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Dave Filoni, Ashley Eckstein and Pablo Hidalgo discussed the past and future of Ahsoka Tano at Celebration Europe Friday. Fans got a first look at her upcoming Funko POP figure and the cover for E.K. Johnson’s Ahsoka novel, both coming in the fall.
I just got back from Celebration, which was fantastic but something of an endurance test! I’m completely exhausted, so will sum up some of the most interesting things I heard, experienced and saw. I do have some pictures, but they will have to wait until I’m at a functional level of consciousness.
- I saw two panels: Carrie Fisher’s and Future Filmmakers. I woke up at 4.30am and suffered for you all to bring you this report. And yes - it was 110% worth it.
- Erik Maell (painter of the famous bridal carry picture) is a real sweetheart, and was a lovely guy to speak with. He was very happy to talk about the picture and seemed pleased and intrigued that it had provoked so many interesting and divergent responses (recalling everything from Harlequin romance covers to Bon Jovi music videos!) He mentioned the abduction scene in the film having an almost romantic flair. His portfolio is also to die for, featuring some really impressive speculative depictions of Ben Solo (i.e. ‘what if’ Ben had never turned bad).
- Carrie was hilarious and Gary Fisher (her dog) was the real star of the show. It almost slipped past me, but Carrie did allude to two potential Episode VIII spoilers, mentioning a funeral for Han and that she wears an enormous dress (which came up in response to a question about whether she would take a lover in the next movie - she suggested hiding her lover in the dress as a possibility).
- Perhaps the best moment of the day came when Carrie said she spanked Adam Driver upon meeting him for the first time. I’m 99% sure she was being serious. She also spoke about Leia having a stormy relationship with Han, and said they had a child who grew up to be “space Hitler”. This all made me want to hear Carrie discuss Adam/Kylo more, since she gave me exactly what I wanted from her and more.
- The Future Filmmakers panel was very interesting but didn’t reveal anything truly meaty or new about Episode VIII. The main panel was with Pablo Hidalgo, Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart, Rian Johnson, and Lord and Miller (directors of the Han Solo spinoff). Alden Ahrenreich was brought out as the new Han Solo, and John Boyega appeared to represent the new cast. Mark and Carrie also showed. There was no footage (unless you count a clip from The Lego Movie).
- Rian impressed me the most. He’s clearly very intelligent and I love how passionately he spoke about the project. He was visibly moved by the enormity of the event, and the level of investment people already have in his film.
- Some new films influencing Episode VIII were mentioned. As well as Letter Never Sent and Twelve O Clock High (which had already been cited as influences), Bridge Over The River Kwai and Three Outlaw Samurai were mentioned. Rian said that they have noticed particularly striking similarities to Twelve O Clock High when looking at how the film has come together. Another film was mentioned - the title sounded like ‘Gunda-Ding’ to me, but I expect that’s radically off base and we will probably need to ask Pablo to spell it.
- Rian confirmed that there is no time jump. Episode VIII picks up right where Episode VII left off (as the production teaser implied).
- Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo were repeatedly mentioned as the core characters that the new films are following. Rian said that Episode VIII builds on the groundwork laid by Episode VII, zooming in on the characters (”pushing deeper”) and getting to the heart of who they are.
- There was lots of fluff about the magic of the Irish landscape, how awesome everyone is, and the obligatory “practical effects” party line.
- There was a competition going on where people tried to give Pablo hugs of steadily increasing intensity. Lord and Miller won.
- John’s most notable contribution was hyping/bigging up Kelly Marie Tran. This was complemented by Rian stressing how “special” Kelly is.
- There is really no reason why the FF panel couldn’t have been screened. I’m baffled as to why it wasn’t, and think it’s something of a shame. It was a good tease, even though it lacked the big moments many of us were hoping for.
Those are the most amusing/interesting details that jump out at me! I had a great time - thanks to @bastila-bae for being a great queue buddy!
