Briefing

What is the future of Star Wars?

Everything we know about all the incoming projects from a galaxy far, far away…

The latest Star Wars series Andor is currently underway on Disney+, but what's next for the franchise after the show wraps up? And when will Star Wars finally return to movie theaters? Here's everything we know: 

The Bad Batch, season 2 (Jan. 4)

The animated series The Bad Batch will return on Disney+ to kick off 2023. This spin-off of The Clone Wars revolves around a group of defective clone troopers who make up a squad known as the Bad Batch. The first season depicts their adventures with a female clone named Omega following the events of Revenge of the Sith, during which all clones were ordered to kill the Jedi. But the majority of the Bad Batch was able to resist this order, so they've now gone off on their own. 

The end of the first season suggested season two could feature some intriguing connections to The Mandalorian, particularly Doctor Pershing's experiments with Baby Yoda, which may be linked to the effort to bring Palpatine back as a clone that leads to The Rise of Skywalker. As teased in the trailer, Palpatine himself will be appearing in The Bad Batch season 2, with Ian McDiarmid again voicing the character. Commander Cody, a clone from the prequels who served with Obi-Wan Kenobi and was a character on The Clone Wars, will also be in the new season, as will Gungi, a Jedi Padawan Wookiee also from The Clone Wars

The Bad Batch's second season will consist of 16 episodes, and two of them will drop on Jan. 4. 

Star Wars: Visions, volume 2 (spring 2023)

The animated anthology series Star Wars: Visions will return for another batch of episodes sometime in spring 2023

The first volume of Visions told various unrelated Star Wars stories in an anime style, and they were made by a variety of Japanese studios. But executive producer James Waugh told Deadline the second volume will be a "sort of a global tour of some of the most interesting animation studios on a global level," so it sounds like the focus won't necessarily be anime this time. Waugh said episodes in volume two will come from animation studios in South Africa, Chile, England, Ireland, France, and India. 

In November 2022, the famed animation studio Studio Ghibli, which has produced films like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, revealed it's partnering with Lucasfilm on a project. Fans speculated this might be an episode of Visions, though it's possible it could be a separate film or TV show. 

These shorts aren't considered Star Wars canon, providing more freedom to the creators to tell any kind of story they want, whether or not it fits within the franchise's established lore. 

Young Jedi Adventures (spring 2023)

Described as the "first full-length animated Star Wars series created for preschoolers, early grade schoolers, and their families," Young Jedi Adventures will follow a group of Younglings as they train to become Jedi during the High Republic era, a period prior to the prequel trilogy — making them, thankfully, safe from Anakin Skywalker. It will premiere on Disney+ and Disney Junior in spring 2023. 

The Mandalorian, season 3 (2023)

The highly-anticipated third season of The Mandalorian premieres sometime in 2023, likely toward the beginning of the year. (It was previously said to be premiering in February, though the recent trailer just said "2023.") Following the events of The Book of Boba Fett, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) has been reunited with Grogu, who trained with Luke Skywalker but chose to return to his adoptive father.

In season 3, we'll be headed to Mandalore, home planet of the Mandalorian people. Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), in the season 2 finale, agreed to help Din rescue Grogu in exchange for a ship she planned to use to retake Mandalore, which was decimated by the Empire; she also urged the Mandalorian to help her do so. But Din is now in possession of the Darksaber, a legendary lightsaber that is traditionally wielded by the ruler of Mandalore. That may put him in conflict with Bo-Katan, who formerly wielded the Darksaber and said in season 2 the weapon is "rightfully mine." She would have to defeat Din in combat to get it back and lead the Mandalorians. In the season 3 trailer, Bo-Katan blames Din's "cult" of Mandalorians for having "fractured our people." 

