Star Wars’ official website has announced that they’re partnering with Verizon to live stream over 30 hours of exclusive content worldwide. And they’re not just giving out some of the panels. They’re going to start with the biggest panel of the Celebration and the one that’s kicking off the event: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As we previously reported, the panel will include the premiere of a new trailer and the first poster. You may not be in the room to share in the excitement, but I think you’ll be just fine enjoying it from the comfort of your home or office.
You’ll also get to see panels with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Billy Dee Williams, learn more about EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront video game, and more.
Even if you miss it live or just want to watch a panel again, clips from the event will be available on demand from Verizon.
I’m curious to see if this is the way of the future for conventions, and how it will affect attendance. There’s more than just panels and events at Star Wars Celebration; there’s also the fun of being around fellow Star Wars nerds. But if you bought your ticket under the impression that you’d be part of something exclusive, that’s now been lost. To add insult to injury, StarWars.com makes no mention of charging people for the live-stream, so people will get to see everything for free.
Will other conventions follow suit? Will some studios start live-streaming their panels from Comic-Con? If it’s okay to record panels, and trailers are released moments after the panel ends, then why wait? Isn’t it better to get as many people watching as possible and have them blow up social media while they’re at it? Studios don’t care how long people waited outside to get into Hall H or how much they paid for a badge. They care about selling their movie to as many people as possible, and technology has reached the point where they might finally be able to do it.
The live streaming for Star Wars Celebration begins at 10:00 a.m. PST, Thursday, April 16, on StarWars.com with the Celebration kickoff panel and continues with 30-plus hours of coverage through the closing ceremony on Sunday, April 19, beginning at 3:30 p.m. PST.
And even if you can’t watch the panels live, we’ll be covering them so be sure to check back with us throughout Star Wars Celebration.
Also, the official Star Wars Twitter has confirmed that the live stream will include exclusive footage:
Here’s the press release for more information:
For the first time ever, highlights and more than 30 hours of exclusive video content from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim will be officially live streamed to a worldwide community of fans on StarWars.com, all powered by Verizon.
Launching with a live stream of the highly-anticipated kickoff panel featuring Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy, the StarWars.com Celebration live stream powered by Verizon will continue providing coverage throughout the four-day event from a specially-designed Star Wars Cantina set located in the middle of the action on the convention floor.
Verizon and StarWars.com will deliver 30-plus hours of live streamed content following Thursday’s Celebration kickoff, featuring over a dozen panels and events, including discussions with actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, and several other performers associated with the Star Wars saga. Additionally, StarWars.com and Verizon will be live streaming the Star Wars Fan Film Awards; the Smuggler’s Bounty radio drama; EA’s new Battlefront videogame; and several other exclusive Celebration events that might otherwise be missed by members from Star Wars’ global fan community.
Between the live, on-stage events, StarWars.com will feature live interviews with celebrity guests within the Star Wars Cantina set specially built to capture the mood and atmosphere of the infamous Mos Eisley watering hole from A New Hope. These segments will have a fun, variety show flavor to them that brings a bit of the Star Wars Celebration vibe to those enjoying the event from afar.
Exclusive clips from throughout Star Wars Celebration event will also be available on demand from Verizon, allowing fans to celebrate Star Wars long after the live streams are over.
The live streaming begins at 10:00 a.m. PST, Thursday, April 16, on StarWars.com with the Celebration kickoff panel and continues with 30-plus hours of coverage through the closing ceremony on Sunday, April 19, beginning at 3:30 p.m. PST. Watch exclusive highlights and on-demand clips from Verizon on Twitter, @VerizonWireless, and at Facebook.com/Verizon.