SWCE 2016: Future Filmmaker Discussion Liveblog

The Lucasfilm Story Group’s Pablo Hidalgo talks with filmmakers Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart, Rian Johnson (Star Wars: Episode VIII), and directing duo Chris Miller and Phil Lord (the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story)!

(Left to right) Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Alden Ehrenreich, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Rian Johnson, Kiri Hart, Kathleen Kennedy and Pablo Hidalgo on stage during Future Filmmakers Panel at Star Wars Europe Celebration 2016. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios)

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20168:03 am

Thanks for following along!

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20168:02 am

That’s it for the panel!

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20168:01 am

“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.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:59 am

“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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:58 am

Fisher: “What he said.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:58 am

“I’m so grateful for it.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:57 am

Hamill: “It’s so moving. You can tell you’re apart of people’s childhoods…Sometimes I get light-headed with it.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:57 am

How’s CE going?

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:57 am

(Carrie’s dogs Gary and Mark’s daughter’s dog Millie are also on stage.)

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:56 am

Standing ovation!

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:56 am

Hidalgo says they need to fill out the family portrait on stage — so please welcome Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher!

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:55 am

Johnson on Kelly Marie Tran: “She’s really something special.” He can’t wait for the fans to see her in the film.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:54 am

[whispers to the rest of the panel] “Take care of him.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:54 am

“You’re gonna be fine. You’ve got that charm stuff down…Enjoy the ride.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:53 am

“It’s really, really fun. I’m having fun,” he says. Looks at Alden. “Oh, man, you’re playing Han Solo!”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:52 am

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.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:51 am

What’s it like working with Johnson? “The characters have been pushed in a new direction in a very, very cool way.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:51 am

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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:50 am

Any fans of FN-2187? John Boyega takes the stage! Standing ovation.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:48 am

It’s the duo’s first time working with a British crew, many of which worked on Rogue One.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:48 am

Cameras will roll January or February! Lots of droids, sets…

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:47 am

What was his mom’s reaction? “She was like, What?” He says she just found his childhood Star Wars toys and sent him photos.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:46 am

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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:45 am

Miller says only the finalists made it onto the Falcon.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:44 am

He screen tested with the Falcon and Chewbacca. “I’ve never screen tested with a Wookiee. It was amazing.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:44 am

“I’m just very, very excited.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:43 am

“I auditioned for about 6 months. The coolest part of that audition process was, I went on the Falcon…It’s pretty unbelievable.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:42 am

And he’s here today: Alden Ehrenreich takes the stage! Massive applause! He just flew in yesterday to be at Celebration.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:41 am

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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:40 am

Miller actually has a cameo in Empire! He was interning at ILM and they put out a call for extras for the Special Editions.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:38 am

And in turn, Gareth Edwards cameoed in Episode VIII! This is the Rogue One director in costume.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:37 am

Johsnon, however, did! Showing a photo of him as a Death Star operator — the guys who fire the really, really big laser.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:37 am

They got in costume but couldn’t make the cameo.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:35 am

Cameos — Lord and Miller were very close to getting into Rogue One

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:34 am

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!

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:33 am

“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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:31 am

They’re working on the Han Solo Star Wars Story — what does Han Solo mean to them?

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:31 am

“It’s a dream come true,” says Miller. He says Kasdan was one of his heroes.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:29 am

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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:29 am

The directing duo just moved to London two days ago, still working on the script with Larry and Jon Kasdan.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:28 am

And now Chris Miller and Phil Lord take the stage — and Hidalgo receives a double hug!

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:27 am

Big applause!

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:27 am

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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:26 am

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.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:25 am

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.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:24 am

New photo from behind of someone in a cockpit with a massive helmet. Johnson would play Daft Punk when they were on set.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:23 am

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.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:22 am

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:22 am

The below photo is from the Ireland shoot. “To be able to put these actors out there…it was just incredible.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:21 am

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:21 am

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.” 

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:20 am

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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:19 am

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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:18 am

What was it like being on Twitter and not being able to say you’re directing Episode VIII?

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:17 am

The first movie was “an incredible explosion of adventure.” VIII digs into character, challenging them.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:17 am

How did the stars of The Force Awakens react coming into VIII?

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:16 am

“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.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:15 am

What’s it like to direct Chewie and Star Wars icons?

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:14 am

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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:14 am

“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.'”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:13 am

What was Johnson’s level of Star Wars appreciation prior to this?

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:12 am

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.”

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:10 am

Rian assembled a sort of film camp, screening movies — Three Outlaw Samurai, 12 O’clock High, and more.  

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:09 am

Hidalgo says a tip for future filmmakers is to bring ice cream to meetings — which Johnson did.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:08 am

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.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:06 am

Rian Johnson takes the stage!

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:06 am

Kennedy was very impressed with his past films. “Watching him on set, Rian moves the camera as well as Steven Spielberg,” Kennedy says. 

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:05 am

How did they pick Rian Johnson to direct Episode VIII?

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:05 am

Host Pablo Hidalgo is on stage with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart, senior vice president of Development.

StarWars.com Team July 17, 20167:03 am

Hi, everyone! Thanks for joining us!

TAGS: , , ,