This past Thursday saw the big Disney Investor Day event for 2020, and with it came a cavalcade of new announcements for the Star Wars franchise and its parent company Lucasfilm. In the video below, I spoke with fellow Laughing Place correspondent Jeremiah Good live on YouTube about our takes on all these reveals, and our hopes in general for the future of Star Wars.
Watch Look Ahead Live! – Star Wars:
In the list below, I’ve enumerated every major Star Wars title announced both previously and during the Disney Investor Day, along with my brief thoughts on each project.
Star Wars: The High Republic by various authors (launches January 5, 2021) – Set two hundred years prior to the events of the Skywalker Saga, The High Republic sees the Jedi Order at their peak as they go up against a newly introduced faction of villains called the Nihil– a band of amoral marauders with a secret weapon that gives them a unique advantage in taking on their enemies in the New Republic. I’ve read the first three novels in this multi-platform initiative from Lucasfilm Publishing, and I’m very intrigued to see where the series goes from there. If you’re interested in checking this out for yourself, the first entry– Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi— is a good place to start.
Continuing Star Wars comic books by various writers and artists (ongoing weekly) – One of my favorite venues for Star Wars storytelling, especially over the past half-decade or so, Marvel Comics has been doing a consistently great job filling in the gaps between movies and telling fresh, outside-the-box serialized tales involving characters both new and familiar. In 2021 we’ll get more stories from the main Star Wars title by Charles Soule, Darth Vader by Greg Pak, Bounty Hunters by Ethan Sacks, and Doctor Aphra by Alyssa Wong. There’s even a Star Wars: The High Republic tie-in comic coming from writer Cavan Scott and IDW’s The High Republic Adventures by Daniel José Older. I’m always excited to read more Star Wars adventures in this graphic format.
Star Wars: Victory’s Price – An Alphabet Squadron Novel by Alexander Freed (March 2, 2021) – The concluding chapter in the already-excellent Alphabet Squadron trilogy will see the ragtag band of starfighter pilots go up against the flailing Galactic Empire one last time in the days prior to the Battle of Jakku. I’m absolutely loving this series so far, and I think Freed was the perfect choice to carry on the grand tradition of novels about Star Wars military pilots. I’m guessing (based on hints in the previous story) that Victory’s Price will depict the liberation of Coruscant, not to mention give us a satisfying conclusion to the characters we’ve come to know and love in the first two books.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra by Sarah Kuhn (April 6, 2021) – Summer 2020 saw the release of Sarah Kuhn’s audiobook adaptation of the first arc of Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra’s adventures, as originally depicted in the Star Wars: Darth Vader comic book. And this coming spring we’ll be getting a printed script version of Kuhn’s work, making Doctor Aphra accessible to an even broader audience. I’m a fan of the character, and I enjoyed how Kuhn presented that first storyline from Aphra’s perspective, so it will be nice to own this adaptation in hard-bound form and read along with the performance of the audio version’s stellar cast.
Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy – Greater Good by Timothy Zahn (May 4, 2021) – One of the best, most accomplished authors in Star Wars publishing history continues the current Thrawn origin-story trilogy set in Chiss space, outside the more familiar Star Wars galaxy. I can’t get enough of the infamous Grand Admiral, first introduced back in 1991’s now-Legends novel Heir to the Empire, and I’ll always be anxious to consume more Thrawn stories, especially when Zahn is involved. And now that we know Grand Admiral Thrawn might show up in live-action before too long (see The Mandalorian season two for more information), it makes reading about the genius military strategist even more thrilling.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch on Disney+ (expected 2021) – An animated spinoff of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch will focus on Clone Force 99, a group of clones who didn’t turn out exactly like their Jango Fett-replica brothers, but in ways that proved advantageous to the Republic army. This series will take place after Order 66 wiped out the Jedi Order and the Empire rose to take the Republic’s place under Emperor Palpatine. Expect to hear voice actor Dee Bradley Baker reprising his roles as the clones, plus more surprises from executive producer Dave Filoni and writers Jennifer Corbett and Matt Michnovetz.
Star Wars: Visions on Disney+ (expected 2021) – I’m fairly intrigued by this ten-episode miniseries of animated shorts directed by Japanese cinema’s “best anime creators.” We don’t know much more about it at the moment, but it should be a fun experiment at the very least.
The Mandalorian: An Original Novel by Adam Christopher (November 2, 2021) – This novel was delayed a full year, so either that means it wasn’t up to the quality expected by Lucasfilm or there was another, perhaps more plot-centric reason for pushing it back. Either way, I’m interested to see Din Djarin’s adventures continue on the written page (we’ll also be getting a The Mandalorian comic book at some point in 2021, so I’ll look forward to that as well). Will this be a prequel to the beginning of the series, perhaps detailing Mando’s exploits prior to his acquisition of “the asset,” or will Grogu show up in this book as well? We’ll find out next fall.
