Today was a massive day for Star Wars fans, as tons of new content was announced from Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy, so I’m going to compile all of the projects mentioned here.
STAR WARS FILMS:
The next Star Wars film to be released will be ROGUE SQUADRON, directed by Patty Jenkins, and releasing Christmas 2023. This is a brand new announcement, and it’s thrilling to have Jenkins directing a Star Wars movie. She will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, and she’s the perfect choice for it too. She is most well-known for her work directing the Wonder Woman films, and she tweeted out an awesome video expressing her excitement for this project:
So that will be the next film to be released from the franchise, and previously we heard that December 22, 2023 would be the release date for the next film, so it’ll probably be around that time. And, of course, Rogue Squadron has a rich history in Star Wars. Here’s how the film is described: “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.”
Additionally, TAIKA WAITITI is currently writing his Star Wars film, which Kennedy described as a fresh, unexpected, and unique take on the franchise.
STAR WARS SHOWS:
The majority of the announcements for Star Wars were in the realm of shows for Disney+, and there are a lot of them! It was revealed that we’ll be getting around ten Star Wars series in the coming few years, and we got a ton of new announcements to line up with that.
Obviously, THE MANDALORIAN is already going and is very popular. A trailer for the second season of the show so far was played, catching people up on where we’re at so far this season. Then Kennedy revealed that the third season of the show will be arriving Christmas 2021. Presumably, then, the third season will arrive a bit later in the calendar year than the first two season did, but not by a ton.
The far bigger news surrounding The Mandalorian was that series creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are currently developing two new spinoff shows, which will be set concurrently with it. RANGERS OF THE NEW REPUBLIC and AHSOKA are both being developed, and the three shows will run simultaneously in the timeline, culminating in a climactic story event. Ahsoka stars Rosario Dawson, who brought the character to live-action in The Mandalorian. That’s not a huge surprise, since the casting of Dawson always seemed to hint that it’d be more than a one-episode cameo. Based on the details provided by StarWars.com, it sounds like Ahsoka will be a limited series and written by Dave Filoni. No real details were given about Rangers of the New Republic, but if I had to guess, I’d say we could be seeing Carson Teva again (and maybe if we’re lucky, Trapper Wolf too!).
Another new project is LANDO, is currently being developed by Justin Simien. This is described as an “event series,” and no additional details were given. Most notably, no details were given about casting, so it will be interesting to see whether it’s Donald Glover or Billy Dee Williams reprising the role (depending on when in the timeline it’s set). My guess would be Glover, but we’ll have to see.
Turning the attention to some shows we already knew about, we got the official titles for the Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi series (not that they’re too surprising of titles).
ANDOR began production three weeks ago and stars Diego Luna in the titular role of Cassian Andor, reprising the role from Rogue One. Kennedy also confirmed some previous casting rumors, stating that Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, and Kyle Soller are joining the cast as newcomers, while Genevieve O’Reilly will return to the role of Rebellion leader Mon Mothma. The show will premiere in 2022 and is being helmed by showrunner Tony Gilroy, described as “a tense nail-biting spy thriller.” We got a cool teaser video for the project:
A teaser was also shown for OBI-WAN KENOBI, but it was not screened for online audiences and was reserved for shareholders only. This highly-anticipated show is helmed by The Mandalorian veteran Deborah Chow, and stars Ewan McGregor in his return as the iconic Jedi Master. But that wasn’t all, as it was also revealed that Hayden Christensen is returning to the franchise to play Darth Vader! “This will be the rematch of the century,” Kennedy teased, though it’s unclear exactly what that means…
Not to be forgotten is Lucasfilm Animation, and THE BAD BATCH is coming soon, following the unique, experimental group of clones first introduced in the seventh season of The Clone Wars. An actual teaser trailer was released for the show!
On top of all of this, there were three other shows announced for Star Wars, too!
The first one we knew was coming, but now we know what it’s about. THE ACOLYTE is the series being developed by Leslye Headland, and it is described as, “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.” That’s incredibly intriguing! That sounds like it could dive into the secrets of the Sith a bit, and the fact that it’s set during the High Republic era is especially interesting! That’s going to be the next major publishing initiative in Star Wars, beginning this January, so to hear that a series is coming from the era is pretty cool.
Lucasfilm Animation is collaborating with Industrial Light & Magic for a new project, A DROID STORY. This adventure introduces us to a new character, guided along by C-3PO and R2-D2. I’m curious to see what the teamwork of the top-notch animation and visual effects divisions is able to produce.
And last but certainly not least, VISIONS is a series of ten anthology animated short films, “celebrating Star Wars through the lens of the world’s best anime creators.” This will be produced by some of the leading Japanese anime studios, which is awesome. It’s still not entirely clear what this is all about, but it sounds like a very cool project.
OTHER LUCASFILM PROJECTS:
While Lucasfilm is primarily known for Star Wars, that’s not all they’re working on. Three non-Star Wars projects were discussed by Kennedy.
The most notable of them all is INDIANA JONES. Described by Kennedy as the final installment in the classic franchise, Indiana Jones 5 will be directed by James Mangold and will star Harrison Ford in his return to the iconic role. Mangold is perhaps most well-known for directing The Wolverine, Logan, and Ford v Ferrari, and he was nominated for Academy Awards for the latter two. The film will be the first non-Star Wars movie by Lucasfilm in the Disney era and will begin shooting in late spring 2021, with a release date (currently) slated for July 2022.
Another of George Lucas and Lucasfilm’s memorable projects will also be seeing a sequel, as there is a WILLOW series being developed! Set decades after the film of the same name, this series will star Warwick Davis in his return as Willow Ufgood, and will be helmed by Jon Chu, who is known for directing the critically-acclaimed Crazy Rich Asians. It was revealed that this series will begin shooting in Wales next March and will be released in 2022!
And finally, as has also been previously reported, Lucasfilm is adapting the bestselling novel CHILDREN OF BLOOD & BONE for film, partnering with 20th Century Studios. For those unfamiliar with the book, “The story will center around a young African girl’s heart-racing quest to restore magic to her forsaken people, the Maji.”
So there you go. That’s FIFTEEN different projects currently in the works at Lucasfilm, which is amazingly awesome and so exciting!