Written by J.T. Johnson
This past weekend, Star Wars Celebration took place in Chicago! This year’s Star Wars convention was highly anticipated mostly due to learning more about “Star Wars: Episode IX”, the final chapter in the Sequel Trilogy and the Skywalker Saga that started over 40 years ago with the original “Star Wars”. However, we also learned about other upcoming Star Wars projects as well!
STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER
The first was an interesting video game called “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order”. Developed by “Titanfall”developers Respawn Entertainment and distributed by EA, the new game follows a former Jedi Padawan named Cal Kestis. Played by Cameron Monaghan, we learn from a cinematic trailer that Cal is laying low and has cut himself off from the Force after the Emperor’s infamous Order 66 that started the Jedi Purge.
Eventually, though, he has to reconnect to the Force and face off against Imperial forces intent on killing off former Jedi. Beyond the cinematic trailer, though, we didn’t really get much else. There was no gameplay and I’m hoping for a gameplay trailer soon, but as long as the game doesn’t get delayed, I’ll finally have a new story-driven Star Wars game to play when it releases on November 15, 2019, a full month before “Star Wars: Episode IX” hits theaters.
On Sunday, there was the panel for “The Mandalorian”, a new Star Wars television series that will premiere on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+. This was the most disappointing panel to watch from home for one reason. They decided not to release any footage publicly beyond a few behind-the-scenes videos and some pictures.
The panel was fine, but the biggest problem there is that no one on the panel can say too much because of the intense secrecy of any Star Wars project. To offset this secrecy, it’s pretty cool to at least get a little glimpse of what’s to come. We got a teaser for “Star Wars: Episode IX” and a cinematic trailer for “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order”, but nothing for “The Mandalorian”.
Still, we got a new logo and we know that the series will launch with Disney+ when the new streaming service launches on November 12, 2019. I’m sure we’ll get some public footage soon, but I was really hoping that we would have gotten just a little taste of this first live-action Star Wars television series at Celebration.
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
Finally, the biggest news actually came on Friday. Director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and some of the main cast introduced the first trailer for “Star Wars: Episode IX”. The new trailer was fantastic, revealing Rey (Daisy Ridley) going up against a TIE Fighter with her lightsaber alone. It then moved on to show various scenes while Luke narrates that he has taught Rey everything he knows and that the current conflict is her fight.
Near the end of the trailer, we get to see as Rey, Finn, and Poe come up to a cliff and we see the remains of the Death Star sitting in the ocean. We’re not sure if this is the first or second Death Star, but after Luke states that “no one is ever really gone”, we hear the familiar and devious laughter of Emperor Palpatine, confirming that the previously dead character will somehow play a role in the new movie. Finally, the new title for the film was also released and “Episode IX” is now officially known as “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”.
Ultimately, it was a fun weekend for Star Wars fans and I was pretty impressed with what I saw. We even got to learn a little bit more about what to expect at both Disneyland and Disney World when their new Star Wars park, Galaxy’s Edge, opens up later this year (I’m gonna need a bigger wallet). While the films may be winding down for a moment, this year’s Celebration proved that the franchise itself is alive and well for the foreseeable future and I for one couldn’t be happier!