SDCC 2015: Star Wars Panel

Star Wars The Force Awakens Comic-Con 2015Chris Hardwick, “BACK AGAIN!” he says!  The crowd cheers, this is the biggest panel today in Hall H.  People have filled in every little blank and gap. “This is an experience just this group of us will have for the rest of our lives.”

This, along with the energy, is all it took for me to say that this is the best panel I’ve seen so far. This truly is a collective experience. I know seven-thousand people in comparison to the whole world isn’t a lot but that little fraction of people in that room might have well been the new definition of “the world” to me. It’s an impressive fraction for sure I’m not knocking that — and there’s a reason why I’m not knocking it. I realized today that it’s a few times in a year that I feel alive as I did today. Knock the Hall H lines all you want but it has been more than worth it. That statement became even more true when Hardwick essentially said, “this is us, this experience is just for us in this room.” And it was. First, check out this Comic-Con Reel…

It was in 1976 that Star Wars started to accrue their fans and it’s a sure bet a lot of them were there in Hall H. Hardwick spent no time dilly-dallying and got straight to introducing onto the stage Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Lawrence Kasdan. The three of them sat and I honestly I thought that was it but I was so wrong. The questions were very near perfectly executed and started immediately. Kathleen first spoke on the fact that Star Wars wouldn’t be here and was 100% in existence because of the fans. We love to hear that. Good start. Hardwick then asked JJ where they were in the filming process, to which he said, “we’re editing, they have a cut.” They went on to talk to Kasdan about how him and JJ simply just walked around Santa Monica and talked and wrote everyday and worked scene by scene. JJ mentioned that Star Wars was so deeply ingrained and si important to the fandom and he’s a part of that. He’s been a fan since he was a kid and there is, “nothing normal about any of whats been happening. I’m working with Kathleen and Lawrence, we’re writing a Star Wars movie, there’s nothing normal about this.” I’m sure we’d be thinking the same thing if put in his position.


They went on to talk about set design and the use of practical effects opposed to cgi and it was at this point that they introduced BabaJo onto the stage! An animatronic dinosaur like creature that’s been anthropomorphized, carrying a ruck sack with cages on it. BabaJo was fantastic and operated by five people! He came onto the stage, so life-like. Everyone is freaking out of course, I don’t even need to write that because at every moment everyone is just loosing their shit, for lack of a better term. JJ and Lawrence talked about the use of practical effects and their great importance on set as far as having something tangible for the actor’s to interact with to how light is cast on them. BabaJo looked great, and he’s not even one of the main characters! It’s small touches like this that makes me that much more excited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

SDCC 2015

Just when you didn’t think it couldn’t get any better they introduced some of the new cast on stage!! John Boyega (Finn), Daisy Ridley (Rey), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron.) Immediately after their arrival they move to audience questions. The whole panel flowed effortlessly and was very well thought out. They touched on what it was lik to work with the old cast and the demanding physical labors of Daisy Ridley’s character and then, like a never ending birthday, more of the cast was introduced! Out came Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), GWENDALINE EFFING CHRISTIE (Captain Plasma) — she’s everywhere — and Domhnall Gleeson. Of course there’s more questions from the audience and then out comes even more cast! I have to say Gwendoline’s character in full armor looks out of this world.

My Mind is blowing up.

Next on stage was Carry Fischer, Mark Hammel and Harrison Ford. Again the crowd went bonkers and Hardwick dove into Harrison and asked, “Well how’s your foot?” to which he responds, “well I walked here on it.” Laughter ensues. The panel then discussed what it was like to film together and coming back to the same stage from thirty years pervious. Reminiscing and words of gratitude were expressed by out returning cast.

They gave us a sweet sneak peak, some behind the scenes footage of the filmmaking process which was purely a delight. (see above) Hardwick ends by saying that this wouldn’t be a Star Wars panel if it just ended right to witch JJ says, “Besides the amazing performers on this panel, there’s another significant start…it’s the music! Who wants to see a live concert right now?!” Then almost 7,000 of us exited Hall H and went to a private symphony where we were handed lightsabers and blissed the night away.

SDCC 2015


Check out the full panel below:


1 Response to “SDCC 2015: Star Wars Panel”

  1. Brian White

    I wish I could have just been a fly on the wall or a speck of dust on Aaron’s iPhone 6 screen just to have witnessed this historic panel.