Sunday, July 17, 2016

Star Wars Celebration Recap: Rebels Steals the Show


There is little doubt anyone who attended Star Wars Celebration in London had a fantastic time. Just being surround by thousands of people who love Star Wars with a passion would make be an amazingly fun time. The actual news from the show was on the light side, at least on the movie front. Star Wars Celebration lead off with the Rogue One panel on Friday and bookended the event with the future films panel. As someone who did not get to attend the event the news, besides the announcement of Grand Admiral Thrawn’s return, was disappointing.

What is maddening is Rogue One’s panel shouldn’t have been disappointing. The sizzle real they released during the panel is fantastic and gives a great look at the feel of the film. It showed some great new aliens along with some exciting new locals. It also feels like it is set in the same time period as A New Hope. The disappointment comes in not actually getting a trailer. I don’t mind the people at Celebration seeing it while the rest of the world didn’t. I think people who go and pay money for an event should have exclusive content. The problem I have is Disney didn’t come out and shutdown the rumors that there was a three minute trailer being shown at Celebration first and then later during on television. It would have been easy to come out with a press release stating what was going to be released. The three minute sizzle real would have still gotten me to tune into the live stream. I watched the ABC event that night thinking they may drop the trailer still. I probably wouldn’t have watched that if I had seen the trailer, but I can’t fault them for driving ratings on their network station. Not getting the trailer was the disappointment. It wasn’t an earth shattering disappointment because the sizzle real is great, but a trailer seeing Vader would have started the weekend off in amazing fashion.

I’m not sure why they didn’t release a trailer to the general public. They may have held back because Comic-Con is next week. They may release the second trailer to stay relevant during the massive amount of news which will drop next week. This is the only thing I can come up with for not releasing something to the general public. Give the fans at Celebration more of Vader or something else special, but the hype machine for Rogue One should be building for the release of the film.

While Friday was a mild disappointment, Saturday was exceptional. Star Wars Rebels stole the entire weekend with its announcement of Grand Admiral Thrawn’s return to cannon. The season three trailer introduced the new villain. Dave Filoni teased the return of a Legends character a few times during the lead up to celebration; tweeting there is always some truth in Legends. If I had a short list of characters to make cannon from the Legends books Thrawn would be one or two, with Mara Jade being the other. I don’t see her being introduced anytime soon, so I’ll take Thrawn. It was a perfect way to blow the top off the panel. Then they followed it up with announcement that Timothy Zahn, the creator of the character would be coming back to write a cannon novel about Thrawn’s origins. I’m not sure I could have been any more excited or happy watching the Star Wars Rebels panel.

Thrawn wasn’t the only highlight of the trailer. Kanan looks to be on a new journey with his blindness. Maul is still pulling strings and trying to influence Ezra. Ezra is going down his own path and slowly descending into darkness. Kanan may be able to pull him back, but with more of his focus on himself Ezra will be left to his own devices. It will be an interesting overriding arc for the season. The other arc which might play into the season is the group investigating where the Empire’s resources are going. I think the crew may play a pivotal role in the Rebellion finding out about the Death Star. This would feed right into the release of Rogue One.

Sunday wrapped up with the new filmmakers panel. There was no new news to come out of the Panel. They brought out Rian Johnson and he talked about making Episode Eight. What would have really capped off Celebration would have been a title release for the next movie. I understand not wanting to take away any marketing from Rogue One, but I don’t think a title announcement would take much away. They did bring out Alden and talk to Lorde and Miller about the Han Solo movie, but everyone knew he was the actor cast. It would have been nice to get another Star Wars Story announcement, like an Obi Wan Movie

The atmosphere at Star Wars Celebration seemed amazing, and I can’t wait to experience one myself. The news to come out of it was just a little underwhelming compared to what dropped at last year’s event.  Without the announcements on Saturday there wouldn’t have been any major news. Thrawn stole the show, but it would have been awesome for him to be the icing on the cake with a trailer showing Vader on Friday, and the title for Episode Eight to close out the event. I’m sure Lucasfilm has a marketing plan in place, but it just seemed odd not to release more information this weekend, and dominate every day like they did on Saturday.


Let me know your thoughts on the news from Celebration. 

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