Star Wars Celebration Schedule Highlights - 33 Events You Can't Miss This Weekend

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 - 2:43PM
Star Wars
Star Wars Celebration
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 - 2:43PM
Star Wars Celebration Schedule Highlights - 33 Events You Can't Miss This Weekend
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This weekend, Star Wars Celebration kicks off at the Anaheim Convention Center, and if even half the things happen that we expect, this is going to be the biggest weekend in Star Wars franchise history. We already know that the first full trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be aired, we know that season 2 of Star Wars Rebels will get its premiere, and we know that there will be a huge collection of Star Wars royalty in attendance. And with the announcement that over 30 hours of Star Wars Celebration will stream live on the internet, it's going to pay to know when you need to get online between the 16th and 19th of April. 


The Opening Ceremony - 10-11am

When LucasFilm and Disney announced that JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy are opening Star Wars Celebration, they used the phrase "in a big way", seemingly confirming our hunch that the studio would be using the event as the platform for the launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens' first full trailer. But now it would seem that we're getting greedy, because rumors have been rife on the internet that everything from official artwork to plot details will be revealed in this most magic of hours.

Restored Music from The Empire Strikes Back with David Collins - Digital Stage, 2-3pm

John Williams' epic scores are as much a part of the Star Wars story as anything, which is exactly why any chance to get an insight into how they were created should be at the top of any Star Wars fan's to-do list. As an added bonus to David Collins's insights, this panel gives you the chance to watch scenes from The Empire Strikes Back with the original music restored.

Disney Parks & Star Wars Merchandise – This is Where the Magic Begins - Behind-the-Scenes Stage, 2:30-3:30pm

If you're an avid collector of Star Wars merchandise, the Disney purchase of LucasFilm probably represents a watershed moment for your collection. The Disney era of Star Wars not only brings with it new movies, TV shows, and books, it also ushers in the arrival of a whole new world of merchandise. Many of these items will only be available at Disney theme parks, and this panel gives Star Wars Celebration visitors a chance to preview what merchandise will be available at Disney parks over the next 2 years.

The Untold Clone Wars with Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo - Digital Stage, 3:30-4:30pm

Star Wars Celebration Highlights: 33 Things You Don't Want to Miss
You're going to be seeing Dave Filoni's name quite a lot on this list. The man who helped bring us Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars is going to be one of the hardest working guests at Star Wars Celebration, making multiple appearances throughout the weekend. Filoni will be joined by LucasFilm creative executive, Pablo Hidalgo, to discuss what it took to create this beloved show. Expect the pair to talk openly about never-before-seen episodes and the plans they had for the show's characters. 

Ian McDiarmid: The Emperor Strikes Back - Celebration Stage, 4-5pm

The Emperor is the villain who pulls all the strings that make the Star Wars saga so interesting, and Star Wars Celebration is your chance to listen to the man who brought him to life, Ian McDiarmid, discuss how playing Palpatine influenced his distinguished career in the performing arts.

These ARE the Droids You're Looking For – An Insider's Look at NASA's Dawn and Mars Exploration Rover Missions - Star Wars University, 4:30-5:30pm

The bond between science and sci-fi has never been stronger, that's the lesson you'll come away with after listening to NASA JPL's Mike Seibert and Keri Bean discuss some of the remarkable technologies that humanity has sent into space. From the similarities Mars shares with Tatooine to the fact that NASA is already utilizing ion engines, this panel will show that you don't necessarily need to travel to a Galaxy Far Far Away to see mind-blowing space exploration technology.

Howard Kazanjian: Producing Jedi - Digital Stage, 5-6pm

A rare chance to dive behind the scenes of the closing chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi producer Howard Kazanjian is on stage to reveal how he first started working with George Lucas and share never-before-seen images from his illustrious career, which includes ROJ, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more.

Plastic Galaxy - Collector's Stage, 6-7pm

Plastic Galaxy is an acclaimed documentary exploring the Star Wars toys' role in ushering in a whole new era of collectibles. The film's director, Brian Stillman, will be on hand to answer questions after a special 40-minute excerpt of Plastic Galaxy is aired on the big screen.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones in 3D - Digital Stage, 6:30 - 11:59pm

What better way to wrap up day 1 of Star Wars Celebration than with a special 3D screening of the first 2 installments of the Star Wars saga? Hundreds of fans in costume are expected to pack into the Celebration stage for the event. This is how Star Wars was meant to be viewed, with your fellow Star Wars fans and a lightsaber in your hand.


Star Wars Battlefront – An Intergalactic Debut - Digital Stage, 10:30-11:30am

Folks, we've waited years for this moment, but on Friday the waiting finally comes to an end as DICE get ready to unveil their new game, Star Wars Battlefront. Reps from DICE will give the trailer for Star Wars Battlefront its world premiere, as well as giving fans an early look at some of the classic Star Wars missions the game will bring to life. If you're a fan of the previous Battlefront, there's a chance that this panel may even be higher on your priorities than the Force Awakens event, and after so much waiting, we don't blame you.

