Happy New Year!
Yesterday I took a look at the best from 2018 when it came to Star Wars, and today we’re looking forward to the best of what 2019 has to offer. And I’ll just say this: 2019 is poised to be a MASSIVE year for Star Wars, and it’s probably going to be the biggest, most packed, and most thrilling year to be a Star Wars fan that there has ever been. There’s a lot to be excited about in pretty much every medium, so let’s take a look at what’s coming – while acknowledging that there’s probably even more on the way that we don’t even know about yet!
STAR WARS: EPISODE IX!
The biggest and most widely anticipated release of 2019 for Star Wars is obviously Star Wars: Episode IX. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the film will star Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd, newcomers Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie, and Richard E. Grant, and the iconic Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and Anthony Daniels. The film will wrap up not only the sequel trilogy but also the Skywalker saga as a whole, likely bringing together all three trilogies for what is hopefully a very satisfying conclusion. We obviously don’t know much at all about the film, which releases on DECEMBER 20, 2019, but that means this year we’ll get a title, trailers, and plenty of other promotional material to look forward to as we ramp up toward the film’s release next Christmas!
For more updates on Star Wars: Episode IX, head here!
PLENTY OF SHOWS!
The year 2019 will also bring us a ton of Star Wars shows, which is pretty awesome. First up is, of course, STAR WARS RESISTANCE. This animated show premiered in the fall of 2018, and I was very impressed with the first half of the first season. We know that for sure we’ll be getting the second half of season one this spring, and I fully expect the show to get renewed for a second season as well. The show focuses on a young Resistance spy, Kazuda Xiono, trying to figure out what the First Order is up to just months before the events of The Force Awakens. We know that the show will eventually overlap with the events of that film, and I also expect it to give us a look at the post-The Last Jedi world too – which could be a great thing to do this fall as we prepare for Episode IX. For more updates on Resistance, head here.
The most-anticipated show of 2019, however, is probably THE MANDALORIAN. The first-ever live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian is being helmed by Jon Favreau and features a very impressive cast and crew. The list of directors includes Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Taika Waititi; the show will star Pedro Pascal (in the lead role), Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Nick Nolte; and Ludwig Göransson will provide the score. The premise of the show is following a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the far reaches of the galaxy in the post-ROTJ world, away from the reaches of the New Republic. That’s pretty exciting, and will focus on an era that hasn’t been explored much in the canon. We don’t know exactly when The Mandalorian will arrive (so we can’t say definitively it will be in 2018), but it will be exclusive to Disney+, which is slated for a late 2019 release. I imagine that The Mandalorian will be a big draw, so I’d expect it to arrive around the same time the platform does. For more updates on The Mandalorian, head here.
Also continuing this year is GALAXY OF ADVENTURES, the series of shorts that began in December 2018. These shorts adapt iconic scenes from the films and translate them to animation, using the voice lines and music from the movies. They’re short (each one is around a minute), but they are very well-done. This won’t be a major deal in 2019 or anything, but we have heard that Lucasfilm plans to continue doing these. That makes sense, as Lucasfilm likely wants to highlight the Skywalker saga in particular this year. For more updates on Galaxy of Adventures, head here.
The last thing to mention here is THE CLONE WARS. It was announced this summer that a seventh season of The Clone Wars would be coming to Disney+, but what we don’t know is when that will happen. Obviously Disney+ is releasing in late 2019, so it likely wouldn’t be any earlier than that. But we haven’t heard a single thing about the release date for The Clone Wars, and I kind of wonder whether it may get pushed back into 2020 a little bit simply because of everything going on at the end of 2019 for Star Wars. I doubt they’d drop two highly-anticipated shows late in the year that could distract from the Episode IX excitement, but since we just don’t know when The Clone Wars will release, I’ve included it here. For more updates on The Clone Wars, head here.
