D23 Expo Summary Part 3: Finding Dory plus other Pixar Films and Star Wars

One of Pixar’s most popular films is 2003’s Finding Nemo, starring the voices of Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres as two fish (Marlin and Dory) searching for the titular Nemo. The movie was praised for being highly original and for having deep, mature themes. Needless to say, fans have been demanding a sequel ever since. And not too long ago, those wishes were answered when a sequel was announced titled Finding Dory for 2016 release.

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During Disney’s D23 Expo, director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) was on stage to give some new details about the upcoming film. According to EW, the director originally thought that the Finiding Nemo story was a “closed circuit.” However, he eventually realized that Dory’s story wasn’t quite over.

“I wanted to know that if this charming, forgetful fish ever got lost again, that she would be okay. That she would find her way home and at the end of ‘Finding Nemo,’ I wasn’t confident about that. So that’s when I knew I had another story.”

D23 Finding Dory

DeGeneres then took the stage, joined by two Modern Family stars Ed O’Neil and Ty Burrell. Who will also lend their voices to Finding Dory. O’Neil will be portraying Hank the Octopus while Burrell is playing an unnamed beluga whale who, thanks to the signature bump on the creature’s head, thinks he has suffered some sort of head injury. The film is centered around an ocean sanctuary where wounded animals are treated and released back into the wild.

D23 Pixar

Finding Dory is one of the upcoming Pixar films to anticipate which will arrive June 2016.  Though a bunch of Pixar movie sequels already have their posters posted at the D23 posters. There’s also The Good Dinosaur which will open this November 2015, Toy Story 4 on June 2017, Coco on November 2017. And Cars 3 and The Incredibles 3 coming soon.

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It may be hard to believe that we’re only four months left away from the release of JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. And though Lucasfilm has mostly kept things close to the chest, time dictates that soon they’re going to have to open the vault and start revealing more information about the studio’s highly anticipated film.

D23 Star Wars Logo

The new wave of marketing seems to have commenced, thanks to some in-depth coverage from EW that detailed everything from Harrison Ford’s triumphant return to backstory on Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren. And as fans await the film’s third trailer, they can bide their time checking out a new poster of the movie.

D23 Star Wars

At the 2015 D23 Expo, attendees were lucky enough to get an exclusive one-sheet by famed artist Drew Struzan. It features characters many moviegoers should be familiar with now – Han Solo, Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren. However, the contents of the poster may cause a few raised eyebrows.

As you can clearly see, Finn is wielding a blue-bladed lightsaber, which theoretically could be Luke Skywalker’s old weapon from The Empire Strikes Back. We know that the saber has some kind of presence in Episode VII and it’s long been rumoured to be the catalyst of The Force Awakens’ plot. However, this is the first time we’ve seen a piece of Force Awakens marketing that shows someone actually using it.


It isn’t just this year’s return to the main Star Wars franchise that’s getting attention, however. Perhaps the biggest Star Wars reveal to come out of D23 is an official title for Rogue One, the first in a series of spin-off movies set in the Star Wars universe, as well as the first cast photo for that film and the announcement of two new cast members.

D23 Rogue One Logo

Now officially titled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the film will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and scripted by Chris Weitz (Cinderella), the movie will star Felicity Jones as the leader of a group of Rebel soldiers who plot to steal the plans for the Death Star. The rest of the cast members includes Donnie Yen, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Jiang Wen and – Disney today announced – Firefly actor Alan Tudyk, who has a performance capture role, and Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen.

 D23 Rogue One Cast

Lastly, Lucasfilm announced that Jurassic World director Colin Tevorrow will be the one to call the shots on Episode IX. You may recall that before San Diego Comic-Con 2015, the director was said to be up for the job and it turns out those rumors were true.

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Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hit theaters December 2015 followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 2016; Star Wars: Episode VIII (Directed by Rian Johnson, Looper) on May 2017; Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film on May 2018; Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019 followed by the Third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.

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