The Solo junket was today, and you bet there’s a lot of press forthcoming. The most interesting bit (so far) comes from Entertainment Tonight, which brought in Harrison Ford to suprise Alden Ehrenreich. And then there’s that.
Hayden Christensen will be returning to Celebration for the first time since 2002 as part of the 40th Anniversary panel, joining Mark Hamill, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Dave Filoni and Kathleen Kennedy. “Many galactic-sized surprises” are still being promised, but this is a fairly big one. (And yes, he’s signing.)
In other Celebration news, there’s now more previews up for the Store, mostly t-shirts.
A tweet roundup is due, but as things wind down, there’s just been so much out there on Instagram and tweet from the Episode VIII cast and crew that they’re breaking out on their own.
Daisy Ridley shared an already infamous face swap with director Rian Johnson, as well as teasing a new hairstyle. (Join me in hoping it’s not a padawan braid, please.) Johnson himself is sharing (recognizable, mostly) images of the Millennium Falcon. Also spotted: One Pablo Hidalgo, who punned.
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.
StarWars.com has the official announcement that Episode VIII has begun production at Pinewood this morning. It adds officially adds three new actors: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. (Entertainment Weekly takes a look at Tran’s previous work.)
Returning from The Force Awakens are Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.
Video footage shows director Rian Johnson, Hamill and Ridley filming on Skellig Micheal in September, and a hint as to where VIII picks up…
…Or is it? Note that only one shot – Ridley holding out the saber – is actually a close duplicate to what we saw in The Force Awakens. While they may be keeping things less restrictive this time, let’s not put too much faith in what they’re willing to show us.
Meanwhile, as the day winds down…
Oscar Isaac talks to io9 about the Resistance, Poe’s Shattered Empire backstory (though it’s worth noting he was already old enough to be talking – he’s mentioned in #2 – before his parents settled on Yavin) and how the X-wings have evolved.
→ Captain Phasma was originally a man, Vulture reports, and the backlash to the initial casting may have played a part in the gender swap. That said, anything that saved us from Benedict Cumberbatch is fine by me.
→ Clutch your pearls, because J.J. Abrams talked midi-chlorians with /Film.
→ On Twitter, Greg Grunberg confirms his action figure and his character name.
J.J. Abrams and the cast of The Force Awakens talk about the new Omaze initiative today. It launched with help from Harrison Ford last week, but a key cast member is missing from this one. However, it does end with a ‘to be continued…’
For more information on the charities selected by the cast, head to StarWars.com.
There’s still content from Celebration dropping, as Carrie Fisher talks to James Arnold Taylor backstage about Leia, the slave outfit, reprising Leia, and poor Gary’s exhaustion. Also joining James backstage are Ian McDiarmid and Anthony Daniels.
Plus there’s the Pablo Hidalgo and Leland Chee interview from the livestream.
Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker announced for Celebration Anaheim. They join Dave Filoni and the Rebels crew.
We also have the schedule for the Podcast Stage, which features a few familiar names like our pals at Full of Sith and Tosche Station.
And winning praise is Celebration’s anti-harassment policy – and harassment can be reported directly from the official show app
Our convention tips from the last Celebration are still live, and much of it wll still apply to Celebration Anaheim, but we’ll be revisiting a few in the months to come.