Season 3 will also further grapple with the consequences of Din removing his helmet, which is against the code of his particular clan of Mandalorians. Din heads to Mandalore in season 3 to be "forgiven for his transgressions" after taking his helmet off, according to Total Film

Back to the Future's Christopher Lloyd is set for a role, though it's not clear who he's playing, and the trailer confirms Babu Frik — that cute little alien who yelled "hey hey!" in The Rise of Skywalker — will make an appearance. Comedian Tim Meadows has also been cast in an undisclosed role. But Cara Dune won't be back, as Gina Carano was fired by Disney for controversial social media posts. Her character will reportedly not be recast

Skeleton Crew (2023)

This live-action Disney+ series stars Jude Law, and it was co-created by Jon Watts, director of Spider-Man: No Way Home. It sounds essentially like the Star Wars equivalent of Stranger Things, as it's described as a "galactic version of classic Amblin coming-of-age adventure films of the '80s," Vanity Fair reports

At the D23 expo, Skeleton Crew was described as the story of "a group of kids who get lost in the Star Wars galaxy," and it's set after Return of the Jedi and around the same time as The Mandalorian. "It's the story of their journey trying to find their way home," Watts said, adding, "It stars four kids, but it is not a kids' show." According to Vanity Fair, Lucasfilm has been casting young actors around 11 or 12.

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told Comicbook.com the show came about after Watts "came to me, very much wanting to do a sort of Goonies in Star Wars." 

Skeleton Crew is expected to debut sometime in 2023. 

Ahsoka (2023)

After Ahsoka Tano from The Clone Wars made the jump to live-action in The Mandalorian, she's getting her own live-action spin-off series, with Rosario Dawson again starring in the lead role. The Mandalorian producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are both on board.

From the looks of it, Ahsoka appears to essentially be a live-action sequel to Star Wars Rebels. That animated series ended with its protagonist, Ezra Bridger, disappearing into space with the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn, and the final scene showed that Ahsoka planned to team up with Mandalorian Sabine Wren to find him. In The Mandalorian, we saw Ahsoka is looking for Thrawn's location, which could lead her to Ezra. So the assumption among fans is that Ahsoka will be about this search for Ezra, following the Rebels cliffhanger.

Sabine Wren has been confirmed to appear in Ahsoka in live-action, and she'll be played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Eman Esfandi has also reportedly been cast as Ezra Bridger. Footage shown at Star Wars Celebration confirmed Hera Syndulla from Rebels will appear, as well, though it's not clear who has been cast in that role. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ivanna Sakhno have also been cast, but their parts haven't been revealed, and Ray Stevenson, who voiced Mandalorian Gar Saxon in The Clone Wars and Rebels, is reportedly playing a villain

Hayden Christensen is also returning as Anakin Skywalker after his role in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Anakin is dead at this point in the timeline, as like The Mandalorian, the show is set after Return of the Jedi. But he could appear as a Force ghost, which would allow Ahsoka to talk with her former master about his turn to the Dark Side and ultimate redemption. It's also possible the series could feature flashbacks to Anakin's time as Darth Vader or even to Ahsoka's time as Anakin's Padawan during the Clone Wars. 

It's not clear who, if anyone, might be playing Thrawn in the show, though there has been speculation it could be Lars Mikkelsen, who voiced him in Rebels

In 2020, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said Ahsoka will be part of a series of interconnected Star Wars shows set during the timeline of The Mandalorian that "will culminate in a climactic story event." It hasn't been confirmed what that event is, though some fans have speculated several of the shows that take place around the same time — The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, The Book of Boba Fett, and perhaps even Skeleton Crew — could lead to an Avengers-style crossover, which could involve a battle against Thrawn.

Another Mandalorian spin-off called Rangers of the New Republic was originally part of this plan, but that project is on hold and possibly scrapped, presumably because it was rumored to involve Gina Carano, who has since been fired. Kennedy told Empire some of the storylines that were being developed for the show will now "figure into future episodes" of The Mandalorian.

The Acolyte 

This Disney+ series is being developed by Leslye Headland, the co-creator of Russian Doll, and unlike many of the franchise's other streaming shows, it is not centered on any established Star Wars character. The term acolyte, though, is typically used to refer to a Sith apprentice. Asajj Ventress in The Clone Wars, for example, was known as a Dark Acolyte.

The Acolyte takes place around 100 years before the events of The Phantom Menace during a period known as the High Republic, which is currently being explored in a series of novels and comics. The Republic was considered to be at its height during this period, but the show is expected to plant the seeds of how the Jedi could eventually be so blind as to have the Senate taken over by a Sith Lord in the prequel trilogy.

"My question when watching The Phantom Menace was always like, 'Well, how did things get to this point?'" Headland told Vanity Fair. "How did we get to a point where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate and none of the Jedi pick up on it? Like, what went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?"

