I’m fresh from Comic-con 2015, and I have to say, it was the best one I’ve been to yet. And while I haven’t been going forever, I’ve attended quite a few, along with a few comic book conventions in other cities, plus Wonder-Con and the Star Wars Celebration.
What made Comic-Con 2015 so great can be summed up in two words: Star Wars.
There was no Saturday panel in Hall H for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which, for a lot of fans was a disappointment. For me, it was fine, though I was slightly surprised to see so little promotion of Ant Man, which came out the week after the Con. I guess the idea was that if you were attending Comic-con, you probably already knew about the movie. Regardless, the lack of a Saturday Marvel panel opened the door to great DC panel, and I’ve always been a bigger fan of DC’s films than Marvel’s.
The exhibit hall was what it always is: over-crowded and over-stimulating. One highlight was the installation for History’s Vikings, at which attendees could swing an axe in a booth which splattered them with stage blood while being filmed on high-speed, recreating scenes from the show.
But all of this pales in comparison to the Star Wars panel, moderated by Chris Hardwick, and featuring J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy, who, one by one, invited out writer Lawrence Kasden, the main cast of the new film, and the three leads from the original trilogy, including Harrison Ford who, in response to questions about his well-being following his on-set accident and subsequent plane crash, trotted out on stage like it had never happened.
We were shown a new behind-the-scenes film about the production, and were then escorted en masse out of Hall H, towards the marina, and onto the Embarcadero, where we were given free Lightsabers (all 6,500 of us), and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra performed the music of Star Wars, while fireworks shot off over the bay. It was one of the happiest moments of this life-long Star Wars fan’s life.
I don’t know if the biggest announcement was really an announcement, as much as it was an event. The Star Wars concert was huge, unlike anything that’s happened at Comic-Con in recent memory.
Normally, I would look for some big announcement or reveal as the big centerpiece of the Con, but this was by far the biggest thing that happened in 2015, and it revealed nothing.
If you’re still wondering about something big that was announced, Domhnall Gleeson unintentionally revealed the name of the First Order’s secret base during the Star Wars panel. He let the words “Starkiller Base” slip out in the discussion, it seems by accident, and then then instantly realized that he shouldn’t have said it. He looked at J.J. with apology in his eyes, and J.J. graciously waved it off, but that was the first time the Starkiller Base was mentioned in public.