Starting on Thursday, April 14 and running through Sunday, the single largest gathering of Jedi, stormtroopers, smugglers, beloved actors, and legendary film directors happened in Orlando, FL at Star Wars Celebration. And if you weren’t there, that’s okay. Rebels spies were on the convention floor and in every panel to make sure news got back to those of us who don’t live in that galaxy far, far away.
Because 2017 is the 40th anniversary of the original Star Wars and The Last Jedi comes out this December, the convention seemed to celebrate both the past and the future simultaneously. And so, there were tears of joy and gasps of surprise along with a few hyperspace trips down memory lane. From the surprise guests to awesome cosplayers, to the biggest reveals, to the most emotional moments, it was a roller coaster of a convention. Here are all the highlights from Star Wars Celebration 2017:
The Last Jedi Teaser Trailer Landed
On Friday, April 14, the teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi was finally revealed and there was a lot to take in. There was a possible flashback to Luke’s old Jedi Academy, a glimpse of ancient books for the first time, a new planet, and a totally chilling, game-changing last line.
Kelly Marie Tran Is a Big Deal
The newest hero in the Star Wars mythos now has a name. Kelly Marie Train will be playing Resistance maintenance worker “Rose,” and her personal journey has been compared favorably to Luke Skywalker’s original story in the classic trilogy.
Rebels Season 4 Is the Show’s Last Season
Sporting a trailer that showed Ezra Bridger riding a giant dog, the big news is that the next season of Rebels will wrap up the story. It’s unclear how close to the events of Rogue One and A New Hope the show will get, and it’s also unclear to what extent animated shows might replace the popular series. The new animated series of shorts Star Wars: Forces of Destiny seems to be the quick answer, but producer Dave Filoni has teased at future projects saying that “every generation needs its own Star Wars lore.”
Mark Hamill Wants to Be Your Friend
Continuing to prove he really is Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill’s solo panel on Saturday revealed how he motivated the extras on the set of the original Star Wars, lessons he learned about ad-libbing from Harrison Ford, and his general desire to be seen by the fan community as one of them. “I want you to think of me as a friend and not an internationally-beloved, BAFTA-winning actor and pop-culture icon.”
Nerdy New Canon Was Made
During the animation panel on Thursday, Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo suggested former Clone Trooper Captain Rex actually became a grizzled old Rebel soldier briefly glimpsed on the surface of Endor in Return of the Jedi. Later, during the last day of the convention, Pablo Hidalgo entered a t-shirt cannon in the official Star Wars canon.
Cosplay Game Went Up a Notch
Big conventions like Star Wars Celebration are known for their excellent cosplay (like these dueling robot-hand Luke Skywalkers above) but this year, people were reenacting key moments with charming results. The absolute stand-out was probably the person who cosplayed as a giant lightsaber rushing into the arms of Rey. But the guys doing the finale of Rogue One were pretty great, too.
## Harrison Ford Loves Mocking George Lucas, Star Wars Fans
On Thursday, Star Wars creator George Lucas made a surprise appearance and opened the convention. Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford decided it was time to openly roast Lucas, which was fine by just about everyone. Later, Ford even implied that Han Solo wasn’t dead.
Star Wars Land Is Going to Go Deep
The long-awaited Star Wars attraction at Disneyland will open sometime in 2019, and on Sunday, it was revealed that the decisions participants make while in the park will impact their overall experience. This means if you decide to side with the First Order early on, there are no take-backs. You’re a Kylo-head for life.
The Carrie Fisher Tribute Stole the Show
When Billie Lourd showed up to Star Wars Celebration dressed in a Leia-style dress, it was enough to break the hearts of even the casual fans. But then there was that tribute video. Though the festivities were all about welcoming a bunch of new Star Wars stuff into the world, it was bittersweet without Carrie Fisher.