SWCO: 40 years of Star Wars panel hits the high notes with Carrie Fisher tribute


While the 40 years of Star Wars panel was light on news, it was fairly heavy on the feels. The much-vaunted surprises turned out to be George Lucas (as predicted,) Harrison Ford (who I don’t think anyone expected) and Billie Lourd, who took part in a truly epic tribute to Carrie Fisher.

I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house after the tribute video (above,) and it was only enhanced by the reveal of John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra playing Princess Leia’s theme. They followed up with the Main Theme and the Imperial March, just in time to allow us to regain our composure.

The video does contain a look at Fisher on-set in The Last Jedi, but in the scheme of things that feels secondary. And while the panel did mainly focus on the first 6 films, it’s really only appropriate that it ended the way it did. Tomorrow, we’ll look ahead.

New “micro-short” series Forces of Destiny to highlight the women of Star Wars

Announced overnight, just ahead of the official opening of Celebration Orlando, is Forces of Destiny, a new series of animated shorts highlighting Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Leia Organa, Ahsoka Tano and more.


The series will launch in July on the Disney Youtube, with additional shorts debuting on the Disney Channel in the fall. Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones, Tiya Sircar, Ashley Eckstein and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata) are among those returning to voice their characters.

The series will also have book and action figure tie-ins. We’ll learn more later Friday at the “Heroines of Star Wars” panel here in Orlando.

Celebration Orlando is almost here!

Star Wars Celebration Orlando begins on Thursday, and we’ll be there! Well, some of us. Our own James and Dan are running the Bounty Hunt puzzle race again, and the rest of us will be around. As always, keep an eye on Twitter! James is @jamesjawa, Paula is @Rosiewook (Check out her public health tips) and I’m @clubjade. Find one of us and you can get a button!

If this is your first time at Celebration, we’ve done a convention tips series in past year that’s still (mostly) relevant. How to photograph fans in costume, packing, what to carry around the con, the quick guide to Q&As, avoiding con crud and basic human decency. I didn’t get a chance to update any of it this year, but hey, maybe for 2019.

If you can’t make it, StarWars.com will be livestreaming again this time, so you can catch at least a few panels. (They’ll begin Thursday – keep an eye on their Youtube.) It’s the next best thing to being there!

Head below the cut for a few hand-picked highlights from the schedule:

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Rumors: Snoke’s wardrobe and more on Laura Dern in The Last Jedi

Here’s the latest pair of The Last Jedi rumors from Making Star Wars. In the first, we learn all about what Snoke’s wearing and where he’s living, which seems like… Not what you’d expect. (Or is it?) In the second, more on Laura Dern’s character and the Resistance.

As always, remember: None of this is guaranteed, and could be spoilery! (The pic above isn’t a spoiler – it’s from The Art of The Force Awakens, and thus more than fair game at this point.)

Todd Fisher: Leia will appear in Episode IX

Carrie Fisher may appear in Episode IX after all. Todd Fisher tells the New York Daily News that he and Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd have given Lucasfilm permission to use “recent footage” of her for the trilogy’s finale:

“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t,” said Fisher, as he attended the opening night gala of the TCM Film Festival in Los Angeles, celebrating “In the Heat of the Night.”

“She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi Wan — when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”

Fisher had finished filming for The Last Jedi prior to her death in December. Lucasfilm said they had “no plans to digitally recreate” Fisher as Leia in January. In March, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that her death hadn’t changed Leia’s role in Episode VIII.

Episode IX, to be directed by Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow, is due out in 2019.

Del Rey’s 40th Anniversary offering is a new anthology

Del Rey will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of A New Hope with From a Certain Point of View, a new anthology that will feature 40 stories from the viewpoints of the movie’s minor characters.

Coming in October in an oversized hardcover, the anthology will feature more than 40 authors, including both established Star Wars writers (Chuck Wendig, John Jackson Miller, Gary Whitta) and those new to the franchise (Meg Cabot, Ken Liu, Nnedi Okorafor.) All the authors are donating their proceeds to the charity First Book.

The book will be out in October and is available for preorder now.