Star Wars Celebration 2023 kicked off on April 7 in London and already, just a few hours into the large weekend-long event, Lucasfilm has revealed a load of new information about upcoming Star Wars movies and projects. Don’t worry about searching around for all the news, as we’ve collected all the big, cool Star Wars news here.
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A new Star Wars film set after the Sequel Trilogy starring Daisy Ridley
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of Celebration so far is the confirmation that Daisy Ridley is coming back to Star Wars. Disney and Lucasfilm announced that The Force Awakens actress will return as Rey in a sequel to the recent Star Wars trilogy. It will be set roughly 15 years after the events of Rise of Skywalker and will be about Rey’s journey to bring back the Jedi Order.
This new film starring Rey will be directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy with a script written by Steven Knight. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said the new film will be about Rey looking for fresh Force-sensitive recruits as she forms a new Jedi Order.
“I’ve always been attracted to the hero’s journey and the fact that the world needs many more heroes,” said Sharmeen.
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“My heart is pounding,” Ridley said on stage at the event. “I’m very thrilled to be continuing this journey.”
Plus two more Star Wars films are in the works from Dave Filoni and James Mangold
Lucasfilm didn’t just announce one Star Wars film. It announced three. And the other two Star Wars movies are set in totally different eras than Rey’s returning film.
One of the movies is set during the same time period as recent Disney+ shows The Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett and is from Rebels and Clone Wars creator Dave Filoni. According to a blog post from Lucasfilm, Filoni’s live-action Star Wars film will “focus on the New Republic” and will “close out the interconnected stories told in The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, [and] Ashoka.”
Finally, a third film from director James Mangold (Logan) is also in development and will be set in a very different time period of the Star Wars galaxy. Mangold’s film will reveal the “Dawn of the Jedi” and will be set 25,000 years before the prequels.
“When I first started talking to Kathy about doing one of these pictures, what occurred to me was thinking about what kind of genre of movie within Star Wars I wanted to do,” Mangold said. “And I thought about a Biblical epic, like a Ten Commandments, about the dawning of the Force. Where did the Force come from, when did we discover it, when did we learn how to use it?”
No release dates were given for these films or an order in which to expect them. And considering how many Star Wars films have been announced and canned over the last few years, I’m not sure all of these will see the light of day. But I’m excited about this approach. Three new films set in three different eras seems like a smart way to bring Star Wars back to theaters and gives the franchise and creators more flexibility over where to go next.
The first trailer for the new Ahsoka series looks amazing and teases Thrawn
We’ve known for a while that Lucasfilm has been working on an Ashoka show, with teases and hints being given for well over a year now. However, after all that teasing, we finally got our first proper trailer for the upcoming show starring Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka, a former Jedi who first appeared in the Clone Wars animated show and later in Rebels and The Mandalorian.
Last we saw her, she and Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren were getting together to go find their friend and Jedi-in-training Ezra Bridger who saved the day by using space whales to shoot himself and Grand Adrimal Thrawn off into the void. It seems this new series will pick up that storyline, with other Rebels characters returning too, like droid Chopper and pilot Hera Syndulla.
The Ashoka series also got a release date. It will start streaming on Disney+ this August.
First footage of Star Wars Acolyte revealed to Celebration attendees
While it wasn’t officially posted online, Lucasfilm did show off the first footage of its upcoming show Star Wars: The Acolyte. This Disney+ series from Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) is set at the end of the High Republic era about 100 years before Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace and will explore the Dark Side of the Force.
Apparently, Headland appeared on stage with a Wookiee Jedi played by Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo. She also explained that she initially pitched the show to Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy as “Frozen meets Kill Bill.”
“Shockingly, she didn’t kick me out of the building,” Headland said. “It’s High Republic near the beginning of the prequels and an exciting part of the timeline. This is when the bad guys are outnumbered. They are the underdogs. I’m really excited for you guys to see things you haven’t seen in live-action yet.”
Some footage was shown to the crowd and you can read io9’s breakdown of the footage. No specific release date for this one beyond 2024.
Andor season 2 coming Summer 2024
During the show’s Star Wars Celebration panel showrunner and creator Tony Gilroy, along with several of the hit show’s writers and star Diego Luna, provided the first look at the upcoming second and final season of Andor. The footage was released only for folks in the room and hasn’t been officially released online.
Gilroy says the new season will premiere in 2024, possibly in August. Here’s how io9’s Justin Carter described the preview footage of season 2.
Footage shown at Celebration teased the return of key characters, including Rebel cell members Vel Sartha and Luthen Rael (in and out of his disguise as an antiquities dealer), as well as Syril Karn, who appears to have gone up in the world, and been thrust into a higher class of Imperial citizenship.
Scenes also showed Mon Mothma slowly building alliances, trying to bring her disparate senatorial and rebellious worlds together as dissent grows across the galaxy. Several shots showed a protest being policed by Stormtroopers, where violence breaks out with lots of explosions and lots of chaos.
But at the heart of it all was footage of Cassian, both skulking through hallways and seemingly coming into his own as a Rebel spy. The trailer concluded with Luthen echoing his comment from season one—“Don’t you want to fight these bastards for real?”—over a shot of Cassian, dressed up in a fancy suit with his hair slicked back, in some kind of fancy bar.
First look at Star Wars Skeleton Crew starring Jude Law
In new footage introduced by Jude Law during today’s Celebration event, audiences were shown a trailer that features kids living on an unnamed forest world. They do boring kids stuff like go to school and all that, but want more. They want adventure. And they find it.
Here’s how io9 described the footage they saw:
The kids appear to have found their way aboard a mercenary starship. There are shots of them encountering weird creatures, holograms of their parents back home begging for them to return, and the kids being menaced by pirates
The kids find themselves on the run from blaster fire in what looks like a pirate base and flying away on their new ship before the trailer concludes with them locked up in a prison cell carved out of a cave.
A hooded figure approaches, floating the key to their freedom in front of the kids with a whimsical display of the force. “He’s a Jedi!” One of the kids exclaims as the figure lowers their hood to reveal that it is Jude Law’s mysterious character.
Skeleton Crew was announced last year and will explore the world of Star Wars “through the eyes of children” but its creators are clear to point out that it’s not a kid’s show “even though it stars kids.” The series will follow a group of kids from a tiny planet who get lost in the galaxy and have to find their way back home. On the Star Wars timeline, Skeleton Crew is happening around the same time as The Mandalorian and Ahsoka. It’s premiering sometime this year on Disney+.
And that’s it for now. However, with Star Wars Celebration just starting, it’s very likely more news about what to expect next from the biggest sci-fi franchise in the world will be revealed throughout the weekend.