• James Hewlett

An Expanding Universe

Last night, UK time that is, Disney had their big investors call and made a ton of announcements for all their properties.

Normally this sort of thing would be done at their D23 expo or Star Wars Celebration or other events with just a couple of announcements or trailers coming from this event, but in lieu of any of those this year they held a massive four out live stream and rolled it all into one.

There was a litany of new properties announced or confirmed from all areas of the company; an Alien TV show from FX, a Buzz Lightyear prequel from Pixar and a massive amount of new stuff coming from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to name just a few.

I might dig into those at a later date but today, as I’m want to do, I’m just going to talk about Star Wars!

And oh boy is there plenty to talk about!

I’ll go over what we know and if it’s not much I’ll do some healthy speculating.

Let’s start with the already announced;

The Mandalorian is obviously returning for a third and fourth season at least. No need to go in deeper on that.

Andor, a limited series, I think it is at least, featuring the return of Cassian Andor from Rogue One in the years before that movie when he is acting as a spy for the Rebellion.

Tony Gilroy of the Bourne series of films is in charge and seems to be a good fit for the tone they’re shooting for.

The Bad Batch is a new animated series spinning out of the final season of The Clone Wars featuring the clone trooper squad of the same name. By the looks of things from the brief trailer we were shown I have a feeling a main focus will be on these troopers contemplating their place in the newly formed Empire. I’m pretty sure I saw Fennec Shan from The Mandalorian in there too!

Obi-Wan Kenobi, an special event series helmed by Debra Chow is set ten years after Revenge of the Sith, placing it about halfway between episodes three and four of the Skywalker saga. They announced at the conference the return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader. I personally am hoping there isn’t any personal interactions between the characters and that Kenobi remains on Tattoonie for the whole thing. Brining Hayden back into his prequel role leads me to believe we’ll see some flashbacks, dreams or force visions from Old Ben in his isolation.

They made mention of Taika Waititi’s film which is being written at the moment but no word on Rian Johnson’s movies or any other previously announced film projects.

Now on to the stuff we hadn’t heard about yet!

Ahsoka, the first of two series they described as spinning off of The Mandalorian, though with this I am kind of thinking it’s more likely to be our long awaited Rebels follow up plot wise.

I’m hoping for Rahul Kholi as an older Ezra as well as live action Sabine and Thrawn. I think this is a limited series.

Rangers of the New Republic is the other spin off and I believe is most likely to star Cara Dune in her newly minted marshal role. I have conflicted feelings because as good as she is in show and I like the character, Gina Carano is a garbage person and shouldn’t be rewarded with a lead role. Fingers crossed for more Bo-Katan though.

Lando is a live action event series similar to Obi-Wan, they announced the guy running the show but I forgot to write down his name. I will say that I think it’s great to see Lucasfilm finally stepping up and hiring a lot more diverse creative talents for appropriate projects.

They showed some concept art and everything leans toward this being a Donald Glover era Calrissian though they didn’t confirm him by name. I’d be shocked if he’s not back though. Maybe we’ll get a Bill Dee Lando telling stories from his past, that’d be a cool way of including both! Maybe some follow up to the Solo movie too.

The Acolyte is a new animated series set near the end of the High Republic era. A fertile and unexplored time in Star Wars history a few hundred years before The Phantom Menace. The era is actually first being explored in books and comics starting next month. Maybe we’ll get some clues as to what this show will be there.

A Droid Story is an animated show that seems to be targeting a slightly younger audience, somewhere between the Lego shorts and the Clone Wars. It focuses on a new droid character and its interactions with R2 & 3PO.

Visions is going to be an anthology of stories from some of the most acclaimed anime directors working today. I get the sense this is their answer to Marvel’s What If and could be similar to The Animatrix from way back. I think it could be cool to see some different styles and stories.

And then finally, in a very Steve Jobs style move there was one more thing to announce. We know that the focus is on series for Disney+ for now but that doesn’t mean we’re not getting any movies. The next one we’re getting is from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and it’s a bloody Rogue Squadron film!!!

I have dreamt about this for twenty years. They said all the right things, have a great director attached who seems passionate about the right aspects of what I’d want a Rogue Squadron movie to be and I couldn’t be more excited.

I don’t know when it’s coming, I don’t know anything about it and I don’t even care, it is coming and that’s enough.


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©2017 by James Hewlett.