Star Wars Celebration 2019 Preview: What Can We Expect?
It’s almost time for fans of a galaxy far, far away to gather together in solidarity in order to celebrate all things Star Wars. Indeed, Star Wars Celebration 2019 is about to take over Chicago and, since Disney and Lucasfilm skipped out on doing the event last year, it’s been two years since the event was held last. And fans are eager for some real news. There will be plenty of that coming our way over the next few days and we’re going to preview everything to expect, as well as what maybe not to expect.
Part of the reason Lucasfilm decided not to hold the event last year is that they really didn’t have all that much to showcase. That is far from the case this year, as they not only have Star Wars 9 coming down the pipeline, but they’ve also got their live-action shows for Disney+, the animated shows such as The Clone Wars and Resistance, as well as the new novels, comics, toys and just maybe some surprises we know nothing about. So, let’s dig into what major panels are happening each day and what we’ll likely see.
Friday, April 12
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Star Wars 9: This is easily the biggest event of the whole weekend. We don’t even have a title for J.J. Abrams’ conclusion to the new trilogy, which is being billed as the final chapter in the Skywalker saga. And that’s why this is going to be so big. Abrams and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy will be on hand and we’re sure to get a trailer for the movie, which will likely go the Avengers: Endgame route and reveal the title at the end. Not to mention whatever is revealed at the panel. This will, undoubtedly, give us an awful lot to talk about.
Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series: Ever wanted to know what it’s like to wield the power of the Dark Side of the Force first hand? That’s what we’re getting with this new VR series from ILMxLAB and Oculus. This panel will take a closer look at the series and we’re sure to learn a lot about what this look in the day of Darth Vader’s castle on Mustafar is all about.
The Creatures, Droids & Aliens of Star Wars: Maybe not so much on the news side of things, but this panel will dive deep on the goings on at the Star Wars creature shop, which should be pretty interesting. There will surely be some fascinating little tidbits that come out of this one.
20 years of the LEGO Star Wars Story: A Retrospective and Forward Look: LEGO and Star Wars have had a longstanding partnership that is going to be explored at this panel. We’re probably going to learn a lot about what sets they have coming down the pipeline, so get ready to set aside some cash.
ILM Presents: Making Solo: This movie may not have been a huge hit at the box office, but the drama that went on behind the scenes has made it a fascinating piece of the franchise. They’re not likely to dig too much into the Phil Lord and Chris Miller drama, but anything we can learn about how this thing came together should be intriguing for hardcore fans.
Star Wars Hasbro: If Star Wars toys are your thing, this is the panel to watch for. Plain and simple. This panel will dive deep on what Hasbro has in the works on the action figure front and more.
Lucasfilm Publishing: Star Wars novels are a great source for storytelling outside the movies. As such, this is a slightly under the radar panel that could be a gold mine. Jeffrey Brown, Zoraida Córdova, Delilah Dawson, Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, E.K. Johnston, Cavan Scott and Timothy Zahn will all be on hand.
Saturday, April 13
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: For some, this may be even bigger than the Star Wars 9 panel. Who hasn’t dreamed of flying the Millennium Falcon? Who hasn’t wanted to build their own lightsaber? Who doesn’t want to know what blue milk tastes like? Disney and Lucasfilm will pull back the curtain on their upcoming theme park expansions for Disneyland and Disney World at this panel. Lucasfilm even teased there “might be some surprises,” which means they’re definitely will be. This will be huge.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: I’ve beaten this to death, but the Disney era of Lucasfilm has been lacking in the video game department. Luckily, it sounds like Jedi Fallen Order is here to fix that. The game will center on a Jedi padawan who survived Order 66. Respawn and EW will be on hand to present a first look at the game, which arrives later this year, to the world. Expect a trailer and a whole lot of information about the story. Again, for a certain type of fan, this could trump anything else that comes out of Celebration this weekend.
Sisters of the Force, A Celebration of Women and Star Wars: Here’s another one that probably won’t be huge on news. Nonetheless, it’s going to be hosted by Ahsoka herself, Ashley Eckstein, with guests that include Vanessa Marshall, Catherine Taber, Amy Ratcliffe and more, with some special guests dropping by. What better way to celebrate the women of Star Wars?
