Another Celebration is over, and while this one felt a bit restrained, here are the big hits. Follow the links for all the details!
We didn’t get a Rogue One trailer – what was shown only to the live audience was mostly footage we’ve already seen with only a handful of new additions – but there was a nifty sizzle reel. And we learned a couple things about the worlds and characters of the film – plus a poster! And Gwendoline Christie is a fantastic panel host. Later, Kathleen Kennedy said they’re leaning towards not giving the film an opening crawl. Also, check out these amazing cast photos from behind the scenes at the con.
Rebels expands the GFFA
But the con’s big surprise – at least for our purposes – is Thrawn coming to Rebels. The rumor has been floating around since January 2016, but what really took it over the top was the additional news that Timothy Zahn will be writing a new novel about the character. In other book news, we learned that Alexander Freed is doing the Rogue One novelization, while James Luceno is writing the film’s tie-in, Catalyst. We also got a cover for the Ahsoka novel, as well as some hints as to what the character got up to between The Clone Wars and Rebels.
No Episode VIII title* out of the Future Filmmakers panel at Celebration Europe, but they did confirm Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo and bring him out on stage. He was the first person to audition (out of 3000 people!) and won the role over 6 months. Directs Christopher Miller and Phil Lord have only just moved to London for pre-production, and they expect to start shooting in early 2017.
Earlier, Kathleen Kennedy said Episode VIII director Rian Johnson “moves the camera as well as Steven Spielberg.” We learned that Johnson spent about six weeks with Lucasfilm before even starting in on the script.
The panel winded down with surprise appearances from John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. (Plus Gary and Millie.) It looked fun, but there was nothing really earth-shattering revealed. Check out the StarWars.com liveblog for details.
Below the cut, videos from the panel, and the interviews afterward!
Mark Hamill was his usual self at his Celebration Europe panel today, and while he can’t talk much (at all, really) about Episode VIII, he did rave about Rian Johnson:
I was looping Episode VIII yesterday, and there’s dialogue in there, I thought, ‘Oh boy, I can already see this on a t-shirt. Rian Johnson is amazing. He’ll make you forget all about ‘May the Force be with you.’ He’s come up with so many new catchphrases.
Props also go to the fan who took advantage of a stumble where Mark forgot Rey’s first name to get him to reveal her last name, though Mark didn’t take the bait. Entertainment Weekly and /Film have the highlights.
Perhaps we were too quick to assume that Mark Hamill had lost the beard, though he does seem to be pulling double duty. (UPDATE: He’s now wrapped as well.)
And finally, your moment of zen: Gary Fisher with “his two favorite stalkers.” A weird thing happens when you start to see enough of those emoji: They start making sense. Maybe one day I’ll wake up being able to read Aurebesh after all.
We’ve been hoping we’ll get VIII’s title at the panel. @StarWars revealed The Force Awakens when that film finished principal photography – but Episode VI wasn’t finishing up around the time of the year’s big dedicated convention, either.
This does, however, likely mean that several cast members will still be in town. Of the VIII cast, only Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew are confirmed guests for the con, but that’s never stopped Celebration – or any other major con – from bringing out folks before.
Star Wars directors Rian Johnson, Chris Miller and Phil Lord will join Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart and Pablo Hidalgo for the Celebration Europe’s Future Filmmaker Discussion, followed by the con’s Closing Ceremony.
Johnson’s Episode VIII is expected to wrap very soon, while Miller and Lord’s Han Solo standalone will be next up. Is it here that we’ll get the official title for VIII? Will Alden Ehrenreich be confirmed as the young Han Solo? Both, maybe? StarWars.com promises “some surprises” and ending “the weekend on a high note.”
The news was first revealed on today’s new The Star Wars Show:
UPDATE: And on Tuesday, he tweets “Holy cow, we’re starting to wrap main cast members.” Now, the question is: Will we get a wrap announcement (and very possibly a title) before or during Celebration Europe?