Get ready for the floodgates to open. During its Investors Day, Disney announced that it is planning to release a ton of new shows over the next couple of years, including 10 new Star Wars projects.
During the presentation, Kathleen Kennedy took the stage to provide an update on The Mandalorian‘s ongoing second season, and announced some new concurrent spinoff shows: The Rangers of the New Republic and Ahsoka. The next “chapter” will debut on Christmas 2021.
Both shows will jump off from The Mandalorian, something that Bob Iger had hinted at a while back. We’ve seen some elements of those projects embedded during this current season of The Mandalorian, the efforts of the New Republic to maintain some order throughout the Galaxy and Outer Rim, and of course Ahsoka Tano (played by Rosario Dawson), who appeared in the episode “The Jedi” a couple of weeks ago and appears to be on a mission of her own—hunting down Grand Admiral Thrawn. According to Kennedy, the shows will “intersect with future stories and culminate into a climactic story event.”
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Beyond those shows, we’ve known about a couple of those projects already: there’s the Rogue One prequel about Cassian Andor, a miniseries about Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a series from Russian Doll creator Leslye Headland.
Kennedy provided a first look at Andor—the previously untitled series about the Rogue One character and his sidekick K-2S0. This project has already entered production, Kennedy noted, and it’s now slated for a 2022 release. Joining Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk is Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly.
Along with the announcement came a short behind-the-scenes feature that showed off some of the concept art, sets, costumes, and props that’ll appear in the series.
The next series will be called Obi-Wan Kenobi will take place 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, which is set to enter production in March. The biggest announcement from the event was a new addition to the cast: Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy, will be returning to the franchise to play Darth Vader in the series.
Another live-action series that’s in the works comes from Dear White People creator Justin Simien—Lando—which sounds as though it’s currently in development. Kennedy described the series as an “event series”, and it seems likely that it’ll share some connection to the 2018 standalone film Solo: A Star Wars Story, which starred Donald Glover. Lucasfilm didn’t indicate if Glover or Billy Dee Williams will reprise their roles.
Kennedy also provided a hint at Leslye Headland’s story, The Acolyte, which she says will be set during the same time frame as the upcoming book and comic crossover series, The High Republic. She characterized it as a “mystery-thriller that will take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers.”
In the animated space, Kennedy provided a look at a couple of new projects: the upcoming animated series The Bad Batch, a spinoff of the Clone Wars TV series, following Clone Force 99, which was introduced in the final season of The Clone Wars. The teaser trailer for that show offered plenty of action as the Empire establishes itself, and shows off some familiar characters—Grand Admiral Tarkin and Fennec Shand.
Also announced was Star Wars Visions, a series of 10 short animated films from several Japanese anime studios. And finally, Kennedy announced A Droid Story, a “special Star Wars adventure for Disney+”, which will be a collaboration between Lucasfilm Animation and Industrial Light & Magic, and will follow “a new hero, guided by legendary duo R2-D2 and C-3PO.”
Filmwise, Kennedy announced that Patty Jenkins would direct a new film called Rogue Squadron, while director/writer/actor Taika Waititi is also developing his own project.
Interestingly, Kennedy said that they’re building a number of new Volume stages—the high-tech screens that they’ve been filming The Mandalorian on, which underlies the production effort that Disney is undertaking with all of these new projects. There will be plenty of Star Wars for everyone, coming soon.