far away, an estimated 65,000 "Star Wars" fans from across the globe quested their way to the biggest convention center in the United States. Their mission: to be one with the Force that has fueled the multibillion-dollar franchise since 1977.

Featuring star-studded panels, sneak peeks, celebrity signings and cosplay meet-ups, Star Wars Celebration is a uniquely immersive experience for fans of the now Disney-owned space opera franchise that George Lucas created 42 years ago.

Opening a direct channel to the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of their core audience, the convention for all things "Star Wars" is also one of Disney's savviest marketing undertakings as the studio eyes lucrative brand expansions and a

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