See new behind-the-scenes footage screened from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel (via StarWars.com and The Verge) at Comic-Con’s Hall H — moderated by The Nerdist‘s Chris Hardwick — introduced new behind-the-scenes footage from the hotly-anticipated December release! Be sure to check out the video below!
At the top of the panel, Kathleen Kennedy thanked all 6,500 fans in attendance, adding that “Star Wars is 100 percent dependent on the fans in this room since 1976.”
Photos of Stormtroopers with flamethrowers as well as another of a crashed tie fighter were shown behind the panelists, which also included director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. Then the practical creature from the original Omaze set video was brought out live, and his name was revealed to be bobbajo.
“You can feel that those are real weapons and those are real Stormtroopers back there,” Kasdan said.
“When you’re directing a scene on the Millennium Falcon, that doesn’t make it good,” Abrams added. “It’s storytelling 101. You can’t be blinded by [your feelings about the original trilogy]. I can’t wait to show you the movie.
Then the lights went down and the footage from set was shown, including shots of the Millennium Falcon, a red-tinted tie fighter, Simon Pegg in a costume saying “My whole life has led to this moment… I’m in heaven,” Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in her new military commander outfit and Stormtroopers getting blown up on a lava planet, as well as Mark Hamill echoing the statements made by Kasdan: “Real sets, practical effects….nothing’s changed and everything’s changed. That’s the way you want it to be.”
After huge applause, the lights came up and the new trilogy’s fresh heroes John Boyega (Finn), Daisy Ridley (Rey), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) took the stage. Boyega revealed that he had already walked the show floor earlier with a clone trooper helmet on.
“Working with the legends was everything we could’ve hoped for and more,” Ridley said of Hamill, Fisher and Harrison Ford, adding of her own intense physical training for the film, “I hope my dress reveals my guns, because I worked hard for these.”
Then the dark side contingent took the stage: Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson and Gwendolyn Christie!
“I am evil. He’s British,” Gleeson confirmed of his dark-cloaked character General Hux, upholding a longstanding tradition of British baddies within the Empire/First Order. Abrams also let slip that the base Hux is in charge of is known as “Starkiller Base.”
“I found it very exciting that underneath that armor is a woman,” Christie said of her chrome trooper Captain Phasma. “And it makes it more relevant than ever.”
Then classic trilogy stars Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill came out to thunderous applause.
“It was like a flashback,” Fisher said of reuniting with her Original Trilogy castmates. “They were right about the acid flashbacks. It was a little bit like before, but we looked more melted this time.”
“Without you guys [the fans] we’re nothing,” Hamill exclaimed.
This seemed like as good a time as any to treat fans to the reunion they’ve waited over 30 years for, as Harrison Ford also took the stage!
“It’s an emotional rounding of the experience we had in the first films, it felt great… the original Star Wars was the beginning of my working life so it was great to be back,” he said of returning as Han Solo for The Force Awakens. “I never thought it would come back to bless me instead of haunt me. I was very gratified when I read the script, because I read something that I thought was really remarkable. Well written, with some intriguing developments. So I was delighted to be involved.”
Then J.J. Abrams invited everyone in the crowd to a live Star Wars concert! What a night! Do you wish you could have been there to see the footage? Don’t worry, here it is!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and features a new generation of swashbuckling heroes and shadowy villains, as well as the return of fan-favorite smugglers, princesses, and Jedi.
Starring Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker as their characters from the original trilogy, The Force Awakens also stars John Boyega as Finn, Daisy Ridley as Rey, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac Poe Dameron, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, and Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma. Also starring, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou, the J.J. Abrams-directed film will debut in theaters on December 18, 2015.