This morning, at Lucasfilm’s big showcase at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023 – taking place in London, UK – Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced three Star Wars movies were in early stages of production. Each movie will be set at different stages of the extended franchise timeline: Dawn of the Jedi (directed by James Mangold), The New Republic (Dave Filoni‘s film directorial debut), and New Jedi Order (directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy). New Jedi Order movie sees Daisy Ridley reprise her role as Rey in a story set 15 years after the events of Rise of Skywalker.
Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy – whose work includes Ms Marvel and 3 Bahador – will cover the future of the Star Wars story. Picking up 15 years after the fall of the First Order, Jedi Master Rey Skywalker teaches the next generation of force wielders as new threats emerge. There isn’t too much info to go on but Daisy Ridley took to the stage to formally announce her return to the Star Wars franchise following the controversial (and critically panned) Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019). We do not know if Obaid-Chinoy’s movie will officially be Episode X (or the start of a new trilogy).
The Dawn of the Jedi movie may likely be loosely based on the now non-canon comics by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, published by Dark Horse Comics between 2012 and 2014 (when Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas, and the license was moved to Marvel). It will be directed by James Mangold who described it as being a project borne of his desire to tell a “biblical” style story akin to Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956) but set in the Star Wars universe. It is a period that explores the emergence of force users in the galaxy far, far away and their eventual split into two camps: Jedi and Sith.
Dave Filoni will have his live-action feature film directorial debut off the back of Ahsoka where he will tie together all the threads from the current live action Star Wars slate set in the post period following the fall of the Empire, i.e. The Mandalorian, Book of Boba Fett, and Ahsoka – in an event movie that sees the nascent New Republic and the Imperial Remnant enter into open conflict.
Also at the Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023 Lucasfilm Showcase:
- ANDOR: Season 2 is in production. Expecting August 2024 release
Tony Gilroy said “Last time we came [to SWC] we were a secret” and following the strong reception of Andor season one he said it was “tremendously exciting to be here and be part of the community in a legit way.”Season 2 will be the concluding series of Andor – and will complete the story that Tony Gilroy had envisioned when engaging on this project. While season two will be the last, Gilroy said he aims to finish it “proudly”. Shooting started November 2022 and they are currently halfway through production. They hope it will release August 2024.A sneak peak was exclusively shown – but there wasn’t enough info to really go on.
- THE ACOLYTE (2024) – shooting almost complete
Creator, writer, director, and executive producer of the series Leslye Headland came on stage along with the cast of the show.
Kathleen Kennedy has already seen four completed episodes of the series.
Headland said that she wanted to explore the perspectives of the villains and bad guys, and that she had proposed the story to Kennedy as “Frozen meets Kill Bill”.
It is set between the High Republic period and the prequel movies and it is when the bad guys are outmatched and the underdogs in a universe filled with a Jedi Order at the height of its powers. It will be the furthest back the Star Wars franchise has gone in live action.
For cinematic inspiration, Headland delved into Chinese wuxia, old school Japanese samurai classics, and Shaw Brothers movies.
Filming for the Acolyte is scheduled to wrap in May with a prospective 2024 release.
A preview was shown that featured lots of Jedi, younglings, with Carrie Anne Moss using the force and martial arts – facing a black clad, masked Amandla Stenberg.
- THE MANDALORIAN – exec producers talk the season so far at Star Wars Celebration 2023 and its concluding episodes
Exec Producers Dave Filoni, Rick Famuyiwa, and Jon Favreau took to the stage.Favreau said that “the story was starting to culminate”Filoni said the great thing about the Star Wars franchise right now – in front of and behind the camera – was that it was embracing different perspectives. “so many exciting things from different points of view”Famuyiwa said that this season was really about exploring what the title of the series really means – and the pooling of threads from across the two seasons of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
- SKELETON CREW (2023?) is Jon Watts and Christopher Ford’s baby
Filoni and Favreau were coy about giving much away about the plot – merely saying that it is about a group of kids on a great adventure in the wide galaxy getting into more trouble than they can handle. The film was mentioned to Favreau around the time he was filming Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) with Watts, before Disney Plus was even a reality. Watts had also pitched it to Kathleen Kennedy previously but nothing had come of it.The show’s stars were introduced – Jude Law, and three of the four kids (one was sick) – Ravi Cabot-Conyers, Kyriana Kratter, and Robert Timothy Smith – took to the stage to see the first trailer live. All the kids came from Star Wars loving families and Ravi Cabot-Conyers mentions that one of his first baby onesies was a Star Wars one.
Directors for the show will include Jon Watts, The Daniels (Kwan and Scheinert of Everything Everywhere All At Once fame), David Lowery, Jake Schreier, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Lee Isaac Chung.
A snippet was shown and it appears Jude Law may be a Jedi. It also seems Vane, our Nikto pirate friend from Mandalorian season 3, will make an appearance.
- AHSOKA will debut in August; new trailer and poster; Hera Syndulla confirmed
Rosario Dawson (Ahsoka), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Sabine Wren), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead took the stage. It was revealed that Winstead will be playing another Rebels alum: Hera Syndulla in the live action series.It was also announced that the show will launch on Disney Plus in August 2023. A poster and trailer was shown – we caught glimpses of Thrawn, Chopper and two characters weilding Sith lightsabres (they could be Imperial Inquisitors).
So far the Star Wars Celebration 2023 is a lot better than last year. Last year they had panel after panel after panel of people hawking new Star Wars tie-in games, toys, etc which was amazingly dull and off-putting. They did everything then but put a crawl under the panels saying BUY! BUY! BUY!
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