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Here’s our MASSIVE ROUND-UP of everything that was revealed at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016

July 19th, 2016 by Marc Comments

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Well, we’ve come to the end of another Star Wars Celebration Europe and, as is usually the way, we’ve a little tired, a little older and, more importantly, a little wiser.

In the ways of the Force, at least.

The event, in London Excel, was a long three days – queues for the main stage shows kicked off at 6am each day and with our hotel being a distance away, that was an early start every day.

Was it worth it? Well…

Ok, so here’s all the things we learned and that has us very excited.


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Dave Filoni was a big presence at the show this year, with the first two episodes of Star Wars: Rebels Season Three being screened in the main Celebration Stage and, after the gut-wrenching finale of Season 2, it didn’t fail to deliver.

I’m not going to spoil anything that you don’t already know, but it saw the return of a very famous Star Wars EU villain, the one and only Grand Admiral Thrawn, voiced here by rogue One star Mad Mikkelsen’s brother, Lars!

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Yes, Thrawn is now officially Star Wars canon again! And oh, boy he’s going to be trouble for the fledgling Rebellion.

At the Press Conference after the event (above), Dave Filoni revealed that while Thrawn will be a faithful version, he won’t have the ‘Force bubble’ producing ysalamiri, however, he did say that, as a fan pleaser, when the character first appears, there are two lizard statues behind him (below), looking like they are sitting on his shoulders. He said it’s a nod to the books, but years before he and George Lucas has discussed bringing Thrawn into the Star Wars universe and had decided they just wouldn’t fit into the movie/TV universe.

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But while everyone was getting excited for the appearance of Thrawn (who can blame them?), many failed to notice the appearance of another popular character from the Star Wars saga… Wedge Antilles.

Yes, Wedge will be in Season 3 as a one time Imperial Pilot who wants out to join the rebellion and do some good.

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He’s the one on the left… no moustache yet!

Oh, and we can’t forgot to say that a new Thrawn book is coming next April, written by none other than his creator, Timothy Zahn! Zahn appeared in a camera interview and said he loves what Rebels is doing with the character…

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Oh and we also found out that Filoni was on the set of Rogue One… but we’re not reading too much into it!

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Speaking of Rebels, at a special panel about the life of Ashoka Tano, things got a little emotional as Filoni revealed to Ashoka actress Ashley Eckstein what her story would have been had Clone Wars continued after the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm.

At the panel it was revealed that Ashoka was to have a closure to her story which would have lead directly into the opening moments of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and would have ended the series.

She had three arcs still to be told.

Arc One would have had her in Coruscant after leaving the Jedi and heading into the bowels of the planet, particularly to level 1313 (remember the cancelled Star Wars game of the same name?) where she had spent time with Ventress in Season 3 in the hope that, despite no longer being a Jedi, she could still do good in the galaxy.

While there she would have met a smuggler named Nyx Okami, a very Han Solo-like character, the two would become almost Robin hood-like characters. Eckstein joked that “Ahsoka had a boyfriend for a hot minute and his name was Nyx Okami!”

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In her second arc, Ashoka would return to the Jedi Temple but not as a Jedi but rather as an Advisor to Anakin and Obi-Wan after Yoda was taken and was being held in Level 1313.

On their mission to find Yoda they would find an ancient Sith Temple miles directly below the Jedi Temple. There, Ashoka would fight the Force-using kidnapper and would be on the receiving end of Force lightning… it would be revealed to the audience that it was Darth Sidious, although this would mean nothing to the Jedi at this stage.

In her last arc, Ashoka would befriend a Mandalorian called Bo Katan who wanted her, Anakin and Obi-Wan to fight against Darth Maul and help take the Mandalorians out of the clutches of the Sith wannabe.

However, as the plan is put into motion, the Jedi are called to Coruscant as Genreal Grievous has done the impossible and kidnapped Palpatine. This is of course the beginning of Revenge of the Sith.

