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SWCO 40th Anniversary Panel Recap

SWCO 40th Anniversary Panel Recap

Yesterday kicked off the start of Star Wars Celebration in Orlando and what an opening day it was! The 40th Anniversary panel started SWCO off with a bang, featuring various creators and stars of the films and was the setting for discussions about their experiences working with George Lucas and the franchise. Many people guessed it would happen but the surprise appearance of George Lucas still got an ecstatic reaction out of the entire audience. Lucas talked about the nature of the Star Wars Saga, how he came up with the idea for it, and what it means to him. 

Dave Filoni, Executive Produce of Star Wars Rebels, was first on stage. George Lucas referred to him as one of his kids and touched on mentoring Dave during their involvement together for The Clone Wars. Dave discussed the importance of carrying on the themes that were have been important to Lucas since the conception of Star Wars.

Ian McDiarmid and Hayden Christensen took the stage next to thunderous applause. Ian reflected on his favorite scene as Palpatine, "The Opera House". Arguably one of the most iconic scenes from the prequels and one that Ian performed masterfully. Hayden talked about learning lightsaber choreography and how the films took him back to his childhood. He also touched on how Ian McDiarmid took him under his wing, symbolic of their relationship in the films. 

There were also two video messages from Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson, both of whom, unfortunately, were unable to attend Celebration. The messages were short and sweet but still a treat! More information on Liam Neeson's message can be found here.

Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Peter Mayhew made their appearance on the stage next, briefly talking about Daniel's C-3PO costume and fond memories with Carrie Fisher on set. 

Mark Hamill was then invited up to discuss his love for the fans and some of the wackier lines he had to record for the films that, ultimately, never made it into the final cut. Which lead into the introduction of the next guest, Harrison Ford. He and Warwick poked fun at Ford's recent piloting mishaps as well as discussed his appreciation towards Star Wars and it's fans. 

With those two being on stage, it made for the perfect setting to show the beautiful Carrie Fisher tribute video. The audience was moved as we took a look back on some of the best moments on set. As that drew to a close, John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra closed out the Anniversary Panel by performing the Star Wars theme, Leia's theme, and the Imperial March. 

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