Look, I’m pretty exhausted right now but I’ve committed to doing these daily recaps of Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023 in London, so I’m going to follow through despite it currently being after midnight local time and I’ve got another two full days worth of stuff coming up.
These are the things that stood out to me in my memory of the past day: it started back on the exhibit hall floor, where I was finally able to get into the Forbidden Planet booth and pick up a copy of the exclusive Dark Horse Comics Jaxxon cover of the Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories Annual by writer Cavan Scott and artist Nick Brokenshire.
Then it was time for me to head down and take my seat back in the Celebration Stage for the Star Wars: Ahsoka panel, which featured executive producers Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, plus many of the cast members from the show: Rosario Dawson (title character Ahsoka Tano), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Sabine Wren), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Hera Syndulla), Diana Lee Inosanto (Morgan Elsbeth), Ivanna Sakhno (Shin Hati), and Ray Stevenson (Baylon Skoll). But the absolute best moment of the panel– and probably the entire weekend so far– came when Favreau and Filoni brought out the actor who will be playing the legendary Grand Admiral Thrawn in live action, namely Lars Mikkelson, who voiced the character in the animated series Star Wars Rebels.
At the end of the Ahsoka panel, the creators also played a “remixed” version of the trailer with additional footage not shown in the one released online, including one shot where we could actually see Thrawn’s face. Up next I headed over to The High Republic panel on the Galaxy Stage, where we got a recap of Phase II of Lucasfilm’s ambitious multi-platform publishing initiative, followed by a preview of Phase III. Then as a surprise at the very end of the presentation after the live stream concluded, The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland came out and revealed that one of the characters from The High Republic novels– Vernestra Rwoh– would be played in live-action by Headland’s real-world wife Rebecca Henderson.
Then, believe it or not, it was time to prepare for the panel for Laughing Place’s very own Star Wars podcast “Who’s the Bossk?” At 5:00 PM, author Adam Christopher (Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith) joined me on the Holonet News Stage for a candid discussion of his career and the pretty fascinating world of Lucasfilm Publishing.
After the panel, my wife and I made the last-minute decision to continue making the most of our time in London and go see Elton John during his farewell tour at the O2 Arena. But beside that also-very-memorable experience, I have to say this was a day at Star Wars Celebration that I will never forget. After more than three decades of being a very big Star Wars fan, I got to host my own panel at the event and was present for one of the most exciting moments in the history of the franchise (see the Thrawn reveal above). Who knows what other moments tomorrow will bring? I sure don’t, but I’m incredibly excited to find out.