The “Star Wars” Franchise Has Plenty of New Projects in the Works

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The sprawling expanse of the Star Wars universe did not end with 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker.”

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, one movie that would forever change the film industry was released. Forty-four years ago, Star Wars (later to become known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) was released, opening up a whole new sci-fi fantasy world with which fans fell in love. The world of Star Wars that writer/director George Lucas created is still going strong, evolving with different storylines, characters, and worlds on the big and small screens.

Since Lucasfilm and Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final film in the Skywalker saga, many fans have been wondering what’s next for the blockbuster franchise.

Before we get into some of the future films, let’s talk about the other Star Wars projects that have since come to life.  Disney also released a couple of films separate from the Skywalker storyline, but still connected to it. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters in 2016  to rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. It told the story of the events leading up to Episode IV: A New Hope. However, 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, providing audiences the backstory to everyone’s favorite space smuggler, Han Solo, was not well received at all, forcing Disney to pump the brakes on it’s other Star Wars Stories such as one centered around Boba Fett.

Disney’s most recent success was The Mandolorian, a live-action series on Disney+ about a bounty hunter after the fall of the Empire. That series has been popular because of the solid storyline and new characters it has introduced, as well as some familiar ones, like Ahsoka Tano, Boba Fett, and Luke Skywalker.

Another show that just started airing on Disney+ is Star Wars: The Bad Batch. It’s an animated series about a ragtag group of rejected clone troopers who take on various missions across the galaxy, and is a spin-off of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Patty Jenkins, who directed the first two Wonder Woman films, is set to direct the next “Star Wars” feature: “Rogue Squadron.” Here, she goes over a scene with Gal Gadot on the set of “Wonder Woman: 1984.” (Photo courtesy of https://www.theilluminerdi.com.)

Looking ahead, some of the new additions to the Star Wars cinematic universe include the franchise’s next feature film, Rogue Squadron. Taking place after Emperor Palpatine’s final defeat, this movie, directed by Patty Jenkins, will be about a group of rebel starfighter pilots who try to prove themselves as they soar through the galaxy. Rogue Squadron will be released around Christmas of 2023, but the project is being kept under wraps, so there’s not much more information about it at the moment. 

In addition, there will be another live-action series that will premiere on Disney+, and it’s one that fans are very excited about: Obi-Wan Kenobi. This series marks the return of Ewan McGregor as the sagacious Jedi warrior.  In addition, Hayden Christensen will return to play Darth Vader. The show will take place ten years after Order 66 when all of the Jedi were ordered to be wiped out by the evil Emperor Palpatine in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.  

There will also be an Ahsoka Tano live action series coming to Disney+. After appearing in The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, played by Rosario Dawson, will return in this spin-off which will follow the former apprentice to Anakin Skywalker made famous in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars

One of the more surprising additions to the Star Wars universe will be Star Wars: Visions which will be the story of Star Wars told through a Japanese anime series employing some of the world’s top anime artists. 

Some other Star Wars series coming to Disney+ include Rangers of The New Republic, Lando, The Acolyte, and A Droid Story, but not much information has been given about those series. 

With all these films and shows in the works, the Star Wars franchise doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, and it looks like Disney is committed to introducing this generation and future ones to lightsabers, blasters, the Jedi, and the Sith. After the Skywalker saga ended, many fans wondered what would become of the franchise. Perhaps these new projects will offer a “new hope” for those who have enjoyed the Star Wars universe for the past four decades.