If you’re a Star Wars fan, there is no better place to be in the world right now than Star Wars Celebration, the annual three-day Star Wars convention currently delighting fans in London, England. If you’re not there, fear now — Fandango is on the scene for all three days, bringing you live coverage on Twitter (follow @Movieclips and me, @ErikDavis), as well as daily recaps of all the big news, awesome costumes, crazy props and more.
Here are the coolest things that happened on day one, including panels featuring Mark Hamill and the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
On day one, this was the panel to be at. It opened with that classic Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope crawl, only to get to the part about how the rebels stole the Death Star plans and then it slowly cut out to reveal the film’s title: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
We covered much of the Rogue One coolness in this story, including the new poster and footage.
And here we have some new info thanks to our interview with director Gareth Edwards. Check it out.
And speaking of Rogue One, check out these costumes on the convention floor…
The busiest part of the convention floor this year at Celebration has to do with this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars story. Many of the costumes from the film are on display, including villains like Ben Mendolson’s Director Krennic, as well as his personal bodyguards, the Death Troopers, and his Imperial Shuttle (see below w/ descriptions).
And here are the other new type of stormtroopers, Shore Troopers, meant to be used during a big battle on a beach.
We’re also big fans of the new AT-ACT Cargo Walker, which, unlike the iconic AT-AT Walker is meant more as a construction tool than a walking weapon.
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) July 15, 2016
Additionally, the costumes for the film’s heroes — led by Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso — are here. Our favorite part was checking these costumes out from behind, revealing some pretty wicked weaponry.
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) July 15, 2016
Mark Hamill talks about his favorite Star Wars memories, plus the future of Luke Skywalker
One of the day’s major highlights was an hour-long panel with Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. Here are the best five moments:
1. His favorite Star Wars memory
Hamill told the crowd that it’s impossible for him to choose a favorite memory from all of the Star Wars movies, though he did single out the rope swing in A New Hope, where Luke and Leia swing across one platform to another in order to escape the stormtroopers chasing them. He recalled asking the stunt guys to let him do some extra playing around, seeking to feed his Peter Pan fandom.
“We were in harnesses,” Hamill explained. “So they unhooked [Carrie Fisher] and let me fly all around the set.”
2. How he had no idea he was playing Luke Skywalker when he got the part
Hamill spoke about first landing the part in Star Wars, and how he got the gig after reading only one line opposite Harrison Ford. “When I first got the script, it was called The Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as Taken from the Journal of the Wills,” he said.
What’s so amusing is that he had no idea he was playing the lead role, and instead thought it was Harrison Ford who was playing Luke. “I thought I was playing the sidekick to the lead guy!” he said, explaining how he had to call his agent when he thought there was a mixup in casting.
3. The part in The Force Awakens where he thought Luke Skywalker was going to appear
Hamill confirmed the original opening shot of The Force Awakens was of a hand holding a lightsaber and floating in space, eventually landing on Jakku. He joked that upon reading the first line in the opening crawl — “Luke Skywalker has vanished” — that he was going to have a real juicy role.
“I thought they could’ve prepared me better. I was going to the gym twice a week and getting into great shape, and then they were like, Oh by the way, you know all that working out you did? Yeah, you’re gonna have to turn and remove your hood.”
Hamill laughed, then explained how upon first reading the script for The Force Awakens, he thought Luke was going to appear at the end when the lightsaber is wiggling its way out of the snow before flying across the screen and landing in Rey’s hands.
“Wait, it’s Rey?” he joked. “But she hasn’t even had Jedi training yet!”
4. The best tease of Episode VIII
Hamill began the panel by explaining how he’s not allowed to say anything about Star Wars Episode VIII, which just wrapped production. He did toss out a tiny tease, telling the crowd that just yesterday he was recording dialogue alongside director Rian Johnson… and that the lines are good.
“They are so good – I can already see them on a t-shirt. You’re going to forget all about “May the Force be with you…” he said.
5. On how his Star Wars costars are more like his extended family.
The final question for Hamill came from an adorable little girl dressed up as Princess Leia. Watch how it went down below.
— Fandango MOVIECLIPS (@MOVIECLIPS) July 15, 2016
Bonus: He’s really excited about the standalone movies!
Hamill loves the concept of the standalone movies like Rogue One and the Han Solo film because they’re not beholden to the Skywalker stories. “They can actually have a beginning, a middle and an end, and that’s it!” he said.
Hamill loves the idea of the Han Solo movie and says he’d love for it to have a “Butch Cassidy” vibe. “ It can be like a rollicking comedy! They can do so much with the standalone films because they don’t have to stick to a structure,” he said.
And finally…. scenes from the Star Wars Celebration floor
Hands down the coolest stuff on the floor aside from the Rogue One costumes (see above) were these giant versions of a TIE Fighter and an AT-AT Walker.
In the family section, kids get their own personalized Jedi training.
The line for the official store here at Star Wars Celebration was at least 90 minutes long. Here are some of the things you can buy inside
Last but certainly not least, we’ll leave you with some cosplay pics.
Um guys… I’ve been captured. Please send help!
To be continued…