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Star Wars Comic-Con panel reveals Force Awakens villains, Rogue One shooting schedule

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

In a panel attended by every major star of the upcoming film, the folks behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens revealed new details from the story of the first installment of the brand new trilogy.

In a slightly different focus than Lucasfilm's Force Awakens panel at Star Wars Celebration, the actors behind the heroes took a backseat as the folks playing the villains got to reveal more of their roles. Adam Driver is Kylo Ren and Gwendoline Christie is in the chrome armor of the stormtrooper Captain Phasma, and now we know that Domhnall Gleeson will be playing a character known as General Hux.

Hux is a leader of the First Order at Starkiller Base, J.J. Abrams let slip, a name familiar to fans as both a surname for the character who would eventually become known as Luke Skywalker, and as the surname of the protagonist of the Force Unleashed video game franchise. The First Order is the name that the remnants of the Galactic Empire go by in Force Awakens, thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi.

Gleeson was not able to reveal much more about his character, except that he is using a large machine to obtain something. Driver, similarly, couldn't talk about Kylo Ren's connection to the Dark Side, despite his telltale red lightsaber. But Christie had this to say of the mysterious Captain Phasma:

"I just found it exciting that underneath that armor is a woman, and I find that more relevant than ever." The actress is no stranger to playing a woman in armor, with her role as Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones.

Other highlights of the panel included confirmation that Gareth Edwards' Rogue One will begin filming in three weeks. It will star Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn and Diego Luna, and concern the efforts of a group of rebel soldiers to steal the plans to the Death StarNew behind the scenes footage (featuring Simon Pegg) was shown for the first time, with a new trailer for The Force Awakens promised in the fall. And to cap off the panel, Kevin Doyle, who walked 645 miles to San Diego Comic-Con in full stormtrooper armor in tribute to his late wife, was treated to a standing ovation from the Hall H crowd.