As this call came in, Anakin would have told Ashoka he was proud of her and given her Captain Rex and a battalion of the 501st to head to Mandalore. The battalion were not decorated in the familiar blue but rather had been repainted with the Orange colour of Ashoka’s skin, with the blue and white markings of her head on their helmets.

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This was a very emotional moment for Eckstein who was in the dark about this chapter in Ashoka’s life and who clearly felt the emotion of her and Anakin’s final meeting before his fall to the dark side. And, we dare say, a few of the audience had a little something in their eyes too.

Filoni did offer a glimpse of how Ashoka survived Order 66, suggesting that she was meditating when the Order was given and escaped with a bunch of giant wolves, but he did say that that was never clear in his mind… and seemed to hint that that story may still be told in the future.

Oh, and as for her fate in Rebels? Well, he did say that he’s pretty sure we haven”t seen the last of Ashoka. Though he did say that as far as he knows, Ashoka has no idea how to separate mind and body and become a Force Ghost, so it’s unlikely that’s how she’ll appear.

He also seemed to hint that Daniel Logan MAY return at some point and that he does like to try to bring back Clone Wars actors where possible but isn’t a fan of just reinserting familiar faces as fan service but would rather use who the story needs… someone asked about Cad Bane and Filoni laughed, saying he’s still in the galaxy somewhere but don’t expect to see him in Rebels.

Oh and sabine herself, actress Tiya Sicar, revealed that we’ll see more Mandalrians this season and she may just be related to some of them (!) and they revealed that she will have new gadgets this year including a jet pack and Dark Saber!

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As for Kanan, blinded at the end of last season by Darth Maul, his new helmet became a conversation piece, with one crowd member pointing out it looked a lot like the markings on  Captain Rex’s:

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Filoni laughed knowingly and said that perhaps it’s a way for Kanan to show that, despite he and Rex getting off to a rough start, he was learning to see things through the clone’s eyes. Although he also said it was for the animation purpose of knowing where the character was ‘looking’. We all liked the first reason better…

Oh and we now know that Doctor Who legend Tom Baker will play the mystical Force wielding character called Bendu and that he is neither Jedi nor Sith but ‘something in between’. He looks like this:

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Three other quick things? Ok, then…

Filoni may have hinted that Maz kanata may appear in rebels.
Palpatine and Maul will probably not meet again as Palpatine doesn’t think he’s worth bothering with or befriending again.
Oh and did we see Dash Rendar’s Outrider in the trailer? Sadly not. Filoni confirmed it’s a similar ship and same class as the original ship designer is now part of the Rebels crew. How cool is that?

Ok, so, moving away from Rebels, what else did we learn?


Well, we know that Rogue One is coming to Star Wars Battlefront in new Downloadable content called Rogue One: Scariff.

Scariff is the name of the planet seen in the trailer for Rogue One when they can be seen running from AT-AT walker – Rebel gamers will have new characters including Jyn Erso, while the Imperial faction gets to play as Director Krennic.

We also got a trailer for the next expansion for the game called Death Star (below) and it looks pretty awesome!

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First off, here’s the movie’s first poster… and it’s beautiful:

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Ok, how about something funny?

Well, during the Rogue One panel, actor Jiang Wen accidentally dropped a massive spoiler. Alan Tudyk’s reaction is a thing of beauty. Don’t worry, the video doesn’t reveal the spoiler – we promise we wouldn’t do that. Enjoy…

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Off topic… we LOVE Mark Hamill’s treating us to a sample of Joker’s mind and how it works in the upcoming Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie. You can see that right here.

Of course, Rogue One was a big part of the weekend and it got the biggest crowd at the Celebration Stage – and we should know, even we couldn’t get near it!

A trailer was shown at the show that was pretty unremarkable except for a big reveal at the end of SPOILER Darth Vader.

Or rather his reflection on a very shiny floor surface accompanied by very familiar breathing… yes, the Rogue One team are in for a tough time!


