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Pablo Hidalgo was the host for the Future Filmmaker Discussion which featured Lucasfilm Cnkwm1dXgAAranZ.jpg-largePresident Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart, Senior Vice-President of Development. They were on hand to discuss the future of Star Wars films, in particular Episode VII and the recently announced Han Solo film.

Here are some of the highlights from StarWars.com:

First up, director of Episode VIII, Rian Johnson, took the stage and confirmed that “for the first time, this movie is going to start where the last one left off.”

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Johnson shared some behind-the-scenes images from filming Episode VIII, but most featured green screen so as not to give too much away. Rest assured, though: “I want to let everyone know that the amount of sets we’ve built is absolutely ridiculous.”

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Star Wars Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni was a frequent visitor to the set of Episode VIII. Oh, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards has a cameo in Episode VIII! Here he is in costume:

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With next year being the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, and Celebration Orlando being a showcase for Episode VIII, Rian Johnson said, “I’m really looking forward to the next year and a half…I think we’re going to have a really good time together.”

Next up, Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the directors of the Han Solo movie, took the stage. They’ve just moved to London, and are still working on the script with Lawrence Kasdan and his son, Jon.

What are their thoughts on Han Solo in general?

“This is a guy who, on the playground, everyone was fighting who gets to play Han Solo.” They say the dichotomy of his seeming cynicism and heart make him an amazing character. “He’s a maverick, he’s a scoundrel, he’s clever but he’s not smart. He positions himself as this tough guy, but in the end he does the right thing.”

Miller and Lord officially confirmed that Alden Ehrenreich is the young Han Solo! Casting the film wasn’t easy, though:

They’ve seen thousands of actors. “We turned over every rock to find someone who has the charisma and magic swagger,” says Lord. Miller: “But it was a waste of money because the person to get the part was literally the first person to walk through the door.”

Alden himself then took the stage! He said the audition process took six months, and the best part was being able to go on the Millennium Falcon — something that only happened to finalists in the process. How does he feel about being Han Solo?

“I’m just very, very excited.”

Filming on the Han Solo film starts in January of February of 2017.

Back to Episode VIII as John Boyega was the next to take the stage. About working with Rian Johnson on the film, John said, “the characters have been pushed in a new direction in a very, very cool way.” He was mum on Finn’s condition in the wake of The Force Awakens, though.

To round things up, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were introduced, along with Millie and Gary, the two most famous dogs in the Star Wars family. They were clearly enjoying Celebration and spending time with the fans, as expressed by Mark Hamill.

“It’s so moving. You can tell you’re a part of people’s childhoods…Sometimes I get light-headed with it.

I’m so grateful for it.”

A sentiment shared by Carrie Fisher.

“What he said.”

“It’s like family,” she says. She says taking your children to the family and sharing the saga with them is special. “It’s a fantastic thing.”

You can read the entire liveblog of this panel at StarWars.com. When video becomes available, we’ll be sure to post.

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