Ralph McQuarrie: Star Wars Art - Behind-The-Scenes Stage 11:30am - 12:30pm

The late Ralph McQuarrie's concept art helped shape the Star Wars universe we all know and love. His visionary sketches of landscapes, vehicles, and beings are set to be comprehensively curated in a new book due for release in 2016, and the people who helped create it are going to be on stage to discuss McQuarrie's influence on Star Wars and share some of choice excerpts from the upcoming coffee table book.

Secrets of the Mos Eisley Cantina - Behind-The-Scenes Stage, 1-2pm

Tom Spina (Tom Spina Designs) and Pablo Hidalgo (Lucasfilm) are self-professed 'Cantinarcheologists', which essentially means their knowledge of the Star Wars Cantina scene is unprecedented. Tom and Pablo will be presenting rare production images from this iconic Star Wars scene and discussing some of the secrets they uncovered in their conversations with the people who made it all possible.

Date With The Princess: Carrie Fisher - Celebration Stage, 1:30-2:30pm

A chance to listen to Star Wars royalty, Carrie Fisher, discussing her life in the entertainment industry. From A New Hope to The Force Awakens, Fisher will be discussing the role Star Wars has played in both her professional and personal life. 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Bad Batch" Screening and Panel Discussion - Digital Stage, 2-4pm

We're huge fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, so it goes without saying that the chance to see unaired episodes of the show is right at the top of our list this weekend. The Bad Batch arc is a 4-episode collection of episodes that explores the daring mission of an elite group of troopers, known as the 'Bad Batch', to save Echo. Dave Filoni will be on stage with the voice of the clones, Dee Bradley Baker, and more for a special Q&A after the screening. Get there early, because the hunger for more episodes of The Clone Wars is very, very strong.

Dennis Muren: Legacy in VFX - Digital Stage, 3-4pm

Dennis Muren has won no fewer than 8 Academy Awards for his work in the visual effects industry. As Senior Visual Effects Supervisor and Creative Director at Industrial Light & Magic, Muren's career has seen him working on the VFX teams for the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as being responsible for bringing Revenge of the Sith into 3-D. Muren will reveal some secrets of the trade and give fans an insight into the experience of bringing a sci-fi universe to life.

One Big Story: Working Within the Star Wars Canon - Fan Stage, 3:30-4:30pm

It's no secret that the Disney purchase of LucasFilm ushered in a new era of Star Wars storytelling. Gone is the old expanded universe, making way for a new Star Wars canon, which will unfold before us via movies, books, comics and TV shows. Michael Siglain, creative director and Jennifer Heddle, senior editor, from Lucasfilm and Disney publishing; editor-at-large Shelly Shapiro from Del Rey; editor Jordan D. White, VP International Development; C.B. Cebulski from Marvel; managing editor Sadie Smith from DK; and Leland Chee from the Lucasfilm Story Group will all be on hand to discuss the challenges of expanding a universe through so many forms of media. If you want to be in the best possible shape to stay up to date with Star Wars canon, this panel is a must-see.

Rebel Women Who Fought The Clone Wars - Behind-The-Scenes Stage, 6-7pm

Women are a major part of Star Wars both on and off screen, and this panel give us a chance to celebrate the talents of the women who helped bring us two beloved Star Wars shows: Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Producer Athena Portillo, Creative Executive Rayne Roberts, production manager Liz Marshall, and senior concept designer Amy Beth Christenson from Lucasfilm will be on stage to answer questions and divulge insights into their work on everyone's favorite animated Star Wars adventures.

Premiere! Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith in 3D - Digital Stage, 6:30-11:59pm

Ian McDiarmid & Dennis Muren present the first ever screening of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith in 3D. As with Thursday's screening, special souvenir 3D glasses will be provided. This world premiere will be followed by a chance to see Star Wars: A New Hope on the big screen in 2D.

Anthony Daniels: Inside the Heart & Chaos of C-3PO - Celebration Stage, 7-8pm

Anthony Daniels occupies an exclusive club in the Star Wars Universe: he's the only actor to appear in all 7 movies. The man who brought C-3PO to life deservedly takes top-billing on Friday as he divulges what it's like to play this most neurotic of droids. 


New Allies and New Villains in Star Wars Rebels - Celebration Stage, 11am-12pm

Saturday is Star Wars Rebels day at Celebration as Dave Filoni and the cast of the hit show kick off the first of two huge panels on the exploits of Kanan and his rag-tag band of rebels. The cast break down the craziness of that season one finale and discuss what's in store for their characters in season two. Preview footage of Star Wars Rebels' second season will be aired.

Star Wars Comes Home to Marvel - Behind-the-Scenes Stage, 1-2pm

After many, many years, Star Wars comics have returned to their first home...Marvel. Since the first issues were released last year, Marvel series like Star Wars, Star Wars: Darth Vader, and Star Wars: Princess Leia have given us a new insight into our favorite characters' exploits immediately after the Battle of Yavin. But these stories are just the tip of the iceberg, as you'll find out when Marvel Executive Editor C.B. Cebulski, Marvel Editor Jordan White, and Lucasfilm Senior Editor Jennifer Heddle, come on stage to reveal a couple of big announcements about Star Wars's future at Marvel.

