|Gruga Hall, location of Celebration Stage|
Star Wars Celebration Europe II is right around the corner. On July 26th-28th legions of Star Wars fans will invade Messe Essen, Germany. As a preview for those attending and those not attending, let's take a look at what could be officially announced at this Celebration.
Below is my speculation based on publicly announced schedule and guests. Some things to note with CEII is that a great number of the panels and screenings (except the special guest panels) repeat throughout the weekend.
While we know that Lucasfilm/LucasBooks Senior Editor Jennifer Heddle will be present for the convention, the U.S. novel publisher Del Rey will not have a presence at the convention. Dark Horse Comics will have a minor presence with Editor Randly Stradley being present for "The Art of Star Wars Comics With Panini" panel on Friday from 12:00 pm -1:00 pm on the Behind-The-Scenes Stage.
Until we get further along in development on Episode VII it seems like the novel and comic publishing licensees are in a bit of a holding pattern. We may get some tidbits of news out of Leland Chee's panel, "The Holocron 101 with Lucasfilm’s Leland Chee" on Saturday, July 27 from 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm on the Behind-The-Scenes Stage. Any news out of this panel will likely be regarding continuity and possibly hints at what is coming in the future of publishing, but if we do get news I wouldn't expect much.
The non-fiction book The Making of Return of the Jedi by J.W. Rinzler will get a panel hosted by Leland Chee and featuring Rinzler called "Lost Secrets from Return of the Jedi." This panel will take place on Sunday on the Digital stage from 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm.
Other than that we may get some news about short fiction at the Star Wars Insider Magazine, "Star Wars Insider" panel on Saturday, July 27 from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm at the Star Wars University stage.
It seems clear that from a storytelling point of view the focus of this celebration is going to be Episode VII, Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. So I expect no major publishing announcements at Celebration Europe II.
There will be special screenings of Return of the Jedi and Attack of the Clones at the convention. The Return of the Jedi screening will be a special outdoor event from 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm on Friday night, because of the nature of the event and it's location there aren't likely to be any announcements made then.
Repeated on the Digital Stage once per day during the convention will be a special screening of Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones in 3D. While the previously planned release of all six Star Wars films in 3D conversions is on hold, fans will get a chance to see Episode II in what we assume is a completed conversion. Once again I wouldn't expect any major announcements on this, except perhaps that they are going to continue the 3D conversion process on the other films with the eye towards a future release after the sequel trilogy.
We have two tiers of film related panels based on the likelihood of theatrical news.
Lower Likelihood Tier
On Sunday at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm on the Celebration stage there is the panel, "The Fett-Tastic Four." This panel features Jeremy Bulloch, Daniel Logan, Dickey Beer and John Morton, discussing Fett. If there is a spin-off film that focuses on a young Han or young Boba Fett we may get some news out of this panel.
The supporting character fun continues on the Celebration stage on Sunday from 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm, as "The Jabba's Palace Reunion" panel takes place featuring Tim Rose, Mike Edmonds, Femi Taylor, Toby Philpott, Gerald Home, Sean Crawford, and Tim Dry.
Higher Likelihood Tier
"The Golden Hour (Or Maybe 45 Minutes) with Anthony Daniels," will take place on Friday, July 26 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm on the Celebration Stage. The likelihood of C-3PO appearing in the Sequel Trilogy seems high, so perhaps with some proper etiquette and protocol we can get some news out of Sir Anthony.
Following Anthony Daneils on the Celebration stage will be, "Evening With the Emperor: Ian McDiarmid" at 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Fans can ask questions to both Anthony Daniels and Ian McDiarmid via Twitter by using the hashtags, #AskC3PO and #AskPalpatine.
Luke and Leia will be making their appearances at the convention. Carrie Fisher will be featured on "Straight Talk From a Princess: Carrie Fisher" Saturday, July 27 from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm on the Celebration stage. Mark Hamill takes center stage in "Mark Hamill: The Jedi Returns" on Sunday, July 28 from 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm. Fans can submit questions for Mark Hamill by using the hashtage #AskJedi.
You never know that Carrie Fisher may say and it certainly would make sense for both Carrie and Mark to talk up Episode VII.
Preceding both Carrie and Mark's panels will be the Celebration debut of Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. "Kathleen Kennedy: Her Celebration Premiere!" will be held on the Celebration stage on Saturday, July 27 from 10:30 am - 11:30 am. Fans can submit questions by tweeting #AskKathy. If I were placing bets on a big Episode VII or spin-off film announcement it will be at this panel.
I think we will get a few announcements at Kennedy's panel. I think we get the official confirmation of the return of Original Trilogy cast members, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Anthony Daniels to the Sequel Trilogy. I also think we get the official announcement of the subtitle for the film. Finally I think we get official confirmation of the subject and possibly title of the first spin-off film.
Kennedy's panel seems likely to feature a drop in by Hamill and Fisher and perhaps a surprise appearance by Harrison Ford.
We have two major things to look forward to from the television perspective for Celebration Europe II. Announcements regarding the future of Star Wars: The Clone Wars' bonus content and announcements and a sneak peak at Star Wars Rebels.
The Clone Wars:
For The Clone Wars we have special screenings of the theatrical cut of the Season Five Darth Maul/Mandalore story arc featuring episodes “Revival,” “Eminence,” “Shades of Reason,” and “The Lawless." These screenings will be held introduced by Dave Filoni. The presence of Filoni could allow for him giving attending fans some news regarding the series' bonus content.
There are two panels that aren't especially Clone Wars focused but may let some information slip. Ashley Eckstein the actress who portrayed Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars will take part in the "The Women of Star Wars" panel on Sunday, July 28 from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm on the Digital stage. Dave Filoni will also host a fan question and answer with guests Pablo Hidalgo and Leland Chee, "Masters’ Challenge: Dave Filoni with Pablo Hidalgo and Leland Chee on Saturday," July 27 at 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm on the Behind-The-Scenes stage.
The biggest Clone Wars news will likely drop at the "Secrets of Star Wars: The Clone Wars" panel on Friday, July 26 from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm on the Behind-The-Scenes stage. This panel will feature Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo and potentially some fan questions as well. From this panel I can expect we would get a release date and cover art for the Season 5 Blu-ray and DVD release. I also think we will get announcements regarding the "bonus content" including a distribution channel, release date, possibly titles and a new trailer.
Star Wars Rebels
While it is possible and even likely that Kathleen Kennedy will mention Star Wars Rebels during her Saturday morning panel, we are early enough in the production process on the show that what little news we will get of the series will likely all come out of the one dedicated panel at the convention. Kennedy will probably mention the series in passing not to steal the thunder from the Rebels panel which occurs after her panel.
The panel "First Look: Star Wars Rebels" will occur on Saturday, July 27 from 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm on the Celebration stage.
"Exclusive for Celebration Europe, a first glimpse into the production of Star Wars Rebels, an exciting, all-new animated television series slated for release in 2014. Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni, who was supervising director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will discuss the inspiration for the new series. Rebels is set between the events of Episodes III and IV, an era spanning almost two decades of Star Wars stories that have not yet been explored on screen. Details about the show are a closely-guarded secret at this point, but fans at Celebration Europe can catch a first look into production. Tweet using #AskFiloni and your question may be asked during the panel!"I expect we may see some character concept art, perhaps some storyboards, but I would be surprised if they are far enough on in production to give us a proper trailer for the show.
Finally at the Closing Ceremonies we should get an announcement about the next Celebration and perhaps Fan Days events. The Closing Ceremonies will take place on the Celebration stage on Sunday from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
For a complete printable schedule of Celebration Europe II, click HERE.