In a major push forward of Star Wars content, Disney announced that they have plans to unveil a total of 10 new television series for their Disney+ streaming services including two new spinoffs from their hit The Mandalorian, a new animated anthology series and a new live action series centering on the rogue Lando Calrissian and a surprise bit of casting for their upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
The announcement was made during the company’s annual Investors Call in which the company rolled out a number of announcements for projects coming in 2021.
Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy revealed that in addition to the ongoing Mandalorian series, writer/director/producers Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau will be shepherding two new series – Ahsoka and The Rangers Of The New Republic.
Both of these series will be set concurrently in the Star Wars timeline with The Mandalorian, with Kennedy hinting that all of three of series will culminate in “a big story event.” Ashoka will continue the adventures of the character first introduced in the Clone Wars animated series and who transitioned to live action in the form of actress Rosario Dawson in a recent Mandalorian episode.
But that wasn’t the only photon torpedo that Kennedy dropped during the Lucasfilm portion of the presentation. She announced that the Rogue One spinoff TV series currently under production that would feature Diego Luna’s character of Cassian Andor will be called simply Andor.
She also stated that the Obi-Wan Kenobi series which is set to begin production next March will feature the return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader! Kennedy calls it “the rematch of the century.”
But that wasn’t the only new live action Star Wars series that Kennedy announced. She also stated that the studio is in dvelopment with Dear White People creator Justin Simien on an “event series” centered on “the galaxy’s smoothest, most notorious scoundrel” – Lando Calrissian. No word if Donald Glover, who played the younger version of the character in Solo: A Star Wars Story, will be back for the series.
Kennedy also confirmed a Star Wars live action series coming from Russian Doll creator Leslye Hedlund that was first reported on last April. Kennedy revealed the project’s title, The Acolyte, and revealed that it will be a “mystery thriller that will take us into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the waning days of the High Republic Era.”
The High Republic Era is set several centuries before the ear of the Star Wars films and is the center of a new push of novels and comics rolling out in 2021. The Acolyte marks the first live action component of that new section of the franchise.
Additionally, two new animated series were announced Star Wars: A Droid Story and Star Wars: Visions alongside a confirmation that the Clone Wars spinoff The Bad Batch was on its way. Star Wars Visions is an animated anthology with episodes coming from various Japanese anime studios while A Droid Story will “introduce us to a new hero guided by our most iconic duo R2-D2 and C-3PO.”
Set five years before the action of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Andor will detail the adventures of Luna’s Rebel spy in the early days of the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire. In addition to Luna, Alan Tudyk and Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma will be reprising their Rogue One roles as the reprogrammed Imperial security droid K-2S0 and Galactic Senator-turned-Rebellion leader Mon Mothma. It has been previously reported that Stellan Skarsgård, Kyle Soller, Denise Gough and Adria Arjona were joining the cast in undisclosed roles.
The series was first announced in November 2018 with The Americans writer/producer Stephen Schiff attached to showrun. Schuiff departed last April and Rogue One co-writer Tony Gilroy was brought in to take his place. Production on the show has started just this month in London. House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon and Gilroy’s brother Dan (Nightcrawler) are also on the writing staff.
Kenobi was initially set to be a Star Wars Story spinoff film directed and co-written by Stephen Daldry, but was converted to a television series of Disney+ after the poor box office reception of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Screenwriter Hossein Amini was brought into the shape the project into its current form while Deborah Chow, who shot two episodes of the first season of The Mandalorian, has been brought in to direct the show’s entire run. Joby Harold also worked on the show’s scripts. Production was set to start in July, but coronavirus pandemic restrictions pushed a shooting start date back to next March.
Set roughly in between Revenge Of The Sith and the original Star Wars film, the series will tell the story of the exiled Jedi Knight keeping watch from afar over young Luke Skywalker. It will consist of six one-hour episodes.
The Bad Batch is a spinoff the popular animated Clone Wars series and will feature the adventures f a small squad of clone troopers who had various defects in the cloning process which give them advantages over regular Clone Troopers.