At last, the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer is here.
On day two of the three-day of Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, the film's director Rian Johnson and several cast members—including John Boyega, Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley—promoted Lucasfilm's blockbuster adventure movie, which flies into theaters Dec. 15, 2017.
Johnson made a surprise appearance as fans waited in line overnight before Friday's panel. Introducing himself with a bullhorn, the director spent hours shaking hands, posing for photos and signing autographs for thousands. He repeatedly dodged questions about the movie's plot.
As he walked through the convention center (with his longtime producer, Ram Bergman, at his side), he thanked fans for their devotion to the film franchise. "Just stay where you're at!" he instructed. "I promise to come to you. I'm psyched to meet you guys. You guys are hardcore!"
Kennedy began by thanking fans for maintaining their enthusiasm. "The energy in this room—given that everybody was up until 3:00 in the morning—that is cool," she said. Johnson echoed Kennedy's comments, saying, "To meet you guys and get to know you, thank you. This is the best fan family in the world. You guys are the best. You made me feel so good. So, thank you."
Josh Gad, who famously hounded Ridley for Star Wars spoilers while filming Murder on the Orient Express, hosted The Last Jedi panel. "I am here because Daisy Ridley forced my hand," Gad said. "This is truly insane. This is my first time at Star Wars Celebration, and I'm so excited."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is currently in post-production, Johnson said.
"We're still editing, but we're very far along," he teased, adding, "It's all coming together."
"We had the time of our lives making this movie. It was such a joyful experience, from top to bottom," the director said, comparing London's Pinewood Studios to Camelot. "To be able to set up came there and come to work every day, it just added to this really magical experience."
Kennedy also touched upon Fisher's legacy in the film series. "It was extraordinary, needless to say. Carrie is remarkable in the movie," she told Gad. "What Rian wrote and the performance she ends up giving, I think you guys are going to find that an amazing tribute to her talent." Johnson added, "I love her so much, man. I just adore her and connected with her first and foremost as a writer. She's a brilliant writer—just an incredible mind. I'd go to her house and we'd sit on her bed for hours...We'd have these stream of consciousness, adlib poetry jam sessions...Every six hours there'd be four lines of dialogue that would be a distillation of that."
After Ridley came onstage, Gad grilled her with questions: "Are you and Luke related by blood? Are you a Skywalker? Is your name Rey Skywalker? Is your name Rey Kenobi? Who doesn't know their own last name? Imagine if I went up to you and said, 'My entire name is Josh. Nice to meet you!' Are you the Madonna of Jakku? I see we're getting nowhere, Daisy!"
To his surprise, Ridley said, "I actually can tell you some things. What I can say is, in The Last Jedi, we go deeper into Rey's story. What is very apparent from where we left off in The Force Awakens and where we pick up in The Last Jedi is Rey has a certain expectation of [her future]...As everyone knows, it's difficult to meet your heroes, because they might not be what you expect."
Ridley added that she's excited for fans to hear "Luke's first words."
BB-8 joined Johnson, Kennedy and Ridley onstage, with Gad translating the droid's messages.
Boyega was on deck next, and he was similarly coy whenever Gad asked too many probing questions. The actor did, however, confirm that Finn has recovered after sustaining a back injury in The Force Awakens. "He's not playing this time," he said. "In The Last Jedi, it's a test for all the characters, but specifically for Finn, he wants to find his place now. Is he part of the Resistance, or is he going to keep running away from The First Order?" as for Finn's relationship with Poe Dameron (Isaac), Boyega told Gad, "There's always a new adventure for us to go on."
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Disney
Johnson revealed that out of all the new actors in the sequel,Tran has the "biggest part in the new movie." It's ironic, the director joked, since Tran is "the smallest actor" in the ensemble. "My character's name is Rose," she said. "She's part of the Resistance; She works in maintenance."
According to Johnson, Rose is "not a soldier" and "she's not looking to be a hero."
Hamill wasn't at risk of revealing any secrets. "I might be one of the most valuable characters to Lucasfilm—not because I'm a legacy character, but thanks to short term memory loss, I don't remember what I had for breakfast," he said. "I'm joking, but even when I went in and did ADR and saw this footage, it was like an out of body experience. It's so contained in its own world."
"In Seven, you discovered Luke is a hermit on this island. There's so much unsaid about where he's been and what he's done. Actors like to write their own backstories...but I realized that wasn't really important to the story in Force Awakens...It's not Luke's story anymore, but I think he's an important part of the overall arc of the story," Hamill said, adding that Luke's "mystery" is a major plot point. Kennedy piped in to clarify that Luke is still "significantly important" in the film.
After sharing a teaser poster, Johnson shared the first trailer for the new movie.
"Breathe. Just breathe," Luke tells Rey. "Now, reach out. What do you see?"
"Light. Darkness," she replies. "A balance."
At the tend of the trailer, Luke says, "I only know one truth. It's time for the Jedi to end."
The first day of the Star Wars Celebration was a reflection on the franchise's 40-year history, with creator George Lucas, actor Harrison Ford and composer John Williams making surprise appearances at the convention center. Lourd, wearing a Tom Ford dressed inspired by Princess Leia's look in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, paid tribute to her mom, Fisher, who died in 2016.
Highlights for the rest of Friday include a behind-the-scenes look at the making of 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at 1:30 p.m. followed by Hamill's tribute to Fisher at 5:30 p.m.