The Star WarsCelebration festival is a fan event that started in 1999 to showcase Star Wars’ films, books, merchandise, and all aspects of the franchise. With its inception in 1999 before the release of The Phantom Menace, Celebration has gone on to be one of the biggest festivals, conventions/ and fan events in the world. With events like screenings, autograph sessions, celebrity appearances, panels, exhibits, and costumes, “Celebration” is the place for Star Wars fans.

2016 event.

This year, the festival was held in London, England and marked its 17th anniversary.

With last year’s release of The Force Awakens and the upcoming film slate including ‘Episode 8’ and Rogue One, “Celebration” is becoming the premier event for Star Wars news. Even with other big festivals like Comic-Con and Disney’s own D23, there is no better showcase than “Celebration”.

Let’s get into some of the biggest news and other fun things to come out this weekend.

Day 1.

During Friday’s festivities, a ton of images surfaced from various panels, including costumes, droids and other creatures from this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is the first spin-off film to be introduced in the Star Wars universe.

Rogue One will follow the story of a group of rebels as they try and steal the plans to the first Death Star before the events of ‘A New Hope’.Also released was early concept art, a featurette, and the first official poster for Rogue One. Fans in attendance were shown a short trailer for Rogue One that features a quick glimpse of Darth Vader, who will return to the series, but the trailer has yet to be released online for the general public.

Day 2.

Saturday revealed a host of new books that are set in the new “canon” of the Star Wars universe around the Rogue One timeline. The titles include: “Catalyst”, “Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide”, “Rogue One Ultimate Sticker Encyclopedia”, “Rogue One Posters and Profile Book” and “Rogue One Make Your Own U-Wing Book”. Another piece of concept art was also released for Rogue One that is very similar to the poster released on Friday.

During a panel for the TV series Rebels’ Season 3, it was announced that villain Grand Admiral Thrawn would make his first official appearance in Star Wars canon. Thrawn was a villain in some of the old novels, which were relegated to the “Legends” line, as they are not considered “canon” to the current timeline of films, TV series, books, and video games. A trailer for season 3 of ,was also released as well as a gameplay trailer for the ‘Star Wars Battlefront’ video game that will have a new Death Star map & mission as downloadable content.

Day 3.

Sunday marked the end of Celebration, and the big news came in the form of an announcement that actor Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) will portray galactic smuggler Han Solo in an upcoming yet to be named spin-off film that will begin production in early 2017.

‘Star Wars Episode 8’, coming out in 2017, will not have a time jump between the events of Episode 7: The Force Awakens and will pick up right where it left off. As is the custom in Star Wars films, a large amount of time passes between films, but with Mark Hamill coming back to portray Luke Skywalker at the end of The Force Awakens, more story was needed to fill in fans on what he has been up to in his 30-year isolation.

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