Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017: The Panels – Friday, April 14th

Star Wars Celebration is celebrating 40 years of the Star Wars saga and the show is set to be out of this world. One of the many features of this four-day gathering is the massive list of panels and screenings during the event. We decided to break it up into each individual day for ease of access and to see all the top panels (in chronological order, mind you). Be sure to check back for our Panel listings for Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s a look at highlights of the panels happening Friday, April 14th at Star Wars Celebration!

Rendezvous Point: The Military of Star Wars

April 14, 2017, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Star Wars Fan Stage – W308, 3rd Floor

From the menacing First Order to the fledgling Rebellion, Star Wars has always been a rich tapestry of military topics. What rules of engagement does the Resistance operate under? How did Ahsoka Tano’s trial by court-martial work? What tactical blunders doomed the Empire’s chances at Hoth? Epic battles, dueling tacticians, and gallant warriors make up some of the most thrilling aspects of the galaxy. Now come find out how it all works! Join an in-depth exploration of how the militaries of the Star Wars universe function and what roots they have in the real world.


Star Wars Fan Girls; Star Wars Geek Girls

April 14, 2017, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Star Wars Collectors’ Stage – W307, 3rd Floor

Two fan girls talk about growing up Star Wars as Star Wars fangirls. Zoe and Lizzy talk about how it was hard sometimes being fangirls, but the new era of Star Wars has made it easier for Fangirls of all ages. They will also discuss how growing up with 501st and Rebel legion parents helped them become more involved in fandom. Finally how the Star Wars podcast community has helped them launch their own podcast. Please note: No Star Tots will be given with this panel.


Star Wars Rebels Theater

April 14, 2017, 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Star Wars Rebels Theater – W312, 3rd Floor

Right across from the Star Wars Family Room (W311 EFGH), the Rebels Theater screens story arcs from the favorite series selected especially for Celebration by Executive Producer Dave Filoni. Stop in any time, sit down, and enjoy a little or a lot of Star Wars Rebels.

At “last call” the Rebels Theater will feature different Star Wars game shows Friday and Saturday nights.

Star Wars Rebels Story Arcs chosen specifically for Celebration by Executive Producer/Supervising Director Dave Filoni. See mobile app and onsite signage for details.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi

April 14, 2017, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Star Wars Galaxy Stage – Valencia ABC, 4th Floor

Live on the Galaxy Stage; streamed to the Celebration and BTS Stages

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will appear on stage. There will be plenty of surprises and special guests on the panel to keep the excitement brewing and speculation spinning throughout the rest of the weekend.

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Saber Guild: Anatomy of a Fight Scene

April 14, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Star Wars Fan Stage – W308, 3rd Floor

What works; what doesn’t, and how to get involved. The Star Wars Universe wouldn’t be the same without its iconic lightsaber battles. Join Saber Guild for an overview of some of the most famous sword battles in cinema and how they have influenced lightsaber fights, as well as a breakdown of how to craft exciting lightsaber choreography. Stick around to learn how to get involved with Saber Guild, an international costuming and performance organization that creates lightsaber battles for charity.


Designing the LEGO® Star Wars™ Galaxy – the design and development of LEGO Star Wars construction toys with Rob Johnson

April 14, 2017, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Behind-The-Scenes Stage – W304, 3rd Floor

Have you ever wondered what goes into creating LEGO® Star Wars™ sets, packaging and content? 18 year LEGO veteran, former LEGO Star Wars Senior Art Director and current Brand Manager Rob Johnson from The LEGO Group will take you through the design and development process that brings your favorite LEGO Star Wars construction sets to life. The panel will be a deep dive into the LEGO Star Wars design process, from the conceptual stage to sculpting, prototyping, Lucasfilm approval and finally production, and will then cover the packaging development process. Lastly, the presentation will cover content development and wrap up with a Q&A session where there will be a special prize for the attendee with the best question.


Ladies of the Legion: A Woman’s Guide to Star Wars Costuming

April 14, 2017, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Star Wars Fan Stage – W308, 3rd Floor

A panel to discuss the challenges of costuming for the ladies of Star Wars, from finding a costume you love, to fixing fitting issues and challenges, to getting into character, and to learning more about the different organizations and groups for female costumers.


