Thursday, 9 April 2015

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim Pre-Talk [Thoughts]

On this day next week, the start of what has become the biggest Star Wars event will commence with a big item. A panel focused on The Force Awakens. Director J.J. Abrams and LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy come together with special guests on the Celebration stage on the 16th April at 10:00 [event local time PDT]. The event will be simulcast right over the various stages of Celebration, and even an event in London, UK will be showing it. It's expected that insights into the film will be talked about, and possibly even a new trailer for those at the event itself.
Now Star Wars Celebration is a big event, bringing fans from around the world together for a four day event with enough content to fill a Star Destroyer. There will be a load of panels from the various corners of Star Wars outlets, and I'll be covering some of the bigger ones here. Those at the event itself will have a load to do while there, while the rest of us will have to stay tuned to Star Wars.com for the various live blogs that will be happening. There were dozens of live blogs and articles posted during the Celebration Europe II event in 2013, and while it's not guaranteed that live blogs will be happening for everything, there's a good chance to still grab the news after the event. And with that, I'll continue the panel talk.

Fifteen Years of Collecting LEGO Star Wars is sure to be a good event, looking back at the past fifteen years of all things LEGO Star Wars, including TV Specials and LEGO short films. It has even been said that there will be a brief glimpse of what the future in LEGO Star Wars will look like. While nothing more has been said about that, various things strike me as likely. First off, though a possible long shot, would be the fourth videogame in the LEGO Star Wars series. While I don't think we'll get any gameplay of any sorts, just a teaser to know that it's coming would send fans in a frenzy. The third game was popular enough, and some of the features from LEGO Star Wars III, as well as some of what other LEGO games have been doing, could be expanded on to make an even greater game than the third. Another tease could come for what is coming soon. LEGO Dimensions, only just been announced, is a toys-to-life game by LEGO themselves. Star Wars was absent from the reveal trailer, despite various other franchises being spotted, and so a Star Wars reveal could be held back until the day. And that day is one week from today, again on the 16th April, this time at 15:00 PDT.

Half an hour after that, which means if you are at the event itself you really need to decide which is most important to you, is the panel The Untold Clone Wars with Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo. This panel looks into the stories that never were told, with insights into those stories here. After The Lost Missions, various other stories were still to be told, and while some of those were released as part of The Clone Wars Legacy, others weren't so lucky. It seems both Legacy and unreleased material will be shown, and from rumours it seems as though an exclusive look at some scenes from a near-finished arc will be present. We'll be getting a look at these untold stories from Dave Filoni, the supervising director of The Clone Wars, and Pablo Hidalgo from the LucasFilm Story Group. These two were the front runners of the show, and knew everything that went on within and behind-the-scenes of the stories we have seen within the animated TV series. It is also possible that this panel will give us news of a worldwide release of The Lost Missions as well as a possible, though unlikely, Complete Clone Wars box set, featuring all five seasons, The Lost Missions, a load of extra features, and if we're lucky, the film as well.

The 17th April will be an event that most gamers will have their eyes on very sharply indeed. At 10:30 PDT, the first look at gameplay from Star Wars Battlefront will be shown, as well as insights into how the game was made and how access to the LucasFilm archives makes this one of the most impressive and immersive Star Wars gaming experiences ever. Talk about this game has been absolutely immense, not from when EA first revealed they were working on it at E3 2013, when we all got the concrete evidence that it existed, but way back in 2009 and before when rumours were flying everywhere about a possible third game being in production. After two teases and a small insight into the making of it, it now feels right that the game gets officially revealed at a Star Wars related event. There are two ways this could go. Either DICE could give us full details, or at least as full as they want, so that their E3 line up is free for other Star Wars games. This could include details of any such playable events, like demos or betas, or what makes the game different from Battlefield, and more importantly, from Battlefront's predecessors. Otherwise, we'll be getting insights and small teasers about what the game is like, but nothing more until E3.

The other Star Wars animated series will be getting major coverage on 18th April, as New Allies and New Villains in Star Wars Rebels Season 2 takes place. Again, Dave Filoni will be present, this time joined by the main voice actor cast of Star Wars Rebels. They will be discussing the events that happen at the end of season one, and how season two will lead on from that. We'll be getting various insights to new characters, exclusive previews of what is to come, and we might also find ourselves looking at the release date of the Season One Box set on DVD and Blu-Ray. It is also possible that the premiere date will be announced here as well. Considering what people have been saying, it is possible that premiere date might be closer than we think, but all of that is just based off the release of The Force Awakens and how that is being built up as a big thing. We will have to see what comes out of this, and can do so at 11:00 PDT

The other two panels focus on printed media. Books and comics. And both take place on the 18th as well. Star Wars Comes Home to Marvel takes place at 13:00 PDT and focuses on comics. Star Wars at Del Ray takes place at 14:30 PDT and focuses on novels. Both will be looking at past, present, and future. For Marvel, that means looking at their previous dealings with LucasFilm way back in 1977, then to the present with their four current Star Wars comic series [Star Wars / Darth Vader / Princess Leia / Kanan: The Last Padawan]. There will also be two announcements of comic series coming for the future. As for Del Ray, it is more than likely they will look at the previous expanded universe material, what converting to a new and consistent canon means, as well as what books have been released under the new canon, before rounding off with announcements on new novels coming soon. Now, don't forget about the previous announcement of The Journey to The Force Awakens, which will deal with the time inbetween Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and it seems we can guess at which time period will be focused on. Then, of course, is the listing of Battlefront under a list of canon novels in the paperback release of A New Dawn, which leads to the possibility of a book, not neccessarily telling the story that might be in the game, but that shares its name.

For those who will be at the event, don't forget about all the other things you'll get to be doing as well. Over the course of the four days will be the prequel trilogy in 3D, with the premiere of Revenge of the Sith 3D taking place, as well as 2D versions of the original trilogy. There will be art panels, portfolio reviews, panels relating to the music of Star Wars, a look into the toys of Star Wars, how to build your own R2-D2, an exclusive screening of the premiere of Rebels Season Two, how to build your own costumes, various constructions of Star Wars vehicles dotted around, all those other special guests who you'll be able to meet and get autographs from. And don't forget about the exclusive merchandise an event this big generates. Star Wars.com have already been showing off some of this, from exclusive T-shirts, to official Celebration prints and pins.
With just seven days until it all starts, I can't wait to hear about all the news that will come pouring out of the event, and the possibility of so much happening will be sure to get fans who are going excited as well, no matter what your age. Star Wars is for everyone, and Celebration is too.

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