With Celebration Europe officially in the books, dare I say it is never to early to discuss the next event that will surely feature the latest and most memorable Star Wars news of next year. Although Celebration Europe gave us some really great moments from a galaxy far, far away, next year's event may prove to be one of the best in years. While no panels or activities have been officially announced, may I present to you, the top five things to anticipate at Star Wars Celebration Orlando in 2017.
1. The 40th Anniversary Of A New Hope
We can expect this single event to set the tone for the entire four-day convention and perhaps the rest of the year for Star Wars. 2017 will mark 40 years since George Lucas amazed audiences around the world with what would become one of the most influential films in all of cinema history. Celebration Orlando will surely acknowledge this momentous event with all kinds of pomp and circumstance, but I cannot think of a more fitting way to do this other than to feature the creator himself, George Lucas live on stage!
2. An Episode VIII Trailer
If the marketing team at Disney and Lucasfilm follows the same release schedule as The Force Awakens, we can expect a teaser trailer for Episode VIII to drop sometime in November. If this happens, we can almost definitely expect a second teaser or theatrical trailer to debut at Celebration Orlando. Last year at Celebration Anaheim in 2016, one of the most memorable moments occurred when the "Chewie we're home" trailer for The Force Awakens was revealed and shattered viewing records online. Expect something similar at Celebration Orlando especially if it involves Luke speaking on screen for the first time since Return of the Jedi.
3. Han Solo Spin-Off Cast Reveal
With production set to begin sometime in early 2017, it would be reasonable to expect some sort of live casting reveal or announcement for the Han Solo spin-off. This may not be in the form of a dedicated panel for the film, but may be part of a larger panel dedicated to the general lineup of spin-off films. However I would not be surprised if news for Han Solo is sparse or absent from Celebration Orlando altogether.
4. A Rebels Season 4 Premiere/Trailer
This has proven to be one of the more consistent events of the last two Star Wars Celebrations and has quickly become a fan-favorite. We can almost certainly expect Dave Filoni to take the stage with cast from the show to talk about the upcoming season of Rebels and reveal a brand new trailer. After that, fans lucky enough to attend the event are usually treated to the first two episodes of the new season.
5. A New Star Wars Spin-off Announcement (Fingers Crossed)
I have to admit that this is the event that I am most hopeful for. Earlier this month, Christian Harloff, host of Collider Jedi Council, predicted that an Obi Wan spin-off film would be announced at celebration Europe that would feature the return of Ewan McGregor by bringing him out on stage. while we didn't get any news of the sort in Europe, Celebration Orlando would be around the perfect time and place to do so. The release of Rogue One in December would leave an open spot for another spin-off film to be announced with Han Solo being the only other confirmed project. While many fans disliked the prequels, most felt that Ewan McGregor's performance as Obi Wan was one of the best aspects of those films. Bringing him out on stage to announce an Obi Wan spin-off would certainly excite Star Wars fans and bring the proverbial Celebration house down!
What are your thoughts on these predictions? What other events would you like to see at Celebration Orlando?