The Mandalorian season 3 on Disney+ (expected winter 2021/2022) – Production is scheduled to resume sometime very soon (if it hasn’t already) on the third season of the smash hit live-action Star Wars series, which should see the continuing adventures of bounty hunter Din Djarin and his adorable young ward Grogu. This week’s season two finale might shed some more light on where the series is going, but other than that the producers have been characteristically tight-lipped about what additional characters and locations will show up in the third batch of episodes. Regardless, The Mandalorian has become the mothership of Star Wars storytelling in the absence of any feature film releases, so fans will be waiting with bated breath for another go-round next year.
Star Wars: Ahsoka on Disney+ (premiere date TBA) – Arguably the most exciting Star Wars announcement to come out of Disney Investor Day, this spinoff of The Mandalorian will see actress Rosario Dawson reprise her role as the live-action version of former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano, presumably continuing her quest to track down Grand Admiral Thrawn and with him another young Jedi named Ezra Bridger, who went missing at the conclusion of the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Ahsoka mania has swept the nation and the world since the character was first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and it only looks as though the craze will continue.
Star Wars: Rangers of the New Republic on Disney+ (premiere date TBA) – Very little is known about this second The Mandalorian spinoff, except that it is being developed once again by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, and its story will intertwine with its progenitor in some way. I’m incredibly curious to know more about the New Republic in the period after the fall of the Galactic Empire, so this title appeals to me quite a bit. We don’t know who’s starring, what characters are involved, or really anything else about this series, but hopefully we’ll find out more soon.
Star Wars: Andor on Disney+ (2022) – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Diego Luna is reprising his role as Rebel Alliance operative Cassian Andor for this live-action prequel series, and with him comes a cast of talented performers like Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller and Genevieve O’Reilly– back as Mon Mothma once again. Showrunner Tony Gilroy has Rogue One experience, so hopefully the show will be as good as the movie was.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ (premiere date TBA) – Speaking of actors reprising their roles, Ewan MacGregor and Hayden Christensen are back as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader respectively, in an event series directed by The Mandalorian’s Deborah Chow and set ten years after Star Wars: Episode II – Revenge of the Sith. Naturally Obi-Wan is supposed to be camped out on Tatooine watching over young Luke Skywalker during this time, but apparently he finds his way off-planet to confront Vader once again. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding this series, but a lot of behind-the-scenes turmoil as well, so count me as cautiously optimistic Lucasfilm has figured out the best creative approach.
Star Wars: Lando on Disney+ (premiere date TBA) – Showrunner Justin Simien of Dear White People is bringing the smooth-talking scoundrel back for more misadventures on the small screen in this upcoming event series. The only thing is, we don’t officially know who will be playing Lando Calrissian himself just yet, though rumors have pointed to Donald Glover reprising his role from Solo: A Star Wars Story. If that’s the case, it’s a safe bet Lando will be a fun ride.
Star Wars: The Acolyte on Disney+ (premiere date TBA) – The first TV series set during “the final days of” the High Republic era, The Acolyte is being developed by Russian Doll creator Leslye Headland. Again, we don’t know much more about it except that Lucasfilm describes it as a “mystery-thriller” that somehow involves dark side powers. Intriguing.
Star Wars: A Droid Story on Disney+ (release date TBA) – An animated film developed by Lucasfilm’s in-house visual effects department Industrial Light & Magic, and involving beloved droids C-3PO and R2-D2 as they guide a new hero on an epic journey. That’s all we know, but it sounds like it might be fun.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (December 22, 2023) – Officially the next Star Wars feature film scheduled to hit theaters. Talented Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins is bringing her lifelong love of fighter pilots to the big screen in this adventure that will, according to Lucasfilm, “move the saga into the future era of the galaxy.” Does that mean this movie will take place after the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? It sure sounds like it, though the Rogue Squadron stories we’re more familiar with are all set during the time period of the Original Trilogy. I’m sure we’ll get more announcements about this eventually, but for now this project is still a few years away from seeing completion.
Taika Waititi Star Wars movie (expected December 19, 2025) – Announced back in May for Star Wars Day, the What We Do In the Shadows director is bringing his off-kilter style back to A Galaxy Far, Far Away after directing the first-season finale of The Mandalorian. Yet again, we don’t have any additional details on what this movie will be about or when exactly it will be set in the larger Star Wars timeline, but we do know Waititi is working with co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns of the Oscar-nominated 1917 on the screenplay.
Rian Johnson Star Wars trilogy (release date TBA) – Yes, it was officially announced over three years ago and we haven’t heard much about it since, but until Disney issues a statement taking it off the table, we’re going to assume The Last Jedi director is still developing his own trilogy of Star Wars films.
Kevin Feige Star Wars movie (release date TBA) – Similarly, the incredibly successful Marvel Studios president was officially announced to be developing a Star Wars movie at Lucasfilm back in the fall of 2019, though we didn’t receive any more details over the following year. Is this still happening? We don’t know for sure, but it hasn’t been publicly canceled, so it goes at the bottom of the list.
There’s so much on the way from Lucasfilm and Star Wars, it can absolutely be difficult to keep up. With that in mind, we at Laughing Place hope that the above will prove to be a helpful guide as we move into this next phase of storytelling in the universe that George Lucas created more than forty years ago.