FINALLY! During Star Wars Celebration, the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released unto the world. Fans have been waiting on this footage for a long time now, so it's an exciting moment for the Star Wars Universe.
The Last Jedi is the highly-anticipated eighth chapter in the Skywalker saga. It comes two years after the record-breaking box office of The Force Awakens, and many believe that the new film could top its predecessor.
Star Wars kept up the moment between movies, as the franchise hit a home-run with its first standalone film, Rogue One. Before Episode IX is released in 2019, a movie focused on the adventures of young Han Solo will hit theaters.
Continue reading to see all of the top stories from Star Wars Celebration!
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from writer/director Rian Johnson, is in post-production now for a December 15, 2017 release. The film follows-up and continues the story of the next generation of the saga as Rey, Poe, Finn, and Kylo Ren find their place in the galaxy and follow the legacy of Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo. Daisy Ridley returns to star as Rey, with other returning stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong'o Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join the cast in as-yet-unrevealed roles.
Billie Lourd Honors Carrie Fisher In Incredible Way
During the 40th Anniversary Panel at Star Wars Celebration, many members of the cast and crew came out to tell their stories about the historic franchises. Of course, much of the panel focused on the legacy of Carrie Fisher, who sadly passed away in December.
Peter Mayhew, Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas, and others all shared their memories of the late Princess Leia. Towards the end of the panel, the most touching speech about Fisher occurred.
Billie Lourd, the daughter of Carrie Fisher, surprised fans when she came out onto the stage. She talked a lot about when the Star Wars franchise meant to her family, and concluded with some memorable words about her mother.
"She loved you. She loved these movies. And she loved this force called Leia," Lourd said. "It's not about what you were fighting - it's how you fought it. How you resisted."
The actress then began telling fans about the three biggest lessons her mom ever taught her. The first one was a direct pull from A New Hope, as she recited Leia's 'You're my only hope' speech. Then, she continued with the other two points....
Mark Hamill And Hayden Christiansen Unite
Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 is currently underway in Orlando, Florida, uniting fans of the expansive Star Wars universe. As it turns out, it is also uniting the casts of the franchise's trilogies of films - including an unexpected, but much-anticipated pairing.
While franchise stars Hayden Christensen and Mark Hamill both participated in today's festivities, including the highly-anticipated Star Wars 40 panel, the two did not appear alongside each other. That is, until red carpet photos from the event were shared online.
That's right, Anakin and Luke Skywalker united in person, and the resulting photos are pretty fantastic.
Christensen's appearance at Star Wars Celebration - despite being announced in late March - came as a surprise to much of the Star Wars fanbase. The actor hasn't appeared at a Star Wars Celebration since 2002, to promote Attack of the Clones.
Christensen joined some pretty good company for today's 40th celebration panel. Aside from Hamill, attendees at the panel included appearances fellow Star Wars cast members Ian McDermid, Peter Mayhew, Harrison Ford, Warwick Davis, Billy Dee Williams, Samuel L. Jackson, and Billie Lourd. The panel also included Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy, Star Wars Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni, and of course, franchise creator George Lucas.
How Boba Fett's Helmet Got Damaged
One of the most popular characters in the Star Wars universe that has the fewest amount of screen time would be bounty hunter Boba Fett, known for having helped capture Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. Fans can't seem to get enough info about the mysterious character, despite his history having been explored in stories that no longer fit directly into the current saga's canon. During a panel focusing on animation at Star Wars Celebration, The Clone Wars director shared an unused animatic that never appeared on the show that revealed a key component in the character's history.
Filoni showed the above clip to the room, which is a rough animatic of how a showdown between Cad Bane and Boba Fett would've played out.
In addition to the epic confrontation between two of the toughest bounty hunters in the Star Wars saga, the showdown also features a cameo from another bounty hunter seen in Empire, Bossk.
In contrast to the bright white armor of Stormtroopers and black helmet and cape of Darth Vader, Fett's green helmet and armor has made his costume one of the most imitated by fans of the series. Whereas the armor of Imperials remained relatively pristine, Fett's had dents and scrapes, making the character appear to have gone through many dire situations.
George Lucas Points Out The Key To Bringing C-3PO To Life
Robots and science fiction have always gone hand-in-hand in film, putting man's fascination with giving life to machines on full display. The Star Wars franchise has embraced automaton assistants regularly, introducing audiences to a wide variety of androids capable of awesome abilities. Of the series' most memorable robots, C-3PO stands out as one of the most iconic, having been featured in all eight films. When speaking at a panel at Star Wars Celebration, George Lucas himself revealed the key component to making the droid so memorable, which involved some assistance from Anthony Daniels.
