Hollywood blockbusters take center stage at Comic-Con Friday

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ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 16: Cast members (L -R) Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and back row (L-R) writer, director and producer J.J. Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy and host Anthony Breznican, Entertainment Weekly reporter, acknowledge fans at the kick-off event during Disney's Star Wars Celebration 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center April 16, 2015. The Star Wars Celebration runs through April 19. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO – Hollywood heavy-hitters Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams are scheduled to appear on a panel Friday about the upcoming film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — one of the major events of the second full day of Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center.

The film, scheduled for release during the December holidays, stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. Members of the original “Star Wars” cast like Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker are also set to appear.

The session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Hall H, the largest of the center’s rooms. The panel will include Kennedy, the president and producer of Lucasfilm, and producer of numerous popular films; Abrams, the director of the upcoming “Star Wars” film and writer Lawrence Kasdan, along with unspecified special guests.

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Hall H will also be the site of sessions on the television programs “The Walking Dead,” at noon; the upcoming “Fear the Walking Dead,” at 1 p.m.; and “Game of Thrones,” at 2:30 p.m.

The morning will offer popular sessions in Ballroom 20, with a panel of producers and writers of “Big Bang Theory” at 10 a.m. and a farewell to “Falling Skies” at 11:15 a.m.

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Other sessions on tap today include the 16th annual Animation Show of Shows, 10 a.m. in Hall H; the 40th anniversary of Industrial Light & Magic, 2 p.m. in Room 7 A and B; and the 50th anniversary of the television program “Lost in Space.”

Tonight, the 27th annual Eisner Awards — the Oscars of the comics industry — will be presented at 8 p.m. at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

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The annual celebration of the popular arts attracts 130,000 attendees, providing San Diego with a major economic boost.

Because of the large crowds, officials urge those heading downtown to use public transportation. Green Line trolleys are running every 7 1/2 minutes for most of the day and evening hours, with large amounts of parking available at the El Cajon Transit Center, Grantville, Qualcomm Stadium, Hazard Center and the Old Town Transit Center.

Passengers can also ride the Orange and Blue lines to the 12th and Imperial station and transfer to the Green Line for a short ride to the Convention Center stop.

Comic-Con transit information on the MTS is available online at http://www.sdmts.com/trolley/comiccon.asp.

Comic-Con is also offering shuttle buses to hotels in downtown San Diego, Mission Valley, Harbor Island and Shelter Island.

The buses will run 24 hours a day until Sunday at 7 p.m. The buses will run every 15 minutes between 8 a.m. and midnight, and every half-hour during the overnight hours.

Details on the bus schedules are available online at http://www.comic- con.org/cci/shuttles.

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