Enjoy these extra photos from the panel!
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The crowd goes wild.
Now Abrams has a surprise: we’re all going to walk to a live Star Wars concert!
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.”
“I’m fine,” he says. “I walked here.”
Is Harrison Ford okay? Let’s see for ourselves! Ford takes the stage! Standing ovation.
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.
Hamill: “Without you guys [the fans] we’re nothing.”
“There were times the three of us were standing together…” and it just felt natural. Hardwick introduces Mark Hamill!
“It was like a flashback…I didn’t think it was going to happen again.”
What was the feeling for her to come to set and see it all real again?
And now Carrie Fisher!
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.”
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.
Fan question! What were the villain actors’ reactions when they found out they were in the movie?
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.”
Gleeson: “I am evil. [My character’s] British.”
He says they didn’t approach Kylo Ren in terms of bad or evil…just as a character with a point of view.
Can Driver say anything about his character’s connection to the dark side?
Domhall Gleeson and Gwendolyn Christie!
Now for the dark side…Adam Driver takes the stage!
Isaac: rainbow colored. Abrams says red. Kasdan wants black.
If the panel were Jedi, what color would their sabers be?
Ridley: “Working with the legends…was everything we could’ve hoped for and more.”
What was it like to work with the original cast?
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.”
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.
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.'”
What was the training like? Ridley: “It was amazing, and I hope the look of it pays off.”
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.
John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac take the stage!
Lots of applause and cheers.
More behind the scenes! Simon Pegg on set! Creatures! A crashed TIE fighter!
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.”
The lights go down!
They can’t show new scenes or a trailer here today…but…
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.
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.”
He says that during shooting, “It was all real. We got that part right.”
Kasdan: “You can feel that those are real weapons and those are real stormtroopers back there.”
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.
His name is Bobbajo.
Abrams says that with the first Omaze video, they showed a creature to prove they were doing practical. They bring him out on stage!
Hardwick asks about practical effects.
And went berserk when he heard Abrams was directing.
He says the characters never left his consciousness.
Lawrence Kasdan: “The guy that brings me here is the genius George Lucas.”
A crashed TIE fighter!
A photo of stormtroopers with flamethrowers is shown!
“We’re working hard to make the movie what it wants to be.”
Abrams says they’re editing and cutting the movie.
Kathleen Kennedy: “We want to say thank you to all of you.”
Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan take the stage!
Hardwick says he saw Star Wars as a kid, and it really informed his life.
“You’re not going to be disappointed..I can’t tell you how emotional and special this is for me.”
Chris Hardwick, our moderator, takes the stage!
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