The force was with “Star Wars” at the 2015 edition of Comic-Con International (the world’s largest pop-culture convention), which takes place in San Diego from July 9 to 12. “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” was undoubtedly one of the most-anticipated panels at San Diego Convention Center’s Hall H, which hosted a rare on-stage appearance by three of the stars of the original “Star Wars” trilogy.
Here were the biggest movie highlights from July 10:
As expected, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill (three of the stars from the first three “Star Wars” movies to be released) gathered for the “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” panel. The panelists also included Lucasfilm president/producer Kathleen Kennedy, director J.J. Abrams, writer Lawrence Kasdan. Cast members Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega also made appearances.
Instead of showing clips from the movie, the panel featured a three-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, which had footage of the movie set and actors who are new to the “Star Wars” series (including Simon Pegg) basically gushing about how excited they were to be in a “Star Wars” movie. In case you didn’t see the footage in person at Comic-Con, the featurette has now been officially released. Watch it here. Disney’s Lucasfilm will release “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” in the U.S. and Canada on Dec. 18, 2015.
According to a Disney press release: “At the end of the Hall H presentation, the entire Hall H audience of more than 6,000 fans were all invited to continue the celebration and join cast and filmmakers at a surprise Star Wars Fan Concert. The San Diego Symphony performed the classic “Star Wars” music from composer John Williams at the Embarcadero Marina Park South.”
Kevin Smith made his annual Comic-Con presentation. This year, the filmmaker talked about his movies “Mallbrats” and “Yoga Hosers,” in addition to his reality show “Comic Book Men.”
M. Night Shyamalan was another filmmaker who took center stage on a Comic-Con panel. He was there to promote his horror movie “The Visit,” which opens in U.S. and Canadian cinemas on Sept. 11, 2015. The movie is about two kids whose visit to their grandparents’ home turns into a family reunion from hell, as the grandparents turn out to be evil. According to Yahoo Movies, Shyamalan said he got the idea for “The Visit” while he was heavily medicated: “I’d snapped my ACL playing basketball, and I was getting surgery. I was half drug-induced, and I got a couple of ideas, and this was one of them. I was like, ‘Gotta remember that.’”