Star Wars Rebels Remembered: While Lucasfilm is making it clear they’re not going to announce a new show at this panel, it’s still worth taking a look back at the wonderful Star Wars Rebels. Creator Dave Filoni will be on hand with some special guests to reminisce about the adventures of the Ghost Crew.
Marvel Comics Presents: Star Wars: Marvel has been killing it in the Star Wars department ever since taking over the publishing license a handful of years back. So it will be worth paying attention to as writers Greg Pak, Ethan Sacks and more talk about their work on the comics they’re working now. It’s also promised there’s going to be a preview of what’s to come from the publisher, which could bring some exciting surprises.
Star Wars: The Force of Funko: Funko has become synonymous with fandom of any kind. It’s no different with Star Wars. With that, this panel will be a highlight of the weekend for many. Plus, we’ll probably learn what Pop! Figures are on the way. So, again, hold onto your wallets, everybody.
Sunday, April 14
The Mandalorian: Star Wars, for most of its life, has existed on the big screen. That all changes the second this panel kicks off. This is going to give us our first real look at the first ever live-action TV series set within the franchise, which will launch on Disney+ later this year. We know it centers on a lone gunslinger in the Outer Rim but, beyond that, details have been very scarce. Writer/executive producer Jon Favreau, as well as director/executive producer Dave Filoni will be on hand to tell us all about what they have in store. No question, we’ll get a trailer and, perhaps, some sort of behind the scenes featurette. Either way, we’ll have a much better idea of what to expect from the show.
In Conversation with Alan Tudyk: Wanna hear what the man behind Rogue One‘s K-2SO has to say? Then this is the place. Plus, with the Cassian Andor prequel series in the works, there’s reason to think Mr. Tudyk may have a little more to talk about than just reflecting fondly on his time in the movie.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Sneak Peek: At long last, The Clone Wars animated series is coming back. The new season is also heading for Disney+ and this will give Dave Filoni a chance to wrap up the show in proper fashion. We should at the very least expect a trailer. Though, it wouldn’t be surprising if those in attendance are treated to an episode or two in its entirety.
Monday, April 15
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 20th Anniversary Celebration: Yes, The Phantom Menace is maligned by many fans out there. However, there are also a great many who grew up with the movie and were introduced to the franchise through it. As we approach the movie’s 20th anniversary, Lucasfilm is going to offer a behind the scenes look at the making of the movie, with special guests on hand. Expect some of the cast to reunite and for a very positive look back at the first entry in George Lucas’ prequel trilogy.
Celebration Chicago Closing Ceremony: If there are any surprises in store, this could be the place for them to happen. Are we going to hear about a new movie? Will we get some sort of surprise casting announcement for a project we already know about? Honestly, probably not, but this will offer a look back at the whole event and will serve as something of a highlight reel, which should put a nice cap on the whole thing.
Now, as for what not to expect. We know that Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are working on a new trilogy. As is Rian Johnson. However, Lucasfilm will almost certainly want to keep the conversation around Star Wars 9 and The Mandalorian. Announcing anything firm about either of these projects would take away from that. Not to mention that Benioff and Weiss will be dealing with the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere this weekend as well. Point being, don’t expect much, if any information on either of these projects.
As for spin-off movies? Those have seemingly been shelved for the time being, so don’t expect to hear anything about the Boba Fett movie or the Obi-Wan movie either. To that point, we’ve heard rumors that the Obi-Wan movie may get made into a TV series instead. While it’s possible we could hear something about that this weekend, if it’s true, we’d still mark it as rather unlikely Again, because Lucasfilm wants to keep the focus on what’s coming out this year.
Still, there is going to be so much Star Wars news coming our way. We’ll be on hand at the event to bring you news from all of the major panels as they’re taking place. So be sure to check in with us from now throughout the rest of the weekend. For a full list of everything happening at the event, head on over to StarWarsCelebration.com.