Small Talk with Warwick Davis

April 14, 2017, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Celebration Stage – Chapin Theater, 3rd Floor

Few actors in the Star Wars family have such a varied career on the big and small screens as Warwick Davis. Debuting in Return of the Jedi as Wicket the Ewok, Davis has played a number of roles in the Star Wars movies since, including an upcoming part in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Come and maybe have a chance to interview Warwick too, as fans will be chosen from the audience to put our Celebration Celebrity Host on the spot.


The Making of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

April 14, 2017, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Star Wars Galaxy Stage – Valencia ABC, 4th Floor

Join senior members of the Rogue One creative team for a deep dive into the film’s inception, story development, visual development and production design, groundbreaking visual effects and the film’s unique soundscape. You’ll be treated to never-before seen footage, hear about the film’s genesis from a casual conversation over lunch to full-fledged pitch, see some killer Industrial Light & Magic visual effects breakdowns and learn how some of the film’s epic sounds were created by the masters at Skywalker Sound. If you enjoyed the film, do not miss this panel! Presented by Rayne Roberts, Lucasfilm Story Group; John Knoll, Executive Producer & Visual Effects Supervisor; Doug Chiang, Production Designer; Matthew Wood, Supervising Sound Editor.


Star Wars Collectibles Update with Lucasfilm’s Brian Merten

April 14, 2017, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Behind-The-Scenes Stage – W304, 3rd Floor

Find out what the high-rolling collectors will be looking for in the coming months when Lucasfilm licensing partners Anovos, Bandai, EFX, Gentle Giant, Kotobukiya, Royal Selangor and Sideshow Collectibles reveal some of the high-end pieces that will soon be the proud centerpieces of collections around the world.


Star Wars Movie Trivia Schmoedown: Witwer vs. Napzok vs. Campea

April 14, 2017, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Star Wars Fan Stage – W308, 3rd Floor

Collider’s popular game show The Movie Trivia Schmoedown comes to Star Wars Celebration. Last December, Star Wars Rebels Superstars Freddie Prinze Jr and Sam Witwer battled Ken Napzok and John Campea. The match was riddled with controversy but one thing was proven, Sam Witwer was one with the Force when it came to Star Wars movie trivia. He will take on Ken Napzok and John Campea in a triple threat match for the Star Wars Movie Trivia championship this year at Celebration.


The Star Wars Funko Pop! Vinyl Explosion

April 14, 2017, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Star Wars Collectors’ Stage – W307, 3rd Floor

The incredible popularity of Star Wars Funko Pop! vinyl seems to have grown over night, but actually there have been vinyl Star Wars toys since the first Jawa figure’s cape, and Funko has been making Star Wars collectibles for over a decade. We’ll take a brief look at the international history of vinyl toys, the art vinyl toy movement and the growth of Star Wars vinyl toys & collectibles. See the variety and history of Funko Star Wars toys and evolution of the Pop!, leading to the growing army of Star Wars Pop! vinyls. We’ll see the key to Funko’s success is that their artists and staff are all passionate collectors empowered to make cool toys, and we’ll share insights and stories from their headquarters. We will discuss some strategies for collecting and displaying as well as Pop! “FUN”ko Facts from a few crazy collectors. Q&A from the audience, too. Presented by Earl Bergquist, Pam Green, Mark Robben.


The Heroines of Star Wars

April 14, 2017, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Star Wars Galaxy Stage – Valencia ABC, 4th Floor

Strong female characters are central to the “Star Wars” universe. From Leia to Padmé, Rey, Jyn, Sabine and Ahsoka – ​each has become a fan favorite around the globe. Join Dave Filoni, Lucasfilm Story Group’s Carrie Beck, Ashley Eckstein (“Ahsoka”) and Tiya Sircar (“Sabine”) for a talk about the importance of these role models, how they have inspired generations and where we might see them next!


Extreme Droid Building

April 14, 2017, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Star Wars Fan Stage – W308, 3rd Floor

A discussion, demonstrations, and Q&A with some of the most innovative droid builders who have pushed the boundaries on those accomplishments. Discussing how they got into building, their inspirations and motivations, process and techniques involved. And of course, demonstrations of their mind-blowing droids!


