Disney, Lucasfilm Bringing 'Star Wars' to D23 Expo

UPDATE: Disney's upcoming animated features "Frozen" and "Planes" also will be featured in the Aug. 9-11 event.
"Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back"

Instead of bringing Star Wars to Comic-Con, Disney and Lucasfilm are touting the franchise's anticipated return at the D23 Expo.

Disney's own biannual event, taking place Aug. 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center, will feature a strong Star Wars presence, with Disney planning events like Darth Vader: The Evolution of a Villain, showing the development of the bad guy, to Crash Course in the Force: Star Wars Saga 101.

PHOTOS: 'Star Wars' Actors: Then and Now

Insiders say, perhaps hope, that some Star Wars actors may make appearances during the D23 Expo, this confirming their participation in the J.J. Abrams-directed sequel trilogy — which is expected to hit theaters in 2015. (Filming is expected to begin in early 2014 in the U.K.) A Disney spokesperson dispelled the rumors as wishful thinking at this point.

Comic-Con, for what it's worth, takes place several weeks earlier in San Diego from July 17-21.

Disney's Frozen (Nov. 27), Planes (Aug. 9) and Marvel's The Avengers will also have a presence in Anaheim.

Borys Kit contributed to this report.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
Twitter: @insidethetube