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That’s it for the panel!
“I’m just here to make sure Gary gets a part in the next one,” Fisher says. Hamill thinks there are no dogs in Star Wars. “We have the power to make that happen,” Hidalgo says.
“It’s like family,” she says. She says taking your children to the family and sharing the saga with them is special. “It’s a fantastic thing.”
Fisher: “What he said.”
“I’m so grateful for it.”
Hamill: “It’s so moving. You can tell you’re apart of people’s childhoods…Sometimes I get light-headed with it.”
How’s CE going?
(Carrie’s dogs Gary and Mark’s daughter’s dog Millie are also on stage.)
Hidalgo says they need to fill out the family portrait on stage — so please welcome Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher!
Johnson on Kelly Marie Tran: “She’s really something special.” He can’t wait for the fans to see her in the film.
[whispers to the rest of the panel] “Take care of him.”
“You’re gonna be fine. You’ve got that charm stuff down…Enjoy the ride.”
“It’s really, really fun. I’m having fun,” he says. Looks at Alden. “Oh, man, you’re playing Han Solo!”
So…is Finn OK after getting sliced by Kylo Ren? They won’t say. Johnson says they toyed with the idea of continually cutting to Finn in a coma throughout the film.
What’s it like working with Johnson? “The characters have been pushed in a new direction in a very, very cool way.”
Boyega’s a Londoner — it’s his first Celebration in his hometown! “This is amazing. There’s so many of you. Thank you for having me.”
Any fans of FN-2187? John Boyega takes the stage! Standing ovation.
It’s the duo’s first time working with a British crew, many of which worked on Rogue One.
Cameras will roll January or February! Lots of droids, sets…
What was his mom’s reaction? “She was like, What?” He says she just found his childhood Star Wars toys and sent him photos.
What was Alden’s trick to not freeze up? “There’s something about it that felt so exciting. It was more exciting than it was nerve-wracking.”
Miller says only the finalists made it onto the Falcon.
He screen tested with the Falcon and Chewbacca. “I’ve never screen tested with a Wookiee. It was amazing.”
“I’m just very, very excited.”
“I auditioned for about 6 months. The coolest part of that audition process was, I went on the Falcon…It’s pretty unbelievable.”
And he’s here today: Alden Ehrenreich takes the stage! Massive applause! He just flew in yesterday to be at Celebration.
What about casting Han Solo? They’ve seen thousands of actors. “We turned over every rock to find someone who has the charisma and magic swagger,” says Lord. Miller: “But it was a waste of money because the person to get the part was literally the first person to walk through the door.”
Miller actually has a cameo in Empire! He was interning at ILM and they put out a call for extras for the Special Editions.
And in turn, Gareth Edwards cameoed in Episode VIII! This is the Rogue One director in costume.
Johsnon, however, did! Showing a photo of him as a Death Star operator — the guys who fire the really, really big laser.
They got in costume but couldn’t make the cameo.
Cameos — Lord and Miller were very close to getting into Rogue One
They have worked with Han Solo before…in The LEGO Movie. Han, Chewie, the Falcon and more are in it. They joke that The LEGO Movie is now canon in Star Wars. Playing the clip!
“This is a guy who, on the playground, everyone was fighting who gets to play Han Solo.” They say the dichotomy of his seeming cynicism and heart make him an amazing character. “He’s a maverick, he’s a scoundrel, he’s clever but he’s not smart. He positions himself as this tough guy, but in the end he does the right thing.”
They’re working on the Han Solo Star Wars Story — what does Han Solo mean to them?
“It’s a dream come true,” says Miller. He says Kasdan was one of his heroes.
Kiri Hart: “[Kasdan] had a lot of passion for Chris and Phil coming on board to direct this movie…That ended up being really meaningful to all of us.”
The directing duo just moved to London two days ago, still working on the script with Larry and Jon Kasdan.
And now Chris Miller and Phil Lord take the stage — and Hidalgo receives a double hug!
Next year’s Celebration will be Episode VIII’s showcase moment — and also the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. Johnson can’t wait. “I’m really looking forward to the next year and a half…I think we’re going to have a really good time together.”
The production name of Episode VIII was Space Bear. “Every time I saw that logo on official stuff, it made me so happy.” The logo was a panda wearing a helmet.
New shot of a TIE pilot in a cockpit — Johnson’s assistant Leo is under the helmet. “You look at the monitor…you have that instant connection to it,” he says of the visuals of Star Wars.
New photo from behind of someone in a cockpit with a massive helmet. Johnson would play Daft Punk when they were on set.
Dave Filoni, executive producer of Star Wars Rebels, came to visit the set numerous times. Johnson says they were very lucky to have “the man in the cowboy hat” visit.
The below photo is from the Ireland shoot. “To be able to put these actors out there…it was just incredible.”
Johnson apologizes that a lot of his photos have green screen in the background. That’s all he’s showing so as not to give anything away, “But I want to let everyone know that the amount of sets we’ve built is absolutely ridiculous.”
Johnson has taken some behind-the-scene photos from Episode VIII. Showing a photo of background characters. “We had a really great crowd that really took to it.”
Johnson says he loves being online. “I guess I was a little nervous in terms of what something on this scale would do [to enjoying online]…So far, so good.”
What was it like being on Twitter and not being able to say you’re directing Episode VIII?
The first movie was “an incredible explosion of adventure.” VIII digs into character, challenging them.
How did the stars of The Force Awakens react coming into VIII?
“It was an incredible experience on many different levels…You come into it with those feelings of deep nostalgia,” but then you realize you have to get over that.
What’s it like to direct Chewie and Star Wars icons?
Johnson recalls the impact of the toys. “More than the experience of the film, the first stories we were telling as kids were with those toys.”
“I have this memory of my dad putting me in the car to see Star Wars. I said, ‘Where are we going?’ He said, ‘We’re going to see the most amazing movie you’ve ever seen.'”
What was Johnson’s level of Star Wars appreciation prior to this?
Episode VIII will begin in a way no other Star Wars film has. “For the first time, this movie is going to start where the last one left off.” They went back to Skellig Michael, “a very mystical, magical place…It was appropriately surreal.”
Rian assembled a sort of film camp, screening movies — Three Outlaw Samurai, 12 O’clock High, and more.
Hidalgo says a tip for future filmmakers is to bring ice cream to meetings — which Johnson did.
Johnson started working on Episode VIII while VII was still in production. “One of the first things I did was go up to San Francisco, and spent about 6 weeks figuring out the story.” He would go over it with Kennedy and Hart, and watched dailies of VII. That helped shape where the story would go. “I think it was a good thing,” he says.
Rian Johnson takes the stage!
Kennedy was very impressed with his past films. “Watching him on set, Rian moves the camera as well as Steven Spielberg,” Kennedy says.
How did they pick Rian Johnson to direct Episode VIII?
Host Pablo Hidalgo is on stage with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart, senior vice president of Development.
Hi, everyone! Thanks for joining us!