Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams opened Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim today with a panel introducing cast members both old and new to the franchise. Even BB8 rolled up on stage! A little piece of practical effects stole the spotlight for a bit, but watching the rapport the new cast members had with each other was exhilarating. They’re just as excited as we are about this new trilogy. Anthony Daniels and Carrie Fisher gleefully strolling across the stage led to cheers but it was Mark Hamill helping Peter Mayhew to his chair was touching in a perfectly poignant manner. They place fictional characters onscreen but they also have deep admiration for each other. Hamill solidified it with his words on how Star Wars fans are our own giant family, connected by ethereal threads of a fictional space entities.
They closed the panel with group photos and revealed a second teaser trailer for The Force Awakens, and I cried. Not in the internet speak of all caps “I’M CRYING” when you type it out with a straight face. The new teaser stirred up emotions from my favorite piece of music from the franchise. In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda shows Luke how the force surrounds everything in the galaxy by lifting up his sunken X-Wing in the swamps of Dagobah as John Williams iconic score reaches a powerful crescendo. It’s a scene that practically self-defines the term “movie magic.”
The new teaser trailer incorporates the music from the aforementioned scene with new images of adventure, despair, a look at our new villain, and ends with a look back at familiar faces. “We’re home.”