D23 Expo 2019: Star Wars round-up, from The Mandalorian trailer to Disney+ series on Obi-Wan Kenobi, Cassian Andor
Here is a rundown of what’s to come in the Star Wars streaming galaxy, as revealed atb D23 Expo 2019.
Star Wars fans at San Diego Comic Con 2019 were disappointed they did not get a panel or trailer for The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker. But it was obvious Disney and Lucasfilm were holding them in reserve for the D23 Expo, which kicked off this Friday.
Disney's fan event offered first glimpse of what the Star Wars universe might look like on the small screen, and also provided confirmation for a series fans have been waiting to hear for years.
So, here is a rundown of what’s to come in the Star Wars streaming galaxy.
Ewan McGregor to return as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Ewan McGregor received a rapturous welcome from attendees at Hall 23 of Anaheim Convention Center after it was confirmed he will reprise his role as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi in a series for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service. He appeared onstage with Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy, who confirmed the scripts were already written, and that filming will begin next year.
The Scottish actor played the younger version of the Jedi master in the three prequel movies, starting with The Phantom Menace in 1999. "It's been four years of saying, 'Well, I don't know'. Now I can say 'Yes, we're going to do it'," said an ecstatic McGregor.
The Mandalorian trailer released
Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian finally got its first trailer as the filmmaker unveiled the first footage from the live-action Star Wars series at D23 Expo.
The series is set after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi and before the rise of the First Order in The Force Awakens. “It’s a whole new Star Wars in a whole new time-frame that hasn’t been covered except in the extended universe," Favreau told the D23 audience. "The Empire is gone, and then chaos reigns. There’s no central government in the galaxy. It is world where like the old samurai movies and the old Westerns, gunfighters are roaming, and people are fighting for their own safety and trying to build safe communities but still, it’s a dangerous world.”
The trailer opens to a shot of Stormtrooper helmets mounted on spikes, suggesting the Galaxy has become a lawless frontier. It then introduces us to the titular Mandalorian (played by Pedro Pascal from Game of Thrones), a gunslinging lone warrior trying to survive post-Imperial villainy. Giancarlo Esposito brings a Gus Fringesque menace to his Empire-serving antagonist.
The Mandalorian feels like a return to the more western-influenced space saga, like the original film. There is plenty of action (more blaster-induced than light saber), courtesy our protagonist and a gun-toting droid (played by Taika Waititi), and even a Mexican standoff but almost no dialogue. The only spoken line comes in the end in a thick Bavarian accent from — would you believe it? — Werner Herzog. “Bounty hunting is a complicated profession. Don’t you agree?” he asks (sounding all sinister and threatening only because he is German).
Carl Weathers, Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, and Emily Swallow also feature in the series. Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), and Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates) have all been attached to direct the various episodes.
The Mandalorian will debut on Disney+ on 12 November.
Rogue One spin-off series confirmed
Kennedy announced a new series, centered around Diego Luna's Rebel spy Cassian Andor from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story of 2016. Alan Tudyk will also reprise his role as K2SO, the former Imperial droid reprogrammed for the rebellion. The show does not have an official title yet so Tudyk suggested an option — K2-Fast, K2-Furious — and we are pretty much sold on it.
It will be a prequel set before the events of Rogue One. It begins filming in London in 2020.
“It’s both exhilarating and liberating to be able to tell stories that expand beyond two hours, and the quality of our episodic series for Disney+ will be identical to our feature films,” Kennedy said.
The Lucasfilm chief also announced that the animated series, The Clone Wars, will be revived for a seventh and final season of 12 new episodes, which will air in February 2020. She added that all the Star Wars films, including The Rise of Skywalker, will be available for streaming within the first year of operation.
To see a couple of privileged folk, frantically trying to scramble their way to safety, their faces whiter than their original white after what they have just seen. It is oddly satisfying to see how it ends for them, because I know it will.
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