Massive Star Wars Updates: Hayden Christensen Back As Vader, Ahsoka and Lando Series On the Way

Plus, Patty Jenkins' surprise Star Wars movie and everything else we learned from Lucasfilm's epic presentation at Disney's Investor Day.

by | December 10, 2020 | Comments

On December 10, 2020, Disney unveiled its new streaming-focused strategy to investors at a special, online Investor Day. With an aim to hit between 300 and 350 million subscribers to its direct-to-consumer platforms by 2024, the company expects all of its creative silos to produce high quality content for Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and Star – an international streaming component which will serve as the main app in some regions and a Hulu-like component of Disney+ in others.

But as the company itself admitted during the tail end of the roughly four-hour presentation, hitting that subscriber number means leveraging Star Wars for all its worth. Luckily, Lucasfilm was ready to deploy plenty of content from the Galaxy Far, Far Away. In addition to The Mandalorian, the company will produce eight additional shows over the next few years. It also plans to continue making feature films and even branch out into realms where even the Mandalorian cannot tread.

It all represents a lot of content, so let’s take a look at everything we learned from the Lucasfilm presentation at Disney’s Investor Day.

The Book of Boba Fett Arrives in 2021, The Mandalorian Also Set To Return

Pedro Pascal and Grogu in THE MANDALORIAN, season 2, Chapter 14

(Photo by © 2020 Lucasfilm)

At the time of the presentation, it appeared Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy referred to The Mandalorian‘s third season as gearing up for a December 2021 release, but it became clear two weeks later that The Book of Boba Fett will take the series’ place next winter. Set to star Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen as Boba Fett and Fennec Shand, it will be “the next chapter” in Disney+’s Star Wars storytelling.
The Mandalorian will return sometime afterward. Presumably, it will resolve the new conflict between Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff). Also, Giancarlo Esposito previously said fans may learn more about Moff Gideon and his real intentions in season 3.

Diego Luna Is Back in Cassian Andor Series, and We Now Know Its Title: Andor

Although in development for quite sometime, the spy-thriller series staring Diego Luna as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’s Cassian Andor is finally in production. To celebrate, Lucasfilm unveiled a sizzle reel featuring a look at some of the sets and finally confirmed the series will be called Andor. Set prior to Rogue One, it will see Cassian becoming a valuable Rebel asset and feature actors Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, and Kyle Soller. Genevieve O’Reilly will also appear as Mon Mothma, a part she has played since Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The 12-episode series will debut on Disney+ in 2022.

Hayden Christensen Returns in Obi-Wan Kenobi for the “Rematch of the Century”

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

(Photo by © Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Also in development for seeming ages, the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series coming to Disney+ will feature Ewan McGregor as the famed Jedi and, in a shocking twist, Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader. Kennedy teased a “rematch of the century” between the two former friends 10 years after Obi-Wan left Vader for dead on Mustafar. This notion would seemingly break one of the longest-standing aspects of Star Wars continuity – the two are not supposed to meet again until their fight on the Death Star – but there are many ways for Obi-Wan to encounter his former apprentice again. Nevertheless, fans of the Star Wars prequels were pleased to hear of Christensen’s return. Under the direction of Mandalorian veteran Deborah Chow, the series will begin production in March of 2021.

Clone Wars Follow-up The Bad Batch Gets a Teaser Trailer

The animated Star Wars: The Bad Batch will continue the tale of the special mission clone troopers featured in the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. As their name suggests, the unit is composed of clones who hatched differently from the rank-and-file troops. Each member of the team is a highly specialized commando, but not exactly predictable or compliant. As glimpsed in the teaser trailer screened at the Investor Day presentation, the program will follow the Bad Batch as they become mercenaries in the early days of the Empire. The series comes to Disney+ next year.

An Extensive Disney+ Roster And An MCU-Style Crossover Event


Beyond those four shows, which we had some details of before Investor Day, the future of Star Wars on Disney+ was veiled in a mist of rumors and unconfirmed reports. Kennedy dispelled some of that uncertainty by announcing five new titles and one film-length adventure for the service.

  • The Acolyte: The series long in the works from Russian Doll creator Leslye Headland will focus on a character during the final days of the High Republic – a period some 100 years prior to the Skywalker Saga – who comes to know the power of the Dark Side.
  • Ahsoka: One of two series from Mandalorian executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. Rosario Dawson will continue to play the live-action version of the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars favorite following her debut in Season 2 of The Mandalorian. Presumably, she will continue her search for Grand Admiral Thrawn and, one hopes, Star Wars Rebels‘ Ezra Bridger.
  • Rangers of the New Republic: The other series from Favreau and Filoni will follow a group of New Republic soldiers in the same era as The Mandalorian. While Kennedy offered few details about this show, she mentioned it will cross over with other stories in The Mandalorian and Ahsoka and culminate in an “event” at some point in the future. An Avengers-style crossover would be a new thing for Star Wars, so it will be interesting to see how this develops.
  • Star Wars Visions: An anthology series featuring the talents of leading Japanese anime studios. Each of its 10 episodes will be a short film and center on some unique aspect of the Star Wars Galaxy. Think The Animatrix with a healthy heaping of The Force.
  • Lando: Dear White People’s Justin Simien is developing this limited series devoted to everyone’s favorite scoundrel. While it is unclear who will play Lando, a teaser video featuring Lando’s unblemished Millennium Falcon suggests it will go back to the days before he met Han Solo.
  • A Droid Story: The sole film in the Disney+ roster will be an “epic journey” featuring a new hero guided by R2-D2 and C-3PO. It will also be a chance to expand the technological prowess of Lucasfilm’s animation wing and its live action special effects magic.

