About That Little Panel

The problem with working Comic Con is that right after the panel, I had to go do my volunteer shift and I didn’t get home until just a little over an hour ago (I don’t stay at or near the convention center).  You might have been following my ramshackle commentary and photos during the panel via Twitter.  It wasn’t easy to do on a phone, in the dark, while balancing my backpack and lunch on my lap.

Anyway, I got there fairly early, just around 10 a.m..  I was able to just walk right into the room and had to sit through a panel about a Blade Runner mobile game that thankfully ended on time.  By 11:45, the entire room but for a few empty spots here and there was filled up.

Amy Geek of Nerdist fame moderated and we got four panelists:  Dave Filoni, Athena Portillo, Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, and composer Kevin Kiner.  First they showed the original trailer first shown to fans at Celebration IV in 2007 (I was there!) and they showed on the monitor photos from behind the scenes and sketches from both aired and unaired episodes as they talked about the process of working on the show.  There were fond reminisces of the late Ian Abercrombie, who played Palpatine for most of the show’s original run.  Filoni had a lot of fun teasing Portillo, while Eckstein heavily praised Filoni’s skills as a director.  He humbly said that everything he knows about directing he learned from George Lucas.

A couple of interesting asides.  Filoni described the conflict in Star Wars as being between selflessness and selfishness and he said that when they were casting Anakin, he watched to see how Eckstein and Cat Taber reacted to Matt Lanter because it was important that Anakin was likable, which underscores the tragedy of his turn to the Dark Side.

Now let’s get to the end.  Filoni said that since it was the 10th anniversary, they wanted to do something special.  The room went dark and honestly, I thought it would be more unseen clips of incomplete stuff like at Celebration three years ago.  We see the Lucasfilm logo and there are all of the clone trooper helmets and Rex talking.  “What is this?”  I thought.  “Rex’s own show?”  Then we see totally new footage and my mouth started to drop.  There’s Anakin and Obi-Wan and, whoa, Ahsoka!  Right then I knew they were bringing the show back.   The crowd went NUTS.  If I could run up there and hug Filoni, I would’ve!

I’m still stunned.  They did a great job keeping this secret and its a testament to Filoni’s awesome powers and Disney’s buckets o’ money that they are going to be doing TWO animated shows.  He credited the fans with reviving the show; I think that the show’s performance on Netflix four years after its end showed Disney that it’s still a golden goose and this time, it’ll completely own the show.  It’s going to be a 12-episode series due out Fall 2019 on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

More news on the way!


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