ANAHEIM, Calif. – The force won’t officially awaken until December, but Star Wars fans got an early glimpse Thursday with the debut of a spooky new teaser trailer from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” that features Darth Vader’s ship crashed in sand, X-Wing battles and a first look at Harrison Ford as Han Solo.
Die-hard fans packed the main hall at the Anaheim Convention Center for the event known as Star Wars Celebration, bedecked in costumes and wielding light sabers to watch director J.J. Abrams and producer and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy kick off the four-day event.
Franchise newcomers Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega surprised the excitable audience by joining Kennedy and Abrams on stage, regaling the rapt audience with plans for the highly anticipated film that hits theaters on Dec. 18.
“Star Wars” veterans Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels, and Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew also came out to say a few words.
Ford, who was recently involved in a plane crash, was not there.
Ford “is the only person who can make an emergency landing on a golf course in front of two doctors,” said Kennedy, who assured the audience that the actor was at home, resting and getting well.
Other special guests included a brigade of new stormtroopers,” series mainstay R2-D2, and the brand new ball droid BB8, who instantly became a fan favorite when a teaser trailer debuted in November.
Star Wars Celebration is a multi-day festival produced by Lucasfilm that’s dedicated to Star Wars past and present. The most recent event, held in Germany in July 2013, had more than 20,000 attendees.