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Star Wars Celebration 2017: The Last Jedi Panel and Trailer

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Fans have been desperately seeking any news related to Star Wars: Episode VIII, and the anticipation has been steadily rising for months now. In January, Disney and Lucasfilm finally announced the title for the upcoming film as “The Last Jedi”, adding more fuel to the fire. The announcement sparked a slew of oncoming questions—Who is the Last Jedi? Is it Rey? Is it Luke Skywalker? Or could it even be both of them? When international translations of the title arrived, Slash Film took note that the word ‘jedi’ was actually translated as a plural word. The announcement incited a frenzy of theories and generated more speculation from fans. While months have passed with barely any updates regarding the film, many have turned a watchful eye towards this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration for any news. This morning, over a hundred thousand fans across the globe tuned into watch The Last Jedi panel. We’d like to take a moment to recap and roundup all the details we learned today.

The panel kicked off featuring a recap of some hilarious videos shot by Josh Gad, who was recently on set filming the “Murder on the Orient Express” with Daisy Ridley. Gad is best known for his recent work as Olaf the Snowman from Frozen and Lefou from Beauty and the Beast. In the clips, Josh not-so-subtly interrogates Daisy for any details about the upcoming Star Wars film. Josh even goes as far to employ the help from actors and actresses like Judi Dench, Chris Pratt and Penelope Cruz. It seems only fitting that an uber fan like Josh Gad should join the fans at Star Wars Celebration, only this time, Gad was selected as a host for the event.

President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy was first introduced on stage, who gave a warm welcome to director Rian Johnson shortly after. According to fans, Johnson spent hours last night visiting with thousands of overnight campers at the event, eager to access the morning panel. Rian posed for selfies, signed badges and memorabilia, and interacted with sleepless fans until at least three in the morning. While he did his best to evade the more pressing questions, Rian Johnson revealed some behind the scenes photos from his time on set. Johnson reflected about his time on The Last Jedi set, and showcased a series of black and white photos that he took personally. While many of the images were equally evocative, there was one photo in particular of Carrie Fisher that is pure gold. Johnson kept his camera by his side during the event, snapping pictures while on stage.

When Daisy Ridley arrived on stage, fans couldn’t even contain their excitement. Ridley remained poised as ever, expertly evading Josh Gad’s relentless questions, but she did drop a subtle hint about how Luke Skywalker might not be who Rey envisioned. "Rey has a certain expectation as to what she might be getting from Luke and what that might entail. And as a lot of people might know, it's difficult when you meet your heroes because it might not be what you expect," Ridley said. Daisy glowed in an all-red ensemble, and completed her look with a double-bun hairstyle—we think Rey would definitely approve. When asked about what she’s most excited to see, Ridley said that she couldn’t wait to hear Luke’s first words.

Soon after, everyone’s favorite ex-Stormtrooper joined the panel, none other than John Boyega (Finn) himself. Boyega was all smiles and noted that Finn will be back and better than ever. He also hinted that Finn’s biggest struggle will be deciding if he’s willing to join the Resistance, or to continue running from The First Order. While rumors have been circulating about a few new characters to be debuted in The Last Jedi, fans were given a closer look at one in particular. Actress Kelly Marie Tran also arrived at the panel, who plays Rose, a maintenance worker who works for the Resistance. “She’s not a soldier, she’s not looking to be a hero and gets pulled into a big adventure with Finn.” Director Rian Johnson said about her character.

The last guest on stage was Mark Hamill, who pretty much killed it throughout the rest of the panel. In an interesting development, Hamill hinted that Luke’s journey might not be what we had anticipated in The Last Jedi. “I think you’ll find some things that’ll surprise you. They certainly surprised me. I said to Rian, I think I fundamentally disagree with everything you’ve decided for me.” Hamill said. “Now having said that, I have to accept it, get my mind around it and do my best to realize your vision. Once I got into it, a lot of my fears went away.” Kathleen Kennedy noted that Hamill is very humble, and made sure to emphasize that he plays a major role in the upcoming film.

Always a jokester, Hamill made a point to speak about everyone on stage, and in an amusing quip, he referred to Daisy as, “My daught—my colleague....”. While Rey’s parentage still remains a mystery for us fans, at least the cast knows how to treat it with good humor. Hamill also referred to John as his “son” which is no surprise, especially if you’ve kept a watchful eye on his amusing Twitter account. Next up, one of the official movie posters was released, featuring Rey between split silhouette images of Luke and Kylo Ren.

And finally, as if the anticipation couldn’t grow any further, The Last Jedi trailer was officially released! Unlike the previous Star Wars films, The Last Jedi will pick up right where The Force Awakens left off. We won’t divulge many spoilers here, but the trailer includes some epic teasers involving Rey with her lightsaber, and quick glances at Finn, Poe, Leia, and of course, BB-8. Even though Finn appears to be comatose in the trailer—fans will be relieved to note that someone actually translated the one of the words on screen, which read as “stable”. Looks like he’ll be back in action soon enough. In the trailer’s final scenes, we finally hear Luke’s first line, where he says, “I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end.” While the trailer certainly ended on an ominous note, the abundance of news is certainly a new hope for fans.

Will we have another instance where some of the big scenes from the trailer won’t make the final cut? Last year, several of the major scenes from the Rogue One teaser trailers didn’t appear in the film. While we hope that won’t be the case, it looks like we’ll just have to patiently wait until December for our questions to be answered. Stay tuned more updates from Star Wars Celebration and geeky news on our blog!

Written by Jade Nicolette

Twitter: @nicolette_style


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