So much to say in a single blog post! Here we go!
First panel of the day was the What’s Coming from Del Rey panel, complete with Star Wars Expanded Universe authors and luminaries Timothy Zahn, Troy Denning, Shelly Shapiro, Jennifer Heddle, Drew Karpyshyn, James Luceno, Aaron Allston and Pablo Hidalgo. Some BIG news here:
- Troy Denning’s post-Fate of the Jedi Big 3 (Luke, Han, Leia) novel, Crucible is set for a 2013 release. According to Shelly, it’s “the most awesome book,” “huge,” “epic” and will feature a challenge only the Big 3 can handle. Plus, you won’t have to read FotJ in order to get what’s going on. And no worries; there are no plans to kill these folks off yet!
- Timothy Zahn’s Scoundrels is out later this year and, according to Shelly, is Zahn’s best work yet (which is saying something). It will be preceded by an online Lando story, Win Or Lose All.
- A new series called Rebels will take place in the Classic era. The first book will focus on Leia and will be written by EU newcomer Martha Wells. The second book will focus on Luke, written by Kevin Hearne, another Star Wars newbie.
- Biggest news? New post-FotJ trilogy, Sword of the Jedi, will focus on Jaina’s continuing adventures and will be written by Christie Golden!
- Allana will be featured more prominently in future books.
- Aaron Allston wants another X-Wing book (so do we!).
- And the announced Paul Kemp duology is still being kept “super secret.”
Next was the Super Secret Star Wars Panel hosted by Seth Green, Matt Senreich and Todd Grimes. They were announcing their new animated comedy show (which was officially announced at Celebration V two years ago). It’s called Star Wars: Detours and has the tagline “Star Wars without the wars.” I’ll let the trailer speak for itself:
Hilarious! There are more clips on the Star Wars YouTube page, so check them out! I was pleasantly surprised; I had my hesitations when this project was first announced, but after seeing this amazing footage, I’m super excited! The writing team is star-class (writers from The Daily Show, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Upon a Time, Lego and more). Characters you can expect to see (and some casting announcements, although I didn’t catch them all):
- Jeff the IT guy (new character)
- Grand Moff Tarkin
- Biff Tarkin (new character – Grand Moff Tarkin’s son) – Zachary Levi
- C-3PO – Anthony Daniels
- Jabba the Hutt
- The Ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Salacious Crumb (Seth Green)
- Major Steele (new character) – Jennifer Hale
- Devaronian Reporter – Joel McHale
- Emperor Palpatine – Seth MacFarlane
- Chewbacca & Han Solo (described as an “old married couple”)
- Lando Calrissian – Billy Dee Williams!
- Max Rebo (described as a Gene Simmons-type character)
- Sy Snootles
- Cad Bane
- Boba Fett
- Jar Jar Binks – Ahmed Best
- Princess Leia – Catherine Taber (She’s 14-15, a spoiled brat with 4 body decoys as “friends”)
- And new character leads, Killer and Super Ace the stormtroopers, voiced by Breckin Meyer and Donald Faison (who made an appearance), one of which wants nothing more than to be a mattress salesman.
- Other voice actors included Dee Bradley Baker, Felicia Day, “Weird Al” Yankovic and more!
Other details include:
- Takes place between Episodes III and IV.
- The original title was “Truth Squad,” but George didn’t like it (thank goodness).
- All the vehicles (The Millennium Falcon and Luke’s landspeeder, in particular) are modeled after the Hasbro/Kenner toys – stickers, buttons and all!
- Regarding Jar Jar: “We will make you love Jar Jar. Well, we either saved his image or gave you new reasons to hate him.”
- Three set pieces were revealed: The Death Star, disguised as the Mall of the Galaxy under construction; Tatooine, complete with Cantina, Jabba’s Palace and Lars Homestead; and Dex’s Diner on Coruscant.
No release date was given, but don’t expect to see this anytime in the near future. No network was announced either.
Then there was the Anthony Daniels panel. He was hilarious, bringing British comic sensibilities to his, essentially, one-man show. While encouraging audience participation and some funny interactions regarding obscure Star Wars trivia, he did reveal that, in the original version of Episode II, it was Padme who first put C-3PO’s coverings on. Interesting!
The Clone Wars Season 5 red carpet event and premiere followed. Attendees included supervising director Dave Filoni and voice talent Sam Witwer, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor, Dee Bradley Baker and Matt Lanter. The final two episodes of season 4 were shown (Brothers and Revenge), detailing the return of Darth Maul. Then it went right into the season 5 premiere episode, Revival. I won’t give any spoilers, but Darth Maul and Savage Opress make an appearance, as does Hondo Ohnaka, the pirate. Plus, the audience was treated to the best lightsaber battle committed to screen yet! No really momentous surprises or twists, but a definite great start to what’s sure to be a great season!
Last, but certainly not least, was the Mark Hamill panel. And just as he did at Celebration V, he stole the show. He manages to take you down tangents you wouldn’t think possible, all while remaining completely engaged and charming. You can catch some of his quotes and some of the stand-out moments in my Twitter stream, but suffice it to say, he was the highlight of the convention thus far.
So far so good! As always, get up-to-the-minute information by following me on Twitter (@DRJedi) and the hashtags #SWCVI and #DRJediSWCVI for news snippets and pictures. Let’s see what Day 3 brings!