On Thursday we got a massive amount of information all at once and one of the big highlights was all the Star Wars updates from Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy. The news included brand new films and television shows along with the official return of prequel actor Hayden Christiensen in the role of Darth Vader.
Here is a rundown of the big news revealed at the event by Kennedy and Lucasfilm.
ROGUE SQUADRON – The next Star Wars feature film will be Rogue Squadron — directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman franchise). 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.
I’ll be hopeful that Legends pilot Dash Rendar from Star Wars: Shadows of The Empire is considered for the project given he used the call-sign Rogue Twelve and can finally join Star Wars canon.
Rogue Squadron is set for release on December 22, 2023.
KENNEDY: “Patty has established herself as one of the top directors working in the film industry today. She’s a visionary who knows how to strike the balance between action and heart, and I can’t wait to see what she does in the Star Wars galaxy.”
JENKINS: “It’s been a lifelong dream as a filmmaker to one day make a great fighter pilot film. As the daughter of a great fighter pilot myself, some of the best memories of my life are of seeing my father’s squadron take off in their F4s every morning, and hearing and feeling the awe-inspiring power and grace. When he passed away in service to this country it ignited a burning desire to one day channel all of those emotions into one great film. When the perfect story arrived in combination with another true love of mine, the incomparable world of Star Wars, I knew I’d finally found my next film. I’m extremely honored and excited to take it on, and grateful to Lucasfilm, Disney, and the fans for extending that thrill to me.”
OBI-WAN KENOBI – Ewan McGregor returns in the iconic role of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi for a special event series on Disney+. Officially titled Obi-Wan Kenobi, the series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where he faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. The series is directed by Deborah Chow, who helmed memorable episodes of The Mandalorian, Season 1, and features the return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader.
Despite previous rumblings of filming starting next month, Kennedy confirmed it won’t begin until March.
CHRISTIENSEN: “It was such an incredible journey playing Anakin Skywalker. 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.”
AHSOKA – After making her long awaited live-action debut in The Mandalorian, Ahsoka Tano’s story, written by Dave Filoni, will continue in a limited series starring Rosario Dawson and executive produced by Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau.
After appearing in The Mandalorian, she revealed a search for Star Wars: Rebels villain Grand Admiral Thrawn and this likely means he could be part of show alongside the return of characters like Sabine Wren and Ezra Bridger. We wouldn’t be shocked if Filoni ends up directing the bulk of the episodes.
ANDOR – Andor, a tense nail-biting spy thriller created by Tony Gilroy, is set to arrive on Disney+ in 2022. Diego Luna, reprising the role of rebel spy Cassian Andor from Rogue One, will be joined by a fantastic new cast that includes Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma. Production kicked off three weeks ago in London.
They showed a sizzle reel that had behind the scenes footage and concept artwork.
THE ACOLYTE – Leslye Headland, Emmy Award-nominated creator of the mind-bending series Russian Doll, brings a new Star Wars series to Disney+ with The Acolyte. The Acolyte is 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.
I’ll be keeping my fingers-crossed that this potential Sith-focused series with a female lead means we’ll finally be getting Darth Talon or reason to include a version of her.
LANDO – Everyone’s favorite scoundrel Lando Calrissian will return in a brand-new event series for Disney+. Justin Simien, creator of the critically-acclaimed Dear White People and a huge Star Wars fan, is developing the story.
Kathleen Kennedy stopped short from confirming the return of Donald Glover.
A Legends character like Mara Jade could be an interesting addition for the Lando series as before she joined the Empire she was smuggler.
RANGERS OF THE NEW REPUBLIC – Set within the timeline of The Mandalorian, this new live-action series from executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will intersect with future stories and culminate into a climactic story event.
TAIKA WAITITI’S UNTITLED STAR WARS MOVIE – A brand-new Star Wars feature with acclaimed filmmaker and Academy Award-winner Taika Waititi is in development.
KENNEDY: “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.”
Although, it was noticeable that co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns is absent from the update, despite being mentioned in the original announcement.
Taika begins shooting Marvel’s Thor: Love & Thunder next month in Australia.
THE BAD BATCH – The series follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in The Clone Wars) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch — a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.
They dropped a sizzle reel for the upcoming Disney+ series.
STAR WARS: VISIONS – Presenting all-new, creative takes on the galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: Visions will be a series of animated short films celebrating Star Wars through the lens of the world’s best anime creators. The anthology collection will bring 10 fantastic visions from several of the leading Japanese anime studios, offering a fresh and diverse cultural perspective to Star Wars.
STAR WARS: A DROID STORY – As Lucasfilm continues to develop new stories, the intersection of animation and visual effects offers new opportunities to explore. Lucasfilm Animation will be teaming up with Lucasfilm’s visual effects team, Industrial Light & Magic, to develop a special Star Wars adventure for Disney+, A Droid Story. This epic journey will introduce us to a new hero, guided by legendary duo R2-D2 and C-3PO.
The craziest part is that they’re developing even more projects that they didn’t announce or give updates for such as Rian Johnson‘s all-new trilogy.