Star Wars at Del Rey - Behind-the-Scenes Stage, 2:30-3:30pm

With a new era of Star Wars TV shows, books and movies, so has there also come a new era of Star Wars books. Del Rey Editor Shelly Shapiro, Lucasfilm Sr. Editor Jen Heddle and authors John Jackson Miller, Jim Luceno and Christie Golden, are the people who are bringing us these new Star Wars stories and they'll be on stage to discuss what the future holds for lovers of Star Wars novels. 

Tribute to Aaron Allston - Behind-the-Scenes Stage, 4-5pm

Remember all the excitement when it was revealed that Gareth Edwards' stand-alone movie will be called Star Wars: Rogue One? Well, much of that excitement stemmed from the work of author Aaron Allston, who wrote the X-Wing series. Beloved by legions of Star Wars fans, Allston's X-Wing, Fate of the Jedi, and Legacy of the Force novels are a major part of Star Wars lore, so it's not surprising to see the author getting his very own tribute panel. 

Star Wars Rebels Red Carpet & Season Two Global Premiere Screening - Digital Stage, 4:30pm

Before you get to see the world premiere of Star Wars Rebels season 2, you get to see the show's stars make their entrance on the red carpet. Hollywood glitz and glamor comes to Anaheim as the likes of Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall and Steve Blum make their way into the event.

Global Premiere: Star Wars Rebels Season Two - Digital Stage, 5-7pm

After a slow start, Star Wars Rebels became a great show in its debut season, finishing off with an action-packed finale that brought back a familiar and popular face. Star Wars Celebration attendees will be among the first in the world to see the first two episodes of Star Wars Rebels Season 2, which doesn't air to the public until later on this year. If you aren't all caught up on Season 1, don't worry, because that huge season finale we mentioned above will be screened first!

Double Feature! "Talking to Myself" Starring James Arnold Taylor & Mark Hamill: The Return of the Jedi - Celebration Stage, 6-8pm

Two voice acting legends unite on one stage for a crazy 2 hours of entertainment. Watch in amazement as James Arnold Taylor performs no few than 200 voices in the space of 1 hour before welcoming Mark Hamill aka Luke Skywalker on stage. Hamill is, himself, an acclaimed voice actor, which means between him and Taylor, we should be in for a pretty wild ride.


Conversations with Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank - Celebration Stage, 11am-12pm

Could this be the moment we finally learn some details about the Star Wars stand-alone movies? Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank are the two men being charged with directing the first two stand-alone movies, so the fact that they are being joined on stage by Kathleen Kennedy would make it as good a time as any for them to feed the information-hungry masses. Artwork, a title for the second movie, casting announcements? We'll take anything we can get at this point.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars On Stage! - Digital Stage, 11am - 12pm

It's Star Wars meets the Bard as Marc Thompson, January LaVoy and Jonathan Davis bring their William Shakespeare's Star Wars audio book to Star Wars Celebration. The team will perform select scenes of their innovative take on the Star Wars saga, so expect a lot of drama and a lot of tragedy.

What Princess Leia Means to Me - Star Wars Fan Stage, 12:30-1:30pm

Princess Leia wasn't just an iconic Star Wars character, she was also a rare example female role model in an industry and era dominated by men. As such, Leia became a hero to many young female Star Wars fans and remains so to this day. A few of those young female fans have gone on to use that inspiration to carve out successful careers linked closely to the Star Wars franchise. Join Cat Staggs, Catherine Taber, Christie Golden, Jennifer Heddle, Katie Cook and Rayne Roberts as they talk about what Leia Organa means to them and why we need more role models like her in the modern world.

Star Wars Rebels: Past, Present, and Future - Digital Stage, 12:30-1:30

Dave Filoni is on stage again and this time he's joined by Star Wars Rebels co-creator, Carrie Beck, and Star Wars Rebels executive producer, Henry Gilroy. The trio will tell fans how Rebels came about and what they have planned for the show's future. 

The Star Wars Celebration Tattoo Competition - Behind-the-Scenes Stage, 1-3pm

For some people there is no better way to show your love for something than getting some ink. Star Wars is no exception to this rule, and in addition to having expert tattoo artists on site all weekend, Celebration will be rewarding the very best examples of Star Wars tattoo artistry.

Billy Dee Williams: Baron of Smooth - Celebration Stage, 1:30-2:30pm

The title says it all. Billy Dee Williams was the smoothest thing about the entire Star Wars saga, so snuggle down and get ready to listen to the man himself talk about what it was like to play the rogue, Lando Calrissian, in the original trilogy and more recently in Star Wars Rebels.

Designing the Art of Star Wars with the Master: Doug Chiang - Digital Stage, 2-3pm

As Vice President and Executive Creative Director at Lucasfilm, Doug Chiang has been responsible for building many of the worlds we all know and love from the Star Wars saga. From droids to starships to alien worlds, Chiang reveals the processes behind creating science fiction's most beloved universe.

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