Today the Star Wars Celebration features the panel dedicated to this year’s upcoming installment of the third trilogy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and hopes are high for a trailer reveal.
We’re rolling into day two of the Star Wars Celebration down in Orlando. Yesterday’s main event panel was the 40th anniversary tribute that doubled as (and mostly became) a tribute to the late great Carrie Fisher, who passed away only a couple of months back. Now that we’ve finished the look back, it’s time to face the future of the franchise.
To that end, today’s main event, starting at 11am ET and running for the next 90 minutes is the panel dedicated to the next installment in the franchise, Episode VIII, aka Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The panel will feature director Rian Johnson, who will be sitting down with Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy for a chat about the making of the film.
Check out the live feed here. (Yes it’s currently rerunning yesterday’s livestream. It will flip over at 11am.)
Why are hopes high that this panel will include a trailer reveal? Beyond the obvious “The movie comes out in almost exactly 8 months from now and we haven’t seen a scrap of footage released yet” factor, there’s the set up. Two years ago, with Episode VII, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there had already been a teaser (back in November of 2014), but since then, nada. The panel was billed the same as the one today. Director JJ Abrams sat down with Kathleen Kennedy, to discuss the making of the film, in the same manner.
And it was, if I may say, one of the most well executed promotional moments in Disney’s storied history ever. Star Wars fans, many of whom were highly skeptical of the Disney revival, and many more terrified to let themselves hope again after the prequel disasters of the late 90s, tuned into this live feed. Over the course of 90 minutes Abrams and Kennedy presented a slow build of nostalgia and delight that had fans emotions on a high peak by the end with the original cast back together, arms around each other’s shoulders, as fans in the hall went wild, and new friends like BB-8 winning over hearts.
Then they dropped the trailer.
The emotional pandemonium that followed, both in the hall and on social media can only be likened to the sort of thing seen during world events of magnitude, like Brexit, or Hillary’s lost last November. It was, if I may posit, the moment when Disney began to bring the Star Wars ship afloat again from the place it had laid since 2005, grounded on the bottom of the ocean. And it effectively started the run that took The Force Awakens to one of the best performing movies of all time.
Now, last year, with Rogue One, SWCo, being held in Europe and in July, did not even attempt the same feat. But this year they’re back in the states. The timing is the same. The set up is remarkably similar. Can they pull off another emotional journey for the audience, both in Orlando and at home, climaxing with a trailer that will once again put Star Wars on the top of everyone’s “Must See” list this December?
Guessing we’ll find out right around 12:30 pm ET.