DEAR REYLO’s and ANTI REYLO’S:
Okay I was going to ignore this, but I feel like somebody has got to speak up because it’s REALLY, REALLY stupid. These are comments from RIAN JOHNSON’s ( director of Episode 8) latest Instagram post and people are having arguments over ‘Reylo’!! I don’t care what you think about the ship but please don’t have arguments in the comment section of the directors personal Instagram. And please don’t post stuff like ‘Reylo please?’ - don’t you realise how cringy and embarrassing that is?? This is the director of the film, a professional guy who is doing his job - please stop this nonsense! I have seen Reylo Vs. Anti Reylo arguments happening on his Instagram comments section before, and it’s very immature. PLEASE don’t ask LucasFilm employees about your ships/OTP and if you see somebody degrading themselves by doing that - just ignore them and don’t fight back?! Yes we may have differences of opinion, but hopefully most of us can agree that this is just pathetic behaviour? Please share so we can spread this message across the fandom and give the poor LucasFilm employees a break? And for your reference it was a picture of a lightbulb … A LIGHTBULB .. Nothing even to do with the film ??
Why is it that we never really got clarification whether or not Ahsoka and Obi-Wan know that one another are alive or not? I mean, at the very least the same holocron that contains Anakin’s training videos features Obi-Wan’s message that we see in “Spark of Rebellion.” There’s no way that if Ahsoka had free and ready access to that Holocron that she didn’t see that message. I’m not expecting an answer to this in Rebels but I’m surprised that neither Dave or Pablo have really addressed it nor have people really pushed for an answer.
Thrawn’s appearence in SWR Season 3 had been planned SINCE SUMMER/FALL 2014.
Or, in other words, even since BEFORE the SWR series premiered.
So, Thrawn coming back to the Canon is NOT the result of some fans clamoring for his inclusion in the show.
It has been planned FAR FAR AHEAD.
The time between then (summer/fall 2014) and now is just the SWR Team (1) finding a proper, logical story that does justice to the character, (2) find a suitable Voice Actor, and (3) tweaking his looks and movements.
Rian and Pablo both responded to my blog about Letter Never Sent (I tweeted them a mirror link to it at my Wordpress blog, which I’m developing to share my meta minus all the tumblr randomness). I’m majorly emotional right now. I think I’ve reached peak fandom accomplishment.
Did Dave Filioni just confirm further canon existence of Force Bond?
There was a question from the audience asking if Ahsoka and Anakin had a force connection, like what happens with master and apprentice and brother and sister. And basically Dave said yes, he thinks so, and that Anakin and Ahsoka could tell where each other are in the Force. Note Pablo Hidalgo was in the panel as well.
However, the connection between Anakin and Ahsoka is different from what we’ve come to know of the Force Bond theory, as Ahsoka, according to Dave, was no longer able to feel Anakin through the Force after Order 66, which was why she thought he was dead. The Force Bond from what we know, they should be able to feel each other still as long as they’re alive.
But Dave also went on to explain later about how Anakin is buried beneath Vader, which seems to allude that Anakin being shrouded in the Dark Side was the reason Ahsoka was not able to sense him. Same for Vader, who could not ‘see’ Ahsoka while he was masked but the Anakin in him recognized her when his mask partially broke open during their fight.
So now, I’m freaking out, because while Force Bonds were common in the old EU, we’ve only had one example so far in the new canon, that was the bond between Yoda and his former apprentice turned fallen Jedi Count Dooku, of which the bond was used to trace Yoda’s whereabouts.
Now we basically have TWO confirmations of Force Bond/Force Connection canon, and I am now even more convinced that this is how Kylo Ren will find Rey in Ahch-to. Also, unless they are going to be faithful to the old EU description of Force Bonds, they might tweak it a little for the canon. More than that, I’d like to think Kylo and Rey’s bond will be stronger because they’re equal in terms of Force Power.