The Future Filmmakers was the last panel of Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016, it was just before the closing ceremony. Considering we had some big reveals throughout the event and that this panel included Rian Johnson, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, I thought we would got some reveals like the title for Episode 8 or some kind of sizzle reel but we got neither of that. However, this panel was still interesting and we got some unexpected special guests that made it great!
Rian Johnson talked about a little bit of how he worked on figuring out the story for Episode 8. At the time, The Force Awakens was still in production so while he was in San Francisco for 6 weeks to think about the story, he was also getting dailies from the set of TFA. What Rian did was to show Hidalgo, Kennedy and Hart some movies like a film camp that included – ‘Three Outlaw Samurai’, ’12 O’clock High’ and others. We already knew it but Rian confirmed it again – Episode 8 will start where TFA left off. He explained that he did that because he wanted people to know what happens after this scene, he didn’t want to make a time jump after such an important moment. He mentioned that Episode 8 will explore more the characters and challenge them. Then he showed Behind the Scenes pictures. There’s one thing I didn’t like was that he apologized that a lot of his photos were green screen but he wanted everyone to know they built a huge amount of sets. In other movies, nobody apologizes for having green screen but here it was following the haters storyline and I didn’t like this comment he did, he doesn’t to apologize for using green screen, he uses all the technology available around him to make a movie and it shouldn’t be a problem! So I hope Episode 8 promotion won’t turn out to be like Episode 7, hopefully. At least, for Rogue One they took a different turn in terms of promoting. To go back to these BTS pictures, we got one of the Resistance troops, one of an outside place in Ireland, another which was Leia wearing her outfit from the end of TFA on a command center of a ship, the shot was taken from the exterior so we could see the windows of this command center and I think it seemed like a new ship, it was some windows but from the looks of it, it seemed new and not just another re-hash of a X-Wing or you know. There was a new photo of a First Order (probably) with a big helmet like the Death Star Troopers of the Original Trilogy in a cockpit, it seemed like it was the cockpit of a shuttle or some kind of transport. The most surprising thing was Dave Filoni, yes he visited the set of Episode 8 quite a few times. The question now is why was he on the set of Episode 8 several times? Could it mean that there’s a character from Rebels or The Clone Wars in Episode 8? Or was it more about questions about the Force mythology? I think there’s some possibilities there.
Chris Miller and Phil Lord didn’t have anything to show as they were still working on the script with Lawrence Kasdan and his son, the two directors had just moved to London. They will start production next year in January or February. I have never seen any of their movies so I had no idea what they were capable of but hearing them talking about Han Solo and how they saw the character – a maverick, a scoundrel, the tough guy who does the right thing in the end. So I’m confident that they will do something good with the character and the movie.
We were told about directors cameos, Chris and Phil almost got a cameo in Rogue One, they showed us a picture of them in costume but it didn’t happen because one of them had a meeting for a school for his daughter. Gareth Edwards got his cameo in Episode 8. For Rian Johnson, he has a cameo in Rogue One as a Death Star Operator.
The most exciting part was when Alden Ehrenreich arrived on the celebration stage, a great round of applause for him. If you followed the news on internet, we all already knew that he was the new Han Solo but it was never officially confirmed by Lucasfilm and with this panel it finally was confirmed. I’m really happy it turns out to be him playing Han Solo, I really liked him in Beautiful Creatures and Hail Caesar! When websites reported there were a list of some actors who were auditioning, Alden was already part of my list of actors who could do a good Han Solo. It was great seeing him and now that we had this panel with the team talking about it, I’m much more excited to see this movie.
We also got three more special guests – John Boyega, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill! I was so happy that Mark came to this panel as I didn’t see his solo panel on Friday so I still got the chance to see him. Boyega was just awesome, as amazing as you could imagine, he knows how to make an entrance. Mark and Carrie talked about the fans and how they were part of people’s childhood. Johnson and Boyega mentioned Kelly Marie Tran, but they didn’t say anything about the character she plays, they seem to keep it extremely secretive so she must play someone important I guess.
This panel was not what I had expected but it was a good panel nevertheless giving us some great surprises!