SDCC 2015: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Panel Liveblog

Follow along to hear from the cast and creators of the next installment of the Star Wars saga!

Enjoy these extra photos from the panel! Team July 10, 20156:48 pm

That’s it! Thanks for following – and check out the video shown in the panel above! Team July 10, 20156:46 pm

The crowd goes wild. Team July 10, 20156:45 pm

Now Abrams has a surprise: we’re all going to walk to a live Star Wars concert! Team July 10, 20156:45 pm

How did it feel to be back? “It felt great…the original Star Wars was the beginning of my working life…so it was great to be back. Thank you.”

“It’s a development of theme and a natural progression of the story we told in the first three,” Ford says.

Did the actors think about what happened to their characters after Return of the Jedi?
“I was just glad I didn’t have to go to Tosche Station to pick up power converters,” Hamill says. Big laughs!

Ford never thought about where Han ended up. “I never thought that we would do another. I was very gratified when I read the script because I read something that I thought was really remarkable, really well-written…I was very happy to be part of the story and the cast again.” Team July 10, 20156:44 pm

“I’m fine,” he says. “I walked here.” Team July 10, 20156:43 pm Team July 10, 20156:35 pm

Is Harrison Ford okay? Let’s see for ourselves! Ford takes the stage! Standing ovation. Team July 10, 20156:34 pm Team July 10, 20156:33 pm

Hamill says he’s very moved when he hears from fans — whether they named their son Luke or met their wife at the premiere of Return of the Jedi. He says you don’t often realize the impact you could have on someone’s life. Team July 10, 20156:31 pm

Hamill: “Without you guys [the fans] we’re nothing.” Team July 10, 20156:29 pm

“There were times the three of us were standing together…” and it just felt natural. Hardwick introduces Mark Hamill! Team July 10, 20156:28 pm

“It was like a flashback…I didn’t think it was going to happen again.” Team July 10, 20156:27 pm

What was the feeling for her to come to set and see it all real again? Team July 10, 20156:26 pm

And now Carrie Fisher! Team July 10, 20156:26 pm

Fan question! Cast: would they choose the light side or dark side? Boyega: “I wouldn’t be involved in any of that. I’d be Han Solo trying to make some money.” Driver: “Dark, dark.” Team July 10, 20156:25 pm Team July 10, 20156:24 pm

Gleeson says he was told that the character was in charge in some way. Abrams confirms the character’s base is called “Starkiller.” Big cheers. Team July 10, 20156:23 pm

Fan question! What were the villain actors’ reactions when they found out they were in the movie? Team July 10, 20156:22 pm

Christie says of her character: “I found it very exciting that underneath that armor is a woman. And it makes it more relevant than ever.” Team July 10, 20156:22 pm Team July 10, 20156:21 pm

Gleeson: “I am evil. [My character’s] British.” Team July 10, 20156:21 pm

He says they didn’t approach Kylo Ren in terms of bad or evil…just as a character with a point of view. Team July 10, 20156:20 pm

Can Driver say anything about his character’s connection to the dark side? Team July 10, 20156:19 pm

Domhall Gleeson and Gwendolyn Christie! Team July 10, 20156:18 pm

Now for the dark side…Adam Driver takes the stage! Team July 10, 20156:17 pm

Isaac: rainbow colored. Abrams says red. Kasdan wants black. Team July 10, 20156:17 pm

If the panel were Jedi, what color would their sabers be? Team July 10, 20156:16 pm

Ridley: “Working with the legends…was everything we could’ve hoped for and more.” Team July 10, 20156:15 pm

What was it like to work with the original cast? Team July 10, 20156:15 pm

What about transmedia storytelling? Abrams: “We’re just working really hard to make a movie and tell a story…if we thought of it as an IP [to expand with transmedia], it would be a very different film.” Team July 10, 20156:13 pm

Will any Asian characters join the cast, a fan asks. Abrams: “There are Asians in this film. The truth is we didn’t write the character of Finn to be any color, we didn’t write Rey to be any color.” They just went for the right actors. Team July 10, 20156:11 pm

Isaac says his character carries on the legacy of Han and Luke. “Poe was probably watching the medal ceremony saying, ‘I want to be a hero.'” Team July 10, 20156:10 pm

What was the training like? Ridley: “It was amazing, and I hope the look of it pays off.” Team July 10, 20156:08 pm

How is it being on both sides — both a fan and now being part of Star Wars? Boyega: “It’s been awesome.” He’s walked through the crowd here and at Celebration — with a clone trooper helmet on. Team July 10, 20156:07 pm

John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac take the stage! Team July 10, 20156:04 pm

Lots of applause and cheers. Team July 10, 20156:03 pm

More behind the scenes! Simon Pegg on set! Creatures! A crashed TIE fighter! Team July 10, 20156:03 pm

Lots of behind-the-scenes footage! Mark Hamill speaking: “Real sets, practical effects….nothing’s changed and everything’s changed. That’s the way you want it to be, really.” Team July 10, 20156:02 pm

The lights go down! Team July 10, 20156:01 pm

They can’t show new scenes or a trailer here today…but… Team July 10, 20156:01 pm

Will each movie be a standalone or will there be an arc? Kennedy: “VIII and IX will be part of that [overall] saga.” But she adds that production is beginning on the standalone movies. Team July 10, 20156:00 pm

Fan question! How can they live up to fan expectation and the legacy of the originals? Abrams: “When you’re directing a scene on the Millennium Falcon, that doesn’t make it good…it’s storytelling 101…You can’t be blinded by [your feelings about the original trilogy]. I can’t wait to show you the movie.” Team July 10, 20155:57 pm

He says that during shooting, “It was all real. We got that part right.” Team July 10, 20155:57 pm

Kasdan: “You can feel that those are real weapons and those are real stormtroopers back there.” Team July 10, 20155:52 pm

He’s walking across the stage – one of hundreds of creatures built for the film. “It gives the actors things to respond to.”

Bobbajo’s eyes can squint, his nostrils can wrinkle. He can show real personality. Team July 10, 20155:52 pm

His name is Bobbajo. Team July 10, 20155:51 pm

Abrams says that with the first Omaze video, they showed a creature to prove they were doing practical. They bring him out on stage! Team July 10, 20155:50 pm

Hardwick asks about practical effects. Team July 10, 20155:49 pm

And went berserk when he heard Abrams was directing. Team July 10, 20155:49 pm

He says the characters never left his consciousness. Team July 10, 20155:48 pm

Lawrence Kasdan: “The guy that brings me here is the genius George Lucas.” Team July 10, 20155:48 pm

A crashed TIE fighter! Team July 10, 20155:48 pm

A photo of stormtroopers with flamethrowers is shown! Team July 10, 20155:46 pm

“We’re working hard to make the movie what it wants to be.” Team July 10, 20155:46 pm

Abrams says they’re editing and cutting the movie. Team July 10, 20155:46 pm

Kathleen Kennedy: “We want to say thank you to all of you.” Team July 10, 20155:44 pm

Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan take the stage! Team July 10, 20155:44 pm

Hardwick says he saw Star Wars as a kid, and it really informed his life. Team July 10, 20155:43 pm

“You’re not going to be disappointed..I can’t tell you how emotional and special this is for me.” Team July 10, 20155:42 pm

Chris Hardwick, our moderator, takes the stage! Team July 10, 20155:41 pm

Welcome to our liveblog!