5:11 John Williams’ Star Wars score blasts through Hall H, met now by the customary hoots and hollars of the Comic-Con crowd.
5:13 Lights dim… retrospective video begins, a combination of footage from Episode IV, and footage celebrating its original release in 1977. Fans attending the Mann’s Chinese theater footprints ceremony. Footage than jumps forward to the prequel trilogy. Rose Parade footage and Celebration IV and all the latest developments in the saga, from The Force Unleashed, to starwars.com, Robot Chicken, Clone Wars and more. The montage ends the now familiar message, Star Wars is Forever.
5:15 Steve Sansweet, Lucasfilm’s head of Fan Relations takes the stage. He thanks the fans, particularly the worldwide 501st, “Attracted 32,000 people in London. This year has been one big party, planned by fans, run by fans, and I’m very happy to say overrun by fans!”
5:17 Highlight reel of Celebration IV, including news clips from national media.. shots of fans on the floor, and some of the showcase programming like the Vader Project and One Man Star Wars.
5:20 Sansweet then takes a moment to talk about how Star Wars has insinuated itself into popular culture, with some of the funniest moments of Star Wars parody and humor in the last three decades, including Robot Chicken, Saturday Night Live, Hardware Wars, Chad Vader, The Muppet Show, Back to the Future, Conan O’Brien, Friends, The Colbert Report, South Park, Gnarls Barkley’s performance at the MTV Movie Awards in full Star Wars regalia, and The Simpsons.
5:25 Sansweet then brings Seth MacFarlane, Family Guy creator, to the stage.
Sansweet: So, Seth… you are both a creation of and a keen observer of pop culture. How does Star Wars fit into that mix?
MacFarlane: Star Wars and pop culture are sort of synonymous. Everyone from my generation knows that film backwards and forward. Everyone in our writing staff can quote that movie. If you don’t know Star Wars, god, you might as well jump off a cliff.
Sansweet: What do you think it was about Star Wars that grabbed the popular culture?
MacFarlane: First and foremost no one had every seen anything like it. I remember reading a review of the movie that said, ‘movies are back!’
Sansweet: How did the idea of a Star Wars show come about?
MacFarlane: We were doing so many of them [Star Wars references], Fox said you better check with [Lucasfilm] before you do more of these, because we’re gonna be sued. To our surprise — because we have dealt with so many companies that are very stodgy and don’t let us play — here’s Lucasfilm, that doesn’t really need our meddling publicity, and they were so unbelievably gracious in letting us do this episode…. It’s very much, in some ways, an Airplane! take on the movie and at the same time an homage that is very special to our staff.
5:31 – Sansweet and MacFarlane then run a pair of extended clips from the Star Wars Family Guy episode, the season opener airing this fall.
5:37 — MacFarlane leaves the stage. Sansweet continues. “There’s a lot of things exciting going on at Lucasfilm,” he begins, giving a shout-out to ILM’s latest efforts on Transformers, and the latest developments at LucasArts. Sansweet then brings Haden Blackman, project lead on The Force Unleashed to the stage.
Blackman runs through some of the upcoming titles from LucasArts, starting with Thrillville: Off the Rails, with a screening of the trailer of the game. The next game Blackman showcases is Star Wars: Battlefront Renegade Squadron for the PSP system. Next up is LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, which allows to play the whole saga, including gameplay on the Wii.
Moving onto 2008, Blackman introduces Fracture, a futuristic epic with its brand new terrain deformation technology. But the big game on LucasArts’ horizon is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. “This is truly the next chapter of the Star Wars saga,” says Blackman. “You’ll have at your disposal Force powers that are amped up and totally out of control.” The Force Unleashed trailer plays much better on a big screen with megawatt sound than anything that can be experienced on a website.
5:51 — Sansweet changes to the subject of Star Wars on television. “First out of the gate, likely in the Fall of 2008, will be an amazing new series from Lucasfilm Animation, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” There are 25 different episodes are in varying stages of production. “I’ve had the chance to see four episodes and have been truly blown away by their cinematic sweep, the storytelling, their visual effects and everything!” says Sansweet. He then screens The Clone Wars trailer.
5:55 — The Raiders march begins. “Of course, how many of you are looking forward to the fourth installment of Indiana Jones? Yes, next May 22, we will see Indiana Jones and the… sorry. I don’t know it either. In fact, there are only two guys who know the exact title, and they promise to share it in the future.” Sansweet reveals that LucasArts and TT Games will be producing a LEGO: Indiana Jones game for Summer 2008. “For the first time anywhere, we are going to show you a trailer for LEGO: Indiana Jones.”
5:58 — Sansweet recaps the big announcement from yesterday that Karen Allen is joining the cast of the fourth Indiana Jones movie. “Steven has been good enough to share some video on indianajones.com. And now, he has sent us another brief video to share with you.” Sansweet then screens the Indy footage — going back to Marshall College, and to the forests of some exotic jungle where we see Indy at home in his element.