The Theatrical Future of Star Wars In Taika Waititi’s and Patty Jenkins’ Hands

Though Kennedy spent most of her time talking about Star Wars’s place on Disney+, she did offer some updates on the feature film slate. Taika Waititi is still working on the script to his Star Wars film. “Taika’s approach to Star Wars will be fresh, unexpected, and … unique,” Kennedy said. “His enormous talent and sense of humor will ensure that audiences are in for an unforgettable ride.”

But Kennedy surprised everyone by announcing Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins would direct the next Star Wars feature, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. Set in a what Kennedy called a “future era of Star Wars,” it will tell the tale of the famed X-Wing fighter squadron. In a video Jenkins posted to her own Twitter account, she said the project takes inspiration from her father, a US fighter pilot who lost his life in service to the country. “It ignited a desire to turn all that tragedy and thrill into the greatest fighter pilot film of all time,” she explained. It is slated for release in December of 2023.

Curiously, though, no mention was made of the film trilogy Rian Johnson is reportedly developing for Lucasfilm.

Some Non Star Wars News from the Land of Lucas: Willow, Indy, and an Original

(Photo by © Lucasfilm)

Beyond Star Wars, Lucasfilm is also working on a handful of interesting projects.

First, there is the Willow television series. Spearheaded by Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s Jonathan Kasdan and Arrow‘s Wendy Mericle, it will follow a new generation of heroes and a returning Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) on quest to save the realm. According to unconfirmed reports, Ellie Bamber, Cailee Spaeny, and Erin Kellyman will lead the series as that younger generation of adventurers. Crazy Rich Asians’ Jon Chu will direct the pilot.

Kennedy also confirmed the upcoming Indiana Jones film will be the last. Harrison Ford returns once last time as Dr. Henry Jones Jr. But in a series first, Steven Spielberg will hand the director duties off to Logan’s James Mangold. The choice of director also reflects the sense of finality developing around the project.

But perhaps most exciting project touted is Lucasfilm’s first new concept in decades: the company intends to adapt City of Blood & Bone by Tomi Adeyemi for the big screen. The story centers on a young African girl’s quest to restore magic to her forsaken people. While Lucasfilm will always be the Star Wars company, it is refreshing to see them look to new ideas. 20th Century Studios will act as a producing partner on the project.

Lucasfilm’s plans presented by Kennedy suggest a robust future for Star Wars and a big turnaround from the original intention to produce a new Star Wars film every year. Surprisingly, the streaming universe seems a better fit, although, we cannot wait until it is safe to see a Patty Jenkins X-Wing movie in a theater. Nonetheless, it is hard to ignore the hard shift to Star Wars as a home entertainment brand. Of course, we imagine generations of fans clutching their action figures and DVDs will find little to complain about in this expanded, streaming Star Wars future.

January 2021 Update: This report was updated to clarify that The Mandalorian season 3 is not expected in 2021. 

