Yesterday was another big day for Star Wars fans. Disney held their biennial D23 convention in Anaheim, and sure enough, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was part of the festivities. It was known going in that there wouldn't be a new trailer. The third trailer doesn't arrive until this fall. No new clips were shown, and there was no behind-the-scenes footage to be shared. Instead, attendees were given the official Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster painted by legendary artist Drew Struzan, which made this one trip to that galaxy far, far away that will be remembered for a lifetime!

Even though he had nothing new to show fans, director J.J. Abrams showed up to regale the audience with tales from Jakku. He arrived with the new heroes from the movie, John Boyega, who plays Finn, Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey and Oscar Isaac, who plays X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron. They were then greeted by the big surprise guest of the event, Harrison Ford, who looked nothing like Han Solo in his bright yellow Disney-inpsired shirt. The gang even conducted some interviews, which we have for you here along with the panel video.

Disney chairman Alan Horn was on the scene to not only tease more from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but Disney and Lucasfilm's entire Star Wars line-up. He took the stage to present the Lucasfilm slate and timeline to the D23 EXPO fans. He gave fans hope, reminding everyone that there are only 124 days to the release of Star Wars: Episode VII on December 18, 2015 and added that there have been record-breaking trailer views and fantastic fan response. Touching on Star Wars: Episode VIII, He reminded the audience that Rian Johnson will be directing the film slated for release on May 26, 2017. Then in a surprise announcement, Alan Horn informed everyone that Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) has signed on to direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which is scheduled for release in 2019.

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Moving on to the new Star Wars stories series, The Chairman touched on the Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo Movie stand-alone film, slated for release on May 25, 2018 by reminding everyone that it  will be directed by Chris Miller & Phil Lord, with Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan writing the screenplay.Alan Horn then took the audience by surprise, announcing the cast for Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One the first of the standalone Star Wars stories to hit the big screen, which has commenced principal photography. Gareth Edwards is directing Rogue One which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn and Forest Whitaker.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended the live-action presentation with a bang as J.J. Abrams  introduced stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong'o. The crowd cheered when John Boyega announced that everyone there would get a Drew Struzan D23 EXPO commemorative poster to take home. Then, in a bringing-down-the house surprise moment, Harrison Ford, who is reprising his role as Han Solo, joined Abrams on stage to wild applause. Star Wars: The Force Awakens releases in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015. Check out all the highlights we have for you direct from the Anaheim convention center.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.