Star Wars Celebration is finally underway, and there are several noteworthy panels poised to announce details about upcoming games, movies, and TV shows. This expansive event looking at everything happening in the Star Wars Universe is scheduled for the full weekend, so we’ll keep updating this hub of information with additional announcements as they occur.
The panel for Star Wars: Episode IX kicked things off in exciting fashion by revealing both the Episode IX trailer and title: The Rise of Skywalker. While there wasn’t much insight provided during the panel’s discussion, the two-minute trailer provided a ton of details about what to expect, although the overall plot remains a mystery ahead of its release in December.
Panels for TV shows The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars animated series are also coming this weekend. Respawn is also set to have an official reveal for its scheduled Star Wars video game, Jedi Fallen Order. The full schedule is available for anyone to see, and many of the panels will be live streamed. So if you can’t make it out to Chicago this weekend, you can still follow along online.
Star Wars Celebration is an annual event for fans of the stories told a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away. Although there are several exhibits, panels, and viewings that celebrate the Star Wars universe’s vibrant past, most of the event is devoted to teasing tidbits of the franchise’s future, whether that’s new movies, television shows, books, or comics.
One significant piece of news that came out just before the start of Celebration, aside from what we learned about Disney+, concerns the post-Episode IX Star Wars movies. According to Disney boss Robert Iger, there will be «a bit of a hiatus» after that movie. Subsequent films are already in development, but it seems like the recent, rapid-fire pace of new movies will slow down somewhat as Lucasfilm focuses on its Disney+ shows.
Where And When To Watch The Panels
There are two major panels at Star Wars Celebration this year. The first is devoted to Episode IX and is occurring today at 11 AM CDT, which works out to 12 PM ET, 9 AM PT, 5 PM GMT, and 4 AM AEDT in Australia on Saturday. The second is scheduled for the reveal of Respawn’s upcoming Star Wars game, Jedi Fallen Order, and happens on Saturday at 1:30 PM CDT, which works out to 2:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM PT, 7:30 PM GMT, and 6:30 AM AEDT in Australia on Sunday.
You can watch the Episode IX panel here. That has now concluded, having consisted of a lengthy discussion with the cast and crew, hosted by Stephen Colbert. The end of the panel delivered the major goods: the title and trailer.
You can watch the Jedi Fallen Order panel here.
Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker
Star Wars: Episode IX had been without a name, but with its release now just eight months away, the Celebration panel delivered the goods on this newest adventure. The latest movie in the Star Wars saga is officially called The Rise of Skywalker, and we got the first trailer showcasing all of the returning characters from the current trilogy, as well as fan favorites from the original trilogy like Lando Calrissian. Perhaps most notably, there was voiceover from Luke Skywalker suggesting that no one ever completely disappears, which set the stage for the trailer to close out with the iconic laughter of the Galactic Empire’s sinister leader, Emperor Palpatine.
Completing the third Star Wars trilogy that started with J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, Episode IX is scheduled to release on December 20, 2019. Initially, Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow was directing the final major act of Rey, Finn, and Poe’s story, but Disney fired him over creative differences. Abrams was brought on as his replacement.
Little is known about the plotline for Episode IX. The Last Jedi dismissed several of the more notable plotlines surrounding the characters from The Force Awakens-such as the importance of Snoke and Captain Phasma, as well as the identity of Rey’s parents. However, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has said he’d be okay if Abrams chooses to retcon Rey’s parentage in Episode IX. The new trailer, however, raises many interesting questions. With Palpatine’s laughter closing off the trailer, does that mean the Empire of the original trilogy is back along with the evil Sith lord? Is that the ruin of the Death Star we see in the ocean of that unknown planet? How exactly does Lando come back to pilot the Millennium Falcon (the ship he famously lost to Han Solo? What role will that cute new droid that’s with BB-8 play? And after so many adventures, how will the saga of the Skywalker lineage finally end?
When Does Episode 9 Take Place?
While the precise answer to this question remains under wraps, both JJ Abrams and Daisy Ridley provided some insight into how much time has passed since The Last Jedi. The two suggested that a fair amount of time has gone by and that this movie will see the core group reunite for an adventure.
What Does The Title Mean?
This is one question we surely won’t get a definitive answer to until we can see the full movie. But we’ve got theories about what the title means.
Lando And Episode 9’s New Character, Jannah
British actress Naomi Ackie was among the actors to come on stage during the Episode IX panel. She revealed she’ll be playing a new character Jannah, who might be the daughter of Lando (whom we also got a look at in costume).
Emperor Palpatine Is Back, But How?
As noted above, it appears ol’ Sheev, aka Darth Sidious, is making a comeback of some sort, as reinforced when actor Ian McDiarmid appeared on stage at Celebration and demanded (in the Emperor’s voice) that the trailer be rolled a second time. We don’t actually see the former Emperor in the flesh, so it’s unclear what form he might take-perhaps he’s just a Force ghost, like what we’ve seen with Yoda and Obi-Wan previously. Previous Star Wars stories have dived into Palpatine’s attempts to clone himself, among other things, and we’ve got some details on how the Emperor could be back.
Is That The Death Star?
At one point in the trailer, we see Rey and company overlooking the wreckage of…something. We can’t be entirely positive, but it certainly looks like the wreckage of the Death Star II, which was destroyed at the end of the Return of the Jedi (not long after Palpatine perished).
Episode 9 Release Date
The previously announced release date for what we now know is The Rise of Skywalker is still in place: Episode 9 hits theaters on December (with the first showings on the night of Thursday, December 19).
Jedi Fallen Order
Like Episode IX, little has been confirmed about Respawn’s Jedi Fallen Order. A brief teaser of a broken lightsaber’s glowing hilt accompanied by the message «Don’t stand out» has been released, and, during E3 2018, Respawn boss Vince Zampella announced Jedi Fallen Order would take place after Revenge of the Sith. The game puts players into the boots of a Jedi padawan that escapes Order 66, and will release during 2019’s holiday season. Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords writer Chris Avellone has also announced he’s finished his portion of Jedi Fallen Order.
Additional details are expected to be revealed during the Jedi Fallen Order panel during Star Wars Celebration. «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,» the panel description reads. «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.»
The Clone Wars Animated Series
Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series is getting a surprise seventh season, which sees the reunion of Anakin Skywalker and his padawan learner, Ahsoka Tano, after she left the Jedi Order at the end of Season 5.
Based on the Season 7 San Diego Comic-Con trailer-which can be seen above-the show’s return picks up mere moments before the start of Revenge of the Sith. Anakin and Obi-Wan are called in to take a hologram call, only to see that it’s Ahsoka and Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan Kryze. In the novel Ahsoka, we learn that Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka reunite on Mandalore after Ahsoka leaves the Jedi Order-just prior to the former two being called away to save Chancellor Palpatine from being kidnapped by General Grievous. However, before then, the three, along with Clone Captain Rex and Commander Cody, go on to fight in one last battle: the Siege of Mandalore.
The Mandalorian is one of the TV series to launch with Disney+, the company’s new streaming service. The series takes place prior to the events of The Force Awakens, and a panel during Star Wars Celebration is scheduled to reveal additional details.
The first season consists of eight episodes and showrunner Jon Favreau believes it will serve as a good entry point for those unfamiliar with Star Wars. «Since we’re starting with new characters in a new time period, it’s a great way to bring new fans in,» he said.