In a galaxy far far way (otherwise known as Anaheim, California) hundreds of thousands of Jedis, Rebels, Storm Troopers and other loyal Star Wars fans invaded the Anaheim Convention Center to see what the Empire has up its sleeve. And I have to say, the Empire did not disappoint!
Ready For Take Off – Star Wars Celebration
Kicking off the Star Wars Celebration weekend was a Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel with writer, director, and producer J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy. Thousands of fans from around the world lined up Wednesday afternoon for this late Thursday morning panel. They were rewarded for their loyalty with a few special surprises such as guest appearances and pizza bought by J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy that was delivered by Mary Franklin, ReedPop’s Global Event Director!
At the start of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel, Abrams and Kennedy talked about the highly anticipated movie. One big question was if episode VII of the Star Wars franchise use mostly CGI sets, similar to episodes I, II, and III. To the delight of fans, Abrams told us they did use some CGI technology, but he wanted the audience to believe they were in the universe and therefore used practical props and sets. As the panel was wrapping up, Abrams asked how we would feel about seeing a new teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Right before the lights went out Abrams thanked the fans and said, “The energy you are throwing our way is evidence of the Force, and we cannot be more grateful.” As the teaser ended with “Chewie… We’re home,” fans everywhere exploded with cheers.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode VII) crashes into a theaters December 18, 2015!
Star Wars Rebels
On Saturday I was privileged to get reserved seating for another panel: the New Allies and New Villains in Star Wars Rebels Season 2. This panel featured the cast of this Disney XD hit show: Freddie Prinze Jr. (Kanan), Steve Blum (Zeb), Vanessa Marshall (Hera), Taylor Gray (Ezra), and Tiya Sircar (Sabine) along with executive producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg. As the panel was finishing up, we were treated to the first release of the trailer for Star Wars Rebels Season 2! This short 3-4 minute trailer had the crowd gasping, cheering and there might have even been some tears.
After the trailer, we were ushered into a smaller room for an exclusive press conference. Since the trailer was fresh in our minds, one of the first questions was “Who is the voice of Darth Vader?” Imagine the cheers when Kinberg told us the original Darth Vader, James Earl Jones, was the voice behind the mask even in Star Wars Rebels! Dave Filoni also let us know that season 1 was about the characters learning to trust each other and becoming a family. Season 2 will give some insight about the back stories of the rebels along with getting a chance to watch each of them grow. There might even be some growing pains between Ezra and his father figure, Kanan.
The cherry on top of an already amazing Rebels-filled day was getting to watch the Star Wars Rebels season 1 finale, followed by the season 2 premiere! While we were not allowed to take video of any kind, I can tell you that it was brilliant! The Inquisitor doesn’t show up, so it seems he is really dead. Darth Vader is back with a vengeance, and he is out to finish off the remaining Jedi Knights.
“Star Wars Rebels” Season 2 begins this summer with a one-hour movie event and continues this fall with all-new episodes on Disney XD.