“Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.” So says Obi-Wan Kenobi, but Entertainment Weekly has learned some details about the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel at San Diego Comic-Con that you can count on.
First of all, the presentation this Friday afternoon will not include a trailer or any new clips of the movie. The next trailer will be coming in the fall, according to sources with knowledge of the project.
But don’t go hurling your cup of blue milk at the wall just yet. There will be other surprises.
Roughly six months before the Dec. 18 release, the Comic-Con panel will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the highly secretive film, which was completely locked down to press during production. (It’s still locked down. Lucasfilm and parent company Disney declined requests for comment.)
Director J.J. Abrams, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy are already confirmed as part of the panel, which will be moderated by Nerdist impresario and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick.
Although EW hasn’t learned just which of the cast members will be joining them, our spies say there will be several actors who haven’t yet spoken publicly about their roles venturing onstage in Hall H.
In advance of The Force Awakens panel, there will be two publishing presentations Friday morning about upcoming Star Wars books, but those will also be somewhat restricted in what they can reveal.
Chuck Wendig (Blackbirds, Under the Empyrean Sky), author of the novel Star Wars: Aftermath, will be discussing his personal history with the galaxy far, far away during a Friday morning panel, but won’t be able to dive too deeply into the plot of his book, which explores the battles between the Empire and the Rebellion following the events of Return of the Jedi. Much of that will remain under wraps until closer to the book’s Sept. 4 debut.
A panel for middle-grade books will have more to reveal, since most of their stories are retellings of the original trilogy. Alexandra Bracken (the Darkest Minds series), will discuss The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy—a is series of first-person perspectives from Leia, Luke, and Han about the events from the original Star Wars.
Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grim series), will explore retelling The Empire Strikes Back from Luke’s perspective in So You Want To Be a Jedi, and Tom Angleberger (The Star Wars Origami books), will share his quest to bring humor to Return of the Jedi with Beware the Power of the Dark Side.
Finally, Tony Diterlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles) will showcase his picture book retelling of the original trilogy, illustrated with artwork by the late Ralph McQuarrie, the concept artist who devised the look for much of George Lucas’s universe.
Before The Force Awakens trailer hits this fall, there will be even more Star Wars at Disney’s D23 fan convention in Anaheim this August. Until then, remember these words of wisdom from The Emperor …