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

Prime Video Holiday remakes james bond Netflix nature asian-american mission: impossible french FX slasher Spring TV classics Pride Month cars RT21 fresh new york Esquire Tarantino cancelled TV shows spider-verse kaiju 79th Golden Globes Awards Neflix NBA 94th Oscars book adaptation MSNBC screenings HBO Max TIFF Spectrum Originals pirates of the caribbean psycho jurassic park Focus Features slashers football Family doctor who Sundance TV Pacific Islander serial killer Showtime godzilla psychological thriller laika MGM Oscar 45 Arrowverse die hard crime Anna Paquin marvel cinematic universe supernatural Teen Character Guide kids suspense BET archives SundanceTV crossover Marathons Bravo streaming dramedy gangster IMDb TV aapi Hallmark italian Starz South by Southwest Film Festival streamig Vudu festival boxoffice Awards Tour popular YouTube Red rt labs dogs biography DC Comics facebook Women's History Month Marvel Television ID E3 HFPA dceu universal monsters elevated horror news new star wars movies sports robots legend Box Office sag awards Pirates cops golden globes Valentine's Day spanish language Nickelodeon social media BBC One live event video Academy Awards Epix Broadway zombie Superheroe Pop TV summer TV preview posters TV One Trivia FXX thriller trailers Musical animated comic book movie biopic cults Wes Anderson Sci-Fi Apple TV+ Amazon Prime Video hollywood dragons concert rt archives batman politics Cannes werewolf Mystery 007 MTV disaster ABC Signature docuseries Cosplay Trophy Talk talk show cats indie Television Critics Association joker black comedy Disney streaming service canceled TV shows live action lord of the rings renewed TV shows Heroines cooking breaking bad Calendar Schedule OWN unscripted Western Crunchyroll Pixar new zealand President NYCC Drama Netflix Christmas movies TLC Elton John aliens heist movie 93rd Oscars jamie lee curtis foreign Marvel Toys technology green book FOX Lionsgate franchise Paramount Network award winner Hollywood Foreign Press Association Awards 2021 movies Disney Channel Action women Extras miniseries scene in color richard e. Grant vampires Dark Horse Comics 1990s sitcom mutant Hallmark Christmas movies international crime drama 21st Century Fox GoT New York Comic Con Amazon black TV trophy rom-coms Classic Film adaptation Christmas Ghostbusters Lifetime Christmas movies TCA Winter 2020 HBO Election Fox Searchlight crime thriller critics Cartoon Network spider-man anthology comic zero dark thirty Food Network PBS Baby Yoda Brie Larson Peacock know your critic Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Paramount basketball twilight Disney Plus sopranos royal family halloween king arthur streaming movies christmas movies broadcast book leaderboard cinemax A24 CW Seed Funimation The Walking Dead 24 frames comiccon space History boxing Certified Fresh ITV halloween tv GIFs Kids & Family Year in Review Opinion WarnerMedia scorecard Legendary rt labs critics edition 2018 Emmys what to watch TV movies Paramount Pictures VICE Premiere Dates prank 71st Emmy Awards stoner science fiction Shondaland series DGA First Reviews travel The Academy composers superman AMC Plus Superheroes australia 4/20 DirecTV genre CBS All Access IFC tv talk Endgame Walt Disney Pictures The CW APB all-time Freeform toy story TCA Awards Film Television Academy indiana jones police drama 2015 festivals movie Super Bowl Warner Bros. 72 Emmy Awards obi wan debate TCA based on movie sequels YA comedies MCU Grammys TV Land Mary poppins saw spanish BAFTA documentaries Stephen King CNN cancelled television Black Mirror YouTube Premium TruTV Masterpiece screen actors guild television ABC Rom-Com Nominations Podcast telelvision casting marvel comics comic book movies Paramount Plus feel good VH1 discovery Star Wars HBO Go RT History dc Reality docudrama nbcuniversal directors Rocky Apple TV Plus strong female leads reboot Quiz PaleyFest blaxploitation Animation San Diego Comic-Con NBC TCA 2017 critic resources Captain marvel Mindy Kaling Lucasfilm transformers mob spain japan Chernobyl superhero 2017 stop motion worst movies Image Comics ESPN japanese Adult Swim natural history Red Carpet El Rey Hulu Tags: Comedy 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Fargo finale Tubi OneApp Mary Tyler Moore revenge Comic Book singing competition political drama ratings Set visit Britbox Comedy Central theme song Logo wonder woman CMT Spike free movies X-Men FX on Hulu Instagram Live king kong Winners TCM Winter TV hist The Arrangement romantic comedy DC streaming service obituary Song of Ice and Fire canceled cancelled dreamworks Mary Poppins Returns high school National Geographic Infographic Oscars SXSW 2022 Fantasy satire Ovation USA DC Universe A&E 2019 deadpool Best and Worst Comic-Con@Home 2021 CBS Black History Month name the review historical drama emmy awards Amazon Studios romance venice Reality Competition Martial Arts summer preview quibi ghosts teaser E! BBC razzies a nightmare on elm street Travel Channel Holidays Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt blockbuster Lifetime Comics on TV The Purge Best Picture mcc children's TV Film Festival criterion sequel Universal rotten justice league vs. films 2020 olympics Pet Sematary WGN Nat Geo south america First Look Alien Rock Best Actor The Walt Disney Company Sneak Peek scary movies Syfy dark Turner Classic Movies Photos true crime summer TV Fox News hispanic best ViacomCBS hispanic heritage month 90s PlayStation Star Trek spy thriller reviews SXSW rotten movies we love Music cartoon Amazon Prime Tokyo Olympics Binge Guide Avengers action-comedy monster movies Tomatazos Ellie Kemper IFC Films Trailer 20th Century Fox TBS Best Director war Biopics parents Country mockumentary nfl Universal Pictures AMC scary blockbusters GLAAD anime toronto Mudbound harry potter versus Emmy Nominations art house independent Creative Arts Emmys Interview YouTube cancelled TV series Fall TV Summer Horror worst TNT golden globe awards Columbia Pictures Rocketman Tumblr Pop Acorn TV game show Discovery Channel medical drama fast and furious Exclusive Video USA Network kong stand-up comedy zombies Disney+ Disney Plus Video Games comics spinoff Comedy Watching Series Sony Pictures video on demand Best Actress documentary Crackle adventure Polls and Games Shudder SDCC Marvel Studios adenture American Society of Cinematographers LGBT diversity BET Awards Apple young adult binge TV renewals hidden camera Musicals ABC Family Thanksgiving Turner child's play The Witch witnail target 99% dexter 2016 Countdown 73rd Emmy Awards Hear Us Out VOD Writers Guild of America Disney Sundance BBC America latino Sundance Now See It Skip It comic books period drama game of thrones chucky LGBTQ