Lucasfilm officially confirms there will be a Star Wars: Episode IX panel at Celebration Chicago next month. As difficult as it is to believe, this year sees the release of the franchise's latest film, which serves as the culmination of the sequel trilogy and Skywalker saga as a whole. Director J.J. Abrams wrapped up principal photography in February, and as has become par for the course with Lucasfilm, official details about the project remain firmly under wraps. Disney shareholders have been treated to footage of the film, but the general public remains in the dark.
That's expected to change in the very near future. Reports indicate the first Episode IX trailer will premiere in April, which not so coincidentally is the same month when Star Wars Celebration is held. The previous two installments of the sequel trilogy saw new previews debut at the convention, so it's largely been presumed that would be the case for the grand finale. Unsurprisingly, it looks like the Episode IX floodgates will finally open soon.
The official Star Wars Celebration Twitter account posted confirmation of the Episode IX panel, which will take place on Friday, April 12. Of course, Abrams will be there to talk about the film, though it's unknown if any other talent will be present. Star Oscar Isaac recently confirmed he'll be at Celebration, so it wouldn't be out of the question for a couple actors to join Abrams on the stage.
This is the panel you’ve been waiting for! Don’t miss the Star Wars: Episode IX panel with director @jjabrams at #StarWarsCelebration Chicago! Want Friday tickets? Use, LYTE, our official ticket exchange website https://t.co/1phWqW85rI #StarWars pic.twitter.com/Kr2j4nHPLL— StarWars Celebration (@SW_Celebration) March 13, 2019
As for what fans can expect from the panel, one only has to look at the Last Jedi presentation from a couple years ago to get a general idea. Abrams and company will be on hand to reveal some minor details about the movie and then the long-awaited first marketing materials should be unveiled. Back in 2017, attendees were treated to first looks at the teaser poster and teaser trailer, kicking off an extensive promotional campaign that carried on until the film's premiere in December. Seeing that The Force Awakens and Last Jedi grossed over $3 billion collectively at the worldwide box office, it would be very smart for Lucasfilm to replicate their earlier advertising strategies - particularly since the studio is looking to rebound from the commercial disappointment of Solo last summer.
There may be an extra bit of juice to give the Episode IX panel more buzz (as if it wasn't hyped enough). Fans might have noticed Lucasfilm has yet to announce the official title, a deviation from their history that indicates something massive is in store. At this point, it wouldn't be entirely surprising if Star Wars pulled a page out of the Marvel playbook and saved the title for the trailer premiere a la Avengers: Endgame. That would be a way for the Episode IX panel to be extra memorable for those lucky enough to be there.
Source: Star Wars Celebration
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019