Director Rian Johnson and Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy opened up the event with host and superfan Josh Gad. But before the hour-long panel was over, the three were joined by Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, newcomer Kelly Marie Tran, and even BB-8.
Here’s what we learned about the next Star Wars film:
1. It’s still in production
“We’re in post-production,” Johnson told the audience. “We’re still editing, but we’re very far along.” Kennedy was on hand to hype up the director who had spent four hours the night before signing autographs and talking to fans who waited overnight to see the event. “He writes amazingly fierce and independent women,” she said, and also complimented his sense of humor.
2. Johnson took tons of photos on set
The director took full advantage of cataloging his experience shooting the movie in London and Ireland. During the panel Johnson shared photos with the audience that he had taken of the cast — including the late Carrie Fisher and her daughter Billie Lourd — from behind the scenes. Even during the panel, the filmmaker was snapping pictures of the audience and talent.
— Seth Kelley (@SethMKelley) April 14, 2017
3. Rey and Luke are probably going to clash
Ridley shared with the audience what may be ahead for her character. “We go deeper into Rey’s story,” Ridley said. “And what is very apparent from where we left off in ‘The Force Awakens’ and begin in ‘The Last Jedi,’ is that Rey has a certain expectation of Luke. And as a lot of people know, it’s difficult when you meet your heroes because they might not be what you expect.”
4. Finn returns with a vengeance
John Boyega confirmed that Finn will appear in “The Last Jedi” despite his injury in the previous film. “Finn definitely stood up for himself and caught an injury to the back,” he said. “He’s recovering … He’s not playing this time.”
5. Finn and Poe’s bromance grows
Boyega also confirmed that Finn and Poe (Oscar Isaac) will reunite. “Poe is my boy, there’s always a new adventure to go on,” he explained.
6. BB-8 is back
BB-8, the adorable droid, will be a source for a lot of laughs. “You can’t have enough BB8,” Johnson admitted. “He’s the Buster Keaton of this movie.”
7. Kelly Marie Tran’s new character is central to the story
Tran, a fresh face to the franchise, told the audience about her part. “My character’s name is Rose,” she said. “She’s part of the Resistance.” Johnson told the audience that Tran has the biggest role of all the new characters.
8. Luke apparently doesn’t get much context
When “The Force Awakens” ends — literally on a cliff, as Hamill pointed out — with the revelation that Luke is alive, many questions about the hero’s story remain. But Hamill told the audience that he had to fill in his own backstory, and invited the audience to do the same. “There’s still a lot unsaid about where he’s been and what he’s done,” Hamill said.
9. There’s an epic new poster
In the new poster, Rey strikes the same pose that Luke did for the original films, with her lightsaber thrust toward the sky. Everyone in the audience got a copy.
— Star Wars (@starwars) April 14, 2017
10. Oh, yeah … and that trailer
The new trailer for “The Last Jedi” screened twice for fans at the “Star Wars Celebration.” In it, Rey trains of the island where we last saw Luke, there appear to be some sort of pod racers spewing red gas, and Kylo Ren ignites his weapon with the look of pure evil. Johnson told the audience that the cast members in attendance were seeing it for the first time as well. You can watch it here.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 15.