This easter weekend saw the 12th Star Wars Celebration event descend upon Orland, Florida. The event was first held in Denver, Colorado in 1999 and was used to celebrate the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and has been used almost annually ever since by Lucasfilm to promote forthcoming Star Wars releases and to celebrate key milestones in the franchise's ongoing legacy. This year's event marked the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
One of the very first things's the event celebrated was the life of Carrie Fisher, star of the original trilogy of movies and science fiction icon who sadly passed away last Christmas. Co-star Mark Hamill sat with franchise regular British actor Warwick Davis and shared memories of the actress, with additional tributes from franchise creator George Lucas and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, with a moving orchestral piece conducted by John Willaims in Fisher's memory.
After moving fans with their tribute to CarrieFisher the Star Wars Celebration dropped the full trailer for the next installment in the saga; Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With the movie only eight months away from exploding into theaters it's no surprise that Lucasfilm chose not to bother with the usual trailer teaser and just gave fans what they wanted. An excellent trailer, that while not as dynamically or emotionally charged as the first trailer for The Force Awakens, its closing moments have ignited a fresh wave of speculation.
Star Wars revival after the poor reception that the prequel trilogy received has been surprisingly consistent with both cinema releases reinvigorating the fans and general audiences in the long-running saga. Sharing in that success, though ashamedly not receiving the same coverage has been the animated series Star Wars Rebels. Set before Rogue One the show has chronicled the rise of the rebel alliance in the years preceding last Christmas' runaway success movie. At the Celebration the trailer for the fourth, and final season of Star Wars Rebels was revealed, again sparking speculation among fans as to how the show will conclude.
While the return of Star Wars has been a success story on the big and small screen, EA's Star Wars Battlefront received heavy Criticism from fans and game industry journalists. Whether because of stern words from Lucasfilm or through realizing their shortcomings both with the game and historically EA had a lot to prove at this year's event. The trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II, and the details that have been revealed since hold the promise of potentially being one of the most enjoyable and important video games in recent years. EA have announced that the new game, due for release November 17th will feature characters and locations from all three eras of the Star Wars saga, with a campaign spanning the 30 years between the original and sequel trilogies, with a return to the multiplayer class system, customisation across all aspects of the game and the return of epic space battles. Most surprising, when considering EA's history with online verification and online passes for past titles, is the revelation that Battleground II will not have a season pass - all content released after the game's release will available for free to all players.
Unfortunately, at this year Celebration event, there was no news on the Han Solo movie, which is currently in production. Which is surprising considering the critical success of Rogue One last Christmas. There was also no information considering the rising rumors of an Obi-Wan movie, a Darth Vader movie and the fate of the Boba Fett movie. Though we may get some information on these movies at this summer's D23 event. The only news we got regarding 2019's Episode IX is that the dearly departed Carrie Fisher will not feature in the movie, which was revealed to clarify that her performances for the forthcoming The Last Jedi would not be split across the two movies, as some fans had speculated.
More about Solo: A Star Wars Story (movie)
Directed by Ron Howard, Solo: A Star Wars Story's release date is May 25th, 2018.
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