Here’s some of the highlights of Star Wars Celebration Europe for me. I worked the convention as part of the crew at the Celebration stage in the Grugahalle, which was a giant concert hall next door to the main convention halls, so most of my memories involve being at the Celebration stage, but really it’s all about the people that one encounters at a Star Wars convention – we’re all here because of one thing: we love Star Wars!
As one Celebration ends, another is announced… Celebration VII (which may not be the official name, but we’re going to call it that, damnit!) is set for Anaheim, California in April 2015. Star Wars Celebration Anaheim (the official name, apparently?) will be held at the Disneyland-adjacent Anaheim Convention Center from April 16-19, reverting us back to schedules of the original Celebrations. Does this guarantee us a May release date for Episode VII? Let’s hope so. Tickets will be on sale August 7th.
What else went on in Essen today? Well, Mark Hamill spoke, and while it didn’t make the official recap, apparently he did do a voice on The Clone Wars – a Darth. But he’s also open to voicing a villain on Rebels.
Speaking of… Here’s Dave Filoni and Warwick Davis.
Well, obviously two big bombs got dropped today: The return of composer John Williams is official and we got our first look at the new cartoon, Star Wars Rebels. Kathleen Kennedy also talked about chatting with J.J. Abrams and using “every tool in the toolbox” for Episode VII, implying that we’ll be seeing a mix of CGI and practical effects.
Newswatch!Sunday is by far the lightest day on the schedule, so those of us on this side of the pond may take the opportunity to sleep in, at least a little. There are still plenty of panels, but for our purposes I think we only need to keep an eye on two of them: Mark Hamill at 2:30 p.m. CEST (8:30 a.m. EDT) and the Closing Ceremonies at 4:00 p.m. CEST (10:00 a.m. EDT.) Will we learn the date and location of the next Celebration?
As for the hoped-for Big 3 confirmation… If neither Kennedy or Fisher said anything, I doubt Hamill will, either. Next milestone is in two weeks at Disney’s D23 Expo, and the rumors have already been churning. Patience!
The second Celebration Europe – and our first Celebration of the post-Disney era – has officially begun with a press conference reuniting much of the Return of the Jedi cast. Luckily, Dan Brooks of StarWars.com live-blogged it.
Don’t forget, our own @jamesjawa is in Germany, too!
Disney business.Bob Iger will remain at the helm of Disney through at least 2016. And with The Lone Ranger’s opening-weekend belly flop, Disney has plenty of reasons to be thankful for their recent acquisitions. One expert expects Disney to net about $733M for 2015’s Episode VII alone.
In ‘Nightmare and Silver,’ the Doctor and Clara head for ‘the greatest theme park in the universe,’ only to find it closed and inhabited only by a shabby few, including Warwick Davis. Cybermen ensue, because of course they do. The episode is written by Neil Gaiman and is the last before next week’s season finale, ‘The Name of the Doctor.’
In other sci-fi TV news, it’s pilot season! ABC picked up Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., bringing the Marvel synergy to live-action TV. (ABC will air a preview of the show on Sunday.) They also picked up Once Upon a Time spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and sci-fi mystery show Resurrection
Two J.J. Abrams pilots were picked up as well: Fox nabbed robot police drama Almost Human, while Fox picked up Believe, a collabration with Alfonso Cuarón about a telekinetic ten-year-old. It’s no big shock that The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals got picked up, but the CW also greenlit post-apocalyptic The 100, a remake of The Tomorrow People and the human/alien romance Star-Crossed.
Meanwhile, in the cable realm, both SyFy’s Defiance and BBC America’s Orphan Black are getting second seasons.