We’re just a couple of weeks away from perhaps the most anticipated Star Wars Celebration ever, which will be taking place from April 11-15 in Chicago. We’ll get new information and announcements about a variety of subjects, as well as our first look at Star Wars shows, games, parks – and, oh yeah, a certain movie coming in December.
There’s A TON of stuff at Celebration that will be awesome, and the official schedule was just released on Friday. I won’t be attending this year, but I have blocked off much time over the weekend to catch as many as the panels as possible on the live-stream.
Instead of just copying the schedule down here (you can find a nice breakdown of it on the Star Wars site), I’ve broken it down into twelve panels I don’t want to miss. There are plenty of other panels that figure to be very interesting and informative and newsworthy and noteworthy, but here are the twelve that I’m particularly interested in. I’ve included the date and time, the description released by Star Wars of the panel, and why I’m interested in it.
12. CLOSING CEREMONY
WHEN: MONDAY, APRIL 15 – 3:30-4:30
WHAT: “Gather with your friends and fellow Star Wars fans to relive the best moments of the weekend and bid farewell to the 20th anniversary of Star Wars Celebration. Featuring special guests, weekend highlights and much more, this is a send-off you won’t want to miss!”
WHY: This panel will recap the jam-packed weekend of events, highlighting and showcasing the top moments and highlights. That will be fun and will be a good way to catch up on some of the more important and fun moments of the weekend, but I’m also keeping an eye on this to see how they use this panel to transition into the coming year of Star Wars.
WHEN: SATURDAY, APRIL 13 – 2:30-3:30
WHAT: “Join Marvel Comics writers Greg Pak (Star Wars: Age of Rebellion) and Ethan Sacks (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) and a host of other Mighty Marvel Guests in this can’t-miss panel! Greg Pak’s Age of Rebellion series spotlights the fan-favorites of the classic trilogy, while Sacks’ Galaxy’s Edge is the riveting comic series tie-in to the highly-anticipated theme park! Don’t miss your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at the House of Ideas’ parsec of the Galaxy Far, Far Away – including a glimpse of what’s to come!”
WHY: I love the Star Wars comics that Marvel is doing and has done, and I’m excited to find out more information in particular about the coming Age of Rebellion series. Then, of course, there’s more info about the Galaxy’s Edge tie-in series too. But this panel also promises a glimpse at what is to come, so I’m hoping that we’ll get some information about upcoming projects, whether already announced or not-yet-announced stuff.
10. THE PHANTOM MENACE 20TH ANNIVERSARY
WHEN: MONDAY, APRIL 15 – 11:00-12:00
WHAT: “Every saga has a beginning. Join host Warwick Davis as we honor 20 years of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace! We’re turning the pages back with rare behind-the-scenes content and special guests brought together to share their memories and insight into the film’s creation. Now this is celebrating!”
WHY: It’s kind of crazy that this is the twentieth anniversary of The Phantom Menace, isn’t it? But anyway, it’ll be really great to reflect back on that film in this panel. The Star Wars 40th Anniversary panel at the last Celebration was great, and I’m hoping that this panel evokes similar feels from this particular film. I’m interested in seeing which guests are brought back to attend – and I’m curious if there’s an outside chance of this being the panel at which the Obi-Wan Kenobi show is announced? Either way, though, this figures to be a great look back.
9. REBELS REMEMBERED
WHEN: SATURDAY, APRIL 13 – 12:45-1:45
WHAT: “Star Wars Rebels may have ended but the Ghost Crew is far from forgotten! Dave Filoni and special guests take a look back at the show that deepened our knowledge of the Force, broke our hearts and always gave us hope. Full disclosure – we are not announcing a new series in this panel.”
WHY: Because Rebels is awesome! A few weeks ago fans took to Twitter to reflect on moments we loved from the show, and this panel will be more of the same as we hear from Dave Filoni and others. I love hearing Filoni talk about pretty much anything Star Wars, and reflecting on great moments and memories from Rebels while hopefully getting new insights into the show is awesome. But fans should pay attention to the fact that Lucasfilm really doesn’t want you to think there will be an announcement of continuation of these stories, as that’s not happening at this panel (it’s like they know Star Wars fans would wonder or something?). But the reflection will be great.
8. JEDI: FALLEN ORDER
WHEN: SATURDAY, APRIL 13 – 1:30-2:30
WHAT: “Join the head of Respawn Entertainment, Vince Zampella, and Game Director, Stig Asmussen, along with many special guests, to be the first to learn about this holiday’s highly anticipated action adventure game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Hear how Respawn and Lucasfilm collaborated on this original Star Wars story, following a young Padawan’s journey in the Dark Times following Order 66. And of course, we’ll have a few surprises in store.”
WHY: So far there has been a lot of frustration from Star Wars fans about the state of gaming under EA, but there are cautiously high hopes for Jedi: Fallen Order, the story-based game coming from Respawn Entertainment later this year. This game will allow you to play as a Jedi padawan survivor of the Jedi Purge, and I’m excited to play it. We haven’t seen much at all from this game, though, so I’m excited to presumably get our first real look at it at this panel. They promise that surprises are in store, too, so I’m quite interested in learning more about this anticipated game.
