Tag Archives: celebration europe

4 things we learned at Celebration Europe

GL, KK and JJ. (Lucasfilm)

Another year, another Celebration… And now we can rest. For a few weeks, anyway. For those of you who weren’t in Germany, who didn’t wake up before dawn to catch news out of Germany, or who maybe just had other stuff to do this weekend, here are the headlines.

“Real locations and special FX”
Kathleen Kennedy inferred that we’ll be seeing more of a mix of effects – not just the digital stuff, which is pretty much inevitable, but also some more traditional model-based effects and such as well. HitFix’s Drew McWeeny addresses this – and the staggering pressure that Episode VII has to live up to:

I love that much of what I’ve been hearing seems to match what Kennedy is saying. I’ve heard that Lawrence Kasdan is considered by everyone else in the process a pretty great resource, and a really lovely collaborator. And I’ve heard that ILM is building a lot of actual models for this film, that they plan to shoot the models and digitally composite on a much larger scale than the last trilogy. It’s an aesthetic choice, evidently, and I find it very exciting to imagine big ILM model units working to build out the world.

Kennedy knows the gig, she’s clearly taken the time to understand what’s going on with fandom – and I don’t think she’s the only one. This is, as McWeeny said, a fragmented fandom. There are a lot of voices, and the stakes for this movie, for the whole franchise, are high. Will they manage to please everyone? Probably not: There are fans who will love or hate Episode VII no matter what. But I think it’s a good sign that they’re willing to try, and that shows in what little they’re willing to tell us so far. What’s behind closed doors? Hopefully something even better.

John Williams
John WilliamsOf course this was the big ticket news out of the con, and while I understand being disappointed that we didn’t get more, it’s still rather reassuring to have Williams back on board.

There’s been some confusion about whether he’s back for just one movie – the official site says just Episode VII, but apparently onstage, Kennedy said he was coming back for all three. And maybe that’s the plan, but just not on paper yet. In any case, it’s good news.

Rebels
rebels logoWe may not have the whole enchilada yet, but Dave Filoni did give fans enough to sate their appetites, it seems. He made it clear that the style is very much based on Ralph McQuarrie, that the stories will be told in order and showed off some concept art… One of which may be Alderaan.

And the Wookiee Gunner points out that we’ve actually been seeing new ship The Ghost all along! Tricky, tricky.

Celebration VII
And we have our next convention! In all honesty, I welcome the gap: We could all use a little time and space to save, as much as Lucasfilm will need the time to prepare. Let’s not forget, the Celebrations started as a way to get fans excited about the new movies… And think how much they’ll have to show us a month or so before the thing even comes out!

The venue change isn’t much of a surprise… But I really doubt we’ve seen the last of Orlando. After all, Disney does have two theme parks.

Anaheim Convention CenterAlas, Celebration announcements always bring a round of disappointment: We all want it close to us, but there are a lot of people to please and no matter where the thing is, some folks aren’t going to be able to come. The convention center may not be as cavernous, the plane tickets may not be as cheap, etc. It’s sad but there’s no pleasing everyone, ever. We all just have to deal, one way or another, and wait to see how the experts surprise us.

But still, I’m hopeful about California and very happy with the return to the original pre-movie schedule. Hell, I might even go to the theme park for once. Might.

And remember, news hounds: Patience. They’re not going to give us everything at once. They’re going to dribble it out slowly, they’re going to deny things, the rumors will keep flying. (All this has happened before… All this will happen again.) It’s our lot to wait it out and see what emerges.

Also this week…

A few things we missed while pursuing (and avoiding!) Harry Potter.

CE: Media behaving badly

I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or what, but all the Celebration Europe press I ran across today is so… sensationalist.

First, Daily Mail reporter Tanya Gold doesn’t even get a paragraph into her CE experience before breaking out the requisite ‘Get a life’ comment. Keeping reading – it’s full of such classy gems. Although I do like the description of Steve Sansweet as George Lucas’ “representative on Earth.”

As for the real stars of the CE experience, we have comments from Anthony Daniels, admonishing Sir Alec Guinness and a trifecta of Mark Hamill comments that the blurb artists are trying their damnedest on: ‘wanting’ to be Vader; the Luke warehouse; and the one with the legs, Portman’s a babe.