Star Wars Publishing Update:
The Star Wars publishing update was split into two parts. For the first segment, Alexandra Bracken (the Darkest Minds series), Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grim series), and Tom Angleberger (The Origami Yoda series) had a conversation with Lucasfilm’s Mike Siglain about the new Star Wars retellings for a young fans.
The authors discussed what they each enjoyed about being able to leave their own mark on the Star Wars Universe. Each author had their unique take on how to structure their books. I am looking forward to reading these retellings once they are released.
Next was a panel of Star Wars authors that have worked on a wide variety of titles. While there were a wide variety of titles from children’s books to adult novels to comics, two announcements were made at the panel.
First Chuck Wending revealed that his novel Star Wars: Aftermath is the first part of a trilogy which is part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens publishing program. That program is a wide variety of books that help us all get prepared for The Force Awakens release.
Second, Marvel’s C.B. Cebulski announced a Chewbacca series. Han and Chewie get separated, and he’s off on his own. During this time, Chewie will take a girl under his wing. Cebulski also revealed that another new Star Wars comic will be announced tomorrow.
There was a lot more Star Wars books discussion during the panel which we will need to save for a later time, but stay tuned for more info on the upcoming titles.
Hasbro: Star Wars:
Hasbro had several Star Wars product reveals including Kanan, Ashoka, and New Hope Luke figures are coming to “The Black Series” line. Sabine is also coming to the series with two heads. One with her helmet on, the other with her helmet off. Fans also had a chance to pick a character to join the series through a vote. The winner was Darth Revan, a Sith lord from the Legends stories. While some other products were discussed, the headline item was the reveal of the TIE fighter from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Disney XD’s Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero and Star vs. The Forces of Evil:
This panel on Disney XD’s newest animated series shared some new footage. First from Star vs. The Forces of Evil we got a sneak peek from “Blood Moon Ball,” where we meet Star’s demonic ex-boyfriend, Tom.
From Penn Zero: Part Time Hero we got a look ahead into countless dimensions with Penn Zero as he uses his unconventional skills to save the day.
Marvel Television Presents:
This panel on Marvel’s two ABC series was hosted by the always entertaining head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb. First up was Agent Carter with Executive Producers Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas, and Chris Dingess and stars James D’Arcy and Hayley Atwell. The cast and crew discussed the show’s setting moving from Los Angeles with the series picking up about six month after the culmination of Season One. They also revealed that since Carter has let go of Steve Rogers, she is now able to open herself for some dating prospects.
Following a look-back at Season 2, Jeph introduced the entire cast both new and old of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While calling Skye by her real name Daisy might take some getting used to. The cast seems very excited about heading into Season 3 with the Secret Wars concept coming to the forefront. Jeph did reveal that Lash from the world of Inhumans will be appearing on the show.
The team shared a blooper real from the home video release and a “live video” link to the producer room with Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen deciding who will kick the bucket in Season 3. Once that video ended, which featured a fun cameo by B.J. Britt, the cast seemed worried that next to Simmons name was the words “already very dead”. Without revealing what the meant, Jeph ended the panel.
This is the panel with all the fireworks, both figuratively and literally. Kathleen Kennedy (head of Lucasfilm), J.J. Abrams (Writer and Director) and Lawrence Kasdan (Writer) took to the stage. If there was one theme for the entire evening, it was thanking the Comic-Con attendees for their support since Star Wars’s first appearance at the con in 1976, a year prior to the first film’s release. With that being said, they brought out Bobbajo, the character who first made an appearance in the video which announced A Force For Change. They used his appearance as a way to illustrate that they used practical effects and sets throughout filming.
The team then showed the fans this behind-the-scenes reel, which happened to confirm Simon Pegg’s involvement in the film:
The new heroes of the film, John Boyega (Finn), Daisy Ridley (Rey), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), then took the stage and discussed what being a part of Star Wars means to them.
Not to be outdone, the dark side is represented by Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Domhall Gleeson (General Hux), and Gwendolyn Christie (Captain Phasma). They also revealed that the evil First Order’s base is called the Starkiller Base
Of course our classic friends also made an appearance with Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamil, and Harrison Ford all joining the festivities. It really felt like an old bunch of friends reunited to make this film.
Of course, everyone was curious to see how Harrison appeared as he had to miss Star Wars Celebration Anaheim due to his recovery from a plane crash. He looked great and had no problem walking on stage.
The team bantered back and forth and answered fan questions, but as it was time for the panel to conclude J.J. revealed one more surprise. They were inviting everyone in Hall H to a Star Wars concert under the stars.
With that, over 6,000 fans walked into a nearby park for a performance by the San Diego Symphony. As we entered, we were each given a lightsaber which provided quite the ambiance. Shortly after 8, voice of Disneyland Bill Rogers introduced Kathy Kennedy and J.J. Abrams one more time. They then introduced the cast who seemed to be astounded by the sheer spectacle of it all.
Then John Williams appeared on the screen who mentioned that he is busy working on the score for The Force Awakens, but he has picked some of his favorite selections to be performed by Sameer Patel and the San Diego Symphony. The led off with the Imperial March and kept on going from there. After a wide variety of Star Wars music was performed, they showed a video of Star Wars’s appearances at Comic-Cons and thanked the fans once again. With that they had one final surprise.
As the main theme of Star Wars began, we see that there are fireworks on the river next to the park. The impressive display was just the icing on the cake. The show received a standing ovation and you could sense the euphoria as the assembled made their way back to Downtown San Diego.
We will have more on this special evening in the coming days as it was one of the most memorable special events Disney has ever assembled.