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Star Wars Celebration day one recap: Mace Windu’s possible return, Lando’s future and more

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As we prepare for The Last Jedi, here’s what happened yesterday

(L to R): Harrison Ford, Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas, actress Billie Lourd and Mark Hamill.
Disney

The first day of Star Wars Celebration has come and past, and while it wasn’t as eventful as today is expected to be following the panel for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there were some interesting tidbits of news that came out of various discussions.

Mace Windu shall return ... maybe

One of the more ludicrous suggestions to come out of Celebration’s opening ceremony, albeit also one of the funniest, was the potential return of the prequel’s Mace Windu. The character, famously portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, was last seen falling to his death after a fateful encounter with Chancellor Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker. It’s one of the most important moments in the prequel trilogy, a moment that marks Anakin’s fateful turn to the dark side and the true beginning of his transformation into a Sith Lord.

During Celebration’s opening ceremony, Jackson sent a video message to Star Wars creator George Lucas claiming that Windu never died and that meant there was the possibility that he could return in a future movie. The moment in question can be seen in the video below at the 31 minute mark.

Although Jackson was almost certainly joking, the response to the concept of Windu returning for at least one more movie was overwhelmingly positive.

As of right now, there are no plans to bring Windu back, unfortunately, but as members of the Lucasfilm’s Story Group said yesterday, things can always be changed to make it so.

Lando Calrissian won’t be in The Last Jedi

There may be some people reading this, rolling their eyes, and pointing out that it seemed pretty unlikely from the start that Lando was going to be in The Last Jedi. There was no mention of the character in The Force Awakens and nothing seemed to concretely suggest that Lando would be making the move to the new trilogy.

That being said, it wasn’t completely hopeless. Lawrence Kasdan, one of the most notable Star Wars screenwriters and the man who penned the script for The Force Awakens told Vanity Fair last year that people hadn’t seen the last of Lando, which many took as a cryptic suggestion that he could appear in the eighth installment.

“Lando, I don't think is finished in any way, shape, or form,” Kasdan said.

Now, however, actor Billy Dee Williams has confirmed that Lando will most definitely not appear in The Last Jedi. Williams made the announcement during his “Smooth Talkin’ With Billy Dee Williams” panel at Celebration, as reported by IGN.

That doesn’t mean that Lando’s arc is over forever. Atlanta’s Donald Glover will play a younger version of the character in Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s upcoming young Han Solo movie. The film is the second stand-alone anthology movie in the Star Wars universe and focuses on the origin story of Han and his best wookie friend, Chewbacca. It’s slated to be released on May 25, 2018.

George Lucas reiterates that Star Wars was always meant for children

Lucas is one of the most revered and celebrated filmmakers of all time, and despite the amount of love he receives from fans for what he’s created, he just can’t seem to let go of the decades-long backlash over the prequel trilogy.

During the opening celebration ceremony yesterday, Lucas called out critics for being mean while confirming once again that Star Wars was always meant for children. Lucas said he created Star Wars as a way to help children understand the changes they were going to go through and the independence they were about to receive.

“Friendships, honestly, trust, doing the right thing, living on the right side and avoiding the dark side,” Lucas told host Warwick Davis. “Those are the things it was meant to do.”

Still, Lucas was in the best of spirits, reuniting with old cast members and friends, along with Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy.

Star Wars Celebration continues today with the highly-anticipated panel for The Last Jedi. That kicks off at 11 a.m. ET and can be watched right here.