On their quarterly investor call Thursday night, Disney announced a Star Destroyer full of Star Wars news. A total of nine new Disney Plus shows based in the Star Wars universe will be coming in the next couple of years, as well as a new movie from the director of “Wonder Woman.”
Let’s break down all the upcoming trips to a galaxy far, far away.
1. Ahsoka Gets Her Own Show
This is what made me the most excited of any of this news. Set in the same timeframe as “The Mandalorian,” staring Rosario Dawson as Anakin’s former padawan and produced by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, “Ahsoka” will likely follow the former Jedi’s journey to find Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn.
If you study the background of that show’s logo below and you’re a fan of “Star Wars: Rebels,” you’ll notice something. It’s from the “World Between Worlds” episode in the final season. That was the point Ezra saved Ahsoka from the crumbling Sith temple after her battle with Darth Vader by “pulling her” into the World Between Worlds.
This may give us an indication that we’re headed back to that special temple on Lothal.
2. New Republic Flyboys
The next show set in what we may begin calling “The Mando-verse” is “Rangers of the New Republic.” Also produced by Favreau and Filoni, this Disney Plus show will follow the pilots of the New Republic, maybe including Trapper Wolf, and Carson Teva, whom we’ve met in “The Mandalorian.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if Mando’s friend Cara Dune also made a guest appearance on this show. “Rangers” has the potential to be a police procedural set in the Star Wars galaxy, or maybe a story about the fighter pilots who roam the stars seeking to keep the burgeoning First Order at bay.
3. Obi-Wan and an Old Friend
We had a pretty good idea this show was already being made, but now it’s official. “Obi-Wan” will take place 10 years after “Revenge of the Sith,” and in addition to Ewan McGregor reprising his role as the titular character, we’ll also get Hayden Christenson back under the mask as Darth Vader, a role he hasn’t played since the end of the prequels in 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith.”
This show will be helmed by esteemed director Deborah Chow, who did work on season one of “The Mandalorian” as well. It is about to begin filming in London and Boston, although not Boston, Massachusetts, but the small town of Boston in the U.K.
Hayden Christensen returns as Darth Vader, joining Ewan McGregor in OBI-WAN KENOBI. The Original Series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Revenge of the Sith, and is coming to #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/9WR2npRUkk
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 10, 2020
4. Cassian Andor: Rebel Super-Spy
This is another project we were pretty sure was happening, and now it too has been confirmed. We even got a short behind the scenes look at the series, which is filming right now and will apparently debut in 2022.
Diego Luna will reprise his role originated in 2016’s “Rogue One” for at least 12 episodes in what is described by Luna as “the building of a revolution.” The cast is chock full of great actors, including “Rogue” alums Alan Tudyk and Genevive O’Reilly plus newcomers Stellan Skarsgard, Fiona Shaw, Kyle Soller, Denise Gough, and Adria Arjona. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmie Smits and Forest Whitaker show up in prime guest spots.
The show will be written by Tony Gilroy, who helped write and direct “Rogue One,” and some of the episodes will be directed by Toby Haynes, who is famous for his work on “Sherlock,” Doctor Who,” and “Black Mirror.”
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 10, 2020
5. The Lando Calrissian Chronicles
The galaxy’s favorite caped scoundrel is back! There’s not much information on this project, except that it’s being put together with the help of writer/director Justin Simien. There have been rumors about this show for a while now, including that it will feature both Billy D. Williams as older Lando, and Donald Glover as young Lando.
In the unfairly maligned “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” Donald Glover’s younger Lando dictates some of his adventures into a collection he dubs “The Calrissian Chronicles.” That’s likely the basis for this show, but we won’t know until we get a more substantial update on its progress, probably this time next year.
6. The Acolyte
The only show set in the High Republic Era, “The Acolyte” will be developed by Leslye Headland, who made a name for herself with Netflix’s “Russian Doll.” She’s let out a lot of little clues about this series over the last few months, including that it will be female driven and inspired by Indiana Jones.
After the Disney call, we now know that it will be a “mystery thriller” set in the final days of The High Republic, a new era of Star Wars being explored in upcoming books, comics, and potentially future feature films. In Star Wars history, there were people who were acolytes of the Dark Side of the Force, some who even served Darth Vader.
7. The Bad Batch Returns
Part of the final season of “The Clone Wars” animated series, The Bad Batch were a group of misfit clone troopers who each had a special skill. Now, they’ll get a chance to have their own animated series set in the final days of the Republic and the early days of the Empire.
We got a sweet sizzle reel to tease the series, which will undoubtedly be helmed by Filoni, who created the characters. My bet is that Dee Bradley Baker, the man who provided the voiceover work for every clone in “Clone Wars,” is going to lose his voice by the time he’s done recording this series.
8. A Droid Story
Another new cartoon, this one a collaboration between Lucasfilm animation and Industrial Light and Magic, “A Droid Story” will apparently introduce us to a new droid hero that will be guided by the two most legendary droids in that galaxy far, far away: C-3PO and R2-D2.
Not much else is known about the show, and there is no release date yet for its debut on Disney Plus. There was a cheesy “Droids” cartoon with C-3PO and R2-D2 on Saturday morning cartoons when I was a kid, but I’m betting this is less like that show and more like the droid-focused episodes of “Clone Wars.”
9. Star Wars Anime
This is an interesting project. “Star Wars: Visions” was described as a series of animated short films that “celebrates the Star Wars galaxy through the lens of the world’s best Japanese anime creators.” There has been some work in this vein with the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel doing some anime-style recreations of key Star Wars moments. If this is something similar, it could turn out to be pretty cool.
10. Rogue Squadron Is back
There was a series of very popular books and a video game in the 1990s about the most famous of Star Wars pilots: Rogue Squadron. Now, those pilots are getting a feature film directed by the incomparable Patty Jenkins, whom Disney is stealing straight from the Warner Brothers lot.
Jenkins has just finished her second “Wonder Woman” movie, which will debut on HBO Max at Christmastime. In a video Disney released as part of the investor meeting, Jenkins tells the story of her own father, who was a fighter pilot who died defending our country.
She says, “It’s been a lifelong dream as a filmmaker to one day make a great fighter pilot film.” This movie has an amazing amount of potential—think “Top Gun” meets “Star Wars.” This will also be the first Star Wars feature film made after the close of the Skywalker Saga, but don’t be surprised if a few old familiar faces make an appearance.
In Star Wars lore, Rogue Squadron was founded by two of the Rebellion’s most famous pilots: Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles. If it’s not delayed because of COVID, “Rogue Squadron” will debut in December 2023. Hopefully there will still be movie theaters to see it in.
11. Taika Waititi’s Take
Finally, Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that yes, Academy Award winner Taika Waititi is in fact working on a Star Wars film. She said, “Taika’s approach to Star Wars will be fresh, unexpected, and…unique. His enormous talent and sense of humor will ensure that audiences are in for an unforgettable ride.”
Waititi is coming off both a directing and acting role in season one of “The Mandalorian,” and is currently working on the next Thor movie: “Love and Thunder.” No word on when his take on Star Wars will debut.