With all the various stories floating around in the Star Wars universe right now, it’s no wonder that the annual “Celebration” convention brought fans in droves to London. We were treated to a series of panels and footage across the whole weekend, capped off by a brand new behind-the-scenes reel, a look at the future of the franchise, and some exclusive information debuted to the public for the first time ever.
Not everyone could stay tuned in for three straight days though. To help break down all the biggest news from the weekend, we’ve compiled everything into one, convenient article for your reading pleasure. Here’s all the latest from the Star Wars franchise, brought to us straight from London, England.
1. Star Wars: Rebels debuts the first Season 3 trailer
Things really heated up for Star Wars: Rebels in its second season. It was the marked by the appearance of Clone Wars favorite Ahsoka Tano, the return of Darth Maul, and a climactic showdown with none other than Darth Vader himself. Season 3 promises to be similarly amazing, with the London Celebration gifting us with the first full-length trailer. In it, we get all sorts of details about what’s to come, as well as the introduction of an iconic Legends character that fans have been asking after for years now. The sum total: a series that exists in its own stunningly well-constructed corner of the Star Wars saga.
2. Alden Ehrenreich is introduced as the new Han Solo
This may not necessarily be anything “new” per se, but it’s still worth reporting all the same. While most of the Hollywood dailies had already scooped the story, Lucasfilm had never actually announced Alden Ehrenreich as the new Han Solo. The studio ended up doing just that at London’s Celebration, running him out on stage during the panel discussing his standalone movie. The panel also introduced directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who provided us with some intriguing insight into their approach for Han Solo. The highlight: the duo citing the “dichotomy between this grouchy seemingly cynical guy with the biggest heart in the galaxy. And to me that’s a great thing to make a movie about.”
3. Star Wars: Battlefront unveils plans for the upcoming Death Star DLC
Star Wars: Battlefront has come a long way since its initial 2015 release. Since it hit stores two months before The Force Awakens, we’ve gotten two stellar DLCs, a series of game-fixing patches, additional heroes and game modes, and a commitment toward building out the most immersive Star Wars video game ever created. Next up on the docket will be the Death Star DLC, and this one is going to be massive. Players will get a chance to play as Chewbacca and the bounty hunter Bossk, and do battle in and outside of the iconic Imperial space station.
4. A behind-the-scenes look at Rogue One
While many of us were expecting a full-length trailer for Rogue One, what we got was the next best thing. A behind-the-scenes sizzle reel gave us an in-depth look at the vision behind the film. In it, we see a recommitment to practical effects from Lucasfilm, acting as backdrop to what looks to be the first true war movie in the Star Wars franchise. The panel then pivoted to a Q&A with the cast, where we got a look at Ben Mendolsohn as Director Krennic, Alan Tudyk’s role as CGI droid, and lots more. All in all, it gave us plenty to look forward to leading into Rogue One‘s December release.
5. Grand Admiral Thrawn gets reintroduced into the Star Wars canon
Fans of the original Star Wars novels of the Expanded Universe were gutted when Disney declared the old EU to no longer be canonical with the main story. This threw out dozens of popular characters and plot threads, including the fearsome villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn was painted as a military genius in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy, acting as the primary antagonist for our heroes in the post-Return of the Jedi days.
The blue-skinned Admiral will finally get his day in the sun, first in Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels, and then in a brand new novel from Zahn entitled Thrawn. The canonical book will release in 2017, paired with Thrawn’s first appearance in Rebels. This begs the question of whether other popular EU characters will be reintroduced into the Star Wars universe, while demonstrating a clear commitment to fan service from the studio.
6. Bits of new Episode VIII info
We still don’t have an official title for Episode VIII, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t get any other new information in London’s panel for the film. Fans got a chance to hear about the film straight from director Rian Johnson, who cited movies like Twelve O’Clock High as the primary inspiration for his vision. Additionally, we also found out that Episode VIII will start exactly where The Force Awakens left off, making it so we don’t have to worry about a potentially awkward time jump between the films.
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