It’s opening day of Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, CA, and today’s events started with the J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy panel, where we learned tidbits about Star Wars: The Force Awakens and were the first to watch the new breathtaking teaser trailer before it came online and see new images.
But even with all of the cheering and fan questioning at the popular panel, it just wouldn’t be a true celebration without having the old guard pass the baton (or should I say lightsaber) to the new guard. After the new cast was introduced — including the new ball droid BB-8), Abrams welcomed in Anthony Daniels (who plays C-3PO), Carrie Fisher (who plays Princess Leia), Peter Mayhew (who plays Chewbacca), and Mark Hamill (who plays Luke Skywalker), as well as the droid R2-D2. After the jump see what they had to say about being a part of the franchise.
The Star Wars veterans were welcomed to much fanfare. The roaring cheers only got louder as each iconic character was introduced. Daniels said he would never have believed that the franchise would become what it is today. He is also one of the only characters to survive through seven films (and hopefully more). Having been through three generations of Star Wars films (he was in the prequels), the actor credits the fan loyalty, saying it is extraordinary and unlike any other.
Fisher jokingly disagreed, saying she saw it coming. Unfortunately, she said, that the space-age hair buns are retired, but that there will be an alternative fans would like. She laughed knowing that she would disappoint fans because she said they wouldn’t see her in the metallic bikini from Return Of The Jedi.
Hamill was just grateful to be a part of such a wonderful experience, “I’m so grateful for your support … my entire adult life, I’ve felt so much love from you. You’re more than just fans, you’re family.” He joked about how Mayhew was taller than the entire cast, even while sitting down, to which Fisher replied that she was still shorter than the three of them while standing up.
Abrams knew how fans were slightly disappointed that Harrison Ford couldn’t make it because of injuries he sustained after crash-landing his plane. Kennedy said, “he is the only person who could make an emergency landing on a golf course in front of two doctors.”
Unsure if they were going to be even in the film, newcomers Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega talked about what they did to calm themselves down.
According to Isaac, he used a shampoo bottle to act as a lightsaber, and pretended to be a Jedi in order to psyche himself up before the table read (the first photo that we saw of the cast gathered together in one room). We even got to see some of his skills as he proceeded to show us what he did, whereas Boyega was a little more secretive, not even telling his family that he was up for the role. It was nerve-wracking for the actor, who even told his father that he was just filming 24.
In the coming days, we’ll see panels covering Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars Rebels, and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy sitting down to talk with spinoff directors Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank. Be sure to check back here at Geeks Of Doom as we will have more on-site coverage on the ongoing events during Star Wars Celebration through the weekend.