‘Star Wars’ Celebration 2017: All the Secrets and Surprises We Learned
Every year, Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Celebration brings together all of its talented creators in one place for a single weekend, unveiling a collection of exciting announcements, footage, trailers, and tons more. The result is a veritable treasure trove of content for Star Wars fans. From the first concrete details on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to panels featuring the biggest stars the franchise has to offer, it was truly a weekend to remember.
What exactly did it bring us though? Let’s run through all the biggest announcements and find out!
1. The first teaser for The Last Jedi
The most anticipated reveal of the entire weekend was the very first trailer for The Last Jedi, unveiled during a panel on the second day of festivities. In it, we get a ton of new information, including a look at Rey’s early training, Finn’s recovery, and of course, Luke’s very first words in the trilogy.
All in all, the film promises answers to some of our most burning questions, and the film’s December 15, 2017 release date can’t come soon enough.
2. EA pulls the curtain back on their ambitious plans for Battlefront II
There’s little denying that 2015’s release of Star Wars: Battlefront was a massive letdown for fans of the popular video game franchise. EA seems to have taken that reaction to heart for the sequel, teasing at a new game that will seek to amend almost all of the major complaints players had the first time around.
Star Wars: Battlefront II, releasing November 2017, will take place across all three eras of the Star Wars canon, featuring a single-player campaign mode, complex space battles, and most importantly, no expensive add-on DLC’s.
3. A new major player joins the Star Wars canon
That single-player campaign mode in Battlefront II won’t just be your average play-your-own-adventure story. Instead, it’ll place you in the shoes of Iden Versio (pictured above), the leader of an elite Imperial commando force, Inferno Squad. The narrative plays out in the period between Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as Iden seeks vengeance for the Empire’s defeat on Endor.
Leading into the game’s release in November, an Inferno Squad novel will also hit shelves in July, presumably featuring Versio for the first time before her starring role in Battlefront II. Of course, the best part of this whole deal: Everything you see in the Battlefront II campaign mode will be an official part of the Star Wars canon.
4. The trailer for the final season of Star Wars Rebels
After four spectacular seasons, the animated Star Wars Rebels series will finally come to an end. The trailer for the fourth and final season was revealed at this year’s Celebration, and it was absolutely packed with details on what we can expect. The whole format of it seems to suggest that Hera Syndulla is the lone survivor of the group, a twist that would go a long way toward answering why Luke didn’t know there were two other Jedi running around the galaxy during the Rebellion.
Whatever the real answer ends up being though, it’s nice to see Lucasfilm opting not to drag Rebels out indefinitely, instead bringing it in for a nice, soft Season 4 landing.
5. Rebels won’t be the last animated Star Wars series
Rebels may be wrapping things up after its fourth season, but that doesn’t mean that Lucasfilm is finished with that realm of storytelling. “This show by no means represents an end to anything we’re doing in animation,” Rebels and Clone Wars creator Dave Filoni promised at a Celebration panel. He didn’t afford us much past that, but given the 30-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, there’s no shortage of good stories to tell in the animation Star Wars universe moving forward.
6. A peek inside Disney’s immersive Star Wars theme parks
Disney’s going all in on their ambitious plans to create a fully immersive Star Wars universe that fans can experience firsthand. Opening at both Disneyland and Disney World in 2019, the park will plunge you headfirst into the world of a brand new canonical planet, featuring rides, a cantina, and tons more.
It goes far deeper than even that though, with a panel at this year’s Celebration revealing that you will develop a “reputation” in the new park, based entirely on your behavior on rides and in the confines of the fully immersive universe. Disney will unveil even more at this year’s D23 Expo in July, but for now, you can color us excited.
7. Captain Phasma will get her own novel and comic book series
Captain Phasma was easily the most underutilized character this side of Boba Fett, used mostly as a cool-looking set piece, before getting unceremoniously dumped into a trash compactor. Seeking to amend that, Lucasfilm and Del Rey unveiled plans to release both a standalone novel, and a five-issue comic series for the chrome-armored First Order Stormtrooper.
The book, releasing Sept. 1, 2017, will likely dive into her origin story, while the comics will cover her escape from Starkiller Base before its destruction at the hands of the Resistance.
8. ‘Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ and answers to some of our most burning Luke-related questions
In the run-up to their last trilogy film, Lucasfilm released a series of “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” comics and novels. They’ll be employing a similar strategy this time around, marked by the “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi“ moniker announced at publishing house Del Rey’s Celebration panel.
Phasma and her companion comic series will be included under that brand, as well as YA novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan, and The Legend of Luke Skywalker. The Luke-centric book will be especially exciting for fans, covering his activities between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and penned by Hugo Award-winning author, Ken Liu.
9. A touching tribute to Carrie Fisher
The Star Wars community was hit hard by news of Carrie Fisher’s tragic death in late-2016. We all got a chance to properly celebrate her life this year though, thanks to a touching tribute video released by Lucasfilm (above), followed by a one-man panel, where Mark Hamill talked at-length about the impact Fisher had both on his own life, and the scores of fans who idolized her on and off-camera.
10. Rian Johnson promises answers in The Last Jedi
While not strictly part of the Celebration per se, Rian Johnson’s recent interview with Good Morning America did take place over that same weekend. That being so, we’re going to count it, especially in light of the information he dished on during the conversation. The major highlights are two-fold: First, that “Rey’s parentage will absolutely be addressed” in The Last Jedi, and second, “The Last Jedi” refers solely to Luke. You can peep the full interview for yourself over here.
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