One last show that we know of is the CASSIAN ANDOR SHOW starring Diego Luna, a prequel series to Rogue One that will be coming to Disney+. But it hasn’t started filming yet, so there’s no way I’d expect this in 2019 at all. It will likely begin production this year, though, so we should be hearing more updates about it.
TONS OF COMICS!
As has been the case for a while, there will be plenty of Star Wars comics available in 2019. We should start with the main STAR WARS comic line, which began in 2015 and will release issue #59 on January 9. We don’t know how much longer this comic will continue (as the events of it keep getting closer and closer to The Empire Strikes Back), but the series is definitely still going strong. Currently, it is focusing on our heroes (Luke, Leia, and Han) stranded on a remote planet without communication with the outside galaxy – a brief slowdown of things after a chaotic and massive “Hope Dies” arc.
Joining the Star Wars comic line as an existing comic series continuing into 2019 is the DOCTOR APHRA comic, which began in 2016 and will release issue #28 on January 30. This series focuses on the titular character, Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra, who has become a fan favorite for many who read the comics. Once again we don’t know how much longer this series will continue, but it’s still going strong right now.
The comic series that I’m most excited for in 2019, however, are three linked together: AGE OF REPUBLIC, AGE OF REBELLION, and AGE OF RESISTANCE. These three series will focus on a different character from that era each issue, and it began in December 2018 by looking at Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul in the first two issues. Age of Republic will still release issues featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Padme Amidala, Jango Fett, Count Dooku, and General Grievous, as well as a special, before concluding in March. After Age of Republic finishes up, Age of Rebellion will begin in April 2019. It will have issues focused on Lando Calrissian, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Darth Vader, as well as a special. Once Age of Rebellion concludes, Age of Resistance will start in July 2019, with issues focusing on Poe Dameron, Finn, Rose Tico, Rey, Supreme Leader Snoke, Captain Phasma, General Hux, and Kylo Ren. I’m super excited for all of these issues, and I’m particularly interested in some of them featuring a character we don’t know a ton about (like Snoke, for instance!).
One last comic series that I can think of coming in 2019 was recently announced, as DARTH VADER: DARK VISIONS is coming in March. It sounds like this will be a limited series that explores different sides of the iconic Sith Lord, telling stories about the mysterious figure from across the galaxy. I wonder if this will be something similar to the “Legends of Luke Skywalker” book, in which we hear stories that may or may not be true from different storytellers, but to be honest we don’t know a whole lot about this series yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
SOME HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED BOOKS!
In addition to the comics, there are many novels that are scheduled to be released in 2019. The first one up is “FLIGHT OF THE FALCON: PIRATE’S PRICE,” written by Lou Anders and scheduled to be released on January 8. This book continues the Flight of the Falcon line, and this particular one focuses on Hondo Ohnaka teaming up with Han Solo and Chewbacca for some adventures.
Then comes “QUEEN’S SHADOW” by E.K. Johnston, which will be published on March 5. This is a book about Padme Amidala set in-between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, which is a time period largely unexplored in the canon. We’ll follow Padme’s journey as she transitions from being Queen of Naboo to a Senator, and I’m excited that we’re going to get a book about Padme!
A month after “Queen’s Shadow” comes “MASTER AND APPRENTICE,” the latest Star Wars novel by Claudia Gray, which will release on April 16. I am particularly excited about this one, as I love everything Claudia Gray has written for Star Wars so far and I love the premise. This book is an adventure with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. We don’t know much more than that, but do we really need much more than that to get excited? I’m selfishly hoping that it will be set during their time on Mandalore with Satine, but regardless of the setting it will be awesome to get a book by a tremendous author with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.
A couple of months after that, on June 4, Alexander Freed’s “ALPHABET SQUADRON” will release. This book will explore five Rebel pilots – all flying different starfighter classes – setting out on a mission together to hunt down some remaining Imperials on the run following the Battle of Jakku. This sounds like a very interesting premise to the book (I’m hoping one of the pilots will be Jarek Yeager, though we’ve heard nothing to suggest that yet).