Disney describes the show as a mystery-thriller set in a "galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era," and it follows a former Padawan who "reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes," only to confront forces "more sinister than they ever anticipated." 

Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give) will star, while the male lead will be Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae, and Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), and Charlie Barnett (Russian Doll) have also been cast. 

On Nov. 7, Disney confirmed the show has gone into production in the U.K. and announced several additional cast members: Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix), Dean-Charles Chapman (1917), Dafne Keen (Logan), and Rebecca Henderson (Inventing Anna). The first photo from the set was also revealed. 

Andor, season 2 

The second season of Andor has already been confirmed, and it will begin shooting in November 2022. The plan is for Andor to consist of two seasons of 12 episodes each, and the second season will be its last. 

Andor's first season begins five years before the events of Rogue One, but creator Tony Gilroy told The Playlist the final story arc of season 2 will take us to "the last five days before" that film. So by the end of season 2, we'll need to see how Cassian Andor becomes a Rebel intelligence officer and how Mon Mothma leaves the Senate to officially form the Rebel Alliance.

In the animated series Star Wars Rebels, Mothma resigns her position after accusing Palpatine of being behind a massacre on the planet Ghorman about three years after the start of Andor. Because Ghorman has already been mentioned multiple times in Andor, it's possible this could be a key event depicted in season 2.

Andor season 2 doesn't have an official premiere date, but Gilroy told The Wrap it likely won't be released before 2024. 

Lando 

A Disney+ series about Lando Calrissian was announced during a Disney investor day presentation in 2020, although weirdly, Lucasfilm didn't say who would star in it.

The assumption was that Donald Glover would return from Solo: A Star Wars Story, perhaps with Billy Dee Williams appearing in some scenes set after The Rise of Skywalker. One of the few lingering plot threads from that film was Lando telling Jannah (Naomi Ackie) they should go "find out" where she's from, so Lando could theoretically follow up on that. 

In May 2022, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said there's been "no movement" on the show, though she confirmed the hope is to get Glover back. "You need to ask Donald," she told CinemaBlend. "He's the one that holds all the cards here. … It's not for lack of trying. It's just that he's a very busy guy." Williams' potential involvement hasn't been confirmed, though he did share the announcement on Instagram

As of 2020, Justin Simien, the creator of Dear White People, was said to be developing the Lando show. 

A Droid Story 

This animated project for Disney+ was announced in 2020, and it was described as a collaboration between Lucasfilm Animation and the visual effects team Industrial Light & Magic. It will introduce a "new hero guided by" R2-D2 and C-3PO as they go on a "special mission," Lucasfilm said, but little information has been revealed since then.  

Rogue Squadron

Another project announced with great fanfare during Disney's 2020 investor presentation was Rogue Squadron, which was said to be a fighter pilot movie directed by Wonder Woman filmmaker Patty Jenkins. Lucasfilm even released a promo video for the film, which showed Jenkins getting into an X-Wing after describing how the project was inspired by her father, who was a fighter pilot. There was speculation the movie could take place after the sequel trilogy, as Lucasfilm said it would "move the saga into the future era of the galaxy" as it introduces a "new generation of starfighter pilots as they earn their wings and risk their lives in a boundary-pushing, high-speed thrill-ride."

Disney originally had Rogue Squadron scheduled for a December 2023 release, meaning Star Wars would return to movie theaters after a four-year break. But in November 2021, The Hollywood Reporter said Rogue Squadron had been "taken off the production schedule," and in September 2022, Disney removed the film from its calendar. It currently has no release date, and it's not completely clear that it will even still be made. In November 2021, Puck reported Rogue Squadron was being delayed due to "creative differences," as "Jenkins couldn't agree on the script with Lucasfilm executives." 

In May 2022, Kennedy told Vanity Fair the film has been "pushed off to the side for the moment," as Jenkins "is developing the script further." 

An untitled Taika Waititi movie

Disney currently has a Star Wars movie scheduled for release in December 2025 and another in December 2027.

It isn't clear what those films will be. But Lucasfilm previously announced Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi will be directing his own Star Wars film, and Kennedy told Total Film in May 2022 that the plan is for this project to be the franchise's next movie, so it's possible it will get the 2025 release date.

