Now, it’s time for the biggest presentation of the entire weekend. After this year’s D23 Expo has already featured stellar presentations for all of Disney’s Animated films, the recent Marvel panel, and new looks at their upcoming live-action films – it’s time for the one that we’ve all been waiting for. After thousands of people camped out in line and dressed up as their favorite intergalactic characters, it’s finally time for the Lucasfilm panel.
Right off the bat, the studio made one of the biggest announcements of the year, with Rian Johnson (Looper) set to write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, and slated for a May 2017 release – Lucasfilm has officially confirmed that Jurassic World helmer, Colin Trevorrow, will be directing Star Wars: Episode IX.
That’s not all though. The studio also revealed the first official cast photo for Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars: Rogue One. The image features Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Donnie Yen standing in their official costumes for the film. Ben Mendelsohn and Forest Whitaker were also confirmed to be a part of the cast, with Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk also added.
The film is set to take place before A New Hope, and will focus on the group of Resistance Fighters who worked to steal the plans of the dreaded Death Star. Kathleen Kennedy commented on the project with the following:
“‘Rogue One’ takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe. It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for ‘Rogue One.’”
Check out the cast image below:
Then J.J. Abrams came out onto the stage to talk about this year’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, and discussed what it was like when John Williams came to his house and played some of the film’s music for him on the piano, saying it was like hearing music from the gods. John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, and Harrison Ford proceeded to walk out (the last of whom recieved more than just a standing ovation) and joined Abrams and co. onstage.
Ford talked about how happy he is to be a part of this new, great chapter of the universe, and unfortunately, the cast and crew did not get to speak for long before they were shuffled offstage, and Bob Iger walked out.
As if it couldn’t get any better, Iger has officially announced that they will be adding 14 acres of land to both DisneyLand and DisneyWorld for their new, “Star Wars Land”. The new regions of the parks will feature all new rides, cantinas, beasts, etc. One of the rides even lets you pilot the Millennium Falcon… and I think I just heard the sound of a million fanboys gasping and then falling on the ground from pure shock.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is set to be released on December 18th, and Star Wars: Rogue One is set to hit theatres on December 16th, 2016.
Make sure to stay tuned for more D23 updates — right here on GeekNation.
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