By Jarrod Jones. Oof. All this Force is putting a real strain on my heart.
The panel for The Last Jedi kicked off on Friday morning to a room of exhausted but still primed Star Wars fans. (They were up all night hanging out with The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, so y’know. Poor them.) Hosted by Josh Gad of all people (“I’m kind of a fan!“), the panel stretched out the palpable anticipation by hyping up the crowd with an interview with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, who praised her guest, the director of freakin’ Episode VIII, Rian Johnson.
“Rian writes amazingly fierce and independent women, which is so important to Star Wars,” Kennedy said.
That was the cue for the panel to honor the late Carrie Fisher, which yes, I am crying. But so are you, so shut up.
After a montage video of Gad antagonizing Daisy Ridley for roughly six months or so about Last Jedi details, Gad then called out his nemesis, Daisy Ridley. (“Hello, Newman,” Gad said.) Ridley confirmed that The Last Jedi would continue Rey’s story, though she remained cagey about Rey’s last name. (“Are you Rey Skywalker? Rey KENOBI? Who doesn’t know their own last name? Are you the Madonna of Jakku?“)
They then literally rolled out BB-8, but droids are notorious for keeping secrets, so let’s move on. (One cool note: Johnson referred to the droid as “the Buster Keaton of this film”, which just rules.)
Then came John Boyega, who confirmed that Finn’s relationship with Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron will only continue to grow. (Oscar Isaac couldn’t make it to the Celebration this year.)
Rian Johnson brought out Kelly Marie Tran, who answered the big question: who the hell is Kelly Marie Tran and who the hell is she playing in ‘The Last Jedi’? Tran will play Rose, a “maintenance worker for the Resistance” and will evidently play a bigger part in Episode VIII.
And then came Mark Hamill.
— Jarrod Jones @ C2E2 (@jarrodjones_) April 14, 2017
Kathleen Kennedy took an opportunity to emphasize the vital importance of Hamill to The Last Jedi, so go ahead and read right into that to the furthest extreme. Hamill talked about his experience with The Force Awakens, specifically about his ludicrously brief (and silent) cameo during the film’s cliffhanger. (“I only communicate telepathically,” he joked.)
Rian Johnson then revealed the latest poster to The Last Jedi, which was handed out to every lucky kid at that panel.
— Star Wars (@starwars) April 14, 2017
And then, yes. The trailer.
It’s official: Luke Skywalker’s first words are “Breathe… Just breathe…. now… reach out… what do you see?” That Hamill guy was just joshing us after all!
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ decimates theaters on December 15.