During a panel that celebrated the original film's 40th anniversary, moderator Warwick Davis, star Anthony Daniels, and creator George Lucas all began debating the process of creating C-3PO, with Lucas chiming in as the ultimate authority of what made C-3PO so iconic.
"The key to the construction of you was the face. The face had to be absolutely neutral so that you could act, and your acting would come through and it wouldn't be counter to what your face was doing," Lucas revealed.
Daniels jokingly griped about how he had to strip his clothing so plaster casts could be made of his body to help design the suit to fit him perfectly, but he didn't seem to mind George's thoughts...
Liam Neeson Trolls Fans With Fake Jar Jar Binks Movie
As part of the on-going Star Wars Celebration event in Orlando (FL), many of past participants of the franchise have appeared live or piped in with video segments. Liam Neeson -- who played Qui-Gon Jinn in Episode I: The Phantom Menace -- did a pre-recorded speech to the fans.
He took time to thank the fans of the film and discuss his role. He also chose to throw a quote out there that got a hearty laugh and applause when he referenced one of the most divisive characters in the 40 years history, Jar Jar Binks.
"40 years! 40 years of story telling, mixing myth, mythology, legend, technology, and this extraoridnary cinematic form. I’ve been very honored to play QGJ in the Phantom Menace," Neeson said. "I’m actually here on location in the Canadian Mountain; we’re making a movie, a very official movie, about what happened to Jar Jar Binks. Spoiler alert: he did go to the dark said. May the Force be with you!"
Jar Jar was, of course, a major character in Phantom Menace, had a smaller role in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and then a brief cameo in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith -- where he has no dialogue -- attempting to provide comic relief but largely annoying traditionalists of the original trilogy....
Samuel L. Jackson Pitches Mace Windu Return
While many Star Wars fans have made a hobby out of bashing the prequel trilogy, it did introduce the franchise's baddest Jedi master to date. Samuel L. Jackson's turn as Mace Windu was such a fun character, and many have wondered if there was any possibility the character could return. Sure, he was killed in Revenge Of The Sith, but stranger things have happened in Star Wars.
After the success of Rogue One, Star Wars is going all-in on the idea of standalone stories, so a Mace Windu return definitely isn't out of the question. If it worked into the plans, and Jackson made himself available, there's no reason why a Windu Revival couldn't happen.
In a video appearance during Star Wars Celebration's 40th anniversary panel, the actor pushes one of those obstacles out of the way. Jackson started by thanking George Lucas for the opportunity, but then addressed Mace Windu's fate in Episode III.
"While you're all sitting there, I know you're all in my corner on this. We all know Jedi can fall form incredible heights and survive, so apparently I am not dead. Yes I have two appendages right now, but we know the long and rich history of Star Wars characters reappearing with new appendages and being stronger and better than they ever were...
Watch Carrie Fisher Tribute
There were many big appearances from actors and creators from the franchise's past and present - but of course, one person who couldn't be there was the late Carrie Fisher, who passed away in the last days of 2016.
As always, the Stars Wars team and their community honored the franchise's great and beautiful princess, with a moving tribute video you can watch above.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, franchise creator George Lucas, and Fisher's daughter, Scream Queens star Billie Lourd, all took to the stage to deliver moving and emotional speeches, remembering the late, great, actress/filmmaker.
Fisher will be featured in the next two Star Wars movies; The Last Jedi releases in theaters this December, with Episode IX following in 2019.
40th Anniversary Panel Recap
Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 kicked on on Thursday morning. If you couldn't make it out to the Sunshine State to join the festivities, the main panels are being broadcast live on YouTube.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy kicked off the panel after a sizzle reel reflecting on the franchise's 40 year history by thanking fans for sleeping outside in an effort to get into the crowded room and introducing George Lucas.
Lucas tells the story of how he willed Star Wars into existence. He admits Star Wars was a movie for 12-year-old's, as seeing the look on children's faces is more important than satisfying critics.
Dave Filoni, executive producer of Star Wars Rebels, takes the stage. He discusses a new progrem used to create Clone Wars. "We did it and the show got incredibly better because of it," Filoni said. "Make no decision out of fear. That's key."
"It really came out of the idea that there's a lot of stories there," Lucas said. experimented in television because he believed these stories were better in long form. "I would come in in the morning and say we're gonna do this and this and this and this and their jaws would drop and they'd say, 'We're not really gonna do this are we?'"