Star Wars Celebration Chicago Day 4 – The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Sunday, April 14th

Traditionally, Star Wars Celebration is 4 days – Thursday through Sunday. Sunday usually becomes the wrap-up day, tinged with sadness because it is the final day. People share hugs with old friends and new, leave early to catch flights, and the con floor closes early at 5pm. But not THIS day! Star Wars Celebration Chicago was 5 WHOLE DAYS – Thursday through Monday- so Sunday April 14th became a full day full of energy and excitement and more news than we could handle! Are you ready for the new Disney+ streaming TV series: The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Clone Wars? And of course, more NEW Galaxy’s Edge merchandise!

The Mandalorian

Jon Favreau (writer/executive producer) and Dave Filoni (director/executive producer) joined Kathleen Kennedy (executive producer) on the Celebration Stage to reveal a few details around the mysterious The Mandalorian, of which we’ve only seen one photo from Lucasfilm. Right away, we were treated to a new show logo.

(Photo by Daniel Boczarski/WireImage for Disney) Jon Favreau; Dave Filoni; Pedro Pascal; Gina Carano; Carl Weathers

Then stars Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian”), Gina Carano (“Cara Dune”) and Carl Weathers (“Greef”) turned up to talk about their characters and teased an early look at the first ever live action Star Wars series.

(Photo by Daniel Boczarski/WireImage for Disney)  Jon Favreau; Dave Filoni; Pedro Pascal; Gina Carano; Carl Weathers

I was especially taken with the camaraderie between Favreau and Filoni, who met in 2006 while Filoni was just starting The Clone Wars and Favreau was working on Iron Man. While in the development phase, Favreau and Filoni shared their projects with each other for help and feedback.  Eleven years later, both The Clone Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe share a devoted fanbase that has allowed both to grow into a much anticipated Season 7 and Avengers: Endgame, respectively. Now Filoni and Favreau have a chance to develop a project together, and it’s Star Wars! This is truly a dream team working on The Mandalorian.

Gina Carano shared a story about how she would be on set for 17-hour days, but it didn’t feel like work. Favreau would explain a scene to her right before shooting, and get all emotional while talking because Star Wars means so much to him. These comments (and the exclusive footage we saw) raise my expectations exponentially for The Mandalorian. Here are new photos which I can share:

THE MANDALORIAN series premieres on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – DROID DEPOT Merchandise Revealed!

Have you ever wanted a droid to follow you around in your own universe, just as R2 and 3P0 joined Luke on his many adventures? Well now you can create your own nearly life-size droid and have it follow you around Galaxy’s Edge! BONUS: They come in Build-A-Bear-like cardboard boxes, or you can opt for a super-cool backpack with a half-open top. Your droid will then be able to interact with Galaxy’s Edge while you wander around and explore new places. A chip in each droid will determine whether it leans more First Order or Resistance, and it will react to various stimuli accordingly. Watch the video to learn more.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 Panel

I am going to make a bold statement. Star Wars: The Clone Wars panel at Star Wars Celebration was more exciting, faster and more intense than the Episode IX Panel (!!!)

Over the past 10 years, we’ve invited Ahsoka, Anakin, Obi-Wan, the Clones, Padme and countless more into our homes. Star Wars Weekends in Orlando showcased the voice actors for this series, allowing a whole generation to grow up meeting and greeting the cast year after year in Orlando from 2008-2015. The cast itself often record together, and even after the show was cancelled, they have the occasional dinner gathering.Therefore, the return of this series that created a generation of Star Wars fans is a big deal. And Lucasfilm put on a show.

First, Dave Filoni treated us to a reel of seasons past, setting the tone. Then he brought Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano), Sam Witwer (voice of Maul) and Dee Bradley Baker (voice of the Clones) to the stage. They talked about each of their characters’ previous journeys and hinted at where they would go and who they would meet next. We got some awesome concept art!

Animation technology has advanced so much that now huge Clone vs. droid battles are possible. Also possible: Ray Park in a motion capture suit that will allow his unique movement to help Maul come to life and fight Ahsoka in the Seige of Mandaloree arc. In the trailer for this final season, we saw about a half second of this fight, and it was enough to get me excited!

 

But before Dave Filoni rolled out new clips from the 7th and final season, he brought on stage the family we were missing: Matt Lanter (voice of Anakin), James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan), Cat Taber (voice of Padmé), Tom Kane (voice of Yoda) and Matt Wood (Roger Roger, General Grievous). As a HUGE fan of The Clone Wars and Timeless TV Series, seeing Matt Lanter in person was a personal highlight.

The entire panel was streamed live and you can now view it here:

The Clone Wars topped my list of favorite Star Wars Celebration panels. As a capper, we all received a mini-poster of Ahsoka Tano mid-Maul-fight. I couldn’t help tearing up. She means so much to so many, including me.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 does not yet have a release date, though it will be streaming on Disney+ some time after November 12th.

Fangirls After Dark

Star Wars Celebration Pro-Tip: Hang out at the local convention hotel bar after hours, you never know who you may meet. Here’s a collection of photos from Sunday night.

Richard as Walrus Man action figure with his creator: Kenner toy concept designer Jim Swearingen

Stay tuned as I’ll be sharing more stories from subsequent days of Star Wars Celebration Chicago!


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