Along with The Terminator: Genisys and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of the most anticipated films of 2015.

Ahead of the film’s release later this year, fans at the annual sci-fi festival Comic Con attended a Q&A session with three veterans of the franchise – Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford.

Legions of fans had slept outside the convention centre in San Diego for days before the much anticipated convention appearance and were rewarded with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Force Awakens, as well as a surprise outside concert attended by the cast bearing lightsabers.

Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford attend Lucasfilm's Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford back in a galaxy far, far away (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The panel was Harrison Ford’s first public appearance since crashing his small plane earlier this year and he received a standing ovation from fans as he walked on to the stage.

Clearly touched by the reception he received, Ford said: “The original Star Wars was the beginning of my working life, I was very happy to be a part of the story and the cast again.”

Carrie Fisher, from left, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford attend Lucasfilm's It looks like Luke Skywalker is again getting in the way of Princess Leia and Han Solo

(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The 70-year-old hasn’t had much luck in the last year or so because he also suffered a broken leg during an accident on set but assured the crowds he felt “just fine”.

Asked if he had ever thought about what happened to Han Solo after Return of the Jedi, the veteran star said: “No, because I never thought that it would come back to bless me rather than haunt me.”

He added: “I was very gratified when I read the script. I read something that I thought was really remarkable, really well-written, with some very intriguing developments and I was very happy to be a part of the story.”

Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford attend Lucasfilm's New-look stormtroopers are not letting this bunch of rebels out of their sight (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Carrie Fisher, who resumes her role as Princess Leia, said it was surreal to be back on set: “I didn’t think it was going to happen again. It was a little bit like before only we looked more melted this time, but in a good way.”

Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, added he is still touched by how personal Star Wars is for fans: “When I meet you on the street everyone has a story it’s such a personal story… it’s very moving to me.”

However, he said his Star Wars trivia is distinctly lacking, adding: “I don’t remember what Han Solo was smuggling! I’ve ceded ownership to the world at large.”