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Jedi, Sith, protocol droids, and the rest are more usually found a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, but for the five days of Star Wars Celebration 2019, they’ll be landing in our corner of the universe – bringing all the hotly anticipated Force-focused news about the new Star Wars movies, TV shows, and games coming soon.
From April 11-15, Star Wars Celebration 2019 in Chicago will focus the full power of the Force on planet Earth, as the ultimate Star Wars event returns for the thirteenth time, promising our first look at the as-yet untitled Star Wars: Episode 9, a sneak peek at the Star Wars: The Mandalorian TV show coming to the Disney+ streaming service, and more Force-tastic treats.
What is Star Wars Celebration 2019? Imagine an event of a similar scale to San Diego Comic Con, but totally focused on a galaxy far, far away – the hottest ticket in the universe for anyone with Midi-chlorians in their blood. You could fly from one side of the galaxy to the other and see a lot of strange stuff, but you’re unlikely to ever find a higher concentration of Star Wars stars, essential panels, the hottest (often exclusive) Star Wars merchandise, and pretty much everything else from the universe George Lucas built.
There’ll be so much going on at Star Wars Celebration 2019 that you’ll need some help programming your navicomputer. And that’s where we come in. We’ve assembled all the information you need to know about the Star Wars Celebration 2019 dates, location, tickets, guests, and those all important panels (including Star Wars 9!) to make sure you don't miss a thing. May the Force be with you...
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STAR WARS CELEBRATION 2019 DATES
Star Wars Celebration 2019 runs from Thursday, April 11 (the “Bounty Hunter preview” night, where hardcore fans can get a first look at all the, er, bounty on the show floor) until Monday, April 15 2019.
This will be the thirteenth Star Wars Celebration since the event began back in 1999 and it’s across the same weekend as the successful, pre-Force Awakens Anaheim event in 2015, and the Last Jedi-teasing Orlando event in 2017.
STAR WARS CELEBRATION 2019 LOCATION
That’s no moon – it’s an enormous Star Wars event! We suspect the Death Star wasn’t available this time, but in terms of sheer scale, the event organisers have chosen the next best thing for their Star Wars Celebration 2019 location.
Every Star Wars Celebration event takes place in a different location. Star Wars Celebration 2017 was in Orlando, Star Wars Celebration 2016 was in London, and this year's event will take place in Chicago at McCormick Place, on the banks of Lake Michigan. It's the biggest convention centre facility in North America, but is it big enough for Star Wars?
STAR WARS CELEBRATION 2019 TICKETS
As you’d expect for such a massive event, most of the Star Wars Celebration 2019 tickets have been snapped up already, with five-day passes and single-day tickets for Thursday’s “Bounty Hunter preview”, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all sold out. Tickets for Monday April 15 are still available, costing $75 in advance, $85 on the door (prices are subject to taxes and fees).
But before you start yelling, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi,” there is another hope. The Star Wars Celebration 2019 organisers have set up a Lyte Ticket exchange, where anyone who bought a ticket but later realised they can’t make it can resell their tickets to Lyte, entirely legitimately, avoiding the risks of being ripped off by touts and scalpers. That means a few of the “sold-out” tickets may suddenly become available. But don’t hold your breath: it’s important to remember that your success depends on other people not wanting to go – and we suspect that’s about as likely as surviving a direct attack on an Imperial Star Destroyer. Even so, it’s good to know that all is not quite lost, even if you’re yet to get your hands on those golden Star Wars Celebration 2019 tickets.
STAR WARS CELEBRATION 2019 PANELS
There’s no doubt what’s going to be the hottest ticket at Star Wars Celebration 2019 – StarWars.com has confirmed that Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars 9 director J.J. Abrams will be in Chicago as part of the Star Wars 9 panel on Friday, April 12.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi have all debuted new footage at previous Celebrations, so expect them to unveil the eagerly awaited new Star Wars 9 trailer in Chicago – and for them to be joined on stage by plenty of stars from the new movie.
Star Wars Celebration 2019 panels confirmed for Saturday, April 13 feature Disney Parks’ new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions, upcoming EA games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and a look back at Star Wars Rebels (all Saturday, April 13).