7. GALAXY’S EDGE
WHEN: SATURDAY, APRIL 13 – 11:00-12:00
WHAT: “Discover new details and stories about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – the new, fully immersive lands coming to Disneyland Resort in summer 2019 and Walt Disney World Resort in fall 2019. Join team members from Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm as they share stories about what it takes to bring Star Wars to life and how visitors can live their very own Star Wars story. And, there might just be a few surprises, too!”
WHY: I’m super pumped for Galaxy’s Edge, and the only reason why it’s as low as it is on this list is because we’ve already heard so much about it. But this panel promises that there might be a few surprises as we get a better look at how this park has been brought to life, so I’m really curious to see what surprises there are left for us to find out!
6. WRITER’S ROUNDTABLE
WHEN: MONDAY, APRIL 15 – 10:30-11:30
WHAT: “Join all-star Star Wars authors Claudia Gray (Master & Apprentice; Bloodline),Justina Ireland (Lando’s Luck), Daniel José Older (Last Shot), Cavan Scott (Tales from Vader’s Castle, The Choose Your Destiny series), and Charles Soule (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith, Poe Dameron) as they discuss their approach, process, and reception to writing stories set in a galaxy far, far away. Plus, get some exclusive news into future Star Wars publishing! Moderated by Lucasfilm’s Michael Siglain.”
WHY: I love the work of these authors, particularly Claudia Gray and Charles Soule, so I’m excited for them to talk about their approach to writing Star Wars. But the main reason why I’m excited for this panel is that they promise exclusive news about future Star Wars publishing! Plus, Charles Soule has said there’s a reason why you shouldn’t miss this and has recently teased he’s working on new Star Wars stuff, so I’m wondering if that will be announed here, which would be awesome!
5. PUBLISHING PANEL
WHEN: FRIDAY, APRIL 12 – 4:45-5:45
WHAT: “Join some of the biggest and best Star Wars authors to discuss new and upcoming stories set in a galaxy far, far away. Plus, get exclusive sneak peeks and announcements into the future of Star Wars publishing. Featuring Jeffrey Brown, Zorida Cordova, Delilah Dawson, Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, E.K. Johnston, Cavan Scott, Timothy Zahn, and more! Moderated by Lucasfilm’s Michael Siglain”
WHY: I’m not particularly sure which of these panels to highlight here. I’ve listed this publishing panel and then also obviously listed the writer’s roundtable, but there’s also a Del-Rey behind-the-scenes panel on April 13. So I’m not exactly sure which one I should highlight, so I’ll just share the reason why I’m excited for this panel(s): updates on future publishing! I always like hearing announcements about what will be coming as it pertains to Star Wars books, so I’m hoping that we’ll get some more updates on stuff that’s coming in the second half of this year (especially related to Episode IX stuff!).
WHEN: MONDAY, APRIL 15 – 1:30-2:50
WHAT: “Join Star Wars Resistance Executive Producers Justin Ridge, Athena Portillo, Brandon Auman and special guests for a look back at the shocking season one finale and an exclusive preview of what’s to come!”
WHY: The first season of Resistance was awesome, so I’m definitely really excited for a sneak peak of season two! In the past they’ve done various things with these animated shows, including a trailer and/or showing the first episode of the next season exclusively for those attending. I’m sure that whatever is the case this year, there will be plenty of insights that leave us super excited for season two coming later this year!
3. THE CLONE WARS
WHEN: SUNDAY, APRIL 14 – 3:30-4:30
WHAT: “Dave Filoni and special guests celebrate the return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and share a sneak peek at what’s to come.”
WHY: The Clone Wars is coming back!! We learned last year with a trailer that there will be a seventh season of the show coming for Disney+, but we haven’t heard any additional details since then. That should change at Celebration, as Dave Filoni and others give us a peak at what is coming in season seven. I can’t wait!
2. THE MANDALORIAN
WHEN: SUNDAY, APRIL 14 – 11:00-12:00
WHAT: “Learn about the perilous world of The Mandalorian with executive producer and writer Jon Favreau and executive producer and director Dave Filoni. Live on the Celebration Stage and presented simultaneously at the Galaxy and Twin Suns Stages.”
WHY: The first-ever live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian is coming later this year to Disney+. Jon Favreau has given us teases on social media, but we have yet to see any footage from the show. I’m hoping and assuming that will change at Celebration, and after this panel we should have a much better idea of what to expect when this highly-anticipated show drops later this year. I’m super excited for this show and this panel.
1. EPISODE IX
WHEN: FRIDAY, APRIL 12 – 11:00-12:00
WHAT: “With the culmination of the Star Wars Saga arriving before the end of the year, the Star Wars: Episode IX panel is one you will definitely not want to miss! With Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars: Episode IX director J.J. Abrams appearing on stage, you can count on plenty of surprises and special guests to keep your imagination buzzing for the rest of Celebration! Live on the Celebration Stage; streamed to the Galaxy and Twin Suns Stages.”
WHY: Do I really need a reason? This figures to be the event of Celebration, and it kicks things off. This will give us a chance to hear from J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy about the film, as well as from others as well. And we’ll almost certainly get the first official unveiling of the title, and the first public trailer for the film. So more info and our first look at the final film of the Skywalker saga? Yeah, this is an easy choice to take the top spot. I absolutely cannot wait!