Star Wars Celebration is almost upon us and the hype could not be more real. With the promise of trailers, teases, and special guests galore, the lucky fans who are able to attend the Orlando-based con are in for a treat. The rest of us have to rely on live-streaming the panels in order to stay on top of the latest news from everyone’s favorite galaxy far, far away.
There are a variety of panels covering everything from cosplay to collectibles. A full schedule can be found on the Star Wars Celebration website, complete with times and brief summaries. However, we’ve taken the time to comb through the list and find the top panels to watch live in order to stay up to date on news and surprises. From the much hyped The Last Jedi panel to a sneak peek at Rebels season four, here are the top eight panels to watch live during Star Wars Celebration.
The stream for each panel can be found at StarWarsCelebration.com prior to the panel’s start.
40 Years of Star Wars
Thursday April 13th, 11:00am-12:30pm EST
Believe it or not, this May marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope being released in theaters. To mark the event, Celebration will be hosting a celebratory panel packed with guests, ranging from Mark Hamill to Hayden Christensen, to talk about the saga’s 40 year history and look forward to future films and stories that have yet to be told. Fans have already been advised not to miss this panel, as something will occur that they will want to be part of.
And what is the mysterious surprise that awaits? Fans have been speculating that it will involve the 2020 anthology film that has yet to be announced. Rumors have swirled that Ewan Mcgregor will make an appearance to announce an Obi Wan movie, or Rosario Dawson will appear to announce an Ahsoka Tano movie. It could be one, could be the other, or could be both or neither. It’s anyone’s guess at this point. But the amount of hype centering on this panel means you will not want to miss it. So mark your calendars – come 11:00 am Thursday, the Star Wars fandom will definitely be in a state.
The Last Jedi Panel
Friday, April 14th, 11:00am-12:30pm EST
It wouldn’t be a Celebration if there weren’t a panel dedicated to the latest film in the franchise. Last year’s panel for Rogue One was somewhat of a disappointment to fans, between the over-played sizzle reel and one of the actors accidentally spoiling part of the film’s ending. This year might step up the convention’s game a little though, with rumors of both a trailer and a behind-the-scenes reel and the promise of surprise guests joining writer-director Rian Johnson and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
This will be the official start of the marketing for The Last Jedi, and the promise of footage finally debuting has fans in an uproar. After all, this will be Luke Skywalker’s big return to the franchise; while the hype is not quite the same as it was for The Force Awakens, it is likely to reach the same frenetic heights. Expect the trailer to break the internet once it hits, and if you want to catch the surprises as they happen, tune into your livestream at 11:00 am EST on Friday.
Mark Hamill’s Tribute to Carrie Fisher
Friday, April 14th, 5:30-6:30pm EST
Friday’s Celebration panels will conclude on a more somber note. The passing of Carrie Fisher in December 2016 left the Star Wars family devastated. Fisher and her on-screen counterpart, Leia Organa, were the first ladies of Star Wars. She left us far too soon, and conventions throughout America have taken the time to allow fans to grieve and to celebrate her life. It makes sense that Celebration, which she would have no doubt attended, would do the same.
Co-star and close friend Mark Hamill will take the time to honor his space twin at a panel on Friday. Join Hamill and the rest of the fandom in honoring Fisher and her work, which touched and changed countless lives in the 40 years since she first wore those iconic buns. While it will be heartbreaking, this might be the most important panel at this year’s Celebration given the impact that Fisher had. The panel will start at 5:30 pm EST on Friday, and will no doubt be streamed on the official Star Wars site.
Rebels Season Four Sneak Peek
Saturday, April 15th, 11:00-12:30 EST
The heir apparent to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels has earned itself a cult following over the course of three seasons. Featuring a colorful and exciting array of characters, including the villainous fan-favorite Thrawn, the stories have matured beyond Rebels‘ humble beginnings and are making huge strides in enriching and expanding the era between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. With season three’s recent finale, fans have now turned their attention to the upcoming fourth season.
Featuring creative executive Dave Filoni, the Rebels season four panel will look ahead to the coming stories and tease what adventures await the crew of the Ghost. Last year’s reveal of Thrawn was arguably the highlight of Celebration, so this year’s panel has a lot to live up to. Still, with the promise of setting up a base on Yavin IV and the possibility of showing Rogue One through the eyes of Ezra and his friends, this year could be Rebels‘s best yet. Tune in Saturday morning at 11:00 am EST to get all the latest updates.
Del Rey Books
Saturday, April 15, 1:00-2:00 EST
Ever since the original Expanded Universe was specified as non-canon after Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, Del Rey Books has been filling in the gaps left by the movies with their exclusive Star Wars books. Covering everything from Tarkin to Leia to the year after Return of the Jedi, these books have teased future plot lines and added more and more to an already rich legacy. Most recently, it was announced that a Star Wars anthology book, From a Certain Point of View, would be released in late 2017.
The Del Rey panel might not be the most surprise packed, but it promises to have some delightful reveals. After all, last year was when they revealed that Thrawn himself would be making a return to the Star Wars literary scene, as written by the original Thrawn creator, Timothy Zahn. This year could see an announcement about a Journey to The Last Jedi publishing initiative, or an announcement about books centered on fan-favorite characters who have yet to be explored in the novels. The panel starts at 1 pm EST on Saturday.
Marvel Comics Presents: Star Wars
Saturday, April 15th, 4:00-5:00 EST
From Princess Leia to Lando Calrissian, Marvel’s Star Wars comics have also done excellent work fleshing out established characters. Fresh off a spectacular Darth Vader series, Marvel has been providing fans with excellent adventures centered on The Force Awakens‘s breakout Poe Dameron – and BB-8 as well. As the franchise continues to get its new legs under it, there will without question be more and more comic series expanding the universe and delving into characters.
The panel, which will take place Saturday at 4 pm EST, will explore the comics that have already been released, as well as look at what’s in store for the future. Expect lots of information about favorites such as Poe and Darth Vader‘s Doctor Aphra, who just received her own series, as well as a look ahead at future comics. Any chance of a Luke Skywalker centered comic run? We’ll have to wait and see.
Sunday, April 16th, 1:00-2:00 EST
A Celebration veteran, Mark Hamill is beloved by fans, and with good reason. The actor knows how to interact with fans and is always charming with his jokes and stories. His panels have been favorites of fans for years, and this year, with Luke Skywalker set to play a huge role in The Last Jedi, should be no exception. Join Hamill this year for an hour long Q&A with fans, which will no doubt be hilarious and heartwarming.
Hamill’s panels aren’t a good place for spoiler hounds, but his teases about the upcoming films are still excellent. After all, last year he said that The Last Jedi would have a quote more memorable than “May the Force be with you.” If the Jedi Master himself says it, it must be true, right? Get ready for more teases, as well as some wonderful stories about life as Luke, from Hamill on Sunday at 1 pm EST.
Celebration Orlando Closing Ceremony
At the end of the weekend, we’ll be overloaded with new Star Wars information and content. But all good things must come to an end. This year’s closing panel will celebrate the real reason behind Celebration: the fans who attend and make the event a reality. It will also be a joyful celebration of 40 years of Star Wars magic. May the Force be with the franchise, and may there be 40 more years to celebrate.
What panel are you most looking forward to during Celebration? Let us know in the comments. And remember, Screen Rant will be your #1 destination for Star Wars Celebration news throughout the weekend.