SAN DIEGO (AP) — Here’s the latest from Friday’s sessions at the Comic-Con International fan festival in and around the San Diego Convention Center (all times Pacific):
The dark side of the force is also at Comic-Con. Audiences got to meet “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” bad guys Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson and Gwendoline Christie for the first time.
Gleeson says his character General Hux is definitely evil. He also accidentally revealed that the name of his post is Starkiller Base.
Driver wouldn’t reveal anything about his character Kylo Ren, but he did say that on set that he thought a lot about the difference between being bad and being right.
Christie says she is excited to be playing a female storm trooper. She says it’s a role that is not about how her character Captain Phasma looks in the flesh.
Director J.J. Abrams did not show any new footage from the film, but he did roll a behind-the-scenes segment.
“Star Wars” vets and “Force Awakens” stars Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher also made an appearance on stage.
Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega have made a surprise appearance at the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” panel at Comic-Con.
All are newcomers to the “Star Wars” universe and will make their debut in the film, which hits theaters on Dec. 18.
Boyega plays a stormtrooper named Finn. He said he’d spent time on the convention floor disguised in a helmet, much to the delight of the audience.
Ridley, who plays a scavenger, said she trained hard for the stunts and fights in the film. Her elaborate choreography was made only more difficult by the 125 degree Abu Dhabi heat.
As X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron, Isaac laughed that he tried to get co-star Harrison Ford to teach him how to fly.
Ford just said, “it’s fake.”
The force was very much awake in the minutes before the highly anticipated “Star Wars” panel kicked off at Comic-Con.
The massive Hall H crowd bustled with energy, chanting “Star Wars” in anticipation — and not just because of the free coffee and doughnuts that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy had delivered earlier.
Host Chris Hardwick said “some amazing things are going to happen” before introducing Kennedy, director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.
They also brought out a new character, Baba Joe, a moving, tortoise-like creature with a pack on his back designed by Neal Scanlan.
Abrams currently has a cut of the film and is in the editing phase.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hits theaters on Dec. 18.
Pop-culture lovers don’t need credentials to get in on the fun and freebies of Comic-Con.
The Interactive Zone at Petco Park is offering various diversions for fans all weekend, no tickets required.
A giant, inflatable version of Snoopy’s doghouse boasts a beagle petting zoo. The new show “Scream Queens” set up a free-fall rollercoaster that elicits screams audible from across the street.
Intel is hosting a video-game tent, where fans can play on big screens. The anticipated video game “Dark Souls III” staged an elaborate setup for photos in front of a creepy character that spurted black blood. The horror film “Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” prompted participants to practice their knot-tying and tent-building skills.
There was even free food: Pizza rolls that came with a pair of red sunglasses.
Jon Snow is still dead, at least according to the silences of the secretive group of “Game of Thrones” cast members at Comic-Con.
Stars Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and others skirted the pointed question as to whether or not Kit Harington would really not be returning for season 6 of the popular HBO show. His character, the pivotal Jon Snow, was stabbed to death in the season 5 finale. Fans speculate that somehow he’ll be back.
Secrecy reigned supreme at the panel, which served more as a retrospective of previous seasons. Host Seth Myers said outright that it would be difficult for the cast to talk at all about the upcoming season.
Many were absent from the large ensemble cast in San Diego including Emilia Clarke, Lena Heady, and Nicolai Coster-Waldau.
Also not present: Showrunners David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and “Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin.
The Power Rangers are powering up for their 22nd season on TV this summer and another foray onto the big screen in 2017.
The company that created the team of five colorful, costumed superheroes celebrated the franchise’s longevity with a special trip to Comic-Con, where it unveiled a series of collectible toys.
Most spectacular were the $175 Black Legacy Saba Saber and a 4-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture of the Green Ranger that sells for $4,000.
So how have the Power Rangers held on to their appeal for all these years?
“It’s simply because I think it’s every kid’s entry point into the superhero genre,” said Brian Casentini, head of development and production for the brand and producer of the forthcoming film. “And every season it delivers these core themes, particularly teamwork. I think it’s also about the gender neutrality — it provides that access point for girls — and also that diversity along with the teamwork, so people of all races are seeing themselves in these characters.”
“The Walking Dead” fans shouldn’t expect characters from the South-set series to ever cross paths with the Angelenos depicted in the upcoming West Coast spin-off series “Fear the Walking Dead.”
The show’s cast and crew told the crowd at Comic-Con on Friday that the AMC shows are separated by both space and time. The first season of “Fear the Walking Dead” takes place in East Los Angeles over the span of a few weeks when “The Walking Dead” protagonist Rick Grimes was in a coma during that series’ first episode.
“I think when you have two shows that live inside the same mythology, you would love for them to collide at some point, but there’s no plan,” said “Fear the Walking Dead” showrunner Dave Erickson.
However, one of the shows cast members is angling for a testosterone-centric crossover.
“I’d like to meet Rick Grimes because I’ve got a bromance going on,” said Cliff Curtis, who plays the patriarch of the family at the center of the prequel.
“Fear the Walking Dead” is set to debut Aug. 29.
“The Walking Dead” will be taking a look back.
Producer Scott Gimple teased the Comic-Con crowd with the possibility of more flashbacks in the upcoming sixth season of the AMC zombie apocalypse drama.
Gimple told the audience at the San Diego Convention Center that there’s “a whole lot of flashbacks in the first half of the season.”
The showrunner added that he’s working on an episode that takes place in the past.
The ominous trap-setting group teased last season called the Wolves will also be returning, possibly “in a way that you don’t expect,” said Gimple.
The session kicked off Friday with a trailer featuring a power struggle between Andrew Lincoln’s Rick and Lennie James’ Morgan — as well as lots of zombies.
Only at Comic-Con can a movie screening turn into a possible set visit.
Fans who came to a late-night showing of exclusive footage from the forthcoming “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” Thursday were first to enter a contest that could bring them to the set of the film’s third installment.
Beginning Friday, anyone can enter the free sweepstakes presented by movie-promotion company Kernel. The grand prize is a trip for two to the set of Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure.”
“The Scorch Trials” is set to hit theaters in the fall; “The Death Cure” is slated for release in 2017.