StarWars.com has also confirmed that the Sunday, April 14 line-up boasts a preview of the eagerly anticipated Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7 (Sunday, April 14). And on Monday, April 15 you can catch The Force Awakens prequel cartoon Star Wars Resistance and a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Expect more info to be revealed in the run-up to the event – indeed, if the roster of Star Wars Celebration 2019 panels doesn't include Jon Favreau and his The Mandalorian TV show, we’ll happily eat a pie made of Wookiee hair. Keep an eye on the Star Wars Celebration Twitter feed for more reveals.
And even if you can’t be there in person, however, there’s no need to worry about missing out on the big news from the big Star Wars Celebration 2019 panels. At recent Star Wars events, most of the content from the biggest panels has been streamed live online, so you’ll get the big headlines about Star Wars 9 and The Mandalorian at the same time as the people in the auditorium. (Though be warned – it’s highly likely J.J. Abrams will still be doing his utmost not to give anything away...)
And even if you can’t get into the Star Wars Celebration 2019 panels, there’ll be loads to see and do at the event, with more merchandise stands than you can shake a gaffi stick at, sneak peeks at cool new toys, a cosplay competition (though entries for this have already closed) and loads more – previous events have even featured tattooists inking Star Wars designs!
STAR WARS CELEBRATION 2019 GUESTS
Outside of your Blu-ray collection, you’re unlikely to ever find more stars from a galaxy far, far away than you will at Star Wars Celebration 2019. These events have a track record of bringing along many of the most A of the A-list names in the franchise (previous guest lists have included Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, the late Carrie Fisher, and George Lucas).
While the event organisers are seemingly holding back announcing the really big Star Wars Celebration 2019 guests, there are enough huge Star Wars names to fill a space cruiser – and many of them will be available for (paid-for) autograph and photo opportunities. Indeed, the list is extensive…
From the original trilogy, there’s Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian – don’t be surprised to see him pop up on the Star Wars 9 panel), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine), Julian Glover (General Veers), Michael Pennington (Moff Jerjerrod), and Michael Culver (Captain Needa). There’ll also be an appearance by Pixar lucky charm and Cheers star John Ratzenberger, who played Major Derlin on Hoth in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
From the prequel trilogy, there’s Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks), Hugh Quarshie (Captain Panaka), Ray Park (Darth Maul), Greg Proops (Fode), Daniel Logan (Boba Fett), and Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett). From the current trilogy, there’s Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Hermione Corfield (Tallie), and Greg Grunberg (Snap Wexley).
From Rogue One, there’s Alan Tudyk (K-2SO), Riz Ahmed (Bodhi Rook), and Forest Whitaker (Saw Gerrera). From Solo: A Star Wars Story there’s Paul Bettany (Dryden Vos) and Erin Kellyman (Enfys Nest).
And from the animated shows, there’s Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), Dee Bradley Baker (Clone Troopers), Donald Faison (Hype Fazon), Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger), Jason Isaacs (the Grand Inquisitor), Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker), Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulla), Freddie Prinze Jr (Kanan Jarrus), Katee Sackhoff (Bo Katan), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), and Sam Witwer (Darth Maul).
There’ll also be loads more exciting Star Wars Celebration 2019 guests, including special effects wizards, authors like Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, and Timothy Zahn, the odd Stormtrooper, and to top it all off, the main Celebration stage will be hosted by Wicket W. Warrick himself, Warwick Davis.
STAR WARS CELEBRATION 2019 POSTER
And of course it wouldn't really be Star Wars if there wasn't a massive Star Wars Celebration 2019 poster to get excited about. Lucasfilm says: "Reach out with your feelings. What do you see? The symbol of the ancient Jedi Order strikes a balance between the light and the dark in the official poster art for Star Wars Celebration Chicago.” And yep, there's certainly no shortage of Jedi and Sith. The Force is strong with this one...
Struggling to keep the Star Wars universe straight? You're not the only one, which is why we've made this easy-to-understand Star Wars timeline explainer and the below video to help you out.