Over the next couple of weeks we'll be bringing you updates from our epic 4 days at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. To say that the 4 days was an epic celebration of all things Star Wars would be an extreme understatement. For a Star Wars nerd it was just simply amazing.
In addition to this update about the Panels, we'll have additional updates from the show floor, Cosplay, a specific update about the new Battlefront game and something we are pretty excited about.
Our final update will be a multi-generational look at Star Wars and Star Wars Celebration. Since we had Generation X (me) and Generation Y (my children) there we're going to be working on bringing you something we hope is pretty unique. But that ones still a few weeks out, so we'll get to that. In the meantime, let's get to the amazing panels.
Written by Gregg Condon (Click on any pictures below to see a larger version)
Thursday Morning - The Force Awakens with JJ Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and guests ...
And by guests, some people you may have heard of like Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and the ghost of Harrison Ford. Plus the new cast of John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac.
But before we get to the panel, just in case you haven't seen it (and if you haven't, what's wrong with you) ... If you have the ability to watch this on TV with a great sound-system, please, do so. =)
So our Star Wars Celebration began in the early morning hours of Thursday. After leaving our house around 3:30am we arrived in Anaheim just before 5:00am and walked from our hotel to the Convention Center.
Unfortunately Will Call wasn't due to open until 8:00am so our hopes of possibly getting into the live panel was somewhat in question. Thankfully due to some great on-site staff we were able to get in the line around 6:30am and into the arena presentation. If you've been to the OC Convention Center you'll remember the arena isn't too big, so even though we were on the upper level, we had a great view.
Prior to the start of every panel they had a great DJ and hype man, who would give away stuff and have some fun with the audience.
The panel finally begins. Many people had been waiting more than 24 hours for this in line.
JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy come to the stage.
And introduce the new cast, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac.
And of course, welcome some old friends.
The droids, the amazing BB8 and R2D2.
The panel itself was amazing. There was a lot of talk about how people came into the project, the energy in the room was insane and they gladly played the trailer twice for all of us. Lots of cheering, tears and emotion as I'm sure you all had. It's so awesome to have the franchise in the hands of "one of us", the fans of Star Wars.
I know that people are skeptical, and with good reason. The last good Star Wars movie is 32 years ago at this point. Sure, the prequels have their place, and some people like them, and yes, Episode III isn't "terrible", but the feeling of these movies reminds so many of us of the original trilogy. The fact remains, if you combined the 3 prequels, you'd probably have one good movie. This one is really going to blow them all away.
But of course, that was only the beginning of an epic 4 days of Star Wars.
Thursday Evening - The Feud of the Force
Thursday Night had an interesting sounding panel on the schedule, but really, nobody was quite sure what it was going to be. It sounded like a game show, but nobody really knew. This was the first time they'd done this at Celebration and it was SO much fun, I have a feeling it will be at all future celebrations and it will be MUCH more popular, not that it wasn't on Thursday.
This was also my first panel with the main stage host James Arnold Taylor. If you don't know who he is, be sure to google him. You may not recognize the name, but you'll surely recognize the voice. He was a perfect host for all of the panels and made them so fun. He's definitely got a fan in us.
Before every panel James Arnold Taylor had a great intro video, hoping that he'll eventually upload them to YouTube or something because they were fantastic.
The Two teams that were playing.
Anthony Forrest on the Dark Side ... you may not recognize him, but you recognize some very famous lines he said:
Obi Wan Kenobi: You don't need to see his identification
Stormtrooper: We don't need to see his identification
Obi Wan Kenobi: These aren't the droids your looking for
Stormtrooper: These aren't the droids we're looking for
Obi Wan Kenobi: He can go about his business
Stormtrooper: You can go about your business
Obi Wan Kenobi: Move Along
Stormtrooper: Move Along ... Move Along
And yes, he said the lines. =)
The Light Side Team. Mostly voice actors from The Clone Wars, Rebels and Beru from Episodes II and III.
Some of the fun categories and all of the answers. Click to see a larger view.
The Dark Side totally kicked butt, but it was fun event all around and everybody really seemed to enjoy it.
That's going to wrap it up for Day One Panels. We'll be back in a couple of days with Day Two, including some video to go along with them of the Anthony Daniels Panel that you won't want to miss.