Another year, another major Star Wars event with big announcements and exciting news at Star Wars Celebration. There were many surprises for the fans and great interviews with the stars. So let’s dive into this recap of this year’s Star Wars Celebration 2023 and revisit the biggest moments once again.
Kathleen Kennedy announced three new Star Wars movies
During these four days of celebrating all things Star Wars, there were certainly some big announcements, some that even hardcore fans didn’t expect. In recent years there has been a trend of announcing a huge number of films and series. However, many have been canceled since their announcement.
This year, three new films have been greenlit and are already in active development. The first is a film to be directed by the very popular James Mangold. In the past, he directed the highly acclaimed Logan as well as the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny film. Mangold’s Star Wars film will tell the story of the first Jedi, set more than 25,000 years before A New Hope. The main plot of this film has been compared to a biblical epic, exploring unknown parts of Star Wars lore.
As Mangold himself said during Celebration
“I wanted to make a kind of Bible movie, a kind of Ten Commandments of Star Wars–kind of a Cecil B DeMille film about the arrival of the Force. […] It’s a movie that both connects to the worlds we know, but is also far enough away from it that I think there’s a lot of opportunities to tell a story freely, also…and not be so incredibly tied in by the knots and different story strands that are already in place.” (via Empire)
Knowing Mangold and his storytelling style, we can certainly expect a proper and detailed origin story of our beloved Star Wars universe.
Next is a film directed by Dave Filoni. This Mandoverse film will be reminiscent of Avengers: Endgame in that it will be the culmination of all the events from the Disney+ series. Among them are The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and the upcoming Ahsoka series. We don’t know much except that the film will be inspired by the events of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy. A trilogy that told the story of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and his time as ruler of the Empire. It’ll be a battle between the Empire/First Order and the New Republic.
The last of the announced films is a continuation of the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will direct the film and will tell the story of Rey (Daisy Ridley) forming the new Jedi Order. But as is always the case with this type of task, some evil forces will try to stop her.
As reported by THR, Lucasfilm wants this film to be released in theaters, followed a year later by Dave Filoni’s project. I think having Star Wars projects released in theaters every 2-3 years is the right direction. Of course, when it came to the main trilogy, not the spin-offs. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see what comes of it.
Disney+ live-action series announcements
Certainly, the biggest reveals from Celebration came from the Disney+ series. They are Ahsoka, The Acolyte, Skeleton Crew, Star Wars: Visions Volume 2, Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Season 2, Young Jedi Adventures, and Andor Season 2. Let’s quickly recap them.
The Ahsoka series is the first live-action series of those to be showcased, with a release date of August of this year. It will tell the story of Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) and Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) searching for Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi). In the background of this story arc, we will see the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn, which was mentioned in one of the previous articles.
Unfortunately, we don’t know much at this point, but the directors set for the project are Dave Filoni, Peter Ramsey, Rick Famuyiwa, Geeta Patel, Jennifer Getzinger, and Steph Green. Dave Filoni is the screenwriter of the entire 8 episodes of the series.
Another exciting project is The Acolyte set more than 100-150 years before the events of The Phantom Menace. The series tells the story of a former Jedi padawan (Amandla Stenberg) who teams up with her master (Lee Jung-jae) to investigate a series of crimes. But the forces they confront are darker and more violent than they might seem. The series will also feature actors such as Dafne Keen, Jodie Turner-Smith, Joonas Suotamo, Manny Jacinto, and Carrie-Ann Moss. The premiere date is set for early 2024.
Andor season 2 and Skeleton Crew are projects we don’t know much about yet. As for the story of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), we only know that it will continue the events of season 1. And all this leads to showing us how Cassian became the person he is in Rogue One.
Skeleton Crew will tell the story of four kids who end up on an adventure to make their way home after getting lost in the galaxy, all because of a discovery they make on their home planet. They will travel together with a former Jedi Master played by Jude Law. Also in the series, we will be able to see Oscar nominee Kerry Condon.
Animations are a big part of telling the stories in the Star Wars universe
Moving on to animation, the next one arriving to our screens will be Visions Volume 2, releasing on Disney+ on May 4th. It will consist of 9 episodes, each created by a different studio. These studios are El Guiri, Cartoon Saloon, Punkrobot, Aardman, Studio Mir, Studio La Cachette, 88 Pictures, D’Art Shtajio & Lucasfilm, and Triggerfish.
For our reviews of individual episodes in season one, check out the links below.
All stories must come to an end, even Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Due to the lack of official information, we do not know what to expect from the final season of the Bad Batch story. But previous seasons certainly suggest that this will be another quality season. (You can read my review of The Bad Batch season 2 finale here.)
Last on the list is Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Season 2 and Young Jedi Adventures. The first will be another story set in perhaps 6 episodes about different Jedi Knights and their stories. As for Young Jedi Adventures, it’s an animation mainly for children, so I doubt it will tell the dark and emotional stories of the universe. (For Emily’s review of Tales of the Jedi season 1 go here!)
A lot to look forward to from Star Wars Celebration 2023
At this year’s Celebration, we were able to listen to past and future cast share their feelings about the universe, watch trailers, and so much more. But as it happens in life, every good thing must come to an end, and now all we have to do is wait for these upcoming projects. And frankly, I’m very excited to see them all.
Star Wars Celebration will return in 2025, this time in Tokyo, Japan. What did you think about the Star Wars Celebration announcements? Did you like them? What was your favorite? Let us know on Twitter and The Cosmic Circus discord. And if you haven’t already, check out our episode of The Cosmic Circle all about Star Wars Celebration 2023!