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Next Wednesday marks the opening night of one of the world's biggest geek-a-thons. Thousands upon thousands of film, television at comic book fans from around the globe will descend upon southern California to take part in the annual San Diego Comic-Con, which promises to be jam-packed with absolutely every form of entertainment known to man. Browsing the panel schedules you'll find time allotted for huge upcoming films like Thor: The Dark World, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Ender's Game, but a keen eye will notice that one of the most anticipated titles of the moment isn't on the docket: Star Wars Episode VII. The Walt Disney Company and LucasFilm has spent the better part of the last year putting together pieces for the next installment of the sci-fi franchise, from hiring Michael Ardnt to write the script to getting J.J. Abrams to direct, but yet the film will be a no-show at SDCC. But that doesn't mean it will be completely absent from this summer's lineup of fan conventions.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it has been announced that while Star Wars Episode VII won't be featured as part of a panel at Comic-Con this year, it will be a headliner at Disney's D23 Expo, the event that the studio hosts every two years down in the Anaheim Convention Center. The trade unfortunately doesn't offer up many details about how Disney will be showcasing the film, but according to insiders there's a good chance that some of the franchise's stars - presumably Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher - will make an appearance and confirm their involvement with the new movie. There will also be other events such as "Darth Vader: The Evolution of a Villain, showing the development of the villain, [and] Crash Course in the Fourse[sic]: Star Wars Saga 101."
But, as they say in every infomercial ever made, there's more. In addition to Star Wars, the studio also plans to display upcoming titles like Planes, the animated feature set in the world of Pixar's Cars; and Frozen, the newest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios. THR also adds that "Marvel's The Avengers will also have a presence in Anaheim," though presumably they are referring to Marvel Studios' upcoming titles as opposed to Joss Whedon's blockbuster from last summer.
You may recall that our coverage from D23 back in 2011 was packed with goodies, including brand new, early footage from movies like The Avengers, The Muppets, Brave and Wreck-It Ralph (not to mention big announcements from Pixar). We expect this year to be just as exciting, and Star Wars is a big reason for that. But what exactly will they announce? Will they bring out Hamill, Ford and Fisher as rumored? Might they announce the latest sequel's title? Is it possible that they could even give us a basic plot synopsis? We'll just have to see when the event gets running on August 9th.