Day two of Star Wars Celebration brought Star Wars fans a whole lotta big announcements, as well even bigger crowds. Seriously, one needs to use a real-life version of the Force is order to successfully navigate their way through the crowds, and sadly we do not wield that kind of power.
But the day got off to a great start when our fearless Star Wars reporter, Erik Davis (@erikdavis), was rescued from yesterday's unfortunate imprisonment (get caught up right here) thanks to this gang of rowdy rebels.
Our @ErikDavis has been rescued by these rebels just in time for day 2 at #SWCE and the big #StarWarsRebels panel! pic.twitter.com/CyFoA8Ba0r
— Fandango MOVIECLIPS (@MOVIECLIPS) July 16, 2016
Yup, it's the crew from Star Wars Rebels (and an excellent bit of group cosplay, might we add) who swooped in to save the day. And what a day the Disney XD animated series had here in London, with a two-hour panel that not only dropped a ton of news regarding its upcoming third season, but then they also screened the entire season premiere for the Celebration crowd weeks before it airs on television for everyone else.
And about those announcements… here were the 3 biggest things that happened at the Star Wars Rebels panel.
1. Grand Admiral Thrawn is back!
His name may not be known to a casual Star Wars fan, but to those fond of the Expanded Universe, then you know exactly who Grand Admiral Thrawn is. The blue-skinned villain is arguably the most popular character introduced in the EU through Timothy Zahn's three-book series known as the Thrawn Trilogy, and while they probably won't stick to that story — especially since the expanded universe isn't considered canon — they will use elements of it in introducing Thrawn as a major strategical force working underneath the Emperor in season three of Star Wars Rebels.
2. We're inching closer to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
While the animated series is still a few years away from the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you get a sense from the season three premiere that they're beginning to build a continuity bridge between the two, so that if you watch Rebels, it'll only enhance your experience with Rogue One, as Rebels does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of telling the story of how the rebellion first came together. Even Star Wars' Dave Filoni teased the connection, telling the crowd that they're "doing some things to make [Rebels] look closer to what we're going to see [in Rogue One].
3. We'll see even more Original Trilogy characters make an appearance on Star Wars Rebels this season
Like Wedge Antilles, who fought along Luke Skywalker and the rebellion during all of the first three Star Wars movies. In the brief tease we get of Wedge in the season three trailer (watch below), it would appear he's working for the Empire when we first meet up with him. In addition to Wedge, season three will do a deep dive into Mandalorian culture, leading many to believe we may eventually have a run in with Boba Fett.
Our incredible Star Wars virtual reality experience
They have a few different experiences you can do on the Star Wars Celebration floor, including a tour of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story costumes and a very cool virtual reality experience created by ILMxLAB, who specialize in creating immersive entertainment.
The vr setup is part story and part video game, as you play someone assisting Han Solo in a mission that is suddenly interrupted by a group of stormtroopers. Not only are you dropped right square in the middle of a 360-degree Tattooine-based environment that includes a moment where the Millennium Falcon lands right in front of you, but you also get to wield a lightsaber and fight off the stormtroopers by ricocheting their laser bullets right back at them.
Needless to say, it was without a doubt one of the coolest vr experiences we've had yet, and it gets us really excited about what ILMxLAB may be working on next.
The funniest moment of the day
We watched Warwick Davis moderate three panels today, and he just had us laughing the entire time. Not only is he a Star Wars legend (I mean, he did play Wicket the Ewok, and continues to play creatures in every new Star Wars movie, including Rogue One), but he's also a very funny moderator, thanks in part to his hilariously egotistical video intro.
Watch part of it below.
Hands down, Warwick Davis has the best intro here at #SWCE pic.twitter.com/UfIji4dgKk
— Fandango MOVIECLIPS (@MOVIECLIPS) July 16, 2016
Today's best cosplay
We can't end a daily roundup without a few of our favorite cosplay pics, beginning with this duo who gender-swapped and gave us a male Rey and a female Poe Dameron.
We were also in awe of this Yoda/Luke cosplay from Empire Strikes Back.
And some more of our favorite shots…
Unfortunately just as we were getting ready to make the jump to light speed, our moronic (but still fearless!) Star Wars reporter was once again taken prisoner. Here's hoping we can get him rescued by tomorrow because the biggest panel — featuring the future Star Wars filmmakers!! — is still yet to come.
And we need him to tell us what happened! Alert the rebellion and send help!