"The Hunger Games" saga comes to a close with the release of "Mockingjay - Part 2" in November, but fans at San Diego Comic-Con began saying goodbye to the series today when the cast took the stage for their final panel at the convention.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Willow Shields, director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobsen took the stage at the San Diego Convention Center's Hall H, to the delight of thousands of screaming fans.
Here are 12 things we learned during the panel.
Yes, this movie looks amazing.
In short, expect intensity from the final installment of the movie. The panel opened with a full drumline, dressed in pure white, surrounding fans in Hall H and playing an extended percussion section. Then, screens lit up with a short teaser, that "message from District 13" we were told to stand by for yesterday came up on Hall H's enormous screens. A giant contingent of soldiers dressed in all white performed exercises with white weapons, while Katniss -- dressed in a set of blood red Mockingjay armor -- made her way through the formation. "Freedom is worth fighting for," the screen flashed before the troops held up their weapons behind Katniss, making a heavy artillery pair of Mockingjay wings behind her.
That Katniss/Peeta banter? All real.
Asked where we find Peeta when "Mockingjay - Part 2," Hutcherson assured fans that his character was making progress.
"It’s a long road to recovery and it has some bumps along the way. We pick Peeta up inside 13 trying to get himself back. He went through a lot back in the Capitol," Hutcherson said. "They’re trying to rehabilitate him to be a good guy and help the cause."
Lawrence quickly jumped in, citing Katniss as the reason for Peeta's changes: "And he couldn’t stay away for long. He couldn’t resist."
Prepare to weep.
"We all wish that there were seven or eight books, not just three," said producer Nina Jacobsen. "It’s a very, very emotional conclusion. It’s emotional for us and for the audiences, and we want to deliver on that."
The first full trailer is going to blow you away.
The first trailer for the movie debuted at the panel. We can't wait for you to see it, but expect all of the following: Katniss discovering Snow's white rose, Katniss and Peeta hugging, some intense (and eplosive) Capitol booby traps, Peeta telling Katniss to make the deaths of the war mean something, and this ominous intonation from President Snow (Donald Sutherland): "The game is coming to its end."
In short: holy. Crap.
None of the cast can do the Mockingjay whistle.
"It ends up sounding like the 'X-Files'," Hemsworth said.
Jennifer Lawrence reveals her favorite moments
Lawrence said that of the three movies released so far, her favorite "Hunger Games" moment has been when Katniss volunteered as tribute, way back when in the first movie.
"I’m blacking out right now, I can’t even remember this period of my life," she joked. "The truth is there is [another] one, but it’s in the second ["Mockingjay"] movie, I don’t want to blow it."
A new romance for Gale?
Asked about a scene he was looking forward to seeing in the final film, Hemsworth mentioned that he and Hutcherson have a scene together. Lawrence had heard nothing of this.
"I thought we all knew everything about everybody, but I guess we have secrets," she said. As things tend to do with the "Hunger Games" cast, things turned silly quickly.
"There might be a kiss between Josh and I," Hemsworth said.
"They said no spoilers, man!" Hutcherson quickly followed.
The cast are still BFF(FFFFFFFFF).
Asked what he would miss most about filming the movies, Hutcherson gestured to his castmates beside him. "You're looking at it," Hutcherson said. Things quickly got silly as Lawrence and Hemsworth pet his face, prompting him to ask JLaw, "what's on your fingers?" As if that isn't cute enough, Lawrence admitted that after wrapping, the emotional cast had some comforting cuddle time. "There’s no way of saying this that doesn’t start rumors, but that night we held each other and slept like puppies," she said.
Don't call it a crossbow.
When admitting that she had a bow from set, which was mistakenly called a crossbow, Lawrence got serious: "First of all, it’s not a crossbow, it’s a longbow, crossbows are easy. I’m sorry, but all you have to do is pull a trigger. I didn’t spend months and months training so I could be called a crossbow-er."
Lawrence can't pull off a Katniss braid IRL.
The star admitted that her braiding skills leave something to be desired. "Oh, terrible," she said of her braidability. "I have two brothers and my mom’s never been one for doing hair. I could braid in an emergency situation. Can there be a lot of flyways?"
Katniss is a role model for the woman who plays her.
Asked which of her roles she thought was most like her, Lawrence name-checked the Girl on Fire. "I would hope that a little bit of Katniss has rubbed off on me in a way, just in that we had similar — nothing about this is similar, because she’s brave and I’m an actress — but in the sense of something kind of falling on you. Not falling on you like a big piano," she clarified, flustered. "What I have in my head is actually pretty interesting and there’s no way I’m going to be able to get it out. Something was kind of bestowed on Katniss in a way the same as saying yes to these movies was on to me. I’d like to hope that some of the leadership — you guys, I haven’t done interviews in like a year. … of any of them, if any rubbed off on me, I would hope and think it would be Katniss."
Your devotion to the series does not go unnoticed.
Before the cast left the stage, Hutcherson made sure to give the fans some love. "We’ve been doing these now for four years and the fans have been the best," he said. "We’re so tired on these press tours and you guys show up with this energy and support and we appreciate it more than anything. Just thank you so much." He even threw in a three-finger Mockingjay salute. Shut up, you've got chills.