Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy gave updates on a slew of forthcoming Star Wars film and TV projects at Disney’s Investor Day—including a behind-the-scenes teaser for Rogue One-spinoff series, Andor, set five years before the events of the 2016 blockbuster film.
“With The Mandalorian on Disney+, we’ve ushered in an entirely new era for Star Wars,” Kennedy said. “These interconnected shows, along with future stories, will excite new audiences, embrace our most passionate fans, and will culminate in a climatic story event.”
(Some spoilers below.)
Andor is being described as a “tense nail-biting spy thriller,” with Diego Luna reprising his titular role as Cassian Andor from Rogue One. Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote that film, will serve as showrunner, and Alan Tudyk will be returning as the reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO. The cast also includes Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma, a senator of the Republic who helped found the Rebel Alliance, as well as Stellan Skarsgård, Kyle Soller, Denise Gough, Adria Arjona, and Fiona Shaw. The 12-episode series will be set five years before the events of Rogue One.
Andor S1 is set to debut on Disney+ in 2022. Production just started three weeks ago in London. You can watch the behind-the-scenes teaser below.
We learned last year at Disney’s D23 Expo that Ewan McGregor would be reprising his role as the iconic character Obi-Wan Kenobi in a live-action spinoff series. Kennedy disclosed that the series will be set 10 years after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith—you know, the one where Obi-Wan faced off against Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side and eventually became Sith Lord Darth Vader. The big news here is that Hayden Christiansen is reprising his role as Anakin Skywalker. Kennedy called it “the rematch of the century.”
Ahsoka, Rangers of the Republic, Lando, The Acolyte
If you were disappointed not to see more of Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka on The Mandalorian this season (at least she told us The Child’s name is Grogu), you’ll be delighted to hear that the character is getting her own spinoff series on Disney+. In fact, we’re getting two spinoffs from The Mandalorian; the second is called Rangers of the New Republic, executive produced by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.
But wait! There’s even more Star Wars live-action goodness in the works. That lovable scoundrel Lando Calrissian will be getting his own limited series, simply titled Lando. And Russian Doll creator Leslye Headland has signed on to create the female-centric The Acolyte, described as “a mystery thriller that will take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.” It’s supposedly set in a different timeline, or “pocket,” of the Star Wars universe.
You’d think director Patty Jenkins would have her hands full with the Wonder Woman franchise, but Kennedy announced that Jenkins will also serve as director for a new Star Wars feature film, Rogue Squadron. The film is currently slate for a Christmas 2023 release.
Jenkins tweeted out a special video announcement for the project: “It’s been a lifelong dream as a filmmaker to one day make a great fighter pilot film,” Jenkins said in her statement. “As the daughter of a great fighter pilot myself, some of the best memories of my life are of seeing my father’s squadron take off in their F4s every morning, and hearing and feeling the awe-inspiring power and grace. When he passed away in service to this country it ignited a burning desire to one day channel all of those emotions into one great film. When the perfect story arrived in combination with another true love of mine, the incomparable world of Star Wars, I knew I’d finally found my next film. I’m extremely honored and excited to take it on, and grateful to Lucasfilm, Disney, and the fans for extending that thrill to me.”
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) December 10, 2020
And we already knew that none other than Taika Waititi has been tapped to helm an as-yet-untitled Star Wars feature film. “Taika’s approach to Star Wars will be fresh, unexpected, and… unique,” said Kennedy. “His enormous talent and sense of humor will ensure that audiences are in for an unforgettable ride.”
Disney isn’t forgetting about animated series, either. Kennedy introduced a teaser (embedded below) for The Bad Batch, about a group of experimental elite clones first introduced in The Clone Wars. It’s set immediately after the events of that series. Each Bad Batch member has a unique skill, and together they will “take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.”
In addition to that series, we’ll be getting the animated A Droid Story on Disney+, described as “an epic journey” featuring “a new hero, guided by legendary duo R2-D2 and C-3PO.” Finally, there is Star Wars: Visions, a series of animated short films set in the Star Wars universe, created by leading Japanese anime studios.