Everything on Friday at Comic-Con was leading up to this: the highly anticipated panel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And it did not disappoint. In fact, we're feeling very emotional about it all. Or maybe that's because we're sleep-deprived, waited for hours in the same room with 7,000 strangers and haven't eaten anything except the fruit strips we found in the bottom of our backpack.
The panel was a big tease to start, only introducing director J.J. Abrams and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan. Abrams revealed that there is a cut and he is in the process of editing, and then was joined by this special guest:
Enter the newbies John Boyega, who plays Stormtrooper Finn; Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey; and Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron (the best friggin' pilot in the galaxy) were introduced first. Isaac tried to get advice about piloting from Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford, who basically informed him it was all fake.
Asian power After a few Asian fans asked if Abrams would cast more Asians, he replied, "There are Asians in this film. We didn't write the character of Finn to be any color... we wanted the movie to look the way the world looks. I think it's important for people to be represented."
Working with the legends Boyega told an amusing anecdote about bringing Ford to a Nigerian restaurant in southeast London, and one patron asked him, "Are you Harrison Ford?" His response: "I used to be."
Meet the Dark Side Adam Driver, who plays Kylo Ren; Domhnall Gleeson, who plays General Hux (newly released character name!); and Gwendoline Christie, who plays Captain Phasma, joined the panel. Christie was thrilled to play a female Stormtrooper: "Underneath that armor is a woman," she said proudly. Here's a look at their characters:
Revisiting the legacy Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill then joined the panel. Fisher equated the experience to working on the original films. "It was a little bit like before, but we all look more melted," she said. She also compared it to being part of a tap-dancing troupe. "It was great having the new people because they do it faster." Hamill noted that being Luke Skywalker meant he was a friend to everybody. Of course Ford had to walk in (his foot is OK — "I'm good. Thank you for asking," he reported, still recovering from a plane crash back in March). He said that walking back onto set "should've felt ridiculous... I will tell you that it felt great. The company was the right company. The director was the right director... I'm proud and grateful to once again be involved."
The panel also presented a behind-the-scenes reel of The Force Awakens with a peek at everything from makeup to stunts as the cast weighed in on the experience of returning to the galaxy far, far away.
(Prepare to have your Star Wars-loving heart melted in 18 parsecs.)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens nationwide on Dec. 18.