The first D23 expo since 2019 returned with a bang for fans of Marvel and Lucasfilm, with new trailers saturating YouTube and details on a number of other projects. And while the MCU, Willow and Indiana Jones news was already more than enough to get me excited, I’ll be focusing on the galaxy far far away today with my thoughts on the 3 trailers released and other confirmed details.
So we have 3 new trailers to keep us excited here, with a final trailer for Andor, a first trailer for the animated Tales of the Jedi and a teaser for season 3 of The Mandalorian. And because I say it after every Star Wars trailer and don’t want to bore you by repeating myself multiple times, all 3 of these trailers are art in themselves! All 3 look incredible and the music works perfect in each (I’m especially loving the Force Theme at the start of the Andor trailer). What I also love is just how different each of these 3 series feels, while all 3 still feel like they are a part of the same galaxy. And now that’s out of the way, onto the individual trailers!
I have absolutely loved the first 2 seasons of The Mandalorian and it’s continued story in The Book of Boba Fett (even if I feel that it did end up overtaking that show), and everything that I am seeing in this trailer has me confident that I will love season 3 as much if not more!
First up, we’re going to Mandalore! I’m so excited to see how this works out, and seeing the remains of Sundari was chilling! Meanwhile, while Mandalore looks like hell, Nevarro is looking better than ever, though it looks like that it’s going to face it’s own troubles in this season. In terms of production quality as well it feels like things have stepped up, with a lot more dogfighting—I didn’t recognise any of the enemy ships so I wonder exactly who these enemies will be—as well as what appears to be a large-scale battle on Nevarro.
So from the set-up of the previous 2.5 seasons and what we see in this trailer, I think we can predict the general storyline of the series:
- Din and Grogu will travel to Mandalore (where I believe Bo-Katan may be residing), searching for the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore, which The Armorer told him was the only way that he could atone for removing his helmet
- From seeing Din and Bo both in her halls and in what appears to be some underground passages, my guess is that she will come with him to the living waters, and that either before or during this quest (or both) the pair will get over their differences (we see Bo-Katan blaming his cult for splitting Mandalorians, a bit ironic from a former Death Watch member, while we also need to remember that Din has won the Darksaber, which she wanted)
- Din will return to take leadership of The Watch, having atoned in the waters and holding the Darksaber, while I also wonder if spending more time with Bo-Katan will have helped him see that “The Way” is not the only way. I wouldn’t be shocked if the dogfight in the asteroid field is perhaps part of proving himself, maybe by taking out an attacking force
- At some point, the wealth of Greef’s city on Nevarro will draw the attention of pirates, who will try to take it over. Din will return to help Greef deal with the pirates, bringing Mandalorian reinforcement with him.
- The Watch will join with Bo-Katan’s forces (and potentially other clans will all join together) with the intention of either rebuilding Mandalore if it is empty, or taking back control of it if the Empire has left an occupying force. Whether the series ends with the forces all coming together or perhaps with the fist battle is something that I cannot yet guess.
While this feels like the skeleton for the season, I’ll be very interested to see how Tatooine fits into the series (we see a shot of Din, Peli, Grogu and R5 all together in the hangar), while a later shot shows Grogu’s mini cockpit replaced with a droid port filled by R5, and the city letting off fireworks appears to be Mos Eisley. I’m also intrigued by the shot of Dr Pershing and the Imperial communications officer played by Katy M. O’Brian (I’m so glad her character was not killed off in the season 2 finale as O’Brian’s martial arts background gives a great opportunity to bring more to the character), as I’ll be interested to see what role they and Moff Gideon—in fact the Empire as a whole—have in the season after being the main antagonists for the first 2 seasons.
Bring on 2023!
After being disappointed by The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor looks like a show that is really going to hit the mark for me. The show feels so much like Rogue One, which is part of a very fluid top 3 in my rankings of the movies, and I love how this show appears to be full of action but also have some great quieter moments to focus on the characters.
