Disney announces multiple new Star Wars series


The Walt Disney Company Investor Day 2020 logo is pictured.  Disney executives announced more than 10 Star Wars series and films as a part of their Investor Day presentation.  (Walt Disney Company)

Robert Sterner, Advisor

The Walt Disney Company announced eight new Disney+ series and a trio of movies set in the Star Wars universe during their 2020 Investor Day presentation on December 10.  While several of the series had been previously hinted at or even green lit, this was the first time fans got solid details on many of them.

The Walt Disney Company Investor Program offered many details beyond those offered in the streamed presentation by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.

The highly anticipated series Obi-Wan Kenobi has Ewan McGregor returning to the title role for what Disney is calling an “event series.”  The series, according to Disney, “begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where he faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.”  And, yes, Hayden Christensen is returning as Darth Vader.  The series will be helmed by Deborah Chow who directed two episodes of the first season of The Mandalorian.  Her other credits include directing episodes of Better Call Saul, Mr. Robot, Reign, Fear the Walking Dead, Man in the High Castle, Turn, Jessica Jones, and Lost in Space. Production is set to begin in March 2021, but no release date was announced.

The second series announced was Andor, “a tense nail-biting spy thriller created by Tony Gilroy.”  Gilroy has a long list of writing and producing credits including: Michael Clayton, The Bourne Trilogy of films, and Rogue One.  Returning in the title role as Cassian Andor from Rogue One is Diego Luna.  The cast is stacked with Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly returning in the role of Mon Mothma from Rogue One.  The series’ production began “two weeks ago in London,” according to Kennedy, and will hit Disney+ in 2022.

Introduced as a live-action character in Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian, Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka Tano gets her own limited series written by Dave Filoni titled simply: Ahsoka.  The series will be executive produced by Filoni and Jon Favreau.  No release date was announced for Ahsoka.

Rangers of the New Republic offered up what might be Disney+ most intriguing series.  From Mandalorian executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, Rangers is “Set within the timeline of “The Mandalorian,” Rangers of the New Republic is a new live-action series […] that will intersect with future stories and culminate into a climactic story event.” In the live stream, Kennedy said Ahsoka will also be part of this intersection and culmination which will occur Christmas 2021.

An animated spin-off series, Bad Batch, “follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in “The Clone Wars”) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War,” according to Disney’s Investor Program.  The series is set “In the post-Clone War era, [and the Bad Batch] will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.”  No release date was announced beyond “coming soon.”

Another intriguing series from Lucasfilm is Star Wars: Visions, a collection of 10 short films from “leading Japanese animation studios, offering a fresh and diverse cultural perspective to Star Wars.”  Which studios, plot details, or release date were not offered.

A series announcement that raised more questions than answers was Lando.  Helmed by Justin Simien, “creator of the critically-acclaimed “Dear White People” and a huge Star Wars fan, is in the early stages of developing the project.”  However, the return of Donald Glover to reprise his Lando Calrissian was not included in the announcement.  Glover was considered a bright spot in the mixed Solo: A Star Wars Story.

The unusually titled, The Acolyte, is a “mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.”  Helmed by Russian Doll showrunner Leslie Headland, few details were available for this series.

The Mandalorian is confirmed to return for a third season.  This may be the show’s final season, based on Kennedy’s hint that the Rangers and Ahsoka series will culminate in a combined “event.”  Regardless, The Mandalorian has been a massive success driving sign-ups for Disney+ and a fan favorite.

Beyond the numerous series announced, Disney also announced several feature films.

The first is A Droid Story featuring R2D2 and C3PO which will be an “epic journey and will introduce us to a new hero, guided by the legendary duo.”  No release date was announced for this animated feature.

The next comes from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins: Rogue Squadron.  The film focuses on “fighter pilots” and is slated for a December 2023 release.  The story centers on “a new generation of starfighter pilots as they earn their wings and risk their lives in a boundary-pushing, high-speed thrill-ride,” according to the Investor Program.  Jenkins released her own passionate explanation of her desire to make this film on her Twitter account.


Academy Award winning director Taiko Waititi was also announced to be heading to the director’s chair for a future Star Wars 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.” However, no details were forthcoming.