Star Wars Celebration 2023, held on April 7 in London, had a ton of surprises from Lucasfilm’s galaxy far, far away, ranging from new information on TV shows and movies. This year’s event coincides with the 40th-year anniversary of Return of the Jedi and drops details on three new theatrical movies, a teaser for the Rosario Dawson-led Ahsoka limited series, and exclusive first looks for Star Wars: The Acolyte and Andor season 2 for attendees at the event. The upcoming Star Wars movies would mark the first in the franchise to grace the silver screen since 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker. Since then, we’ve only had Disney+ shows such as The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
Three new Star Wars movies confirmed
Daisy Ridley is set to reprise her role as Rey Skywalker in the long-gestating Star Wars movie directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel). Development on this film has been in limbo for a while now, where at first, Disney hired Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Justin Britt-Gibson (Counterpart) to write the script. However, they exited the project last month, paving way for Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) to take over. The untitled film is set 15 years after the events of The Rise of the Skywalker and follows Rey’s struggle to build a new Jedi Order by recruiting Force-sensitive warriors.
Dave Filoni — best known for co-creating The Mandalorian — is helming the second Star Wars film, set in the same timeline as the Disney+ shows. A blog post notes that the film will focus on the New Republic and ‘close out interconnected stories’ told in his other shows. Jon Favreau previously confirmed that all upcoming shows, which includes the Jude Law-led Skeleton Crew, take place within the same time period, so it isn’t unusual for his work partner Filoni’s film to follow suit. The entire arc and its characters’ interactions have been mapped out already, and Favreau has already finished writing The Mandalorian season 4.
Then there’s a third from James Mangold (Logan), which will go back to the dawn of the Jedi — set 25,000 years before the sequels. There are no release windows for any of these movies, and this update arrives a while after Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron was quietly removed from Disney’s production schedule. “Rogue Squadron, that definitely is something that we still talk about. Whether it’s a movie, or whether it ends up being in the series space, that’s definitely something,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said at the event.
Meanwhile, Taika Waititi is still writing his standalone Star Wars film, with Kennedy adding that he ‘doesn’t really want to bring others into that process’.
Ahsoka teaser and release window
Ahsoka finally got a teaser trailer at the Star Wars Celebration 2023, stressing the titular Jedi’s (Rosario Dawson) next adventure as she anticipates Admiral Thrawn’s return — though, it is unclear who’s playing him. The women of Star Wars: Rebels take centre stage in the series, with Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane) assuming the role of ace pilot general Hera Syndulla and Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Guns Akimbo) as the Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren. In the trailer, Ahsoka is also seen fighting Ray Stevenson’s Baylon in a dark arena, alongside a quick glimpse at Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly), one of the founders of the Rebel Alliance who played an important role in the battle against the Empire.
Andor season 2 release window
Andor creator Tony Gilroy and a few cast members at the Star Wars Celebration event showed an exclusive first look at the second and final season. The footage was only shown to attendees and as of now, there is no word on when it will appear online. That said, Gilroy confirmed that the show is aiming for an August 2024 release window. “We started shooting in November,” he said at the event (via IGN). “We’re about halfway through. We’re going to shoot through August. We’re on the exact schedule. Finish in August, spend another year on post. I suppose we’ll come out the following August.”
After revealing its massive cast lineup back in November, Disney reportedly showcased the first footage for its upcoming show Star Wars: The Acolyte, at the event. The eight-episode series is directed by Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) and is best described as a mystery-thriller set during the final days of the High Republic era, exploring the Dark Side of the Force. “This is when the bad guys are outnumbered. They are the underdogs. I’m really excited for you guys to see things you haven’t seen in live-action yet,” Headland said.
The Acolyte stars Amandla Stenberg (Bodies Bodies Bodies), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix), Lee Jung-jae (Squid Game), Dafne Keen (Logan), Rebecca Henderson (Inventing Anna), and Dean-Charles Chapman (1917).
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor features Coruscant as a playable planet
Stig Asmussen, director of the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, confirmed that the city-covered planet Coruscant will be available in the game, albeit not entirely open world. “We’re taking our Metroidvania approach a step further and, just to talk about another planet, we’re going to have Coruscant as well. I think there’s been a lot of speculation on that,” he said.
Following his comments, Andy McNamara, communications lead, EA’s Star Wars, lowered fan expectations by stating that Coruscant was merely one of the destinations in the game and that there are plenty of other planets to deeply explore with their ‘biggest environments to date.’ Star Wars Jedi: Survivor releases April 28 on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X.