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Star Wars fans from far and wide made their way to Anaheim, California last weekend for the first time since the pandemic.

Star Wars Celebration

Source: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin / Getty / AaronP/Bauer-Griffin / Getty

Following a three-year absence, already-enthusiastic fans were even more ready for the 2022 Star Wars Celebration, which featured thought-provoking panels, big announcements, and of course, a lot of surprise appearances. 

The Anaheim Convention Center was full of tens of thousands of die-hard Star Wars fans in some meticulously planned outfits, a lot of which had lightsabers in tow. The Southern California heat was no match for the attendees, who committed to full-blown armored costumes all day long as they mingled with their fellow fans. 

Day one of Celebration started with a bang as fan favorites Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen joined panel host Yvette Nicole Brown to talk about their latest endeavor, Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

Star Wars Celebration

Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty / Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty

“In the last five or six years, we’ve started to feel all of your love for the prequels that we made,” McGregor told the crowd. “The truth is that’s meant an enormous amount to us, and to me personally. It didn’t feel that way necessarily when they came out at first, so to feel the warmth that you all have for them has made the whole experience just the most amazing thing.”

Later that night, fans who attended the panel were given an even greater gift: a screening of the first two Obi-Wan episodes with the cast. 

Fans of The Mandalorian also got their fair share of surprises, with creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni teasing out the upcoming third season, along with the spinoff series Ahsoka, which stars Rosario Dawson as the live-action incarnation of Anakin Skywalker’s now grown-up Jedi padawan.

Star Wars Celebration

Source: Source: Jesse Grant / Getty / Source: Jesse Grant / Getty

Favreau and Filoni came back on Saturday with an even longer trailer for The Mandalorian, joined by star Pedro Pascal and returning cast members Giancarlo Esposito, Katee Sackoff, Carl Weathers, and Emily Swallow, along with The Book of Boba Fett star Temeura Morrison.

“My heart just exploded inside my body,” Pascal told the crowd after their round of applause. “It’s the closest I’ve ever come to being a dad — so far, anyway…To see a child love his father like that — I get it. Maybe I should have one.”

Once the discussion moved toward Ahsoka, Dawson surprised fans with an appearance on the panel, having delivered a video message about her unfortunate absence from the set just a day earlier. Obviously, this fakeout made her arrival that much more exciting. 

Other jam-packed panels included a big announcement from Favreau, who revealed an upcoming live-action TV project starring Jude Law. Titled Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts and screenwriter Christopher Ford are working on a series they discussed with Favreau while they worked together on Marvel films.

Star Wars Celebration

Source: Source: Jesse Grant / Getty / Source: Jesse Grant / Getty

“It’s the story of a group of kids about 10 years old from a tiny little planet that accidentally get lost in the Star Wars galaxy, and it’s the story of their journey trying to find their way home,” said Watts.

The weekend full of fanfare also included a Star Wars event down the street at Disneyland, which saw Celebration attendees head to the famous park after hours for a special experience. In addition to riding the park’s newest attraction, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, fans got to try exclusive themed treats and even ride a special edition of Space Mountain. 

The entire four-day event was filled with too many surprises and special appearances to tell you about here, especially since that atmosphere is only something you can experience in-person. Long story short, if you’re a Star Wars fan, you should start planning your trip to Anaheim for next year’s Celebration now.