Dank farrik, Disney had it’s Investors Day 2020 on Thursday and unleashed a metric butt-ton of information about its forthcoming Star Wars properties. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s dive right in.
Directly from Disney’s press release:
Lucasfilm announced an impressive number of exciting Disney+ series and new feature films destined to expand the Star Wars galaxy like never before. Among the projects for Disney+ are “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” starring Ewan McGregor with Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader, and two series set in the Mandalorian era from Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni: “Rangers of the New Republic” and “Ahsoka,” a series featuring the fan favorite character Ahsoka Tano.
Additional new titles announced for Disney+ include “Andor,” “Star Wars: The Bad Batch,” “Star Wars: Visions,” “Lando,” “The Acolyte,” and “A Droid Story.” The studio is also revisiting “Willow” in a new series with Warwick Davis returning in the title role.
The next feature film in the Star Wars franchise, releasing in December 2023, will be “Rogue Squadron,” which will be directed by Patty Jenkins of the “Wonder Woman” franchise.
So that’s NINE new projects heading to streaming service Disney+, and some specific clarity on the future of the cinematic franchise with the announcement of the ‘Rogue Squadron’ film coming in a few years. Disney’s additional press content also mentioned that a new Star Wars film under the direction of Taika Waititi is in development, but will see a release after ‘Rogue Squadron.’
For the Disney+ projects themselves: not a ton of info has been doled out, obviously, but there is a bit more for each series than what was delivered in the press release. Let’s check them out one by one:
- ‘Ahsoka’ – as expected, based on the successful live-action premiere of the character in ‘The Mandalorian,’ this will be a limited-series (read: a closed-end story, likely one season and likely shorter than the average TV season) starring Rosario Dawson as the title Jedi-non-Jedi and executive-produced by Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau.
- ‘Rangers of the New Republic’ – not a ton of info given for this one, aside from the fact that its story will run concurrent with events in ‘The Mandalorian’ and will be helmed by Filoni & Favreau. The series will “intersect with future stories and culminate into a climactic story event,” per the press release.
- ‘Andor’ – coming to Disney+ in 2022, this series will focus on Diego Luna’s character of Cassian Andor from the ‘Rogue One’ film – obviously, a prequel, spoiler alert! The show will also feature a fairly expansive cast, including Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller and the return of Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma.
- ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ – another limited series, the biggest surprise in this show’s announced details is the return of Hayden Christensen “as Darth Vader” – NOT Anakin, the press release specifically says Vader. With the series being set approximately 10 years after ‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,’ it will be interesting to see not only how Christensen features in the role of Vader (who at that point in the timeline is already fully James Earl Jones-ed in the black suit) but if the stories will intersect with Marvel’s recent Darth Vader comic book series, which are considered canon and delve fairly deeply into Vader’s story around this time.
- ‘The Bad Batch’ – an animated series that will follow the characters first introduced in the most recent (and final) season of ‘The Clone Wars.’ No mention of Filoni’s involvement in the press release, but seeing as these characters are part of his ‘Clone Wars’ baby, it’s hard to see him not being involved in some capacity – if he has the time, that is.
- ‘Star Wars: Visions’ – one of the more intriguing announcements, this will be a series of 10 short films, “celebrating Star Wars through the lens of the world’s best anime creators.” Coming specifically from Japanese anime studios, expect a very unique look and likely stories focused on some very deep-cut characters and situations from the Star Wars universe.
- ‘Lando’ – the name sorta says it all on this one… although, interestingly, the press release does not once mention Donald Glover’s involvement in any way. Cited as an “event series,” whatever that means, the show will be spear-headed creatively by Justin Simien, best known as the creator of ‘Dear White People’ and apparently a pretty big Star Wars fan.
- ‘The Acolyte’ – maybe the most mysterious of all the announced projects, the press release describes this one as “a mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.” In current SW vernacular, an Acolyte is a Force-sensitive Sith apprentice in the early stages of their potential path to the dark side.
- ‘A Droid Story’ – described as an “adventure film,” the plot describes R2-D2 and C-3PO introducing the audience to a “new hero” – no specific word if this will connect in any way to the ultra-cheesy ‘Droids’ cartoons of yesteryear. An interesting tidbit from the press release indicates that this project will be at “the intersection of animation and visual effects,” whatever that may mean.
What are your thoughts on all the new announcements? Any specific projects you’re particularly looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!