After experiencing Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 over the last several days, my feet are tired, but the Force is definitely with me. Four days of Star Wars
fans fanatics along with appearances from George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill of the old to Daisy Ridley and John Boyega of the new, it was a weekend that any Star Wars lover would not soon forget. This was my very first Star Wars Celebration, and I am sure it won’t be my last. Getting a look at what’s to come in that galaxy far, far away is a treat that any fan should never miss. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from this year’s event.
Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017
40th Anniversary Panel
Let’s start with the 40th Anniversary panel. Hosted by Warwick Davis from Return of the Jedi and Rogue One. The panel included Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker), Ian McDiarmid (the Emperor/Darth Sidious), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Kathleen Kennedy (Lucasfilm President), and Dave Filoni (executive producer, Star Wars Rebels). But in true fan convention fashion, Lucasfilm had some surprise guests.
George Lucas was the first big surprise. He took the stage and reminded everyone that he created the saga for kids. “I’m not supposed to say this and I wasn’t supposed to say it then, but it’s a film for 12-year-olds.”
Mark Hamill took the stage and shared his gratitude with the audience as he recognizes that he wouldn’t be where he is today if it weren’t for the immense love of the fans.
“It’s really moving and certainly nothing I’ve ever taken for granted. I’m always stunned at the passion that has lasted all these years,” Mark shared with fans.
The Harrison Ford joined the stage and takes a look back on his role as Han Solo. When asked how Star Wars has impacted his life he joked saying, “It has made no difference whatsoever,” but then sais, “It was the beginning of an incredible ride.”
When George Lucas was then asked how Harrison got the part as Hans Solo he said that after telling Harrison that the film was about spaceships, he asked him if he knew how to fly. Laughing, Harrison shared, “I said, fly? Yeah. Land? No.”
What makes Star Wars so special? “You can have the most brilliant cast in the world, but they have a story to tell, and the story we had to tell was more than sufficient,” Harrison said. “It was full of humor and emotion and conflict and it was a brilliant invention of mythology that has sustained interest for over 40 years.”
One of the things I love about Harrison was how he took the time to shake everyone’s hand and seemed to be genuinely interested in how each person was doing.
I loved the tribute that Kathleen and George gave to the late Carrie Fisher before introducing Billie Lourd, Carrie’s daughter. They both spent a few minutes talking about Carrie and reflected on the importance of her playing Lea. “She was a princess. She was a senator. She played a part that was very smart, and she was having to hold her own against two big lugs, goofballs, that were screwing everything up. But she was the boss, it was her war.”
George continued, “When I cast it, I said I really want someone young to play the part. And when Carrie came in she was that character. She was very strong, very smart, very funny, very bold, very tough, and there really wasn’t much of a question. There really aren’t very many people like her. They’re one in a billion. And for this part, she was absolutely perfect.”
See the video of the introduction of Billie and feel the love these two had for Carrie.
So the beautiful Billie steps out dressed as her mom would have in her early Lea days. She said some sweet wonderful words. “My mom used to say she never knew where Leia ended and she began.” Lourd’s words were then followed by a tribute video that you can watch below. There was not a dry eye in the place. This is SO touching.
If you have the time and that little taste of the first panel of Star Wars Celebration isn’t enough, take an hour and a half and watch the whole panel’s interviews!
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
On day two, it was all about the next Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Disney and Lucasfilm debuted a teaser trailer for the film and shared the poster for the film for the first time with Luke, Rey, and Kylo Ren.
Below this video is the trailer that debuted and then is the whole session from day 2 of Star Wars Celebration, The Last Jedi panel.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi panel
Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga. Josh Gad hosts the panel with special guests Kathleen Kennedy, Rian Johnson, Daisy Ridley, BB-8, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran and Mark Hamill take a look at what you missed during The Last Jedi panel.
This is such a small look at the amazing 4-day event. This is just the tip of all that is going on in the Star Wars galaxy.
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