Men, women, and people dressed as Pokémon unite: San Diego Comic-Con is back.
The 46-year-old convention returns this July 9 through 12 with some controversy and drama with Marvel Films, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures, usually three of the largest panels, largely staying absent. As a result, TV studios have stepped up in a big way, bringing plenty of high-profile teasers, panels and casting reveals coming this weekend.
Whether you're decked out in your Deadpool cosplay at the 'Con or catching up from home, these are your can't-miss events.
"Star Wars" and the Lucasfilm Panel
While sources confirmed there won't be a new "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" trailer shown at the panel, fans can still expect plenty of Force-sensitive goodness. Director J.J. Abrams, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy are confirmed as part of the panel. Rumors say other members of the cast will arrive as well. While the panel is focused on more behind-the-scenes looks into "The Force Awakens," the actual details of the movie's plot stay tight under wraps.
Disney and Marvel are giving drooling fans another tidbit before "The Force Awakens" comes out later this year: Marvel's "Star Wars: Shattered Empire" comic book comes out in September and a publishing panel at Comic-Con will explore two upcoming Star Wars books. Still, expect no leaks or explanations of the cryptic trailers, at least until Disney's D23 expo in August.
Why is John Boyega so out of breath? Is Daisy Ridley on Tattooine? What's with the new stormtrooper uniforms? Patience you must have, my young Padawan.
The "Super" DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. panels
While both Sony and Paramount Pictures are missing from this year's Comic-Con, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. are stepping up. Expect a huge 3-hour event with videos and presentations from the casts of "Supergirl," "Gotham," "Arrow," "The Flash" and "Legends of Tomorrow." Their big screen features include expected previews of "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," and "Pan."
In a perfect world, Warner would (please!) show us a teaser for David Ayer's "Suicide Squad." Fans are still skeptical about "Batman v. Superman," Zack Snyder's directing, casting Ben Affleck as Batman and Jared Leto as The Joker. Curiously, Warner Bros. has promised a "surprise" at the panel. Look for exclusive content as the studios try to throw the fandoms into fits of ecstasy.
The mighty final appearance of "The Hunger Games"
There's only one movie franchise critics say can even touch the success of "Jurassic World" in 2015: "The Hunger Games." It makes sense then why the cast is coming out to Comic-Con for a panel promoting the final installment of the series, "Mockingjay - Part 2." This colossal franchise has conquered box offices, film expos and the hearts of fans everywhere. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are part of a massive headlining panel on Saturday. Hopefully they're prepared to answer how "Mockingjay," a sprawling and dense break from the standard "Hunger Games" plotline, will fit into a final movie.
The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones
"Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" fans have a lot in common. For example, the ends of both recent seasons have left fans pulling hair and gnashing teeth. While "The Walking Dead" will be promoting the new prequel "Fear the Walking Dead," all we can hope from the "Game of Thrones" panel is breadcrumbs to tide us over until next season.
The "Game of Thrones" panel will include director David Nutter, executive producer Carolyn Strauss, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Natalie Dormer, Conleth Hill, Hannah Murray, Sophie Turner, Carice van Houten and Maisie Williams. Expect speculation on which character will be tragically murdered next.
That's why this year's panels from both shows can't be missed -- there are too many unanswered questions. Who are the mysterious "Wolves?" What is going to happen to Daenerys Targaryen? Why is Father Gabriel such a jerk? Is Jon Snow really dead?!
If at least one of those questions speaks to you, get yourself to the panel because you know nothing, Jon Snow.
The Fantastic Four, X-Men and Deadpool
Cool trailers and hot talent aside, there's some concern about the new "Fantastic Four" movie. Reports about the troubled leadership of director Josh Trank (who just got fired from a "Star Wars" movie) and numerous reshoots have fans squirming. If 20th Century Fox is going to ease and excite a comic fanbase, they came to the right place. "X-Men: Apocalypse" is probably going to be a huge part of their presentation, as well as a potential teaser from "Deadpool," which just finished filming. What better way to promote "Deadpool" than have Ryan Reynolds show up in costume as the unofficial mascot of cosplay hilarity?
No matter what happens Fox knows it needs to make a splash at Comic-Con to impress a fan base and generate hype to secure strong openings. Expect lots of exclusive merch, special guests, and announcements that throw the Internet into equal parts of "this is the worst" and "this is the best!"
Comic-Con is a living thing, constantly changing with the times. Huge showings from TV studios and young adult film companies proves that this year's 'Con will be a defining one. Still, expect to see satisfactory amounts of Pikachu cosplays. Some things never change.
Check out the video below for an interactive tour of San Diego Comic-Con, and click here for a full list of events.