We also got a fun piece of concept art by producer John Knoll, drawn years before the movie happened:

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Alan Tudyk plays K-2So, the droid best friend of Diego Luna’s character, Cassian. Tudyk described the droid as “unsettling”. We know that he is a good guy but is a reprogrammed Imperial droid. Tudyk revealed that when he told Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) that his character was to be computer animate, Daniels called him a “Sh#t”.

Riz Ahmed’s character, Bodhi, is an Imperial pilot from the planet, Jedha, an occupied world so even though he’s a part of the Empire, he does not agree with what they’re doing.

Forest Whitaker said his character, Saw Guerera, is a guerrilla fighter and leader of a faction of what will become the Rebel Alliance. He said all the characters on the stage represented various little groups that will, together, form that alliance. We’re wondering if this is why we saw Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni onset (above). Surely this and Rebels must tie together?!

Mads Mikkelsen is Galen Erso, father of Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. He’s a scientist and “invented something so beautiful, that it might change the world,” according to Mikkelsen. He also said this is what puts him on the Empire’s radar.

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Ben Mendhelson (above on stage. Most impressive) revealed that Director Orson Krennic is a director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Empire. That’s all, really.

Felicity Jones also was presented on stage with her Black Series figure. She seemed delighted to be part of the Star Wars toy universe.

Here’s the figure:

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Oh, remember the whole thing about Rogue One NOT having the opening scrawl (here)? Well, director Garth Edwards seems to think it;s unlikely: “I think basically there’s a lot of things that I probably can’t talk about, is probably the safest way to answer that. The idea is this film is supposed to be different than the saga films…the whole crawl of it all — it’s funny people are fascinated on that.”


At the Lucasfilm: The Art of Storytelling panel ILM President Lynwen Brennan said the Lucasfilm Story Group have been planning long-term storylines for Star Wars that will be experienced by fans across many different platforms, not just movies and games but VR, books, comics television and more. However, she added that Dr Jones was part of the long term plans too: “Kiri [Hart] and her group have mapped out a story and timeline across multiple platforms many years in advance, many exhausting years in advance. … We have a great honor to have responsibility for, so we want to be really careful with that. Not only for Star Wars but with Indiana Jones, which we’re all really excited about as well.”


In what might be the world’s worst secret, Alden Ehrenreich was confirmed as the new Han Solo by the writers and directors of that movie, Chris Miller and Phil Lord.

The duo were joined on stage by the young actor (below), who revealed that testing for the movie with Chewie on the Falcon was “cool”.

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Lord and Miller revealed that they crossed the planet and saw over 3,000 actors before settling on Ehrenreich. They apologised to Kathleen Kennedy because he was actually the very first actor they saw!

They also confirmed that filming will begin in January or February next year.

Star Wars: Episode VIII

During the Future Film-makers panel, director Rian Johnson talked – carefully – about the next episode in the ongoing story.

He dropped some interesting tidbits:

He was working on Episode VIII before Episode VII even came out! He got the story from the script and the dailies, so he was filming the rest of a story that he hadn’t seen!

Episode VIII was inspired by a few movies that he asked Lucasfilm staff to watch for an idea of the direction he wanted to go in: 12 O’clock High, Bridge of the River Kwai, Three Outlaw Samurai, Sahara (not the remake!) and Gunga Din, with 12 O’Clock High in particular being the one that is closest to EP VIII.

Episode VIII makes Star Wars history and begins right where VII ended. Literally moments later…

Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidlago hinted that Johnson took in home made ice cream and that it may have helped him get the job… make of that what you will!

And finally…

At the very end of the weekend, during the closing ceremony, we were treated to the Star Wars family being represented by stars from all three eras… the original, the prequel and the new including Chris Lord, Phil Miller, Rian Johnson (Episode VIII director), Kathleen Kennedy, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and new Han Solo,Alden Ehrenreich. It was a pretty magical moment:

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Ok, so we know you may not have been there but trust us, you now know as much as we do… and anyone else there.

We hope this helped! No fan left behind? You know it!


Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….