On Thursday, December 10, 2020 during The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day webcast, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced an incredible number of new films, series, and surprises that will expand the Star Wars galaxy.
After the show’s unprecedented success, winning seven Emmy Awards, The Mandalorian has inspired two spin-off series called The Rangers of the New Republic and Ashoka that are being developed by none other than Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni exclusively for Disney+.
The Rangers of the New Republic & Ashoka:
Set within the timeline of The Mandalorian, these two new live-action series will intersect with future stories and culminate into a climactic story event which will excite new audiences and embrace Star Wars most passionate fans.
After making her long awaited live-action debut in The Mandalorian, fan favorite Ahsoka Tano’s story, written by Dave Filoni, will continue in a limited series starring Rosario Dawson. The next chapter will debut on Disney+ on Christmas of 2021.
Andor: a tense nail-biting spy thriller in the Star Wars Universe created by Tony Gilroy, writer of the first four Bourne Identity films, 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 which includes Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma.
Production has already begun in London.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Last August at D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, Lucasfilm announced the return of Ewan McGregor in the iconic role of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi for a special event series on Disney+, now officially titled Obi-Wan Kenobi. Fans should be thrilled to hear that Hayden Christensen will be returning in the role of Darth Vader This will be the match of the century. 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 also directed two memorable episodes of The Mandalorian Season 1.
Production will begin March 2021.
The Bad Batch:
During the first year of Star Wars on Disney+, the animated series The Clone Wars saw tremendous success with its epic and final season 7. Building on the legacy of The Clone Wars, the new animated series The Bad Batch follows the specialist commandos of Clone force 99 as they embark on new missions in a rapidly changing galaxy in the aftermath of the Clone War.
Members of The Bad Batch vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army, each possessing a singular exceptional skill which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. The animated series will arrive exclusively on Disney+.
Visions: Star Wars Visions will be a series of animated short films celebrating the Star Wars galaxy through the lens of the world’s best animators. 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.
Lando: Everyone’s favorite scoundrel Lando Calrissian will return in a brand-new event series for Disney+. Justin Simien, creator of the critically-acclaimed and hugely popular Dear White People and a massive Star Wars fan himself, is developing the story. It wasn’t said if Donald Glover or Billy Dee Williams will reprise the role.
The Acolyte: Leslye Headland, Emmy Award-nominated creator of the mind-bending Hulu series Russian Doll, is a boldly innovative filmmaker and she brings a new Star Wars series to Disney+. 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.
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 unparalleled 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 on a special mission known only to them.
Untitled Taika Waititi Star Wars Film: A brand-new Star Wars feature with acclaimed filmmaker and Academy Award-winner Taika Waititi is in development. “Taika’s approach to Star Wars will be fresh, unexpected, and…unique,” said Kennedy. “His enormous talent and sense of humor will ensure that audiences are in for an unforgettable ride. He’s currently hard at work writing this next adventure.
Rogue Squadron The next Star Wars feature film, Rogue Squadron will be directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman franchise) and she will bring her inspired vision to Rogue Squadron. 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. Rogue Squadron arrives in theaters Christmas 2023.
Other Lucasfilm projects
Willow: Outside of the Star Wars Galaxy, Lucasfilm is expanding their presence on Disney+ with another beloved mythological world created by George Lucas. Willow will be set decades after Ron Howard’s 1988 movie, continuing the spirit of adventure, heroics, and humor of the original film. Warwick Davis will return in the role of the great sorcerer, Willow Ufgood, with Jon Chu (director of the groundbreaking Crazy Rich Asians) directing the pilot. Willow begins shooting next March in Wales and will debut on Disney+ in 2022.
Indiana Jones: Lucasfilm is in pre-production of the next and final installment of Indiana Jones. James Mangold, who is known for 2019’s Academy award winning film Ford v Ferrari, 2017’s Logan, and 2005’s Walk the Line (just to name a few), has signed on to be the film’s director.
Of course, Indie himself, Harrison Ford has agreed to play the iconic role of Indiana Jones. This film is scheduled to begin shooting in late spring of 2021 and is expected to be released in theaters in July, 2022
Children of Blood and Bone: Finally, the Lucasfilm catalog is expanding further with a story that will introduce a new hero and explore an original world that feels perfectly paired with Lucasfilm storytelling: Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times bestselling novel Children of Blood & Bone.
The story will center around a young African girl’s heart-racing quest to restore magic to her forsaken people, the Maji. Lucasfilm will partner with 20th Century Studios on this coming-of-age adventure.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was very excited to introduce these projects during the Disney Investor Day webcast. Reel 360 is equally excited to see these projects in their completion as well as many more in the years to come.
Joia DaVida is a Jersey girl and mermaid at heart taking in all things Geek in California.