There’s a slew of new Star Wars information flowing out of this weekend’s Celebration event in London – some expected, some much less so. Had it all happened a week ago, some of it might well have been dismissed some as an April Fool or wish-fulfilment (depending on your views).
First the known or expected news: There was a formal trailer for Ahsoka, starring Rosario Dawson as the exiled Jedi character introduced in the animated Clone Wars wing of the mythology as the student of Anakin Skywalker (before his turn to the Dark Side) and who made her live-action debut in The Mandalorian). Mary Elizabeth Winstead also appeared, confirming she’ll be playing the Hera Syndulla character from Rebels. Other co-stars include Eman Esfandi, Ray Stevenson and Ivanna Sakhno. There are rumours that Hayden Christensen will also reprise his role as Anakin. The series will debut in August.
Andor creator Tony Gilroy confirmed that the show’s second and final season – currently in production – is set to return to screens in August 2024. The series, with a much darker, slower and political tone was a big hit when it debuted several months ago with a known limited run. “We know exactly where we’re going so you know what you have to deliver. It was a decision born of survival, but it’s been creatively potent. We’re very pleased, it’s good to know there’s an ending coming,” Gilroy explained.
In recent years, the main thrust of the Lucasfilm universe has been firmly grounded on the Disney+ platform. Shows such as The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor and The Book of Boba Fett have catered for different corners of -and tones within – that universe to varying degrees of success. In the near future they will joined the likes of the aforementioned Ahsoka, Skeleton Crew (featuring a group of rebellious kids and a bald Jedi Master played by Jude Law) and The Acolyte (set far back between the High Republic and the beginning of the prequel films). Kathleen Kennedy joked that tonally it’s between Frozen and Kill Bill.
Now the unexpected: it’s been formally announced that three new Star Wars movies are in various levels of preparation.
Those disappointed with the most recent three ‘core’ films (that ended with The Rise of Skywalker) will be interested to know that Daisy Ridley is set to return as an older and wiser Jedi Master, passing on her knowledge to young padawans in a Jedi Academy setting (though – to be clear – unlikely to have the same tone as other Academy-monikered projects outside the franchise such as Police Academy, Starfleet Academy etc!). The story will be set fifteen years after the last film and is set to be directed by Ms. Marvel‘s Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Ridley appeared on stage at the Celebration and seemed delighted to be heading back to this universe again. Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) is currently writing the script and this could well be the first of the new movies to make it to screens.
Director James Mangold (the man at the helm of such movies as The Wolverine and the imminent Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny) is set to steer a Star Wars film that will look at the first Jedi to ever wield the Force.
Dave Filoni, currently helping to steer the television arm of Lucasfilm‘s mythology, will direct a feature set in the similar New Republic part of the timeline.
These projects look set to replace previously announced productions – including Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron which is now on hold and the separate potential stories from the likes of Marvel honcho Kevin Feige and Game of Thrones‘ D.B. Weiss and David Benioff – that have fade away or being officially cancelled.