It has to be hard for every other Comic-Con panel and attraction this year, and for many years to come. How can they even compete with Star Wars showing up to the show? And the show that J.J. Abrams and crew put one was a great one. Aside from the massive, 6,500 person Star Wars music concert that evening, here are seven epic highlights from the panel that you’ll definitely want to be aware of.
New Tie Fighter
We first saw the new Tie Fighter design and coloration a few months ago in the second Episode VII trailer. But glimpses of the spacecraft were short and fleeting. But now, thanks to behind the scenes footage and the new Tie Fighter toy from Hasbro, we get to see the ship clearly and in its entirety for the first time.
The original Tie Fighter has a grayish white body, with black panels on the wings. Tie Fighter 2.0 (can we just call it that to avoid confusion?) reverses the color scheme, giving the ship a dark body, and white paneled wings. Also, there is a huge splash of color in the form of a red strip along the side of the ship. The red strip probably coincides with the new logo and banner of the Empire that we saw in the trailer.
The changes to Tie Fighter 2.0 aren’t huge ones, but they look more modern and nicely separate themselves from the original ships from over thirty years ago.
Harrison Ford is Still a Stud
After Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Kathleen Kennedy, and new members of the Star Wars cast finished saying their pieces, the legendary heroes of the original trilogy took to the stage, starting with Carrie Fisher, then Mark Hamill, and finally, to thunderous applause, Harrison Ford. He took all this is stride, and looks like he’s fully recovered from his plane crash in March.
Details on the film are still very sparse, and we aren’t sure exactly how much of the original trilogy team will be in the movie. But considering Ford’s status as the biggest thing to come out of Star Wars, ever, his appearance in the trailer, and the recently announced Han Solo spin-off film, it makes sense that we’ll be seeing more of Han than his counterparts in Star Wars Episode VII.
No New Trailer, But Epic Behind the Scenes Footage
Fans were a bit miffed when the news came out that we wouldn’t be seeing a new Star Wars trailer at Comic-Con this year, but we got the next best thing. And really, it’s almost just as good as a new trailer, which we will be seeing sometime this autumn
This behind the scenes reel features interviews with various cast and crew working on the film, and shows plenty of never before seen footage, characters, scenes, and filming locations, all of which are epic.
One of the highlights of this video is Mark Hamill’s discussion of the feel of the film. “Real sets, practical effects. You’ve been here, but you don’t know this story,” he tells us. “Nothing’s changed, really. I mean, everything’s changed, but nothing’s changed. That’s the way you want it to be.” Spot on, Mark.
“Keeping one foot in the pre-digital world”
Another highlight of the behind the scenes footage, and the panel discussion, is the stunning amount of non-CG characters and effects. The footage reel was full of real explosions, people in robot suits, Peter Mayhew in his Chewbacca costume, actual droids, and more.
But even more fun that what we see in the video, is what was shown on stage during the panel discussion. Abrams introduced us to a new creature nicknamed “Bobbajo” (just guessing on the spelling), which came out on stage, walked around, and then proceeded to knock Abrams’s nametag over. Bobbajo is controlled by a team of five people, which is an insane amount of work for just one creature, but it shows the level of dedication that Abrams and his team have to create a film that feels authentic and closely related to its predecessors.
Abrams has long been known as a guy who likes to keep his friends close. We often see cast members from one of Abrams’s shows or films appearing in subsequent projects. And apparently, Abrams has a new friend in Simon Pegg, thanks to their work together on the Star Trek movies.
Simon Pegg will have a cameo in Star Wars Episode VII as some kind of alien, While we probably won’t get to hear any of Pegg’s trademark lighthearted humor, and may not even know when he appears on screen, this cameo makes Pegg’s life complete. “My whole life has led to this moment. I’m in heaven” says Pegg. “It’s Star Wars. I burn for Star Wars.” We all do.
New and Confirmed Dark Side Details
So far, we have three actors confirmed to play Sith or otherwise villainous characters. Adam Driver will play what looks to be the film’s main Sith and antagonist, Kylo Ren. Domanhall Gleeson will play General Hux, a British (and therefore, evil) military commander in charge of an Imperial base called Starkiller Base (a nice little courtesy nod to Luke’s originally planned surname, and the name of Vader’s apprentice in The Force Unleashed).
And finally, Gwendoline Christie will play Captain Phasma, also known as the Chrome Trooper, who appears briefly in the second trailer, but that news has been known for some time.
Rogue One Begins Filming in August
During the panel discussion, Kathleen Kennedy briefly discussed the creation of the Star Wars Anthology films (so I guess we can stop calling them spin-offs, and start using Anthology films instead), which will include Rogue One, as well as a film dedicated to Boba Fett, and a film focusing on the life of a young Han Solo
Kennedy then told the crowd, to much applause, that Rogue One will begin filming in about three weeks, or the first of August. It’s a great time to be a Star Wars fan.
What do you think of the news that came out of the Star Wars Episode VII Comic-Con panel? What are you most excited to see in the movie this December? Let us know in the comments!