It was certainly a day of highs and lows in Essen as the FTN crew took up residency at the Celebration stage on day three of our visit to Germany.
The highs entailed watching live interviews with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels chief Dave Filoni and finally Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher.
The lows? Well, the lack of any real news to come out concerning Episode VII from Kennedy and no actual footage of the animated TV show being worked on by Filoni.
Let’s deal with these first of all.
The Kennedy interview was the one thing I really wanted to see at CEII. Here was the woman who had replaced George Lucas at the head of the Star Wars franchise, this was her first big proper interview since taking that post and ofcourse fans are beginning to get a little bit antsy in the lack of news concerning JJ Abrams’ film.
So here was a great opportunity to give the fans something to thank them for sticking with the franchise during thick and thin. Perhaps tell us something that we didn’t know. Is Harrison Ford confirmed yet? What about a title for the new movie? Anything like this would have been a dream.
And ofcourse it was a dream because all we got was confirmation that John Williams will indeed score the next three Star Wars movies. Yes, I know, brilliant. The saga wouldn’t be the same without him. But we already kinda knew that he was onboard. Abrams has already said he expected WIlliams to be back, while the composer himself has said he would have to get ready when the call came.
So, yes, Lucasfilm/Disney dropped the ball a little on this one. Let’s hope they don’t rub salt in the wound by confirming something like the above to Disney fans and execs at the forthcoming D23 Expo.
Next was Dave Filoni. FTN chief Marc will be writing an article on the specifics of this show over the next day or two but what I will say is that although we got to look at some specific production art and design from the forthcoming animated show, we did not get any actually footage.
Perhaps Filoni’s team weren’t ready to show something just yet but surely a ten second snippet for the fans who will actually tune into the show every week isn’t a little too much to ask. However, the look of the show, based on the original Ralph McQuarrie drawings for Star Wars in the 1970s, looks fantastic.
The Ghost ship, for example, remains me of an early version of the Millennium Falcon while the idea behind it sounds very much like Serenity in Firefly. All in all, I’m very excited for the show but, again, very disappointed that we didn’t get to see actual footage.
Lastly, but certainly not least was the Princess Leia interview with Warwick Davis again hosting. My FTN colleagues were a little hesitant about this but I had faith.
Would Carrie get carried away about her troubled past or would she look totally bored at having to talk Star Wars for the umpteenth time? Thankfully neither was the case.
For me this was the best part of the day. The actress was full of fun, played along with all of Davis’ antics and truly got into the spirit of the occasion.
I plan to post a special ‘The Ladies of Star Wars’ piece over the next few days so will be more specific then but what I can confirm is that Fisher remained on the right side of crazy, wary of kids in the audience, but truly embraced the fans without looking down on their devotion. Oh, and she also kinda gave away a little clue as to whether she will appear in Episode 7 or not. I’ll reveal more later.
Oh, and talking of Warwick Davis, what a wonderful host he was. Witty, charming and confident in front of the mic, the Willow star certainly has the chops to be a TV host ala The Jonathan Ross Show. He had fun with the audience but didn’t take the mick, leaving me with a real appreciation of the star. Great stuff.
On a final note, congratulations to our friend, and Emerald Garrison member, Julian Checkley for winning the Empire & Sith section of the Costume Masqerade event having created an amazing costune and looking pretty terrifying as Darth Malgus. Julian really looked the part and to be fair should have won the overall competition. However, FTN was pretty sure that judges, which included Dave Filoni, were really impressed with what they saw. So, well done again big man!
So there you have it guys. I’m off to bed now for a well earned rest but tomorrow should be great as we’ll get the chance to hear Mark Hamill chat on the main stage but not before watching Jeremy Bulloch, Temeura Morrison, Rickey Beer and Daniel Logan all talking about their role as members of the Fett family. We cannot wait.
Until tomorrow everyone….