Star Wars Celebration Europe II was held this past weekend in Essen, Germany. Due to work commitments and the not insignificant time difference, I wasn’t able to keep on top of what was coming out of the convention as it happened. Now that the event is over, I wanted to share my thoughts about some of the news we got.
Ended, The Clone Wars have
One of the highlights of recent Celebrations have been the various panels for The Clone Wars. The show continually grew in quality and complexity over it’s run, and listening to supervising director Dave Filoni talk Star Wars never gets old for me. During the Secrets of The Clone Wars panel, the release date for the Season 5 Blu-Ray/DVD and the Seasons 1-5 Collector’s Edition Box Set was announced. Both will be released on October 15, 2013.
I’ve been holding off on buying The Clone Wars in anticipation of an eventual complete series box set when the series ended, so the Collector’s Edition caught my eye. There are a few things you should know about the set before you purchase it though. This Collector’s Edition comes with a new 54-page Art of The Clone Wars booklet. What it doesn’t come with is any of the upcoming bonus content, or the 2008 theatrical release that launched the show and introduced Ahsoka Tano. The first few seasons of The Clone Wars jumped around in time quite a bit, and made for a disjointed viewing experience occasionally. If, like me, you were hoping that when the whole series was collected in one set that they would arrange the episodes in chronological order, you’ll be disappointed. I asked Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo about the chances of that, and he told me that this set uses the same disc configurations as the old Season sets.
There is a silver lining here. The official title of this set is Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Seasons 1-5 Collector’s Edition, not Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Series. Does this mean there’s a chance that after the bonus content is released there will eventually be a more complete edition of the series released? Maybe. Only time will tell, but I’m going to hold out hope for that, as much as I would like that new art book.
The Ghost of Rebellion
While The Clone Wars might be over, a new animated series, Rebels, had it’s public debut at Celebration Europe. While no footage was previewed, a few new pieces of concept art were shown. The centerpiece of the presentation was one of the main ships that will be featured in the show, the Ghost. The ship definitely calls back to Ralph McQuarrie concept art, while also having the feel of World War II era bombers and even a bit of the Republic gunship from the Prequel Trilogy. A lot of the designs I’ve seen for Rebels definitely have the worn, lived-in feel that the Original Trilogy had, which is something I feel the Prequels lost. Even when scenes were set in Tatooine slums the Prequels felt very sterile to me. I’m really looking forward to this show, and can’t wait to see some footage from it.
I don’t have a clever section title, but John Williams is back!
The biggest bit of Episode VII news to come out of the convention is that Star Wars composer John Williams will be back to score the film (and hopefully the whole Sequel Trilogy). The scores to Star Wars films are some of my favorite things about these movies. Williams’ themes perfectly cue you to characters and events. Having him back for the sequels brings a continuity of sound that will help make sure the Episodes all feel like part of the same story. I fully expect that the spinoff films we’ll be getting in between new sequel Episodes will have other composers, and I think it’ll be interesting to see what other people bring to the table for those films, but a film about Skywalkers definitely needs music from Williams.
Celebration VII for Episode VII
One Celebration ends, another is announced. Anaheim, California will host the next Star Wars Celebration from April 16-19, 2015, which is likely just about a month before Episode VII hits theaters. This is going to be a big one. Holding this Celebration in California rather than Orlando will make it a lot easier to get as many people that are working on the new films there as possible. I’d expect a lot of exclusive previews and cast and crew panels for Episode VII. By 2015 we should also have more details about the first of the spinoff films, and if we don’t there will certainly be an announcement about it then. Tickets are going on sale in just eight days, on August 7th. Be sure to pick one up, because this is a show you will not want to miss. Lots of new movie news, tons of very excited Star Wars fans, and maybe even some new Star Wars attractions at Disneyland by then. Sounds like a party to me.