Lucasfilm Publishing Writers’ Roundtable

April 14, 2017, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Behind-The-Scenes Stage – W304, 3rd Floor

Join some of the biggest and best Star Wars authors such as Timothy Zahn (Heir to the Empire, Thrawn), Beth Revis (Rebel Rising), Delilah Dawson (The Perfect Weapon), Charles Soule (Poe Dameron, Darth Vader), Jody Houser (Rogue One), Michael Kogge (Poe Dameron Flight Log), and Ben Acker & Ben Blacker (Join the Resistance) to discuss their approach, process, and reception to writing stories set in a galaxy far, far away. Plus, exclusive sneak peeks and announcements into the future of Star Wars publishing! Moderated by Lucasfilm’s Michael Siglain and Jennifer Heddle.


Star Wars Original Props and Costumes

April 14, 2017, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Star Wars Collectors’ Stage – W307, 3rd Floor

An exploration of the wonderful world of collecting original props used in the making of the Star Wars movies. Come along and get hints and tips on all aspects of collecting the greatest collectible of all, an actual piece of the movies we hold so dear. This panel will focus on how to get started and learn the how-to of collecting props and costumes from the Star Wars films. Presented by Tom Spina, Brandon Alinger, Stephen Lane, Gus Lopez, David Mandel and Andy Goulding with CJ Fawcett moderating.


Star Wars Comics in the Classroom

April 14, 2017, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Star Wars University – W300, 3rd Floor

Now that the extended universe has been gloriously rewritten by Marvel Comics, educators and their students can stay on target with literacy, critical thinking, and artistic skill development. Come learn how you can capitalize on the engaging and rich multi-modal format of the Star Wars Comics in your classroom. Master educators and curriculum developers will provide insight into how these comics can meet your educational standards through plot analysis, character development, comparison/contrast, and more. Time will be provided for Q&A, as we want to address your specific needs, as well. Each participant will leave with sample lessons and tools they can use in their classes immediately.


Mark Hamill’s Tribute to Carrie Fisher

April 14, 2017, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Star Wars Galaxy Stage – Valencia ABC, 4th Floor

Streamed from the Celebration Stage
Fans remember her not only as their princess or general, but as part of the Star Wars Celebration family. Join Mark Hamill as he remembers the talent, humor and enduring legacy of one of the Star Wars galaxy’s most luminous beings, Carrie Fisher


Abrams Books Presents: The Art of Star Wars

April 14, 2017, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Behind-The-Scenes Stage – W304, 3rd Floor

Speakers: Timothy Zahn, Beth RevisDelilah Dawson, Charles Soule, Jody Houser, Michael Kogge, Ben Blacker, Ben Acker.

Meet the authors behind Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie, The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as they give fans a look into both the current and legacy Lucasfilm art departments, for the creation of fantastical worlds, unforgettable characters, and unimaginable creatures.

Brandon Alinger, Wade Lageose, and David Mandel (Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie) were given unprecedented access to the original work in the Skywalker Ranch Archives, and were able to create the ultimate tribute to the first artist George Lucas hired on Star Wars, and one of cinema’s most beloved and influential concept artists, Ralph McQuarrie. Image archivist Phil Szostak (The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) was embedded with The Force Awakens art department as a conceptual researcher and archivist from December 2012 through the end of production, and has worked in conduction with Star Wars art departments for eight years at Lucasfilm. He continues to work with Abrams Books as the author of and consultant on their “Art of” series. Josh Kushins (The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) has worked for various Hollywood studios and most recently on the publicity teams for Lucasfilm Ltd., and his book gives readers unprecedented access to the artwork and imagination behind the newest chapter in the Star Wars franchise.


Fantasy Flight Games: Star Wars Tabletop Games

April 14, 2017, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Star Wars Fan Stage – W308, 3rd Floor

Ever wanted to find out what it takes to bring Star Wars from a galaxy far, far away to your own gaming table? Join Fantasy Flight Games as they give you a look behind the curtain into their world of board, card, miniatures and role playing design and learn more about some of the exciting Star Wars games they are working on now!


Special Celebration Screening:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: A New Hope

April 14, 2017, 7:30 PM – 11:55 PM

Star Wars Galaxy Stage – Valencia ABC, 4th Floor

Bring your lightsaber and cheer with your friends as Hope is reborn for the Rebellion!

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Click here to view all of Friday’s panels and screenings.

Be sure to check out our article covering the Guests appearing this year.

 We also have an article on Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 – The Events.


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*** info courtesy of StarWarsCelebration.com

About Jason Bennett 3496 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett