The Force was strong in San Diego over the weekend. Star Wars fans at the Comic-Con International festival of pop culture were treated to a behind-the-scenes video from the latest instalment, The Force Awakens, with writer/director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, followed by a Q&A with their cast, including original Star Wars stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford.
Here's what we learnt:
1. Harrison Ford loved the script
Making his first public appearance since being injured in a plane crash in March, the 72-year-old was on unusually good form at Comic-Con. In stark contrast to his open disdain for George Lucas's original Star Wars script ("George, you can type this s*** but you can't say it"), Ford professed to love Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan's draft of The Force Awakens: "I never thought it would come back to bless me instead of haunt me," he said. "I read something that I thought was really remarkable. Well written, with some intriguing developments. So I was delighted to be involved."
2. The Force Awakens is basically finished
Abrams revealed that a rough cut is ready, and he's preparing to show it to composer John Williams.
3. It's chock-full of practical effects
Making good on his promise to favour practical effects over CGI wherever possible, Abrams brought out a creature called Baba Jo, one of "hundreds" of such beasts built for the film. It takes five people to operate Baba Jo.
4. Domhnall Gleeson let slip a secret
Gleeson began answering a question with: "On Starkiller Base ..." before looking at Abrams and saying "Is that okay?" As one of the panelists later said: "You can't fire him now."
Gleeson also answered a question about whether or not his character is evil: "He's British, so yeah."
5. Adam Driver is very tight-lipped
The Girls star, who plays villain Kylo Ren, didn't let much slip. But he did reveal the following about his light-sabre-wielding character: "We didn't really have a lot of conversations about bad or evil, actually, when we were shooting it. It was more what do you think the difference is between being bad and being right? Thinking they're right is almost more evil. A group of people who have decided they're morally justified in behaving a certain way."
6. Simon Pegg is in it somewhere
After months of teasing and rumours, Pegg is clearly shown in the behind the scenes footage wearing some kind of alien costume. It seems what we've heard is true - he's in the film but his face isn't. "My life is now complete," Pegg says in the video.
7. Carrie Fisher does not have the Leia bun
The video shows Fisher in costume as an older Leia for the first time, and her hair is in a single knot on her head.
8. The video throws up more questions than it answers
Why is Daisy Ridley on the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo? Could she really be Han and Leia's daughter? And is that really her piloting the ship in a long-range shot? What's the significance of the red stripes on the Tie Fighters? Who's the captive being led through a corridor by a Stormtrooper? Why is the Stormtrooper wielding a flame-thrower? The list goes on ...
9. The first standalone movie is imminent
Kennedy revealed that Gareth Edwards's Star Wars: Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones, begins shooting in three weeks.
10. But we still don't know who's shooting Episode 9
Despite the strong rumour flying around that Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow would be directing the last of the new trilogy (Looper's Rian Johnson is doing Episode 8), no announcement was made.
•Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens is released on December 18, 2015.