Live Updates From the Future Filmmaker & Closing Ceremony Panel at Star Wars Celebration
Oh My Disney Contributor
This is it. Star Wars Celebration is coming to a close and it’s been an amazing three days of celebrating a galaxy far, far away. And now, it’s time for the final panel, Future Filmmaker Discussion and Closing Ceremony. Lucasfilm Story Group’s Pablo Hidalgo is hosting with Kathleen Kennedy, Rian Johnson (Star Wars: Episode VIII) and directing duo Chris Miller and Phil Lord (the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story) all in attendance. We’re expecting a few surprises, so stay tuned as we give you live updates from London!
We’re about 20 minutes from the panel starting!
The panel is beginning and the crowd is going wild.
Hidalgo has just come on stage to thunderous applause!
Joining him on stage is Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart.
Hart and Kennedy are excited that fans have embraced stand alone Star Wars films.
Kennedy says Rian Johnson was chosen to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII because his previous films have had “real substance in his dramatic structure, but also an amazing sense of humor.”
Johnson gets a standing ovation from the Celebration crowd!
Johnson began production on Episode VIII while The Force Awakens was still filming. He spent about six weeks at Lucasfilm figuring out the story for Episode VIII.
Johnson brought homemade ice cream to his first story meeting!
For the first time, Episode VIII will start where The Force Awakens left off. The team flew back to the island to pick up the story with Rey and Luke.
Johnson remembers his dad taking him to see Star Wars for the first time and telling him, “we’re going to go see the most amazing thing you’ll ever see.”
Johnson just giggles after being asked what it was like to work with the legacy cast members like Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.
He had to “get beyond that very quickly, and tell a story that feels alive and feels right now.”
Episode VIII will “start to zoom in on the characters, getting to the heart of them and pushing them deeper.” – Johnson
We’re taking a look at some of Johnson’s Instagrams from the set.
Johnson says they’ve built a tremendous amount of sets, and was able to film both inside and outside some of the ship sets.
They also filmed along the southwest and west coast of Ireland for Episode VIII.
When Johnson was working on Episode VIII at Lucasfilm, Gareth Edwards was working on Rogue One.
Episode VIII’s production name was “Space Bear.” We’re seeing a picture of Johnson wearing a hat with a panda wearing a space helmet.
Chris Miller and Phil Lord are now joining the rest of the team on the stage!
Miller says they’re working on early pre-production and the script with Larry and Jon Kasdan for the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story.
Johnson and Kennedy are doing their best Larry Kasdan impressions.
Lord on why he loves Han Solo: “He’s very sarcastic, but at the end of the day he’s unreasonably optimistic.”
Miller and Lord were almost extras in Rogue One! We’re seeing behind-the-scenes photos of them in costumes.
Johnson DOES have a cameo in Rogue One. He works for the Empire in a firing chamber.
Gareth Edwards also has a cameo in Episode VIII!
Miller was in the special edition of The Empire Strikes Back as a Stormtrooper. We’re seeing some photos he took of himself in his Stormtrooper costume behind the scenes.
Casting Han Solo was the “hardest casting challenge of all time,” said Miller. They saw over 3,000 people for the part.
The first person to audition got the part of Han Solo.
Alden Ehrenreich is officially cast as a young Han Solo! He’s now joining the stage.
Ehrenreich did a screen test aboard the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca.
Ehrenreich only told his mom that he was cast in the film, and said she was thrilled.
We’re seeing a photo of some of Ehrenreich’s Han Solo toys that his mom found recently.
Cameras are going to start rolling in early January or February for the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story. They’re still doing pre-vis work with droids and sets.
Johnson on working with the British crew: “I kind of wish we could just keep filming. They’re just the best people in the business.”
John Boyega is joining the cast and crew now! The crowd is going crazy!
Boyega on working with Johnson, “He’s awesome. I like to say he’s doing an indie movie inside of a franchise.”
Boyega isn’t saying yes or no to whether or not Finn wakes up from his coma in Episode VIII.
It’s just sinking in for Boyega that Ehrenreich is playing Han Solo. “It’s crazy!”
“You’ve got that charm stuff down, don’t you? You’re smiling just like Han,” says Boyega to Ehrenreich. “Take care of him!” Boyega added.
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are coming out now! Gary is here!!
Hamill’s dog Millie is here too! (I know. we’re focusing on the really important updates.)
Hamill is talking about the great relationship he has with Fisher. He says they’re like brother and sister on and off set!
Fisher is still campaigning to get Gary a role in a Star Wars film.
The panel is ending and the crowd is on their feet!
That’s all from the Future Filmmakers panel! Thanks for joining us.
Wait a second, Mark Hamill just ran back out on stage and bowed! We just love him so much.
Alright, onto the Closing Ceremony now. We’re talking about fans’ best memories from the last three days.
It turns out Lord had to leave the set early to go to a school interview for his son. “We couldn’t be in Star Wars, because your son had to go school!” – Miller, said laughing.