Lucasfilm officially announces the next Star Wars Celebration will take place in Anaheim next year. After taking 2018 off, the studio's trademark convention returned in a major way this past weekend, serving up a treasure trove of treats for fans of the galaxy far, far away. While The Rise of Skywalker was arguably the centerpiece of the event thanks to the debut of the teaser trailer, all corners of the franchise were represented in full force. Attendees got to learn official Mandalorian details, find out what's on deck from the publishing division, and celebrate the return of Clone Wars (among countless other festivities).
While 2019 is poised to be a banner year for the franchise, things are going to look a little different for the galaxy far, far away in 2020. Disney is planning on putting the Star Wars movies on hiatus for a couple of years as Rian Johnson and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss figure out their respective film series, and the Rogue One prequel TV show for Disney+ isn't premiering until 2021. Still, it's not like the property will be completely going off the radar next year, so another Celebration is in order.
Today, as Celebration Chicago held its closing ceremony, Lucasfilm confirmed there will be a Celebration Anaheim in 2020. No dates were announced yet, but it's only a matter of time before that happens. The last time Celebration was in Anaheim was 2015, when the studio promoted The Force Awakens.
With no feature film to serve as the main attraction, it'll be interesting to see how Celebration Anaheim shapes up. It's certainly plausible there will be a panel dedicated to the next film slate, revealing details for Johnson's and Benioff & Weiss' projects. Even if the first of those won't hit theaters until (theoretically) 2022 at the earliest, it's vital for Lucasfilm to at the very least secure release dates for these movies as soon as possible. In today's day and age where franchises are prevalent in the marketplace, lucrative windows can be filled in the blink of an eye. Case in point: Warner Bros. smartly snagged a December 2022 date for Aquaman 2. December, of course, has been a very fruitful month for the modern Star Wars films. Additionally, this would be a way for Lucasfilm to dominate the news cycle and drum up hype for their next era of storytelling.
Of course, it's entirely possible Celebration Anaheim is a more low-key event when compared to the past handful of years. Not every previous Celebration was tied into the upcoming premiere of a new movie (including the first one under Disney in July 2013), so fans shouldn't take this as an indication Lucasfilm has something massive up their sleeves. After all, Johnson is still in post-production on his mystery-thriller Knives Out, and Benioff & Weiss are waiting until the final Game of Thrones season is over until they fully shift gears to Star Wars. Regardless of what happens on the film side of things, Celebration Anaheim should have plenty of fun things to check out.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019