After waiting in line for the 40th Anniversary panel for 11 hours running on 2 hours of sleep, my patience was running out and I was getting cranky. Finally at 10:00 they opened the doors and sat us down for the panel. We were greeted by Warwick Davis who was the panel host and it was so nice to see someone whose life has been spent working on Star Wars was such a good choice on the panel coordinators part. It was also nice to see George Lucas return and hearing him reminisce about the past. Dave Filoni and Kathleen Kennedy joined him on stage and talked about how much of an honor it was to grow up under George’s wing.
It was heart warming to see hear their genuine feelings for each other. They showed this awesome 40 years tribute showing footage all the way from 77′ till now and it made us all feel proud to be such passionate Star Wars fans, including myself who has been a fan since I was little having it passed down from my mother who was a big fan growing up as well. After that, Ian McDiarmid and Hayden Christiansen joined George on stage to talk about working with each other and “being evil” together on set of Episode III.
After, they showed video messages from our beloved Prequel Jedi, Liam Neeson and Samuel L Jackson who expressed their gratitude to be apart of the amazing franchise. Samuel said that “Mace Windu is awaiting his return”, could that mean we will see Master Windu in the future? I sure hope so. We were able to see Peter Mayhew, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Warwick Davis and George Lucas all together talking about the good ol’ days together on stage and hearing their funny stories. They also lightly touched on Carrie Fisher but after it was all about Carrie Fisher. Her daughter, Billie Lourd, came on stage to talk about her mother and even quoted Leia’s hologram message from A New Hope.
They played a heart breaking but also heart warming tribute video after Billie’s speech and everyone was in tears. We were then surprised by with a concert by John Williams, beginning with Leia’s theme. He played the Star Wars theme and The Imperial March which was surreal to see in front of my eyes. After it was over, we went out into the hall and were all given a Princess Leia tribute poster that says “May the Force Be With You”. Out of all the panels I’ve been to, this has been the best one ever. Nothing will ever top this. I do wish that Jake Lloyd, Ray Park, Temuera Morrison, Ahmed Best, Jimmy Smitts, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman would have made an appearance along with our late Carrie Fisher, Kenny Baker, and Christopher Lee. All in all, it was one of the most impactful and meaningful experiences of my life.