Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has announced all of the up-coming Star Wars projects that will be heading to Disney+ and cinemas. Speaking at The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day event, Kennedy set out an expansive vision for the future of Star Wars live-action and animation.
I will now take a look at each of these announcements and give my initial reaction and thoughts – so much Star Wars, what a time to be alive!
Taika Waititi’s Untitled Star Wars Film
A brand-new Star Wars feature with acclaimed filmmaker and Academy Award-winner Taika Waititi is in development. “Taika’s approach to Star Wars will be fresh, unexpected, and…unique,” said Kennedy. “His enormous talent and sense of humor will ensure that audiences are in for an unforgettable ride.”
When it was first announced that Waititi was going to get his own Star Wars movie, there was a lot of excitement and hype. “Fresh, unexpected and unique” – so we can fully expect a very different type of Star Wars movie! Of course it still has to fit somewhat within the Star Wars framework, but you don’t hire Taika without allowing him that creative flair he thrives on. I expect new characters, laughs and tears!
The next Star Wars feature film will be Rogue Squadron — directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman franchise). The story will introduce a new generation of starfighter pilots as they earn their wings and risk their lives in a boundary-pushing, high-speed thrill-ride, and move the saga into the future era of the galaxy.
Top Gun in space with Patty Jenkins? Where do I sign up?
This is the type of project that is long overdue! I loved the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron video game and always wanted to see a fighter pilot based show or movie exploring the life of fighter pilots in the Star Wars universe, so I am very excited for this movie! You fully expect a lot of human-drama from Jenkins, and I think she is a great pick to helm this movie. All I want is a strong female-lead, rivalries, human drama and lots of epic space battles!
Officially titled Obi-Wan Kenobi, the series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where he faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. The series is directed by Deborah Chow, who helmed memorable episodes of The Mandalorian Season 1.
Chow has more than earned her Star Wars stripes and I am very excited to see what direction the show heads in, especially now Christensen is involved. I don’t know how they are going to juggle Kenobi and Vader, but I am looking forward to finding out! Ewan is my Obi-Wan, and I thought he was phenomenal in the role, so when I see him for the first time on screen it will be a very emotional moment!
After making her long awaited live-action debut in The Mandalorian, Ahsoka Tano’s story, written by Dave Filoni, will continue in a limited series starring Rosario Dawson and executive produced by Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau.
After making her highly-successful debut in The Mandalorian, Rosario Dawson will be back as Ahsoka in her own series – are we really surprised?
We know from ‘The Jedi’ that she is tracking down Grand Admiral Thrawn, so you would imagine that this will frame the main arc of the show. Live-action Thrawn? Or what about another live-action first of another Jedi who, like Ahsoka, the fans are crying out to see…
Andor, a tense nail-biting spy thriller created by Tony Gilroy, is set to arrive on Disney+ in 2022. Diego Luna, reprising the role of rebel spy Cassian Andor from Rogue One, will be joined by a fantastic new cast that includes Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma. Production kicked off three weeks ago in London.
Cassian Andor was a really interesting character in Rogue One, so I am glad that we are going to be able to see what he was doing before the events of the movie. I think they have a lot of scope to go really ‘grey’ with his character and I’m eager to see these early Rebel Alliance stories unfold. The cast looks really strong and I’m glad that Genevieve O’Reilly will be back as Mon Mothma. This show could turn out to be a big hit!
Rangers of the New Republic
Set within the timeline of The Mandalorian, this new live-action series from executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will intersect with future stories and culminate into a climactic story event.
We know that Cara Dune was made a Marshall by the New Republic, so if this show is going to be following these types of characters and stories, we could very well be getting the Pinkertons in space! I think it’s a smart move to have this type of show, so that it continues to build the wider wold of these interlinked shows. I wonder if this show could end up adding Cobb Vanth into the mix?
Everyone’s favorite scoundrel Lando Calrissian will return in a brand-new event series for Disney+. Justin Simien, creator of the critically-acclaimed Dear White People and a huge Star Wars fan, is developing the story.
This one intrigues me. Who will be Lando? If its animation, then there’s no harm in looking at Billy Dee, maybe exploring the events post-Rise of Skywalker? But if I had a preference, I would hope that Donald Glover would be reprising his role as a young Lando. He was outstanding in Solo and it would be great to have him back in the Star Wars universe.
Leslye Headland, Emmy Award-nominated creator of the mind-bending series Russian Doll, brings a new Star Wars series to Disney+ with The Acolyte. The Acolyte is a mystery-thriller that will take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.
With next year’s High Republic comics output, it makes sense to explore this time period in live-action as well! You feel this will be an intense series pulling from a lot of Jedi lore. Hopefully they tie in some of the print media, which would make sense for both commercial and story reasons.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch
The series follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in The Clone Wars) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch — a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.
They made a lasting impression on fans in The Clone Wars, so when it was announced they were getting their own show, you heard little complaint! I love the idea that this is set post-Order 66, so we could see them going up against the Empire and maybe ending up at the early stages of the Rebel Alliance! I’m glad these characters are coming back and look forward to their continued adventures. A few quick takeaways, it looks stunning, I’m pretty sure I spotted Fennec in there (timeline is a little iffy, could be her mum?) and we also saw Phase 1 Dark Troopers… this is going to one hell of a show!
Star Wars: Visions
Presenting all-new, creative takes on the galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: Visions will be a series of animated short films celebrating Star Wars through the lens of the world’s best anime creators. The anthology collection will bring 10 fantastic visions from several of the leading Japanese anime studios, offering a fresh and diverse cultural perspective to Star Wars.
I’m all about this! I’m really excited to see these different animation styles take on the world of Star Wars! This could be an award winning project if they do it right and I think it is very important that we continue to have a range of voices telling stories and being creative within the Star Wars universe.
A Droid Story
As Lucasfilm continues to develop new stories, the intersection of animation and visual effects offers new opportunities to explore. Lucasfilm Animation will be teaming up with Lucasfilm’s visual effects team, Industrial Light & Magic, to develop a special Star Wars adventure for Disney+, A Droid Story. This epic journey will introduce us to a new hero, guided by legendary duo R2-D2 and C-3PO.
I mean, who doesn’t love droids, right? I like the idea of using R2-D2 and C-3PO as a foundation for the show, even if they won’t be the primary focus. While this may lean towards a younger audience, there is no question that it will end up having a much wider appeal.
So what was your favourite announcement? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!