I still feel like I don’t really have much of an idea how the series is going to play out, though I’m fairly certain that the show will start earlier than the advertised 5 years before Rogue One due to the appearance of Imperial clone troopers—with a 3-episode premiere, I wouldn’t be shocked if the majority of this is set in this earlier time, with the final episode of the premiere bringing us to the main time and setting up for the rest of the season.
What really interested me is how Mon Mothma appears to be the one reluctant to rebel in all of this footage, and I think it is showing that we are not just seeing Cassian go from working on his own to becoming part of a growing Rebellion, but also seeing Mon Mothma realise that diplomacy will not be enough and that it will take a true Rebel Alliance to take on Palpatine and the Empire.
While I still think that a 3-episode premiere is too much, I can’t wait for the series to kick off!
Tales of the Jedi
I’m so happy to finally get a look at this, as this excites me! An anthology series that will have 3 short stories about Ahsoka and 3 about Dooku. With Ahsoka being my favourite character, I love seeing a bit more of her story, while I think that for such an important character, Dooku has had such limited focus and I think it will really help to show his leaving the Jedi Order and his fall to darkness, while we also get the bonus of seeing more of Qui-Gon when he was younger.
So what stories does it look like we’re getting?
- The discovery of Ahsoka as being Force-sensitive and being taken to join the order.
- Ahsoka post-Order 66, which appears to see her present at Padmé’s funeral
- An adaptation of Ahsoka vs the Sixth Brother, which was originally told in the novel Ahsoka—hopefully they don’t continue to completely contradict the novel as they did in the final arc of The Clone Wars
- Ahsoka training with Anakin and the clones
- Ahsoka joining with Bail Organa and becoming Fulcrum, another event from the novel
Of course, those are 5 events and just 3 episodes, so I’ll be interested to see how they all fit together, as one post-Order 66 episode could cover 3 of these points, but that would be a lot to fit into 1 episode, while I also feel that we wouldn’t get one episode just devoted to Ahsoka training with the clones.
As for Dooku, his story is much less fleshed out so it is harder to recognise events at this stage, though one moment of him with Qui-Gon reminded me of a flashback from the novel Master & Apprentice. However if I was to guess, I would imagine that we get 1 story of him as Qui-Gon’s master and another as a Jedi (both of these hinting at his darkness), before a final episode showing him leave the order and maybe turn to the dark side—we see him apparently duelling Yaddle, who was a Council member in The Phantom Menace but not see in later stories, so will he kill her? I am however surprised that there was nothing suggesting an episode with Yoda, though I wonder if Mace Windu was used instead following Tom Kane’s stroke in late 2020, which led to his retirement from voice acting. I must also admit that I was a little disappointed by the voice acting for Dooku in this. I assume that it is still Corey Burton voicing him, but some of the dialogue sounded much very like Cade Bane without the voice modulation, rather than Dooku.
Arriving 26ᵗʰ October, I wonder if this will get missed somewhat with an episode of Andor also releasing that day and all the other major series that will be airing at that point, but I intend to watch it as soon as I can and give my thoughts on each episode, even if it is just a round-up as I did with Visions.
While that was everything for trailers, there were a few other things worth mentioning:
- The Bad Batch has been pushed back from 28ᵗʰ September to 4ᵗʰ January. While I can understand that some people will be disappointed, I’m thrilled as running it alongside Andor would have been too much for me to cover, and I think that it would have also struggled to get the views.
- Those at the expo got updates on Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew, including a couple of exclusives (images from the former; a first look at Jude Law in the show from the latter).
- There were reports—so far as I can see currently unconfirmed by Lucasfilm—that Eman Esfandi has been cast as Ezra Bridger. I’ll immediately hold my hands up and say that I’m not at all familiar with his work, he certainly looks the part and would follow in the Star Wars traditions of elevating lesser-known actors into key roles.
What are your thoughts on the trailers and news?
Thanks for reading.