In early December, Disney held their annual Investor Day. The web event showcased the exclusive content to come in 2021 and onward. One of the most anticipated was what’s to come out of the Star Wars catalog. President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, promised: “…there’s more to come…”.
Our Only Hopes
It was revealed that there will be a new film and 10 new shows included with a new season of The Mandalorian. Kennedy confirmed that The Mandalorian’s executive producers, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, will collaborate again for two of the 10 spin-off series. They are Rangers of the New Republic and Ahsoka. Both are set within the same time frame as The Mandalorian (five years after Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi).
Rangers of the New Republic
Rangers of the New Republic is speculated to be about rebel pilots (featured in several episodes of The Mandalorian) patrolling and protecting the galaxy during the New Republic’s earlier years. It could basically be an intergalactic cop show! It’s rumored that Cara Dune (Gina Carano) will be recruited as hinted during this season’s Mandalorian episode, “The Siege”. The scene shows Dune considering it after Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) conversed about the planet, Alderaan, and leaving her a Republic medal.
Ahsoka is a series to be excited for. Padawan to Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano (Ashely Eckstein) became an immediate fan favorite. Her history expands through Star Wars: Rebels, her self-titled novel, and The Mandalorian episode, “The Jedi”; now played by Rosario Dawson. Following her live action debut, it’s presumed that this series will follow her search for Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen).
Remember the guy that blew up with the rebellious girl in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Well, he’s not dead…yet. Set before the film, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), continues his gig as a Rebel spy in what Kennedy has described as “a tense, nail biting spy thriller”. Cassian reunited with his droid buddy, K-2S0 (Alan Tudyk) while tension brews between him, a new team, and returning character, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly). Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity) is set to direct the 12-part series. Andor is set to premiere in 2022.
Another long-awaited series finally says, “Hello there.” The Obi-Wan Kenobi series was officially announced and added to the slate of upcoming shows. Set 10 years after Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, the limited series follows Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) during his exile. The biggest announcement to come out was that Hayden Christensen would return to portray Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.
Despite the sand and youngling hating, the announcement brought balance to the force. Christensen stated, “Of course, Anakin and Obi-Wan weren’t on the greatest of terms when we last saw them… It will be interesting to see what an amazing director like Deborah Chow has in store for us all. I’m excited to work with Ewan again. It feels good to be back.” It’s unclear if his Anakin/Darth Vader will transcend through varies shows. However, Kennedy has teased that his involvement in the series will be “the rematch of the century”. We can debate on the rematch in A New Hope when the Obi-Wan series releases.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Coming off Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch takes place immediately after Revenge of the Sith. The new animated feature follows Clone Force 99, a group of defective clones with enhanced abilities. They’ll be adjusting to the newly formed Empire as they make their way around the galaxy as skilled mercenaries. They’re basically the X-Men for hire; not accepted in the clone society, but the Empire could sure use them. Filoni will also take charge with expectation to tie the stories with Ahsoka and The Mandalorian. The predicted release is looking to be somewhere in the first half of 2021.
A Droid Story
Back in 1985, droids R2-D2 and C-3PO had a Saturday morning cartoon series on ABC called Star Wars: Droids – The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO. The 13 episodes and a special followed their adventures set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It was a campy show to say the least.
Now collaborating with Lucasfilm’s visual effects team, Industrial Light & Magic, a spiritual remake of the ‘80s cartoon is in the works. The story will follow the droids as they help guide a new hero. No word yet on if they’ll bring back characters like Thall Joben and Jord Dusat. They might not, as they weren’t as important.
A sequel to Ron Howard’s 1988 film, Willow will have Warwick Davis return as the great sorcerer. The new series will introduce a new hero mixed with the fun adventures. The first to take on the pilot episode will be director, Jon Chu (Crazy Rich Asians). The series is set to air in 2022.
Twist at the End
After the Investor Day, one series was purposefully left out of the lineup. For those who got to check out the season two finale of The Mandalorian, they made a surprise announcement through a post credit scene.
[The following contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season two finale]
The post credit scene shows Jabba’s palace now run by Bib Fortuna (Michael Carter). Bib, now looking a bit like Jabba, has his minions ambushed by Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) and Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison). Boba Fett comes face to face with Bib, killing him instantly. Boba claims the thrown with Fennec taking her place at his right. It was then announced that The Book of Boba Fett will debut December 2021.
This announcement was filled with “I told you so’s” and total confusion. Audiences believed that Boba Fett’s story will be the third season of The Mandalorian. However, it was cleared up by Jon Favreau as fast as Han Solo shot first. “This is actually separate from The Mandalorian Season 3,” Favreau told Good Morning America. He confirmed that they’re currently filming this spinoff series and will immediately go into production of season three of The Mandalorian, “with the main character that we all have known and loved (played by Pedro Pascal).”
"There is another"...and another
More shows include Lando, The Acolyte, and the anime inspired, Star Wars: Visions. Each are currently in the early stages of production. What more can there be? How about another Star Wars film!
Now there’s no need to groan or be in fear as this has nothing to do with the Skywalker Saga that was just finished. This film will be directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) and will be called, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. This will focus on the new generation of starfighter pilots willing to do whatever it takes to earn their wings. Think of it like Top Gun, but in a galaxy far far away. The film is set to debut in December 2023.
Disney's New Hope
To think that in 2005, we said “goodbye” to Star Wars like Anakin bid a farewell to his mom. Little did we know that there’s no stopping this phenomenon. With all the new content coming up, Disney+ and Lucasfilms are giving the fans what they’ve always asked for in this franchise, expansion.
It’s possible that all these shows will tie up MCU style. However, the way things are set up, these new stories and adventures are tying up lose plot threads of the movie saga. The best way they’re even trying to accomplish this is having teams who appreciates the lore of the saga and will to have various stories told with beloved characters that have more to offer. All that’s left to say is may the force be them.