And then on July 23 comes the book that I’m most excited for, slightly edging out “Master and Apprentice,” as Timothy Zahn’s newest Thrawn novel, “THRAWN: TREASON,” releases. This was just recently announced, but I’m super excited for it. I love Thrawn, I love Zahn, and I’ve loved the first two Thrawn books he’s written recently. This one will show Thrawn losing out to Director Krennic’s Death Star project, and it will show his loyalties to the Empire being tested as Eli Vanto brings news about the Chiss Ascendency. I can’t wait for this and to learn more about these things.
JOURNEY TO EPISODE IX?
I’m sure that there will be plenty more comics and books coming in 2019 that just haven’t been officially announced yet, and part of the reason I’m so confident is because I’m confident there will be a “JOURNEY TO EPISODE IX” campaign just like with the past films. Leading up to both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi there were large marketing campaigns that included toys, books, comics, and more, and there were also similar marketing campaigns for Rogue One and Solo. So I imagine that in the fall, we will be getting several books and comics exploring the time period and characters who will be integral to Episode IX. These materials may be of special interest, so I’m looking forward to it!
The two most prominent existing Star Wars games will both continue to receive updates in 2019. BATTLEFRONT II will continue to release content throughout the year, and we know that Count Dooku, Anakin Skywalker, and a new large-scale game mode are coming in the first few months of this year. This game has made significant improvements since it released, and the large-scale game mode has a chance to revitalize things. If they can finally give players a conquest-like mode – the very thing they’ve been asking for since before the first Battlefront game released several years ago – then I can see this game having a significant amount of life left. A lot will hinge upon that game mode, however. For more updates on Star Wars Battlefront, head here.
GALAXY OF HEROES, the popular mobile game, will also continue to receive updates. They haven’t exactly been great at informing players of what’s coming, so we don’t know much of anything that is coming for 2019. But attentive players have reason to suspect that the original Millennium Falcon and Darth Revan and/or Malak will be coming to the game in 2019 at the very least. It’s also possible that Jedi Luke Skywalker will finally make his way to the game this year, which would be a massive deal. For more updates on Galaxy of Heroes, head here.
The only new release that we are aware of for 2019 also happens to be pretty exciting: STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER is coming “Holiday 2019,” and it will be a story-based game from EA and Respawn Entertainment that is highly-anticipated. The story will follow a Jedi Padawan who survived the events of the Jedi Purge and Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith. I am really excited to be able to play this game later in the year!
STAR WARS CELEBRATION!
One of the biggest events of the year for Star Wars and its fans will be STAR WARS CELEBRATION CHICAGO, taking place April 11-15 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Celebration always features plenty of panels and guests that are very exciting for Star Wars fans, and my expectation is that this year’s Celebration could be one of the biggest yet. I fully expect that we’ll get the first trailer for Episode IX during Celebration, I expect that we’ll get our first real look at The Mandalorian during Celebration, and I expect that we’ll get news about future standalone films at Celebration. And that’s just in addition to all of the great panels and appearances that makes the gathering so great. If you can’t make it, Lucasfilm has streamed past Celebration panels online, so you shouldn’t miss out on anything.
Last but certainly not least is GALAXY’S EDGE, the Star Wars theme park coming to Disney Land and Disney World in 2019! The park is opening in Disneyland in California in Summer 2019, and it will be opening in Walt Disney World in Florida in Fall 2019. This park is designed to be a fully immersive experience. The visitor will be visiting the planet Batuu in the sequel trilogy era, and the entire park will be intended to make the visitor feel like he or she is truly setting foot in the galaxy far, far away. It will feature thrilling attractions (we know of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Rise of the Resistance), characters, sights, sounds (John Williams has composed a brand-new theme for the park), a hotel, and much more! It will, from the sounds of it, truly allow you to feel like you’re in the Star Wars galaxy. For more updates on Galaxy’s Edge, head here.