Soon it will be upon us: Star Wars Celebration Chicago! It has been a while already since Celebration Orlando in 2018 and even longer since Celebration Europe in 2016. There is soooo much to look forward to! Here’s is a selection of what to watch out for!
One of the many great things that came out of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy was the Star Wars Celebration series which kicked off in May 1999. In a little under two weeks time we will be in the middle of the 13th instalment. And although every Star Wars Celebration is an event to look forward to, this year there is a lot lined up that will keep you queueing for wrist-bands if you are lucky enough to have tickets … or glued to your live-stream screen.
A number of channels offer live-stream access to much of Star Wars Celebration. But the one to go to in my view is the Star Wars YouTube channel. Not only will you be able to see pretty much everything there, but it will also be hosted by the great team from the Star Wars Show. In recent years, both Orlando 2017 as well as Anaheim 2015 I simply had the Celebration live-stream on all day as my Star Wars radio.
Of course the Celebration organisers will keep some of the things exclusive to the visitors of Star Wars Celebration. For example if a new trailer comes out then you can be quite sure that it is live-streamed, but a special behind-the-scenes featurette might not make it unto the internet until a couple of days later. So although you might not catch everything at the same time as the Celebration-goers, you will get most of the main newly released things directly and some others a little later. In previous years they would also show the first, or first two, new episodes of the upcoming season of animation series. This is typically also something you will need to wait for as they will not live-stream it.
What should be on your watch-list?
There are definitely a few things to plan your weekend shopping and other activities around. The best thing to do is to check out the programme yourself on the excellent Star Wars Celebration site. But here are some highlights I would recommend:
- The Episode IX panel: Friday April 12th, 11h am local time / 16h UK / 17h CET, live-streamed from the Celebration Stage. This is where you want to watch out for the Episode IX trailer. It is hardly conceivable they would not show it.
- Sisters of The Force: Saturday April 13th, 4h pm local time / 21h UK / 22h CET, a celebration of women and Star Wars hosted by Ashley Eckstein!
- The Mandalorian: Sunday April 14th, 11h am local time / 16h UK / 17h CET, John Favreau’s upcoming Star Wars live-action tv-series will see its debut-panel here and again it would be very unlikely there would be no footage.
- Clone Wars sneak-peek: Sunday April 14th, 3h30 pm local time / 20h30 UK / 21h30 CET, we will get our first look at some of the new Star Wars: Clone Wars content with no doubt endless teases by Dave Filoni himself.
- Phantom Menace 20th Anniversary: Monday April 15th, 11h am local time / 16h UK / 17h CET, what better way to start the exciting hike towards the theatrical release this year of Episode IX then by celebrating the anniversary of Episode I.
If the times confuse you, you may want to check out the Chicago-time converter here.
What is missing?
So far there are a few things missing from the programme that might indicate one or the other reveal yet to come. It is worthwhile to look at the guest list of Star Wars Celebration Chicago and wonder:
- Why is Hayden Christensen there for 2 days … but not for the Episode IX Friday? To me it almost sounds as if they are desperately trying not to spoil the surprise that he will be part of the Episode IX panel and that this means we see a force-ghost return of Anakin Skywalker in the closing chapter of his saga? To far fetched? We will see!
- Why is Christopher Sean (‘Kazuda Xiono’s voice’) of Star Wars: Resistance there for 3 days? So far we haven’t really heard of an announcement for a Resistance panel. But given that season 2 is not only confirmed but due to start in September it seems unlikely there will not be a trailer of some kind. Perhaps they will wait with that news for the Celebration itself.
There is quite a line-up of people, some staying remarkably long, like Jason Isaacs for example. So be prepared for further announcements closer to the start of Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019.
I wish you a very enjoyable Star Wars Celebration, whether online via streaming or locally of you are amongst the lucky ones. And don’t forget: at the end they will likely announce the location of the next Celebration 2020 and if it comes to a place near you, start counting your cash because ticket-sales might open up real soon!