Those who were anticipating heavy reveals for “Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens” at this year’s Disney D23 Expo were probably a bit disappointed. While director J.J. Abrams showed no new clips from the upcoming movie, Disney still had plenty of exciting news from the “Star Wars” front.
Over the weekend, all of the Mouse House’s big-budget properties like Marvel and “Star Wars” received their moment in the sun as the company teased what’s ahead in the coming years. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much revealed about the title that everyone is most excited about, December’s first installment in the “Star Wars” canon since 2005 and the first non-prequel since 1983. Instead, the big news pertained to the other movies in the upcoming trilogy as well as the first film in the studio’s “Star Wars Anthology” series.
Here are the biggest things fans may have missed from the weekend's big event in Anaheim, California.
J.J. Abrams was joined on stage at the Anaheim Convention Center by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” stars Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong'o, John Boyega and Harrison Ford, who reportedly looked to be in good health after crash-landing his plane in March. The group revealed the first poster for the film. It was designed as a promotional piece for the D23 Expo – meaning fans shouldn’t mistake it for the film’s official poster, which has yet to be released. Still, as the Verge notes, the poster is a fantastic bit of art created by Drew Struzan, who has made posters for both the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises.
— Den of Geek (@DenofGeekUS) August 15, 2015
A Final Director
“The Force Awakens,” which will be released Dec. 18, will be the only film in the "Star Wars" franchise directed by Abrams. The good news is the remaining chapters in the trilogy will be in very capable hands. It was previously announced that director Rian Johnson (“Looper” and “Brick”) would take over for the eighth installment. While rumors circulated that Abrams would return for “Star Wars 9,” it was confirmed at the D3 Expo that he’s leaving the final chapter to Colin Trevorrow, who is coming off a record-breaking release with Universal Pictures' "Jurassic World."
“This is not a job or an assignment. It is a seat at a campfire, surrounded by an extraordinary group of storytellers, filmmakers, artists and craftspeople,” Trevorrow said in a statement. “We’ve been charged with telling new stories for a younger generation because they deserve what we all had — a mythology to call their own. We will do this by channeling something George Lucas instilled in all of us: boundless creativity, pure invention and hope.”
“Star Wars: Episode 9” is scheduled for release in 2019.
One Rogue Cast
Director Gareth Edwards introduced the full cast of the first of the “Star Wars: Anthology” titles, which will debut between each of the main trilogy movies. According to Entertainment Weekly, the “Rogue One” cast had to be video-conferenced into the Expo as they were in the U.K. shooting. From there, the first ever photo of the cast was shown to the crowd, despite no one knowing exactly who the cavalcade of talented actors will play.
— Star Wars: Rogue One (@RogueOne2016) August 15, 2015
The cast of “Star Wars: Rogue One” includes Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Riz Ahmed and Alan Tudyk.