Star Wars Celebration has kicked off in Orlando overnight with the event commenced with the 40th Anniversary Panel of the release of A New Hope. Thankfully for us Star Wars fans most of the event is streamed LIVE online so we didn’t get to miss it.
It was one of the best Star Wars related panels I’ve seen and for those watching it seeing George Lucas walk out and the crowd’s response was incredible I don’t think anyone expected him to be there considering he has taken a step back from mostly everything since his retirement. Hayden Christensen also made an appearance at his first celebration since 2002, the last one he attended was before his Star Wars films were even out yet so it definitely made this fanboy jealous that he wasn’t there plus the crowd giving him a standing ovation was a very nice touch. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamil, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams and Peter Mayhew were also on the couch with Warwick Davis on hosting duties. There was also a few great surprises with some pre-recorded video messages from a few people that couldn’t attend in person.
The panel’s finale was an emotional tribute to Carrie Fisher with remarks from her daughter Billie Lourd, Billy then went on to introduce a beautiful video tribute to Carrie. cue the tears.. (check out the videos below)
You can check out the full Star Wars 40 Years panel below, unfortunately for some reason the Star Wars channel on YouTube doesn’t have the panel video online only the Carrie Tribute.. so I’ve used a different source but I will update it if it magically reappears. The panel was also finished off by John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic playing some classic Star Wars tunes.