7 highlights from Star Wars Celebration!

Star Wars Celebration took place not too long ago, and there was a ton of information that was revealed.  It was the most anticipated Celebration in history, and it didn’t disappoint!  There were a lot of highlights, but here are my top ten.

1. Star Wars fans spread love, not hate

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Unfortunately in recent years the small minority of Star Wars fans determined to hate have drawn a lot of attention, but the Star Wars fans at Celebration made it very clear that Star Wars is about love rather than hate.  This was evidenced in the roaring welcomes for both Kelly Marie Tran and Ahmed Best.  Tran (who plays Rose Tico) was welcomed with a massive standing ovation at the panel for The Rise of Skywalker, with fans chanting “Kelly!”  Director J.J. Abrams called Tran’s casting the best thing Rian Johnson did in The Last Jedi.  Tran was bullied by some fans with racist and sexist intentions, forcing her to quit social media.  Best (who plays Jar-Jar Binks), meanwhile, was welcomed with a roaring standing ovation as well at the panel celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace, with fans chanting his name as well.  Director George Lucas, appearing in a video message, called Binks his favorite character.  Best was bullied by fans so much that he contemplated suicide.  Both Tran and Best were showered with overwhelming support and love from Star Wars fans, and it was a strong and powerful message to all of those ‘fans’ who are bent on hate: you can’t snuff out the light.

2. Ian McDiarmid’s shocking appearance

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There are many, many great moments from The Rise of Skywalker panel, but by far the most stunning of them all came after the teaser played for the first time.  The teaser concluded with a laugh from Palpatine, and that in itself was enough to get Star Wars fans incredibly intrigued and excited.  But after the title was revealed, the lights came up on the stage… only to reveal Ian McDiarmid!  It was a completely unexpected appearance, and he then said, “Roll it again” as they played the teaser for a second time.  But it was the first true confirmation we got that Palpatine will appear in The Rise of Skywalker, and McDiarmid’s surprise appearance was a great way to do it.

3. The Rise of Skywalker trailer and title reveal!

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As it got closer and closer to Celebration it looked more and more likely that they would be saving the title reveal for Episode IX until then, and it paid off.  The teaser itself was amazing, but the reveal of the title at the end – as the blue Star Wars logo appeared and then split to unveil “The Rise of Skywalker” – it elicited a huge reaction amongst fans.  It was a very fun and suspenseful way of unveiling this title for the final Skywalker film, and it was a great moment.

For more stories on The Rise of Skywalker, head here.

4. The Star Wars Show Live

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One of the real highlights of Celebration was the Star Wars Show Live, which brought the fun and festivities of Celebration to all Star Wars fans via the livestream.  This meant that many panels were livestreamed, as well as a ton of other interviews taking place live.  This is one of the best things that Celebration does, as it allows the event to not just be an exclusive thing for some but allows all Star Wars fans to share in the fun.

5. The Clone Wars returns

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The seventh and final season of The Clone Wars will be coming to Disney+, and Dave Filoni and some of the cast of the show participated in a panel in which they discussed what to expect in this season. And, of course, it ended with a tremendous trailer that focused heavily on Ahsoka – and showed us a glimpse of Ahsoka vs. Maul in the Siege of Mandalore, which we’ve been waiting a long time for!

For more stories on The Clone Wars, head here.

6. The Mandalorian

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The first ever live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian, had a panel at which some fans got an exclusive first look at the highly-anticipated project.  We were introduced to some of the actors, learned about their characters, and listened to Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau geek out over Star Wars together, which was awesome.  And the footage shown – which included a behind-the-scenes reel, a clip, and a teaser – looks absolutely amazing.  Unfortunately (and the reason why this isn’t higher on the list), the footage wasn’t released publicly.  So you can find it online anyway, but it’s a rough quality.  This show, however, looks epic.

For more stories on The Mandalorian, head here.

7. Jedi: Fallen Order

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It has been a while since we have gotten a true single-player, story-based Star Wars game, but that will change this November with the release of Jedi: Fallen Order.  And going into Celebration, we knew little more than that this game followed a former Jedi Padawan after the Jedi Purge.  But at the panel for the game, we got a trailer that showed us more of the story, as this Jedi named Cal Kestis – played by Cameron Monaghan – is working in hiding when he’s discovered by the Inquisitors.  It sounds cool, and I can’t wait to play it later this year!

For more stories on Jedi: Fallen Order, head here.

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