On December 10, new Star Wars projects were announced at The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day event. Some of these projects were quite a surprise, while others were expected. Regardless, I’m very excited for all the new Star Wars content to come. Here is the first part of my entries into why I’m so excited for these new Star Wars films and series.
The next new Star Wars movie from LucasFilm will be Rogue Squadron. Long time fans of Star Wars will remember this squadron fondly. I grew up playing the Rogue Squadron series of games on Nintendo. When I discovered the series of books written by Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston, I couldn’t put them down. I’ve read this series over multiple times.
This is all to say, I’m very excited to see what Patty Jenkins will do with this subject matter. Oh, I didn’t mention it yet? Patty Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman, will be heading up this new Star Wars project. Considering she was the driving force behind one of the best DC films ever, and definitely the best in recent years, I have no reservations about this project.
“It’s been a lifelong dream as a filmmaker to one day make a great fighter pilot film,” said Jenkins. “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.”
Whether or not this version of Rogue Squadron will reintroduce great characters such as Corran Horn, I expect great things from this film. The only problem is that we’ll have to wait until 2023 to see what they come up with for this storied squadron.
I was at D23 last August when this was announced, and I was SO BUMMED that I couldn’t see it live. They brought Ewan McGregor on stage and he was very excited to announce he’s been lying to us. He knew they were working on this and he had been sworn to secrecy. But now he can finally talk about this new Star Wars project!
Since then, there have been little but rumors about this series. We have heard it will be a limited “special event” series and that it will be exclusive to the Disney+ streaming service. We can now add a couple more facts. The first is where this series will fall in the timeline. It will be set 10 years after The Revenge of the Sith, or about 9 BBY. This places the story a year after the events of Solo: A Star Wars Film.
The second new piece of information we learned is that Hayden Christensen will be reprising his role as Darth Vader. Possibly the most polarizing casting of the prequel series, Christensen played Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. While some fans will be overjoyed to hear that he will be reunited with McGregor on screen, more jaded fans will remember his woody acting. This polarization could hurt the limited series’ chances of gaining the same following Clone Wars and The Mandalorian enjoy.
The best thing to come from Clone Wars, the announcement Ahsoka Tano will receive her own series was not unexpected. Rosario Dawson did an amazing job taking up the mantle in her live-action debut. As a longtime fan of the character, my only complaint with Dawson’s portrayal was her voice. Eckstein’s voice is higher pitched and more playful. That being said, I have the same complaint about pretty much every character that has jumped from animation to live-action or vice versa.
Written by Dave Filoni, and Executive Produced by Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, this series is the one to watch. I have enjoyed every one of their entrances into the Star Wars universe, and I expect this show will be no different. With the advancement of CGI sets first introduced in The Mandalorian, LucasFilm and ILM will have little trouble bringing the physics defying aspects of the Force from the Clone Wars to live action.
Rangers of the New Republic
Possibly the most surprising announcement made was the series Rangers of the New Republic. Set during the events of The Mandalorian, this limited series is promised to culminate in a crossover story event. Whether this is just with The Mandalorian or they will combine with Ahsoka as well remains to be seen. My prediction is that each show will have their Big Bad, with Moff Gideon and Thrawn the apparent villains for The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, respectively. These villains will either combine forces or all be working under the same evil boss.
As for who will star in Rangers of the New Republic, that hasn’t been announced. If LucasFilm uses characters we have already been introduced to, the apparent choices to star in the series are Cara Dune and/or Cobb Vanth. While both are marshals on Tatooine, it’s not that far a reach to see them accept positions with the New Republic. However, I suspect this will not be the case. I hope that we will be introduced to new characters in the New Republic in order to expand the Star Wars universe.
This is the third series to be set within the same timeframe. It also immediately follows the events of the Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig. As the time gets saturated, it becomes harder and harder to keep canon straight. I expect that Rangers of the New Republic will be the final entry in this part of the timeline, at least of those stories we will see on screen.