Disney explodes the Star Wars universe

By Lily Morris

Disney has announced a list of at least 18 upcoming Star Wars projects in the next few years on streaming service Disney+, following the success of hit series The Mandalorian.

Over the past month, Disney has delighted sci-fi fans everywhere with the confirmation of at least 18 upcoming Star Wars projects. The company, which currently stands as fourth largest movie producer in the world, announced 52 new upcoming projects at its Disney Investor Day on 10 December 2020, and several more in the weeks following.

Alongside at least 12 new series and six new films in an extension of the Star Wars universe, other new projects include the Marvel universe, as well as Disney and Disney Pixar films and shows.

Following the huge success of The Mandalorian, starring Game of Thrones and Narcos actor Pedro Pascal, the Star Wars franchise has seemingly been propelled to new levels of popularity and adoration among fans worldwide. Fans now eagerly await the return of protagonist Din Djarin in the series’ confirmed third season, expected to air in 2022. The series has also inspired three new spin-off shows: Ahsoka, The Book of Boba Fett, and Rangers of the New Republic.

One of the most highly anticipated spin-off series announced was Obi-Wan Kenobi, centred around the titular Jedi knight portrayed by Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge star Ewan McGregor in the prequel trilogy. McGregor has been confirmed to return to play Kenobi for the show, as has Hayden Christiansen, who played Anakin Skywalker in the prequels. Christiansen will now return as Darth Vader, following Skywalker’s transformation into the Sith lord at the end of the trilogy.

Another exciting spin-off is Andor, which will explore the origin story of Diego Luna’s courageous Cassian Andor from Rogue One. Fans are particularly thrilled to see Andor’s return, as although the rebel hero only appeared in the one film, the character resonated deeply with viewers.

Smooth-talking smuggler-turned-rebel Lando Calrissian is also set to return to our screens in Lando. Although musician Donald Glover portrayed him most recently in Solo, as of yet there is no confirmation as to whether or not he will be returning for the series.

Alongside many other imminent series such as A Droid Story and The Bad Batch, fans can look forward to a number of untitled films to be directed by producers such as Thor: Ragnarok director and actor Taika Waititi, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

Many fans have exceptionally high hopes for this new era of Star Wars; after the deeply polarising sequel trilogy from J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson, a huge portion of viewers were left feeling dissatisfied by the latest films. As a result, many have come to consider Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, creators of The Mandalorian, the saviours of the franchise. Favreau and Filoni are expected to return to produce season 3 of the show and The Book of Boba Fett, and Filoni is set to direct Ahsoka. Fans have high hopes that the same brilliant quality seen in The Mandalorian will continue throughout these spin-offs, as well as the numerous other new projects arriving soon.

With such a huge Star Wars line-up arriving to Disney+ in the coming years, the excitement is now rising amongst fans for this new era for the much-loved franchise, and with it, a collection of great successes soon to come. As we are further updated on production information in the coming months and years, it will soon become increasingly clear what direction the revitalised franchise will take.