Star Wars Celebration 2017 has come to a close, with no new event planned until 2019. As sad as that is, at least we have this year’s celebration to look back on, and what an event it was. Kicking off with the 40th Anniversary panel, with an A-list Star Wars cast lineup, the Celebration also brought us panels for The Last Jedi, Battlefront, and Star Wars Rebels. Take a look at some of the highlights from the whole celebration, below.
40th Anniversary Panel- George Lucas Arrives
Things got off to a good start, when Warwick Davis introduced George Lucas as the first guest for the Star Wars 40th Anniversary panel. His arrival was unexpected, and the assembled crown went wild. Lucas discussed how Star Wars first came about, and the themes he wanted the movies to address:
“It’s about friendships, honesty, trust, doing the right thing. Living on the light side, avoiding the dark side.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill Reunited
Mark Hamill is a regular at Star Wars fan events, but Harrison Ford doesn’t usually attend. In fact, this marked his first ever appearance at a Star Wars Celebration, but he proved himself to be a thoroughly entertaining guest. He talked about how he landed the role of Han Solo after working with Lucas on American Graffiti, and praised Lucas for his storytelling. It was fantastic to see such a talented trio on stage together.
Mace Windu, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Anakin Skywalker
Hayden Christensen also put in his first appearance at a Star Wars Celebration, and seemed to embrace the whole weekend. During the 40th Anniversary panel, Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson both appeared via video link to talk about their time with the Star Wars franchise. Jackson also took the chance to beg for his character to return in some form (clip above via Ecksdee). We assume he was joking, but anything’s possible, right?
Carrie Fisher Tribute
Such a huge gathering of Star Wars fans couldn’t pass without featuring Carrie Fisher at the very heart of everything. Not only was the actress a cornerstone of the franchise, she was also a regular at fan events and was loved across the world. During the 40th Anniversary panel, Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy were joined on stage by Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, who appears alongside her mom in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The trio introduced the most wonderful tribute to Fisher, compiling moments both on screen and off, over the last 40 years. This was followed by a performance of the Star Wars score, conducted by John Williams.
Having such a stellar guest lineup present, resulted in some amazing photo opportunities, such as the picture above of Lucas, Kennedy, Hamill, Ford, and Lourd. Other pictures surfaced over the course of the celebration, too, but it was The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson, who gave us the best pictures of all. Clearly a keen cameraman, during The Last Jedi panel, Johnson unveiled several behind the scenes photos he had take during the course of filming, including one of Fisher with John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, and one of Daisy Ridley filming a scene involving rain.
Rian Johnson Visits Fans
The newest director to the Star Wars franchise, Johnson more than endeared himself to fans when he went out to visit those in line for The Last Jedi panel. Many waited overnight, and they were rewarded with a visit from Johnson, who spent four hours signing and taking pictures. That’s some serious effort on his part, since The Last Jedi panel was looming, and he must have been feeling some nerves over it all. Many felt the celebration was a good chance to know the man behind the camera for this eighth Star Wars movie, and almost everyone liked what they saw.
The Last Jedi Revelations
The Last Jedi panel was highly anticipated, and while we didn’t get too many spoilers, we did still get to hear a few bits of information that might prove key to the movie when it arrives. First up, Ridley teased the return of her character, Rey, and promised that The Last Jedi takes us deeper into Rey’s story. The actress also hinted that Rey’s first meeting with Luke Skywalker does not go well:
“In The Last Jedi, we go deeper into Rey’s story. And what is very apparent from where we left off in The Force Awakens and where we begin with The Last Jedi is, Rey has a certain expectation as to what she might be getting from Luke and what that might entail. And as a lot of people know, it’s difficult when you meet your heroes because it might not be what you expect.”
Johnson later expanded slightly upon Ridley’s comments, by adding that her parentage will be addressed. So should we expect Rey Skywalker, Kenobi, Palpatine, or none of the above?
We also know that Finn recovers from the injuries he sustained at the end of The Force Awakens; Boyega confirmed that he is back and ready to fight. “Is he going to be a part of the resistance or is he gonna keep running away from the First Order? We’ll see,” Boyega teased. He also, to the delight of some fans, promised more scenes between Finn and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).
A New Character
Kelly Marie Tran made her debut at The Last Jedi panel, revealing some details about her character, Rose. We know that Rose is a humanoid, and she’s a maintenance worker in the Resistance. Johnson brought her in to emphasis the “everyday hero” trope he enjoyed as a child:
“The notion that anyone out there, any one of us, can step up and turn into a hero — that’s really where the character of Rose comes from. She’s not a soldier, she’s not looking to be a hero and she gets pulled in into an adventure in this movie with Finn.”
While it’s not unusual to see new characters in Star Wars movies, the fact that Tran was brought out on stage, and details of her character were given, seems to suggest that Rose is significant in The Last Jedi.
Luke Skywalker is “Significantly Important”
We all knew that, of course, since Rey traveled so far to track him down, but Hamill’s response to questions about Luke’s presence was vague; probaly he’s wary of giving too much away. After he tried to say that it’s Rey’s story now, Kath Kennedy stepped in and added that Luke is “significantly important” in The Last Jedi. Coupled with the poster released for the movie, and Hamill’s line in the trailer, this comment raises all sorts of questions.
The Last Jedi Trailer
It was the one we were all waiting for; the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We weren’t left disappointed, either. Far from being a brief teaser, this trailer actually gave fans a pretty decent look at what to expect. There’s more of BB-8, back with Poe once more. There’s Finn, slowly healing from his injuries, and there’s also the briefest glimpse of Fisher as General Leia. Along with new TIE fighters, a new planet, and the return of Kylo Ren, The Last Jedi trailer also reveals that Luke wants the Jedi to end. Why, then, does it also seem as though he’s training Rey in the ways of the Jedi? Read our full trailer breakdown for more.
Carrie Fisher Won’t Appear in Episode IX
Contrary to previous reports, it was confirmed at the celebration that Fisher’s role in Star Wars will end with The Last Jedi. While it’s obviously incredibly sad, it’s also some comfort to know that Lucasfilm won’t be resorting to CGI, or the use of stand-ins to continue Leia’s presence in Episode IX. Kennedy promises that The Last Jedi will be the most fitting tribute of all for Fisher, and the perfect legacy to such a wonderful career.
Star Wars Battlefront II Trailer
Away from all the Star Wars movie news, came the full length trailer for Battlefront 2. Set between The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Battlefront 2 introduces a brand new character that players can explore fully in single player mode. The new character is an Imperial soldier named Iden Versio, who leads an elite group known as The Inferno Squad. But for fans of more classic Star Wars characters, fear not. You can still play as many others, including Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren. There are also new vehicles and locations, from the prequels, the original trilogy, and The Force Awakens. There’s also a fantastic multi-player mode, allowing players to take part in 40 person battles.
Rebels Comes to an End
One announcement that was expected and then confirmed at celebration, is that Star Wars Rebels will end with season 4. The animated series has enjoyed huge popularity on Disney XD, with events of the series taking place before Star Wars: A New Hope. This final, fourth season of fifteen episodes, will lead up to all that took place in Star Wars: Rogue One. A trailer for the final season also aired during the Rebels panel.
Mark Hamill Pays Tribute to Carrie Fisher
To round up our highlights of Star Wars Celebration 2017, Mark Hamill paid a deeply emotional tribute to Carrie Fisher. Take a look below.