Star Wars Celebration Orlando begins on Thursday, and we’ll be there! Well, some of us. Our own James and Dan are running the Bounty Hunt puzzle race again, and the rest of us will be around. As always, keep an eye on Twitter! James is @jamesjawa, Paula is @Rosiewook (Check out her public health tips) and I’m @clubjade. Find one of us and you can get a button!
If this is your first time at Celebration, we’ve done a convention tips series in past year that’s still (mostly) relevant. How to photograph fans in costume, packing, what to carry around the con, the quick guide to Q&As, avoiding con crud and basic human decency. I didn’t get a chance to update any of it this year, but hey, maybe for 2019.
If you can’t make it, StarWars.com will be livestreaming again this time, so you can catch at least a few panels. (They’ll begin Thursday – keep an eye on their Youtube.) It’s the next best thing to being there!
Head below the cut for a few hand-picked highlights from the schedule:
The first big event is Thursday’s 40 Years of Star Wars panel, which will include Mark Hamill, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Dave Filoni and Kathleen Kennedy . They’ve been teasing “not-to-be-missed surprises,” which hopefully includes a major announcement of some sort. (Not guaranteed.) Later, there’s The Growing Galaxy of Women’s Star Wars Fashion, Dave Filoni: Animated Origins and Unexpected Fates, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, The Music of Rogue One: Analysis with David Collins, Doug Chiang: The Production Design of Rogue One and LGBTQ+ in the Galaxy Far, Far Away. This is also the night for Drowning in Moonlight, the Carrie Fisher Memorial Gala. (Dressing up is optional, but I do recommend buying tickets in advance. You can follow the team at @CarrieGala.)
Friday’s pop will no doubt be The Last Jedi panel, which is expected to debut the film’s first real trailer. Kathleen Kennedy and director Rian Johnson will be on hand, and we expect several cast members. (Mark Hamill is a given; Laura Dern’s already on site.) Also: The Making of Rogue One, Full of Sith, The Heroines of Star Wars, Lucasfilm Publishing Writers’ Roundtable, Mark Hamill’s Tribute to Carrie Fisher and a back-to-back screening of Rogue One and A New Hope.
Saturday is Rebels day, with a sneak peek at the show’s fourth season. It’s also the day we expect to get book news out of Del Rey. Also: The Force of Fan Fashion, StarWars.com Bloggers Discuss Writing, Keeping Fandom Safe & Welcoming, Whose Line is it, Alderaan? and a The Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi/The Force Awakens triple feature.