Wow, what a weekend for Star Wars fans! As if the long-awaited return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi was not enough, Anaheim was also the host to 2022’s Star Wars Celebration. The annual Star Wars convention went on for 4 days and as usual there was plenty of news coming out of it.
Now before I start, I do have a critique. As someone who definitely doesn’t have the money to fly over to America and buy tickets to the event, I have to rely on the live streams from the official Star Wars YouTube channel. Unfortunately, an issue started at the last Celebration of some key moments being blanked out of the live stream, such as some unfinished footage from The Mandalorian and anything regarding season 2 of Resistance after we just heard the cast talk about their enjoyment of season 1. However this year, things were much worse. Barely any of the teasers and trailers shown at the even were released to the wider fandom, while many of the most prominent panels were left out of the stream, and we were instead left to watch adverts for the booths a the events highlighting all of the Celebration exclusives that we would not be able to get our hands on because we weren’t there. I have no problem with those present getting extras, and many of the panels did see them get a poster or something to take away, while they also saw some scenes, early screenings of episodes and also an alternative version of the Bad Batch trailer; but this is once again Star Wars pricing out many of its fans, just like Galaxy’s Edge and the Galactic Starcruiser. Teasers should be released to everyone. You know that poor quality recordings of them will release online, which will take away the impact when Lucasfilm releases the trailers down the line.
Anyway, onto the news…
We finally got some details on Andor, and not just that, but a teaser trailer too! Set to premiere on 1ˢᵗ August with 2 episodes, season 1 of Andor will be 12 episodes long and set 5 years before Rogue One and covering about a year, though I also think that we are going to get some footage set much closer to the end of the Clone Wars as the Empire takes over Cassian’s home, as there are shots that contain troopers in clone armour. We also got confirmation of a second season of 12 episodes which will cover the 4 years and take us right to the beginning of Rogue One.
The teaser certainly feels different to anything that we have got before, which really excites me. It looks like we are going to be following 2 separate storylines: Cassian and Mon Mothma, which will likely converge later in the series as they both become a part of the Rebellion. What’s exciting is just how much it looks like we will be seeing for the first time, such as the Imperial Senate, while even some of the forces that it looks like Cassian will be dealing with look different to any unit that I have seen before.
And just one final note, I love the use of negative space to create the O in the “Andor” title card.
As a big fan of Rogue One, I was always interested in this series, now I’m excited!
Next up is confirmation of a series that I mentioned rumours of very recently, with an official announcement of an upcoming series executive produced by John Watts (director of the MCU Spider-Man movies), Christopher Ford, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. Officially titled Skeleton Crew, the series is set to release in 2023 and the first cast member was announced at Celebration: none other than Albus Dumble-phwoar, Jude Law, who just feels a perfect casting for Star Wars!
So what else do we know about the series? Not much right now, but it is set in the same timeframe as The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, and will feature a group of children lost in space. I was a little nervous at the focus on children, but they were quick to say that it is not a kids’ series, which along with reports comparing it to Stranger Things makes me feel better.
Now this is something that I have really been looking forward to, and as such I am absolutely gutted that Lucasfilm considered us fans at home not worthy of seeing the panel where this was discussed.
Coming in 2023, Dave Filoni was confirmed as directing (I assume the whole series), and from the footage that was shown at the panel, everything suggests that—as I expected—this will be the sequel to Rebels, following Ahsoka and Sabine’s search for Ezra. And as such, Sabine’s casting was officially confirmed as Natasha Liu Bordizzo, and while I am of course gutted that we won’t be getting more Tiya Sircar, Bordizzo looks like Sabine and it’s clear that she understands the fans’ love for the character, so I feel cautiously optimistic that this will be another great translation of the character.
But will Sabine and Ezra (assuming they find him) be the only Spectres? Everyone’s favourite murder-bot, Chopper, made an appearance onstage, while the footage shown in the panel (which apparently recreated the final moments of the epilogue from Rebels) also showed a green-skinned Twi-lek, so it certainly sounds like we may be getting Hera and Chopper—and I would hope young Jacen—joining the search, which would make sense as the timeline would put it after the Battle of Jakku, which would likely have freed Hera up from her responsibilities as a General.
Safe to say, this is still a series that I am very much looking forward to!
Sadly not one I can give much info on as we weren’t deemed worthy of hearing about the series, but season 3 is confirmed for a February 2023 premiere, with confirmation that production is also ongoing on season 4.
Unfortunately I haven’t seen the footage from the panel, but Peli, Greef, Bo, Moff Gideon and Dr Pershing were all confirmed as returning, with a focus coming on Mandalore, which was to be expected really after season 2 and
season 2.5 The Book of Boba Fett.
The Bad Batch
The boys are back! Season 2 of The Bad Batch was confirmed for Autumn of this year, with the release of a teaser trailer.
Some time has passed since the end of season 1, so it’s nice to see how the Bad Batch have modified their armour a little (and got some for Omega), while it looks like Crosshair is back with the Imperials, and working with Cody of all people! Finally! I’ve been waiting for a Cody sighting since Rex’s return in Rebels, and now we’re finally getting one, but with him apparently still working for the Empire, are we just going to get our hearts broken?
