To kick off the four-day Star Wars Celebration convention, director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy talked to thousands of the most hardcore Star Wars fans at an hour-long panel Thursday morning. To close out the panel, they gave everyone what they had been waiting for: a new two-minute trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Social media, Twitter especially, lost its freaking mind.
Ten hours after the Star Wars trailer showed up on YouTube, it had already surpassed 10 million views. As of right now, almost 20 hours since it dropped, it has hit nearly 19 million views. Star Wars fans are a dedicated bunch, and they simply cannot get enough of this newest trailer.
Even the geekiest celebrities got in on the Star Wars trailer excitement.
There were many things that had Star Wars fans cheering during the Star Wars Celebration panel, but one of the biggest was director J.J. Abrams’ assertion that he was extremely passionate about making his films as real as possible, like the original trilogy, as opposed to the CGI-laden prequels that most fans want to pretend don’t exist. New droid BB-8, for example, is a fully realized, working droid, much like R2D2 is, and rather than using computer technology to generate far, far away locations, Abrams emphasized their use of physical sets and real-world locations, such as the sand-covered planet seen in the opening scene of the trailer — which was originally thought to be Tattooine, but has since been revealed to be wholly new planet Jakku, filmed in Abu Dhabi.
“We knew it would be better for the film – for the actors, for the sets, for the look of it – if it performed. Building as much as you could was a mandate. There will be an endless number of effects. We needed a standard. You want it to be legitimate and authentic. The way the light interacts with the set… It’s an amazing thing to be able to watch the movie and see what it is and not have to use your imagination. We actually had those sets there and it was great for the actors too.”
The release of new Star Wars themed emojis by the official Star Wars Twitter account also had fans tweeting at Lightspeed.
Of course, Twitter couldn’t be the only ones not joining in on the Star Wars fun, so they set up automatically generated C3PO emojis every time someone uses the hashtag #StarWars.
The biggest thing that brought die-hard Star Wars enthusiasts to their knees, however, was the surprise appearance of fan favorites Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) at the end of the trailer.
With three small words at the very end of the trailer, the entire Star Wars fandom collectively sighed, shivered, and maybe shed a few tears.
“Chewie, we’re home.”