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National

Jennifer Lawrence And A Cast Of Characters Light Up Comic-Con

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Right now in San Diego, California Comi-Con is underway. This event began as a comic convention a long time ago, but it has exploded into a mega pop culture event that draws 130,000 fans to the seaside city. They gather to see the latest in movies, TV, books, comics, toys; it's all there and so is NPR senior arts editor Nina Gregory, who's on the line. Nina, good morning to you.

NINA GREGORY, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

GREENE: So, Nina, I know this thing really gets going over the weekend. But have people already gotten there and have their costumes on like they do every year? They're all decked out already.

GREGORY: Yeah, David, I've seen some pretty spectacular costumes. I saw a really, really tall Wookiee, which is, of course, what Chewbacca is. There were also a lot of really decked out super advanced Stormtroopers. I've seen a lot of characters from the BBC's "Doctor Who." And of course because this is Comic-Con, there are a lot of superheroes in all shapes and sizes. I saw a teeny, tiny, little Wonder Woman baby asleep in her stroller.

GREENE: Very cute.

GREGORY: It was adorable. Then there are, of course, video game characters and Pokemons and zombies and quite a few Katniss Everdeens.

GREENE: Katniss, yes, the hero from "The Hunger Games" books and movies. It isn't "Mockingjay Part 2," the fourth "Hunger Games" movie, that comes out this fall, right?

GREGORY: That's right, David. And there was a panel yesterday at the convention center in an auditorium called Hall H that seats about 6,500 people, many of whom waited in line for hours to get in. They have the movie stars, directors; they screen exclusive footage, new trailers. And it's really dramatic to be in a room with thousands of breathless fans eager to see something no one else has seen. And then, of course, they get to walk away with some special bragging rights. And "Hunger Games" fans got just that. They saw a new trailer for the movie, and then after the trailer, the movie stars took questions from fans. Here's one from a young girl who had a question for Jennifer Lawrence.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: My question is, do you think any of the characters you played rubbed off on you?

JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I wish.

(LAUGHTER)

GREGORY: You know - and it went on like that. There were really sweet questions from the audience who are really serious fans. And the movie stars all played along, answering as best they could.

GREENE: All right, Nina, "Hunger Games" is well and good, but there's another movie coming out this year and - I mean, let's just hit it.

(SOUNDBITE OF "STAR WARS" THEME SONG)

GREENE: "Star Wars," Nina, how big is "Star Wars" there at Comic-Con?

GREGORY: Tonight is perhaps the biggest event of the whole weekend. It's the Lucasfilm panel. And J.J. Abrams, the director of the upcoming film, "Episode VII - The Force Awakens," will be there. I talked to somebody named Brian Linder at the convention. He's the programming manager for a website called Wikia, the largest "Star Wars" encyclopedia. And Brian Linder, I think, has a pretty good sense of what "Star Wars" fans want to see tonight in Hall H.

BRIAN LINDER: I think we're hoping to see some behind-the-scenes footage of the film. I think we'd love to see the cast. I think we'll probably see Harrison Ford. They're probably going to bring him out. He hasn't spoken about his role in the film just yet, so I think chances are good that Han Solo himself will make an appearance on stage.

GREGORY: It's really become sort of a parlor game, guessing just who is going to be at that "Star Wars" panel and guessing whether or not they'll actually show a new trailer.

GREENE: And, Nina, may the force be with you.

GREGORY: And, David, may the odds be ever in your favor.

GREENE: Oh, good "Hunger Games" reference. Nina Gregory, thanks so much.

GREGORY: Thank you, David. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.