Here’s how we’ll get into the big panels at Celebration Chicago

After the lines at Celebration Orlando proved more than a little traumatic, Reed has introduced a whole new system for getting into panels: A reservation and virtual queue called Lightspeed. It includes an advance lottery for the big panels that will be on the three big stages, with fans assigned to seating sections. It all sounds totally simple and I’m sure no one will be confused at all! The first lotteries open next Thursday, March 28… If you have your badge. (Apparently, they’re in the mail?)

But seriously, the line for the prayer circle for the livestream’s return starts here.

In other Celebration news… The Mandalorian panel with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will be Sunday, and there are merchandise exclusives.

Celebration roundup: Animation panels, Paul Bettany and Riz Ahmed added

Three Star Wars animation panels will be held a Celebration Chicago: Rebels on Saturday, The Clone Wars on Sunday and Resistance on Monday. The Clone Wars will preview their new Disney+ episodes, while Resistance – which will finish off their first season on two weeks -will preview season 2. (The Rebels panel will not feature any new series announcements, LFL publicist Tracy Cannobbio says.)

Three more guests have been added: Solo’s Paul Bettany (Dryden Vos), Rogue One’s Riz Ahmed (Bodhi Rook) and The Last Jedi’s Hermione Corfield (Tallissan Lintra).

The Art of Star Wars Rebels arrives in October

This has been bouncing around fandom for a few days, but here it is, officially: The Art of Star Wars Rebels is coming out in October. The hardcover is written by Dan Wallace and “will chronicle the making of the show over its four-season run, complete with never-before-seen concept art and process pieces.” It will include commentary from Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, Carrie Beck and others, and is already up for preorder.

For the time being, there’s plenty of behind the scenes content in the series guide on StarWars.com, including the above, a lighting concept by Molly Denmark for the series finale.

Rumor: Will we see someone familiar in The Mandalorian?

As with any new Star Wars project, there’s been plenty of speculation as to what existing characters we’re likely to see in The Mandalorian. We saw plenty of Mandalorians in The Clone Wars and Rebels, and with Dave Filoni on board the series, there’s a good size list of characters that could make an appearance. In their latest report, Making Star Wars has some evidence which might point to the involvement of an important animated character. And also the Avatar sequels are involved. Sort of.

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George Lucas turns up on The Mandalorian set

Jon Favreau had a birthday visit (and some wine!) from George Lucas on the set of The Mandalorian today.

A later post shows the two with Dave Filoni, who worked with Lucas on The Clone Wars and is directing the first episode of The Mandalorian:

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Meanwhile, Making Star Wars has had their view altered… . At least briefly.

Report: What The Mandalorian directors are directing

We know who The Mandalorian directors are, but Making Star Wars has learned what episodes they’ll be actual directing. The official release only specified that Dave Filoni was doing the first, but MSW has him, Deborah Chow, and Rick Famuyiwa each directing two episodes, with Bryce Dallas Howard on the fourth and Taika Waititi taking on the (season?) finale. The eight-episode number comes from MSW’s earlier reporting; an earlier report has it at 10, but shortening the load is one way to get the most out of a rumored $100M budget.

MSW has been killing it on this show – in addition to all their recent scoops, they were the first to report that Mandalorians were involved back in August. We don’t have much reason to doubt them when it comes to the show.

First image for The Mandalorian, directors announced

We get our first official look at Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian, plus a director list. The first episode will be directed by Dave Filoni, and other directors will include Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates), and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok).

The series is being written and executive produced by Favreau. Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson and Karen Gilchrist are also producing.

Still nothing official on the cast (who’s in the armor, Lucasfilm?), but Making Star Wars has some evidence (though probably not for the armor-wearer, though who knows) as they continue their set reporting.

Meet Resistance’s team of Aces

We met Team Fireball, part of the Star Wars Resistance cast a few weeks ago: Now it’s time for some details on “the Aces,” pilots who protect the show’s main setting, the Colossus platform.

They include Myrna Velasco’s Torra Doza, Donald Faison’s Hype Fazon, Stephen Stanton’s Griff Halloran, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn’s Freya Fenris and the mysterious Bo Keevil. (Their ships, Blue Ace, Green Ace, Black Ace, Red Ace and Yellow Ace, plus the Fireball, all now have Databank entries.)

The video debuted on USA Today, who also talked to Dave Filoni.

The show will debut on October 7 on the Disney Channel and DisneyNOW.

Meet Resistance’s Team Fireball

Meet the cast of Resistance – or at least the “Team Fireball” portion: Kazuda Xiono (Christopher Sean), Jarek Yeager (Scott Lawrence), Tam Ryvora (Suzie McGrath), and Neeku Vozo (Josh Brener).

The characters now have entries on the Databank as well: Kazuda, Jarek, Tam, Neeku and droid Bucket.

Still nothing on the frog, though. And I assume we’ll get some more details on the last key figure on the poster, Myrna Velasco’s Torra Doza, in another video, since she must have her own team.