Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London is hitting hyperdrive with a flurry of news and announcements from the Lucasfilm presentation and panel on Friday (April 7).
Disney and Lucasfilm’s four-day gala kicked off the global fan event at the ExCeL Centre in London as Kathleen Kennedy and other key Lucasfilm executives and creators mounted the main stage to unwrap their roster of “Star Wars”-centric studio projects either in the can or in the works.
Here’s a rundown of all the highlights revealed to the 4,500 fans in attendance.
First, Daisy Ridley will make a not-so-surprising return trip to the “Star Wars” universe in a planned feature film from “Ms. Marvel” director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and the Oscar-nominated creator of “Peaky Blinders,” Steven Knight.
Knight steps in as screenwriter for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson, who left the project last month in an incident that stirred up heated speculation from journalists and social media. This Rey movie will chronicle events after “The Rise of Skywalker.”
Kennedy confirmed that a pair of other “Star Wars” flicks are on the horizon as well, courtesy of directors James Mangold and Dave Filoni. Mangold’s project is spawned from the timeline of the dawn of the Jedi, and Filoni’s movie will be focused around the mounting battles between the Imperial Remnant and the nascent New Republic and link worlds introduced in the Disney+ TV shows.
Next, we were given an update on creator/writer Tony Gilroy’s superb “Andor” series, which acted as a “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” prequel that displayed some of the finest writing, best casting and most intense drama in any “Star Wars” offering to date. A teaser for the show’s second season on Disney+ was screened, and it was announced that “Andor” is scheduled to be back sometime in August of 2024.
“We started shooting in November. We’re halfway. We will finish shooting in August, a year on post, and we’ll come out in the following August,” Gilroy told the crowd, according to Deadline (opens in new tab).
“We know exactly where we’re going, so you know what you have to deliver,” he added. “It was a decision born of survival, but it’s been creatively potent. We’re very pleased; it’s good to know there’s an ending coming.”
“The Acolyte” creator Leslye Headland was on hand to present teaser footage and explain to the audience that her original Disney+ “Star Wars” series will take place between the High Republic period hundreds of years before the Skywalker saga and the start of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.”
Headland was accompanied by the main cast, which includes Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett and Joonas Suotamo, who portrays Kelnacca.
“I’m really in love with Leslye’s work,” Stenberg said, per Deadline (opens in new tab). “She has a really emotionally profound way to approach the darker parts of ourselves. For a show like this that’s set in this time period, that style is perfect.”
“Star Wars: Skeleton Crew” was given the spotlight, with Jedi star Jude Law and creator Jon Favreau delivering the initial trailer for their upcoming series. The show is set in the New Republic era and will follow a clan of rebellious kids lost in the galaxy trying to find their way home. Episodes will be directed by Jon Watts, David Lowery, The Daniels, Jake Schreier, Bryce Dallas Howard and Lee Isaac Chung. No official 2023 release date was declared.
Finally, “Ahsoka,” the highly anticipated Jedi saga headed up by Rosario Dawson, was stamped with a solid August 2023 release date and a rousing new teaser trailer. Dawson shared the stage with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who announced that she’ll co-star in the series’ role of the Twi’lek revolutionary Hera Syndulla.
For more on “Ahsoka” and to check out the trailer, check out our full coverage here.