Virtually no information has been revealed about Waititi's film, though a logo shown off during Disney's 2020 investor day presentation led some fans to speculate it could take place in the past. Kennedy told Vanity Fair that Lucasfilm now has a "road map" for its feature films, and "Taika's story fits more specifically into that." 

In June 2022, though, Waititi told The Wrap he's "still trying to figure out what the story is," even though Kennedy said Waititi was "currently hard at work writing" the film in December 2020 and Waititi himself told Wired in 2021, "We've got a story. I'm really excited by it because it feels very me." Speaking to Total Film, Waititi expressed his desire to "expand" the Star Wars universe and not just rely on existing characters. 

"I would like to take something new and create some new characters and just expand the world, otherwise it feels like it's a very small story," he said, joking, "I don't think that I'm any use in the Star Wars universe making a film where everyone's like, 'Oh great, well that's the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon, ah that's Chewbacca's grandmother.'" 

An untitled Kevin Feige movie

In 2019, it was reported that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige would develop a Star Wars film, so that could potentially be the movie that releases in 2027. 

Once again, no plot details have been revealed, though the plan is for it to be written by Michael Waldron, who created Marvel's Loki series and wrote Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In May 2022, Waldron told Variety he was currently writing the film. "We're finally into it in earnest," he said. "I mean, I'm writing away. It's a lot of fun. I'm enjoying having the freedom on that to do something that's not necessarily a sequel or anything."

Just two months earlier, though, Kennedy told Vanity Fair in March 2022 that while she would "love to see at some point what movie [Feige] might come up with," there "isn't anything specifically on the horizon." 

An untitled Damon Lindelof and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy movie

In October 2022, Deadline and Puck reported a new Star Wars film is in the works from Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of Lost and The Leftovers and creator of HBO's Watchmen.

Lindelof is reportedly co-writing the movie, while Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who directed episodes of Ms. Marvel, is in talks to direct. Assuming this project is released before Rogue Squadron, she would become the first woman to direct a Star Wars movie. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lindelof's co-writer is Justin Britt-Gibson, whose credits include the FX series The Strain. The Reporter says a secret writers' room for the project held a two-week session in July 2022 to break the story — which The Clone Wars creator Dave Filoni may have attended — after which Lindelof and Britt-Gibson began writing. 

According to the Reporter, the movie would take place after The Rise of Skywalker, and although it "would not be a continuation of the Skywalker saga," it could feature characters from the sequel trilogy. It also reportedly is intended to be a standalone film, although there's the possibility of sequels. 

Puck reports this movie could begin filming before Taika Waititi one, suggesting it may get the December 2025 release date instead. 

An untitled Shawn Levy movie

Shawn Levy, director of Free Guy and executive producer of Stranger Things, is in talks to direct a Star Wars movie, Deadline reported in November 2022. No plot details were revealed, nor was it reported who's writing the film, but Levy confirmed the news. 

"Childhood me is losing his s--t right now," he tweeted. "Grown-up me is too."

Levy is also the director of Disney's upcoming Marvel film Deadpool 3, slated for release in November 2024, and Deadline said Levy will focus on the Star Wars project after he finishes that film. 

On the same day the Levy news was revealed, it was confirmed that an untitled Star Wars movie from J.D. Dillard, reported to be in development in February 2020, is no longer happening. "It was not for lack of trying," Dillard told The Wrap

A Rian Johnson trilogy

All the way back in 2017, Lucasfilm announced that Rian Johnson, the writer and director of The Last Jedi, would create an entire trilogy of new Star Wars movies. This trilogy was described as being "separate from the episodic Skywalker saga," and Lucasfilm said it would "introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored." 

But then The Last Jedi came out and was divisive among fans, and Johnson signed a deal with Netflix to direct two more Knives Out movies. So it has been unclear whether his trilogy will still happen, especially after The Rise of Skywalker was perceived as a film designed to walk back Johnson's creative choices in The Last Jedi

In September 2022, though, Johnson told Empire he has "stayed close" to Kennedy and still hopes to make more Star Wars movies. "It's just at this point a matter of schedule and when it can happen," Johnson said. "It would break my heart if I were finished, if I couldn't get back in that sandbox at some point."

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