Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017

Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 #SWCO

Over the past four days, fans of Star Wars have been treated to the mother of all Star Wars events… the 40th anniversary celebration!

last_jedi

What a weekend. So many great moments, so much news, so many emotions. Let’s dive straight in.

the_maker_star_wars

Thank the maker! Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm gets proceedings underway by introducing to the stage the man who created it all – George Lucas.

luke_han_swco

Together again huh? Wouldn’t miss it. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) are two of many stars who make an appearance at Orlando. Fans were also treated to appearances from the actors who brought to life the classic characters of Lando Carlrissian, Chewbacca, C-3P0, the Emperor, Wedge Antilles and even Nien Nunb. 

star_wars

Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) from The Force Awakens were also in attendance, and there was also a surprise appearance from Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) for the first time in over a decade. Jyn (Felicity Jones), Saw (Forest Whittaker) & K-2S0 from Rogue One also surprised the crowd, as too did New Zealand’s Tem Morrison (Jango Fett) and Daniel Logan (Boba Fett).

last_jedi_poster

Of course probably the biggest news of the weekend was the big reveal of The Last Jedi poster and teaser trailer. The poster itself is fabulous; a nostalgic nod to the original A New Hope poster and with an easter egg hidden within. If you haven’t already seen it, here’s the teaser trailer:

As teasers go, it’s pretty awesome. And given that we haven’t heard Luke speak since 1983, who would have thought he’d drop the bombshell “I only know one truth; it’s time for the Jedi to end” on us after all these years!

Gaming fans were also treated to the trailer for the forthcoming Battlefront 2 game due out in November this year. And this time, yes, it will include a big single player campaign mode!

Fans of the TV series Rebels were treated to not only a live panel featuring the entire cast but also the trailer for Season 4 of the series too. Creator Dave Filoni announced to the audience that this will be the final season, however he also hinted that a brand new show is in the works too – watch this space!

In addition to all of this, there were many other announcements and events on stage, including several brand new novel announcements, toys, photos, rare unseen footage of A New Hope and more interviews than you can count. 

For me, it was the sheer emotion of the weekend that really was most memorable. Here’s my five favourite moments from Star Wars Celebration:

  1. The incredible tribute to Carrie Fisher
    Not a dry eye in the house. George Lucas introduced this video to the audience.
     
  2. John Williams live performance
    Straight after the tribute to Carrie Fisher, an unannounced live performance from John Williams, starting with the Leia theme, brought everyone to tears once again.
     
  3. Standing ovation for Rian Johnson
    Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi, really enamoured himself to the Star Wars fans at Orlando. People had been forced to wait in line for hours. Rian took it upon himself to go and personally say hi to EVERY person in the queue. At this point, it was fairly obvious most people didn’t know who he was. Contrast that video with the reaction he got just 8 hours later (go to 15m45s into this video). Rian Johnson just experienced the full power of Star Wars fans for the first time in his life.
     
  4. “Ladies and gentlemen, Harrison Ford!”
    We already had most the original trilogy cast on stage, and then unscheduled, this happened. Mayhem.
     
  5. “Of COURSE there’s a trailer, what are you TALKING ABOUT?!!”
    My favourite moment of the entire 4 days of Star Wars Celebration.  Rian Johnson, virtually unknown just 24 hours earlier, brings the house down when he finally tells the audience he’s got a trailer for them. Go to 58m45s into this video. This happened at about 4am NZ time and I was sitting on the couch hyperventilating at this point. Absolutely brilliant.

And so a great weekend of Star Wars Celebration comes to a close. And in closing, George Lucas himself summed Star Wars up in his final address to the crowd.

When you see all these kids. When you see the look on their faces. This is what I did it for
— George Lucas @ #SWCO
star_wars

paul

Author: Paul Knauer - follow me on Twitter @ObiWanKnauer

Subscribe to NightGathers.com and 'Like' our Facebook page to get the latest news, reviews and reactions to comics, gaming, television, movies, technology and more.