Harrison Ford visit, Fisher tribute launch Star Wars event

The kick-off of the four-day fan event marked the anniversary of Lucas' space saga

Costumed fans of the Star Wars franchise wait in a massive line outside the Orange County Center, in Orlando, Fla., to attend the 2017 Star Wars Celebration, Thursday, April 13, 2017, marking the 40th anniversary of the original 1977 Star Wars film. Thousands of fans waited for hours in the line, estimated to be more than a mile long. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)
Costumed fans of the Star Wars franchise wait in a massive line outside the Orange County Center, in Orlando, Fla., to attend the 2017 Star Wars Celebration, Thursday, April 13, 2017, marking the 40th anniversary of the original 1977 Star Wars film. Thousands of fans waited for hours in the line, estimated to be more than a mile long. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)

How do you celebrate 40 years of “Star Wars” in 90 minutes?

With a surprise Harrison Ford appearance, a touching Carrie Fisher tribute, a John Williams performance and a fair amount of jokes about George Lucas’s dialogue, of course.

Attendees at Star Wars Celebration were treated to that and more Thursday in Orlando, Florida, at the kick-off of the four-day fan event marking the anniversary of Lucas’ space saga.

A jam-packed panel also featured appearances by Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Hayden Christensen, as well as video messages from Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson, who cheekily suggested that his prequel character Mace Windu is not dead.

Actor Warwick Davis moderated the sprawling look-back at the four decade legacy.