It didn’t take long for things to get emotional during Sunday’s Supernatural panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
As the show heads into its 15th and final season, the cast and executive producers took the stage at Hall H for the last time. Moderators Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict kicked off the panel by asking stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki how they’re feeling about the show coming to an end, at which point Padalecki turned to the crowd and said, “Can we all just start crying so I don’t feel so weird?” Ackles then chimed in to say, “It’s been quite a ride and it’s hard to express what we’re going to take away from that but lifelong friends, experiences of a lifetime.”
Misha Collins then shared an anecdote about how he recently found an old “goal card,” an index card on which he wrote his goals for the year before the show started. On the card, he’d written: “I’m a regular on a show that is creatively fulfilling and I become lifelong friends with my castmates.” And now, Collins said, “I consider these guys lifelong friends. I could never have dreamed that along with that would come this incredible fandom and this kind of iconic legacy of a show. It feels like a great honor to have been a part of it.”
As for the final season, executive producer Robert Berens previewed that the God twist at the end of season 14 would put the very idea of “free will” front and center, with Sam and Dean wondering what decisions throughout their lives have been their own. “It really opens up the theme of free will,” Berens said. “The way that this news lands on both Sam and Dean, we’ll see them respond very differently at different points to this news. [It] puts everything they’ve done into doubt.”
Speaking to the show’s legacy, Padalecki said, “I feel like I’m really lucky because my friendships won’t go away and Sam Winchester, for me, won’t go away. He’ll be a part of me forever.”
Ackles added, “Looking back I’m really proud of the work that this team has done for this long. To do a show is not easy. To make television is not as easy as people may think… It takes a lot of very talented people to give you guys the best product we can make. I’m really proud of that product. After this long on a show to still truly love what we do and be proud to hang my hat on that at the end of the day, that’s what I’m going to take.”
After handing out an exact replica of the Winchesters’ Impala to one VERY lucky fan, the panel concluded with an emotional goodbye as Ackles thanked fans for showing up and Padalecki concluded the event by saying, “I’m the luckiest man on the planet. My cup runneth over. Thank you guys very much. I’m going to miss you.” All of Hall H then stood to give the Supernatural team a proper farewell: A standing ovation.
Supernatural returns Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.