Harrison Ford surprises fans, Lucas remembers "One in a billion" Carrie Fisher, at "Star Wars" Celebration event
(ORLANDO) -- Star Wars stars -- and throngs of fans -- have descended on Orlando, Florida to take part in Star Wars Celebration.
The fan festival kicked off with a "40 Years of Star Wars" panel, which was hosted by Warwick Davis, who has played various characters through the saga, and which featured George Lucas, as well as his successor, current Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, as well as stars including surprise guest Harrison Ford, as well as Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Peter Mayhew, and Anthony Daniels.
Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson appeared separately via video. Neeson joked he was on the set of the upcoming Jar Jar Binks standalone film. "Spoiler alert: he turns to the Dark Side."
For his part, Jackson claimed his character Mace Windu, who in Episode III had his arm chopped off before being electrocuted and blown out a high-rise window, was "still alive."
"We know Jedi can fall from great heights and survive, so apparently I am not dead," he said to cheers. To Kennedy, Jackson implored: "Mace Windu is awaiting his return!"
About Ford, making his first appearance at a Celebration event, Warwick jabbed, "I can't believe we kept it a secret, considering you landed your plane on I-4," referencing the pilot's recent runway mishap. "At least the landing was good," said a tickled Ford.
The panel ended on a somber note, with Lucas and Kennedy memorializing Carrie Fisher, who was also honored by her daughter Billie Lourd, with a film reel of Fisher's work on the Star Wars films, accompanied live by Oscar winner John Williams leading the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.
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