Disney is eschewing traditional ‘Star Wars’ exhibition site Comic-Con, instead choosing to roll out some retrospectives on the series to date, as well as potential news on Episode VII, at their own D23 event. Disney D23 is the official Disney fan club, started in 2009. The name refers to founder Walt Disney and the year he founded The Walt Disney Company (1923).
Disney has since hosted an expo in Anaheim, California every other year which members of the fan club are able to attend. The shows have included celebrity appearances, performances, panels, and early looks at TV shows and movies from the full range of Disney properties. Star Wars events this year will include Darth Vader: The Evolution of a Villain and Crash Course in the Force: Star Wars Saga 101.
The buzz is that the first official appearances by some Episode VII actors will be at D23 as well. Most likely this would be appearances by Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, or other returners, which, although they’re already strongly virtually sure things at this point, would be the first confirmation of their attachments. More groundbreaking would be potential new castings filling the character descriptions that leaked last month. There’s no reason (yet) to assume these roles have been filled, but if Disney wanted to really knock peoples’ socks off (not to mention give fans a treat) all they’d have to do is role out a new principle actor, even if they didn’t announce the role he or she would be playing.
More likely, though, Disney will focus their groundswell marketing efforts on more immediate pictures, such as Planes and Frozen, both of which will also be making appearances.