Comic-Con 2015: New characters unveiled for Star Wars Episode VII

Star Wars director JJ Abrams gave fans some more details and teasers as the new cast of The Force Awakens came to Comic-Con.

British stars Gwendoline Christie John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, our own Domnhall Gleeson, plus co-stars Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, were all on stage in San Diego for a further glimpse at what fans can expect when Episode VII is released in cinemas in December.

Fans finally got a glimpse of the “dark side” of the force as it was revealed that Gleeson will play a character called General Hux, who is in command of ‘Starkiller Base’. Fellow “baddies” Driver and Christie – playing Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma – were also attending their first Star Wars event.

Abrams also introduced a giant robotic creature called Baba Jo as he emphasised the importance of practical effects over CGI.

The long-necked creature took a lap round the stage to wild applause before sidling up to Abrams and knocking his name plate to the ground.

Abrams promised a new trailer in the autumn but did at least provide a special glimpse behind the scenes of the film’s special effects, make-up, costumes and sets.

The director – who also revived the Star Trek franchise – said that one of his most important tasks was ensuring he did not let his love of the franchise interfere with the film-making.

“When you’re directing a scene on the Millennium Falcon, it doesn’t make the scene good,” he said. “It’s definitely bitchin’, don’t get me wrong, but what’s the story?”

He revealed that he already has a cut of the film but is still working on the final edit.

The panel ended with a surprise outdoor concert of Star Wars music, performed by the San Diego Symphony. Stormtroopers led crowds through the streets to a waterfront stage for a sunset performance of some of the most famous pieces of music from the films – with the cast emerging again branding lightsabers to fight with lucky fans in the front rows.

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