As stated earlier this week, J.J. Abrams didn’t bring a new trailer for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ to this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. But when the director took the stage in Hall H with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, he still brought something that fans definitely wanted to see.

Ever since Abrams landed the job, he has been saying how they planned to balance the use of practical effects and sets with CGI in ‘Episode VII.’ We saw hints of this when photos leaked of the Millennium Falcon surfaced, when Baba Joe walked into Abrams’ UNICEF video, and at Star Wars Celebration when we met BB-8 in person for the first time. But now, fans are treated to unprecedented access to ‘The Force Awakens’ thanks to the behind the scenes reel shown at the SDCC Lucasfilm panel. In the video below (in addition to Simon Pegg nerding out), you can get a glimpse at all the physical sets, practical effects, and insanely detailed costumes that are coming our way from a galaxy far, far away this holiday season:

Of course, a panel isn’t a panel without panelists. Moderator Chris Hardwick brought out a number of cast members from both sides of the force including Peter Mayhew, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendolyn Christie, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford, who made his triumphant Comic-Con return following a recent plane crash. Everyone shared their excitement for the upcoming film, but Gleeson was apparently a little too excited as he let something about his character slip while giving an answer. Abrams then smiled and went even further:

“Yes he’s on a base and it’s named in honor of the original name of Luke Skywalker. It’s Starkiller Base – spoiler brought to you by Domhnall Gleeson”

And on top of all the crazy awesomeness that took place in Hall H, Abrams had a very special surprise for the 7000 fans in attendance. Following the panel, a legion of stormtroopers lead attendees down the boardwalk for an exclusive ‘Star Wars’ concert just for them. While it was surely a bummer for whoever was following the ‘Force Awakens’ crew in the exhibition hall (who happened to be fan favorite filmmaker Kevin Smith and his latest film ‘Yoga Hosers’), ‘Star Wars’ fans had to be over the moon considering that many of them were in line for about two days to get into this presentation.

What do you think of the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ reel from San Diego Comic-Con? Are you excited for the film’s premiere in December? And don’t you wish J.J. Abrams would take you to a live ‘Star Wars’ concert?! Sound off in the comments.

Source: Comic Book Resources,