Hayden Christensen returning to Celebration for Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary

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.

Celebration’s The Last Jedi panel will be Friday, April 14

To the surprise of no one, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director Rian Johnson will be on a Celebration Orlando panel on Friday, April 14. The Last Jedi panel is expected debut the film’s first trailer, or at the very least a behind-the-scenes feature, as the con is expected to launch the movie’s first wave of publicity. Expect some other “special guests” to appear as well.

For the past few Celebrations, the first big movie panel has featured the upcoming release, while a second on Sunday focuses on the other upcoming films.

The new Star Wars Show also features more Rogue One behind-the-scenes and a visit to Sideshow.


UPDATE: Johnson took the occasion to post a new behind-the-scenes shot on Tumblr:

http://rcjohnso.tumblr.com/post/157290828820/were-coming-to-orlando-for-a-star

THR takes a (brief) look at Lucasfilm’s executive women

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As part of their Women in Entertainment issue, The Hollywood Reporter has an article on how Lucasfilm’s executive team is more than 50% female.

“When you have a balance of men and women, there are all sorts of things that enter into the discussion,” [Kathleen Kennedy] says, calling the Rey-Jyn doubleheader a “coincidence” that the studio (and parent Disney) embraced. “Because women are always in story meetings, [no one has] to go, ‘Hey, what would a woman think?’ ” says creative executive Rayne Roberts. “The reason Rey is strong and technically capable and compassionate and driven is that the women who were in that room, including Kathy, reflect those qualities.”

There’s still work to be done – the lack of women directing is mentioned – but there are worse places to start than at the top. Still, the article is pretty short – wouldn’t it be nice to see a deeper dive on this topic?

Today in Rogue One: More press, John Knoll, and another footage review

ro-trailer2-chirrut

There was another press conference in San Francisco today. StarWars.con liveblogged it, and here’s a collection of the live-tweets. Perhaps the biggest news to come out of it: Kathleen Kennedy said that her earlier comments on female directors were taken out of context. She also said that they’re not nessarily planning to bring more cartoon characters into the standalones, ala Saw Gerrera, but they may come in more organically. Also: George Lucas saw and liked it.

Wired has a great profile of ILM’s John Knoll, who pitched the idea that became Rogue One to Kennedy.

→ Here’s another take on those 28 minutes of footage, this time spoiler-free.

Spaceship Earth, aka the big round thing at Epcot in Orlando, is being turned into the Death Star for a Rogue One event happening Monday. The Disney Parks blog will be livestreaming.