Disney brought audiences back to the galaxy far, far away in 2015 to a mountain of success. The Force Awakens was merely the beginning of their plan to bring Star Wars back to the forefront of pop culture and dominate the box office for years to come. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story capitalized on the success of Episode VII to the tune of $1 billion worldwide, and Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi should be able to do the same.
However, there is much more to the Star Wars universe that will be explored in the years to come, yet it is also important to look back and remember how it all began. 2017 marks the 40th anniversary to the start of the franchise, and Lucasfilm will celebrate this milestone this April at Star Wars Celebration - with some secrets being revealed and a brand new poster.
Lucasfilm made the official announcement today that they will kick off Star Wars Celebration in Orlando this April with special 40th anniversary panel. The panel will be moderated by Warwick Davis and feature an appearance from Kathleen Kennedy and more. The panel will "highlight the impact of the galaxy far, far away and the fandom that has propelled it for the last four decades" and feature a variety of surprises to celebrate. In addition to the panel announcement, they have also unveiled a special 40th anniversary poster that brings together the franchise's most important and beloved characters.
Details on the availability of the poster have not been made known, but it is sure to be one of the most sought after items for purchase at Celebration. Everyone from Darth Vader, Luke, Rey, to Obi-Wan are featured in the poster, with even General Hux and Captain Phasma getting appearances. With the rest of the panel's participants unannounced at this time, those who will be in attendance can surely expect a number of these familiar faces to appear on stage as well.
As for what surprises are in store for this panel? There will be plenty of options as Lucasfilm's disposal. Confirming the title for the young Han Solo movie would fit the bill, but reports point to that not happening until D23. However, as the panel is set to celebrate the long running history of the franchise and the fact that it will be the kick-off panel for Celebration, this would as good a time as any to announce the future projects that will come after Episode IX. The Star Wars movies are not going to stop after Episode IX or the mystery third anthology film, whether that is an Ewan McGregor led Obi-Wan movie, a Boba Fett standalone, or any other number of possibilities. With Lucasfilm celebrating the past 40 years, this would be a great opportunity to tease fans with what will hold them over until the 50th anniversary.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019