Another Celebration is in the books, and that means another attendance record. Celebration Orlando attendance was more than 70,000 people, StarWars.com says. That’s up from Anaheim’s 65K in 2015, and double our last Orlando outing in 2012. No wonder things got a bit… Messy. Attendees, look out for the surveys and be sure to fill them out.
We learned before the con that the next Celebration won’t be until 2019 – probably skipping the overseas outings that we had in 2014 and 2016. The leading speculation seems to be that we’ll be headed back to Anaheim, but since we didn’t get a location on Sunday we’ll be left hanging for a while longer. On the plus side, Pablo made a cannon canon.
In the meantime, here are a few other things we learned that I never got around to writing up, because cons are crazy.
Two big things (for our purposes, at least) came out of Celebration’s Rebels panel. It will be the show’s final season, but Grand Admiral Thrawn’s bodyguard (in the books) Rukh will make an appearance before it’s gone for good. The character will be only the second character from the Thrawn trilogy to make it to canon on Rebels. And, the kicker: He’s being voiced by Warwick Davis.
Given the timeline, I wouldn’t expect him to play quite the same role in the show that he did in the books – but you never know.
The show itself ending is not a particularly big surprise, but as Dave Filoni pointed out at the panel, this gives him a chance to take it out properly. This certainly won’t be the last we see from Lucasfilm Anaimation – and I’m not talking about Forces of Destiny.
We also got to see the first episode of S4. I won’t say much, but it was the first part of a two-parter set on Mandalore.
It’s here, and boy are we going to be arguing about this one. Looks like we’re going deep into the Jedi issue, and Luke’s (understandably) reluctant to train Rey. Or has he discovered a new way? During the panel, Daisy Ridley implied that “meeting your heroes” often means you won’t find them to be as you might expect.
The metaphysical debate will have to wait – though it’s being acted out all over the OCCC right now – and let’s get down to some actual info.
She’s not in the trailer, but we learned during the panel that Kelly Marie Tran’s character is Rose. She’s a Resistance maintenance worker who gets drawn into the story. Meanwhile, the new planet with the red dust is (officially) Crait, per Rian Johnson.
While the 40 years of Star Wars panel was light on news, it was fairly heavy on the feels. The much-vaunted surprises turned out to be George Lucas (as predicted,) Harrison Ford (who I don’t think anyone expected) and Billie Lourd, who took part in a truly epic tribute to Carrie Fisher.
I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house after the tribute video (above,) and it was only enhanced by the reveal of John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra playing Princess Leia’s theme. They followed up with the Main Theme and the Imperial March, just in time to allow us to regain our composure.
The video does contain a look at Fisher on-set in The Last Jedi, but in the scheme of things that feels secondary. And while the panel did mainly focus on the first 6 films, it’s really only appropriate that it ended the way it did. Tomorrow, we’ll look ahead.
Announced overnight, just ahead of the official opening of Celebration Orlando, is Forces of Destiny, a new series of animated shorts highlighting Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Leia Organa, Ahsoka Tano and more.
The series will launch in July on the Disney Youtube, with additional shorts debuting on the Disney Channel in the fall. Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones, Tiya Sircar, Ashley Eckstein and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata) are among those returning to voice their characters.
Yes, the galaxy far, far away has bathrooms. Doesn’t this information make you feel fulfilled? ANYway, we’re just days away from Celebration and those giant heapings of actual news, so please read these tweets before I procrastinate further. Continue reading →
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 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: