The future of Star Wars will be revealed in a few short weeks.
Seeds have been planted, and traces left behind in recent months. The Lucasfilm Studio Showcase panel at Star Wars Celebration wasn't quite everything fans had hoped, only touching on imminent releases. For the Star Wars faithful, that will hopefully change at the D23 Fan Expo's Hall D23 with a panel unveiling Disney's upcoming slate of films and series.
As Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has made clear, the future of Star Wars is, for the time being, on television. That's not to say the company is doing away with films - the contrary, actually. But it's been a struggle for Kennedy to find storytellers willing to commit to several years for larger projects which, in addition to what's now become routine creative issues, has led to delays in movie development.
Anything related to the silver screen was ignored at Celebration, with the event instead focusing on the shows. According to Kennedy, this was by design, and Star Wars' theatrical future would be shared in a few months' time... which is now.
With so much on the way, there will be plenty of updates to provide on previously announced titles... and also room to talk about some things that are new. Below are predictions for Star Wars projects that could be discussed at D23, both known and currently unearthed.
With the first three episodes dropping less than two weeks after D23, Andor is sure to have a massive presence at the event. Beyond discussions onstage, it wouldn't be a surprise if Lucasfilm brought out costumes, props, and set pieces to put on display for those in attendance.
The Star Wars festivities are likely to begin with Andor during the Studio Showcase panel, with the show being the most imminent release. Showrunner Tony Gilroy and star Diego Luna could make appearances, but don't expect any special looks. Instead, Lucasfilm could take the Celebration route, giving the series brief attention during the presentation before inviting attendees back to enjoy the first episode of the show early.
As for what will be discussed? By now, all Star Wars fans are aware of what the series entails, but a short rundown for everybody else will make it an easy sell. If Disney+ Day doesn't bring the news, then Hall D23 should be the place to see the official announcement for Andor: Season 2's production start date, as well as a target window for release.
2.) The Mandalorian: Season 3
Anything Mando-related is going to be a massive draw, and Season 3 of the hit series is no exception. Expect Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni to take the stage for an extended period of time, where they'll talk all things The Mandalorian and the shows connected to it.
Fans at Star Wars Celebration received an exclusive look at the first trailer for Season 3, and Favreau and Filoni surely won't come empty-handed. Another trailer with new footage is likely to debut at D23, and this time fans at home may be in for an online release. It's possible that the version seen by attendees is slightly different, perhaps longer with some special shots, but a trailer of some kind is a guarantee.
The producing duo generally like to keep things close to the chest, but there are always reveals of some kind to be made. Of particular interest will be the group of people stepping into the director's chair, as well as a few new additions to the cast in varying degrees of significance. A few of the series' stars will also be on hand to discuss their roles, and Favreau may even casually tease where he's at in the process of writing a Season 4.
As long as Dave Filoni is on stage, there's no chance Ahsoka goes unmentioned. By now, a large portion of principal photography for the series has been completed, giving the beloved Star Wars creator far more to talk about with the fans.
There was just enough footage in late May to put together a small Celebration teaser; this time around, Filoni has what he needs to give attendees the full meal. Don't be shocked if footage shown is an event exclusive - the series is many months out from release. But full descriptions will be flying in hot the moment any footage rolls, with details and leaks inevitable in the time to follow.
Natasha Liu Bordizzo was introduced as Sabine Wren at Celebration, and a few of her new cast mates could be revealed in Hall D23. With Bordizzo and star Rosario Dawson, Filoni can answer one of the fandom's biggest questions: the identities of the actors playing Ezra Bridger and Thrawn. Now that production is much further along, a release window following The Mandalorian may be announced, as well.
4.) Skeleton Crew
To continue the Mando craze, how about an update on Jon Watts' Skeleton Crew. The series reportedly began production in June, giving the crew several months of work under their belts in Manhattan Beach. Watts will once again join Favreau and Filoni on stage to divulge details about his show, which he's previously described as having a Clone Wars vibe.
D23 would be the perfect time to introduce the series' cast. Everyone in the building will already know the lead, Jude Law, quite well, and they may get an idea of who his character is. Unlike any other Star Wars series, Skeleton Crew will follow a cast of kids - who should also be revealed to the fans for the first time.
It may be a bit much to ask for a full trailer out of Skeleton Crew, especially with so much production work still needed. But a teaser in the same vein as the Ahsoka reel shown at Celebration is certainly likely - something that will show off the looks of the new characters and visualize the tone audiences can expect. This will almost certainly be exclusive to attendees, but the public might luck out with a time frame in 2023 to expect the show.
5.) The Acolyte
Shifting gears, Lucasfilm can takes the audience back in time to the waning days of the High Republic with The Acolyte. Leslye Headland's series is expected to begin production overseas in the fall, so there won't be much to share by way of footage or stills.
But the showrunner can introduce the cast, which includes the recently announced Amandla Stenberg in the leading role. The casting process has been underway for several months, and with production drawing nearer, a few more key roles can be brought on stage. It may be early for specifics, but the name and nature of Stenberg's character doesn't seem like too much to ask for.
More general information about The Acolyte should also be a given. Reports have indicated that Loki Season 1's Kate Herron is set to direct at least the first season, which will likely be confirmed by Headland. Additionally, details on the official production start, how many seasons are anticipated, a potential release slate for Season 1, and a basic premise for the show will begin to bring it more into the public eye.
6.) Rogue Squadron
It's well past time that Star Wars fans get some answers on the future of the franchise theatrically, and that all starts with Rogue Squadron. Originally scheduled for a December 2023 release, the film has since been delayed indefinitely as rewrites transpired. Among the many questions fans have is if Patty Jenkins remains attached as director and if the movie will be made at all.
Kathleen Kennedy can clear the air by addressing the matter directly. If Jenkins is still in the director's chair, all indicators would point to good progress for the development. In that case, the director can join Kennedy on the stage to discuss how far along in the process the creative team is, as well as expectations for a production start and the new release date.
If Rogue Squadron is scrapped, the project won't be mentioned at all during the panel. Various entertainment outlets will have reporters on hand to do interviews, and that's when Kennedy will have the opportunity to confirm the film's fate. Either way, fans should know more soon.
7.) Taika Waititi's Film
When Rogue Squadron was bumped, Taika Waititi's Star Wars movie was pushed into its 2023 release slate. While Kennedy has maintained confidence in getting the film out by then, Waititi has been noncommittal, suggesting the premiere date is tentative at best. The director is still in the midst of writing the script, though he's prepared to accept a firing as well, should things come to that.
Assuming they don't, Waititi will presumably be on hand to discuss the project. With the film serving as an important next step for Star Wars in the theatrical realm, it will be important to start sharing some details - especially with the release currently just a year and a half out. Simple details on the era and kind of characters involved may be all fans get, unless secret casting has already taken place and dodged the trades.
However, with Lucasfilm's plans for the big screen still an enigma, Waititi's movie could suffer the same fate as Rogue Squadron. In that event, it will once again be up to Kennedy to share the word in any major interviews after the panel, as time won't be spent on stage discussing anything no longer in the picture.
8.) Kevin Feige's Film
Of the Star Wars movies currently known to be in development, Kevin Feige's is certainly the safest. Known for his ability to crank out projects in a timely for the MCU, the producer is also a life-long Star Wars fan. Penning the script for the film is fellow Marvel alum Michael Waldron, part of a major deal the writer signed with Disney.
Beyond word that the project will be disconnected from the main saga films, there's been almost no word on what to expect. With Marvel Studios taking part in the Studio Showcase presentation, Feige will already be on standby to join Kennedy in discussing the project at greater length. The development process has been underway for some time, and D23 presents the perfect chance to share a small taste of what fans are in for.
At this stage, there likely isn't a cast, and having footage to show would be impossible. What Feige and Kennedy can do is reveal the title of the movie, along with a logo, some general details, and a release date. Further discussions with the press are ripe with opportunities to learn even more, as small tidbits about the film will trickle out.
9.) Rebel Partisan Series
Tony Gilroy seems to be having a lot of fun with Andor, and the screenwriter is clearly comfortable in that pocket of the timeline. There were once rumors of a Disney+ series starring Saw Gerrera and his Rebel Partisans, who are now set to make an appearance in the first season of Andor. But there may be even more in store for Forrest Whittaker's war-torn revolutionary.
Andor is intended to show a different side of Star Wars, representing the everyday people as they suffer under Imperial rule. Gerrera's group fights for the same cause as the Alliance, but they employ guerilla warfare tactics to get the job done. A Rebel Partisan series can depict the beginnings of the Rebellion from a different angle, portraying the antithesis to the people Cassian serves with.
The Rebel Partisan show will give older fans more of the gritty, brutal combat featured in Rogue One while connecting perfectly with the film and Andor. In much the same way that Andor will eventually lead directly into the spin-off movie, a Partisan series will be able to portray Saw's rapidly decaying state and march fans directly into his base on Jedha when he receives word of the Death Star.
10.) The Book of Boba Fett: Season 2
While the first season didn't land very well with fans, The Book of Boba Fett boasts fantastic ratings, an exceptional cast, and too much potential not to go for another round. Star Wars icon Temuera Morrison would be the perfect person to bring out to make the announcement while the MandoVerse is being discussed.