It certainly looks like we’ll be spending some time on Kashyyyk with both Tarfful and Gungi appearing in the teaser. There was an arc planned for The Clone Wars before its cancellation that would see the Bad Batch fighting on Kashyyyk, so are we seeing flashbacks of this, or are they returning there to find/help some allies? That could certainly make sense if they come across Gungi, then help to get him back to Kashyyyk, were he could easily go into hiding.
The reveals of Cody and Gungi have certainly got me more excited for season 2, but I desperately need more consistency from this series.
Visions was confirmed as returning for a second season, but honestly that’s all I heard about this.
Honestly, I could take or leave this series, as I only really found myself caring about half the stories and have not really gone back to them since their release, but I would certainly be interested in seeing second parts to some of the stories, such as Lop and Ocho and The Ninth Jedi.
I may take a look back at these following Obi-Wan Kenobi to see which stories could continue, so stay tuned!
Tales of the Jedi
Another new series announced at Celebration was Tales of the Jedi, which is also set for release in Autumn 2022.
As I understand it, this is a 6-episode animated anthology series, with 3 episodes focusing on Ahsoka and 3 on Dooku, each showing a story from a different point in their life. I like the idea of this, as it could very easily be expanded in the future to more Jedi, covering any timeframe in Star Wars. The idea expressed for these stories was “Two paths and two choices”, with confirmation that while some episodes may be quite sweet (those at the panel saw an episode of Ahsoka as an infant), others will be much darker.
In terms of casting, we have Matt lanter confirmed as returning as Anakin, while Janina Gavankar voices Ahsoka’s mother. But the big news was the confirmation of Liam Neeson voicing Qui-Gon Jinn, while his son will voice a younger version of him. However the episodes have been described by Filoni as “tone poems”, so I get the feeling that dialogue will be limited, with a focus more on the score, which excites me.
Sadly no trailer for us unworthy Star Wars fans, just those in the panel.
Young Jedi Adventures
And the final series to bring up is the newly-announced Young Jedi Adventures. Coming to Disney+ and the Disney Jr channel in Spring 2023, this is a new CG animated series for pre-school children, but creators say that they have made it with the intention of also being engaging and entertaining for adults, so I may cover this when it comes out, we’ll see how it goes.
Ste during the High Republic, the series will focus on a group of younglings, though Yoda will also be heavily involved, and the story will help teach values such as compassion, empathy, teamwork, optimism.
I’m 100% not the target audience for this, but the idea sounds great, and I will likely check out at least the first episode.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Moving away from series and into the games, we got a teaser and a few details for Jedi: Survivor, the sequel to Fallen Order.
Due for release in 2023, the game will only be on the latest generation of consoles, which means that I and a number of other fans will likely have to try and find money somewhere again in order to enjoy our fandom, though I do understand the focus on the one generation will allow the game to look and perform better. I was also happy to hear that the developers have listened to feedback from the first game and will look to incorporate that into this game, which will hopefully see more varied gameplay.
The story will be set 5 years after the original game, which brings us roughly in line with Obi-Wan Kenobi, though I can’t imagine that there will be much of a crossover. Other than that, we’re left mainly with questions from the trailer:
- How does this Pau’an senator have Cal’s lightsaber?
- Where are the rest of the crew?
- Who is in the tank?
- Who is the figure with the red lightsaber? The lightsaber doesn’t look like an Inquisitor’s
A shout out to SammyBoiii on YouTube, who in his breakdown noted that both the figure in the tank and the figure with the red lightsaber appear to be missing their right arm, so are they the same person?
Fallen Order was a very good game, so I’m cautiously optimistic for the sequel, though I’ll be more excited if I have the correct console and when I see more details.
And to finish off, just a quick round-up of some other details that I heard.
Despite a panel of it’s own and a soft launch that has been going on for months, there’s still no release date for Star Wars Hunters, though it was confirmed that it will release on mobile and Nintendo Switch. Set shortly after the fall of the Empire, this will be a 4v4 combat game using original characters. Frankly, it’s not really my jam, I don’t have a Switch and the mobile platform doesn’t interest me, and the way this is being released and marketed so poorly really puts me off.
Sticking with video games for a moment and KOTOR2 will be coming to Nintendo Switch in June with restored content DLC. With this and the previously announced KOTOR remake, are Lucasfilm slowly pushing this as a way to introduce The Old Republic as a new era for canon in the coming years?
Speaking of new eras, there was plenty of information on Phase II of The High Republic, the multimedia publishing project. I must admit that I didn’t pay close attention as I have fallen of reading so have not yet got into The High Republic, but it was confirmed that Phase II can be read without prior knowledge of Phase I, as it is set earlier in the timeline.
And finally some news that new characters will be appearing at Galaxy’s Edge, with Boba and Fennec there as of now and more to come in the future (including Din and Grogu), as the park will begin to show snippets from their stories. While I like this branching out, I don’t quite understand how this will work given that Galaxy’s Edge and the Galactic Starcruiser (which includes a trip to Galaxy’s Edge) is set on Batuu at a very specific time. Of course, I probably won’t be finding out anytime soon as that would be one expensive trip.
What were your thoughts on Celebration this year and all the announcements?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you….