The third project directed by Mangold, who has just finished directing another Lucasfilm project, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destinyis described as a “biblical epic set 25,000 years before any previously released Star Wars film or television series and would explore “the origins of power.”
Star Wars Celebration is Lucasfilm’s Comic-Con of the Star Wars universe, a multi-million dollar marketing machine disguised as a cosplay-powered fan event. Traditionally held in Anaheim, California, it now alternates with international destinations. This year it took place in the ExCeL exhibition center in London.
Like its traditional Disney-focused sister event, D23 Expo, the studio will use it as a platform for making important announcements related to its film and television projects. On this year’s to-do list: an inevitable reckoning with Star Wars movie plans and the upcoming release of the fifth Indiana Jones film.
But there was more to announce: that a second season of Andor is now in the middle of filming and will debut on Disney+ in August 2024. Namely the new Star Wars series Ahsoka will premiere in August and will feature another transfer from animation to live-action, Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), alongside the show’s main character, Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson).
It has also been confirmed that actor Lars Mikkelsen will star in the film Ahsoka as the show’s villain, the blue-skinned, red-eyed warlord Grand Admiral Thrawn. Though less well known in the mainstream than the franchise’s infamous villain, Darth Vader, Thrawn is a fan-beloved Star Wars legend.
The character was originally introduced in a series of books by author Timothy Zahn – the first, legacy of the empireeven gets a name check in the trailer – as Thrawn took control of the surviving fragments of the Empire afterwards Return of the Jedi.
After Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, all of the studio’s pre-merger novels were effectively “decanonized,” but Filoni brought the character back to the animated series Star Wars: Rebelsreinstating Thrawn as an important (and canonical) part of Star Wars history.
The Ahsoka Series will also star David Tennant, the former Doctor Whowho will voice the character of Professor Huyang, an ancient droid trained for centuries in the art of crafting lightsabers, the famed weapon of the Jedi.
Fans in the Celebration auditorium were also treated to a glimpse of the first footage from another Star Wars series. The Acolyteset before the Star Wars prequel films, and Skeleton Crewin which Jude Law will star.
The Acolyte Producer Leslye Headland described the series as “Frozen meets kill Bill.” Make of it what you will. The Acolyte will also feature the first Wookiee Jedi ever to appear in Star Wars, played by Joonas Suotamo, the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars sequels Solo: A Star Wars Story.
On stage, Law said, “I was six years old when this galaxy, this world grabbed me, blew me away and I’ve felt like I’ve been prepared ever since. It was child’s play. It was a total pleasure: it was a dream come true.”
Celebration fans were also the first people in the world to see a full six-minute sequence from the new Indiana Jones film. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
As is usual with Lucasfilm, these preview clips, including the six-minute Indiana Jones sequence, were played to in-person audiences only. Only new followers for Ahsoka And Indiana Jones were published online.
Fan reactions to the announcements have been largely positive, although Obaid-Chinoy’s post-sequel film has been met with a bit of skepticism, largely due to fan mixed feelings about the sequel films themselves.
When Kennedy steered Lucasfilm’s $4 billion incorporation into the larger Disney monolith, Star Wars films were the company’s prestige assets, billion-dollar earners at the center of the cultural conversation.
But that strategy failed after the critically acclaimed ‘Sequel’ trilogy – The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi And The Rise of Skywalker – completed the Skywalker saga. The films have been berated by fans for copying plot points from the original 1970s-1980s trilogy and for exhuming the original trilogy’s villain, Emperor Palpatine.
Then the first attempt to launch a new Star Wars movie machine resulted in a hit, Villain Oneand a dud Solo. And after the failure of SoloShe planned Star Wars film projects game of Thrones Creators David Benioff and DB Weiss, wonder woman Director Patty Jenkins and Marvel producer Kevin Feige were announced with great fanfare but ultimately abandoned.
Other projects, while not officially abandoned, have slowed in the development process; These include a film from director Taika Waititi and a new trilogy from director Rian Johnson. According to Lucasfilm, both are not off the table.
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