With a clear story in mind this time around, more Boba Fett can easily work. Much of what happens will likely be informed by how the titular character participates in The Mandalorian Season 3, but there's a galaxy's worth of ideas that can be explored - hopefully beyond Tatooine. Maybe this time Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra can finally make her live-action return?
Fennec Shand actress Ming-Na Wen is hopeful for a Season 2, and she potentially even let slip that it's happening recently. More emphasis on the crime element of Boba Fett being a crime lord would be welcome, and less of the Mods wouldn't seem to hurt many feelings. A focused narrative can correct some of the shortcomings of the first season and propel Boba to new heights.
11.) Obi-Wan Kenobi: Season 2
Aside from Episode VII, there likely hadn't been a Star Wars project as anticipated as Obi-Wan Kenobi. The limited series was a major success for Disney+ and largely with the fans, leaving many asking for more. Reports indicated that Lucasfilm is moving forward with another story surrounding the character, either as a Season 2 or marketed under a different title.
The first season was about Obi-Wan and Leia, and the next should heavily incorporate Luke. Sending the Jedi Master off Tatooine again wouldn't sit right, and another show on the dustball would be acceptable if there's a story to be told. Further exploration of the Force under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn would make for a fascinating hook, along with whatever antics Luke gets up to that bring Kenobi out to the rescue.
It certainly isn't going to be hard to pull the cast together - Ewan McGregor already wants to do it. Deborah Chow returning to the director's chair would bring stability to the project, and Hayden Christensen could have the chance to play a key role in flashback sequences. McGregor returning to the Hall D23 stage to announce another go at Obi-Wan like the previous event would be like poetry - it rhymes.
12.) Cal Kestis Series
The young Jedi is extremely popular in the video game world, where he'll be returning early next year in Jedi: Survivor. Lucasfilm is already planning to expand on the character's story, as a novel set between Fallen Order and the upcoming title is scheduled to release in March.
It was by no accident that screen actor Cameron Monaghan was hired to bring Cal to life. With an eye on the future, Lucasfilm set the table for the actor to portray the character in live-action media, which he's interested in pursuing. Reports have indicated that a series following Cal Kestis is indeed in development, which would be appealing to fans of both the games and Star Wars in general.
There are ways that a Cal-centric show can even tie in to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Reva Sevander's next steps were left ambiguous, but the former Inquisitor would be exactly the kind of character who would fit in Kestis' world. A shared traumatic past through Order 66 brings the two together while their responses to the event can drive them apart, making for a unique story done by justice by phenomenal leading actors.
13.) The Mandalorian Film
It's inevitable. Pedro Pascal has addressed the possibility, and seems to concur. There's no bigger way to finish off the Mando portion of the presentation than with an announcement that The Mandalorian will be coming to silver screens. Better yet, the movie could be directed by a duo - none other than Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.
The reveal that Din Djarin and Grogu are reaching theaters will send the crowd into a frenzy, and it's exactly the kind of kick Star Wars needs for its films. It will certainly be several years out, as there's business to be resolved in The Mandalorian Seasons 3 and 4, Ahsoka, Skeleton Crew, and anything else necessary for the build-up.
Will Grand Admiral Thrawn be the villain, giving fans the canon take on Heir to the Empire? Or is there something far deeper at play, and Thrawn serving as an antagonist is simply a red herring. All of Mandalore will have a serious threat to deal with for an event worthy of a film, and any characters who've crossed paths with Mando and Grogu are fair game for roles of any size.
14.) The Old Republic Films
Maybe this is getting a little greedy, but name a single Star Wars fan that doesn't want it to happen. The Old Republic era has been on wish lists for a decade, and with the theatrical slate in a state of flummox, now is the time to begin telling stories in an exciting new portion of the timeline.
When Rogue Squadron was delayed, it was reported that an Old Republic was secretly in the midst of pre-production and preparing to take its place. There have been no updates since, but Lucasfilm has long been attempting to get a movie story line going in the era. It may not be aligned directly with the troubled KOTOR Remake, but there are endless possibilities for a massive narrative.
And that's the key: it needs to be big. If Lucasfilm is prepared to venture into the days of the Old Republic, a series of films is necessary to demonstrate the scope (and possibly some Disney+ shows). Bring in the iconic Jedi and Sith, the Mandalore-Jedi War, the formation of the Republic seen in the prequel trilogy. Wrapping up D23 with an announcement of this caliber - especially if the first movie lands next year - will drop jaws to the floor.
Star Wars fans can hope to learn about all these projects and more when Lucasfilm takes the stage on Saturday, September 10 at D23 Expo.