I expected Saturday to be far busier than the previous two days, and the crowds didn’t disappoint. For the first time, I had to wait in line to get in. It was huge and snaked around the building. I arrived late, so it’s my fault, but I missed my first planned panel, The Clone Wars with Dave Filoni & Joel Aron. Shame too, because who would make a surprise appearance but George Lucas himself. Lucas made several appearances throughout the day in various locations throughout the building, and somehow I missed all of them. The only regret I have about Celebration VI is missing out on seeing him!
Sure, I probably could have walked in late for that panel, but I decided to get in line extra early for my next panel: See the Future of Star Wars 3D at Celebration VI! Because of doing so, I was rewarded with a front-row seat! Not only that, actor Sam Witwer was seated just a few chairs over! Once the panel started, I was simply blown away when Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisors Dennis Muren and John Knoll walked out on stage, just a few feet in front of me. They discussed in-depth the conversion of the Saga to 3D, and presented several slides showing various stages of development.
Then, the moment we all were waiting for arrived: An exclusive preview of Attack of the Clones in 3D! The visuals were very impressive. From start to finish, the 3D conversion looked top-notch. After the preview and some additional discussion, they surprised the audience with a repeat viewing of the preview. The audience, of course, was thrilled. Afterward we got to keep the 3D glasses they handed out for the viewing.
Bethany and Riley (The Star Wars Report) and Thomas and William Devereux (EUCantina)
I decided to take a long lunch break and walk-through of the exhibit hall. During this time, I was able to catch a glimpse of The Clone Wars voice actors Dee Bradley Baker, Ashley Eckstein and Matt Lanter. I again met up with a few friends from The Star Wars Report and EU Cantina, and got a group pic of them. My next panel I wanted to attend was Star Wars Audio Books Behind The Scenes. This was the inaugural panel debut from the Random House Audio division, and it was quite informative. Mark Thompson (narrator), Aaron Blank (producer), and Kevin Thomsen (director) and Leland Chee (Lucasfilm) were the panelists, and they led a lively discussion of Star Wars audiobooks; how they’re built, how the narration works, and what to expect in the future.
After a fan Q&A, we were treated to an exclusive audio clip from the upcoming The Old Republic: Annihilation, written by Drew Karpyshyn. Afterwards, I was able to meet and chat with the entire panel! It was a pleasure to finally meet and chat with Leland Chee, the man behind the Holocron database at Lucasfilm. Afterwards, I had to hurry to make my next planned panel: Unlearn What You Have Learned: Storytelling in an Evolving Galaxy.
This turned out to be my favorite panel of the weekend, mainly because of the sheer simplicity of it. Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo, visibly exhausted from the events thus far, were very kicked back, Dave even laid aside his hat. Right away the discussion focused on The Clone Wars and more notably, continuity. Dave pointed out that George Lucas is very invested in the development of the series, and even came up with the ideas for several characters, including General Krell, the Nightsisters, the return of Darth Maul, and the upcoming Maul/Mandalorian story arcs. Dave made clear that he is very aware of continuity and issues that have transpired. He recognized that their interpretation of Mandalorians was a huge bomb in the realm of continuity, but Lucas wanted to do it, and as he trumps Filoni, there’s not much he can say about it.
Regarding Jedi Master Even Piell, Dave had discussions with Pablo and Leland Chee about how bad the continuity damage of could possibly be. Pablo said that there is an effort to keep continuity as smooth as possible, but they will always have artistic license within the Star Wars universe; there are bound to be differences. During The Clone Wars discussions with Lucas, Dave said he brings up the Expanded Universe and that Essential Guides are on the table. Listening to them talk, I got the impression that they’re aware of and understand fan frustration regarding continuity issues, but I didn’t get the impression that we wouldn’t see issues again. And while it wasn’t brought up, there does seem to be a bit of tension between The Clone Wars production and the Expanded Universe division, particularly the Del Rey side of things, mainly with the Even Piell situation. That’s my own observation, though.
The panel then opened up an audience Q&A, and Dave specifically asked for continuity questions, but unfortunately he didn’t receive many. Here’s a few highlights of the Q&A:
- Lucas said no to Dave’s initial Rex, Ahsoka resolution.
- The name Pre Vizsla a play on “previsualization”
- Lucas requested not to use a lot of John Williams music; he wanted The Clone Wars music to be different
- Dave would love to do a The Clone Wars soundtrack but it’s not his call.
- George asked Dave not to use the Trade Federation battleships anymore.
- Pablo said the upcoming Detours comedy series occupies it’s own universe; Dave loves that there is a continuity panic about it online as it gets the spotlight off him.
There was a funny moment when members of the 501st, particularly a rather impressive General Krell and his troops, crashed the panel. Pablo and Dave got a kick out of that, Dave saying how incredible it was that a character that he drew on paper was now walking and talking to him. This panel actually ran a bit late, but I don’t think anyone would complain. Honestly, they should make this panel two hours long for the next Celebration. I could sit and listen to Dave and Pablo talk forever.
After the panel ended, I decided to watch some of The Empire Strikes Back on the big screen, until the doors opened for the Celebration Fan Mixer: Presented By Pringles. I have to mention a hilarious moment during the movie. When the first Rebel transport evacuated Hoth, and the announcement came that “The first transport is away!”, a group of fans dressed as Rebel pilots stood up at their seats, raised a fist and shouted “hooray” when the Rebels did in the movie. Most in the audience had a good laugh at that, and during that moment, I thought to myself how incredible the Saga is and how amazing its fans are.
As I mentioned, I left the movie early to check out the Fan Mixer. It was a cool environment for everybody. It was a night club setting, complete with a DJ, several food vendors and even had alcohol available. I didn’t stay long, but from what I saw, everyone was having a great time dancing and chatting with fellow fans.
Saturday was a long day for me, the longest of all four days. I had a great time, and was ready, yet not ready, for the bitter-sweet end to come on Sunday.
Celebration VI Day One Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Two Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Day Four Diary by Bry Dean
Celebration VI Albums
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