The dates of the soon upcoming Star Wars series have been recently confirmed, and we can already tell something about their content based on previously released information.
Summer 2022: Andor
The spy series “Andor” will air already in summer 2022 on Disney Plus. As has been announced from the start, “Andor” will follow the early years of Cassian Andor, Diego Luna’s character from Rogue One. We are going to learn how he became part of the Rebellion.
In Rogue One, Cassian hints at having done ethically questionable things in his pursuit of justice, as evidenced in the film itself where he kills a Rebel informant rather than risk him falling into the Empire’s hands. He also makes it clear that he has his own convincing reasons that make him want to fight the Empire any way he can.
The show promises to explore just that: Cassian’s past, his likely tragic youth, and among other things eventually perhaps even his meeting with the reprogrammed formerly Imperial droid K2SO. Their first encounter has already been depicted in a 2017 comic, however, it is such an iconic moment that it would be a shame not to show it in live-action.
From Refugee To Rebel
The first season of “Andor”, however, is said to be oriented on young Andor who is still very much revolution-averse. We can therefore look forward to some character development, and we can expect some drastic events that forced him to change his mind completely. Diego Luna himself has also said in an interview for Vanity Fair that “Andor” is “the journey of a migrant”. The theme of people fleeing from the Empire’s brutal oppressive power seems to be present in the series.
It has also already been confirmed that “Andor” will feature Genevieve O’Reilly, the actress who played Mon Mothma in Rogue One. Among other actors who have been cast are Anton Valensi, Adria Arjona or Stellan Skarsgård.
In the best case, “Andor” could be a show featuring an amazingly complex and interesting character. It could also show the Rebellion from a rather unusual angle, the less clear-cut “good guys” part represented by the likes of Luke Skywalker.
The Mandalorian S3, Ahsoka, Acolyte
In 2022, or perhaps early 2023, we can also expect third season of “The Mandalorian”. The series “Ahsoka”, focussing on the titular character, will be aired during 2023.
The last series so far on schedule is “The Acolyte” – a mystery-thriller set a hundred years before The Phantom Menace, that will focus on the origins of the downfall of the old Republic, presumably with the aid of Palpatine’s several generations removed Sith predecessors. Amandla Stenberg has been confirmed as the series’ main star. “The Acolyte” does not have a release date yet, but it is expected to follow sometime after “Ahsoka”.
Nothing further is known about a so far unnamed TV series that should take place (in-universe) around the same time as “The Mandalorian” or “Ahsoka”, i.e. post-Episode VI. The only names we know are that of the writer and producer (Chris Ford and Jon Watts, respectively). Currently the series is searching for a cast of young teenagers, who are presumably going to be the show’s protagonists. The intent for the show is to follow in the footsteps of the 80s coming-of-age adventure films. That is very much in line with classic Star Wars, let’s only hope it does not resemble the 80s live-action Ewok films.
Risky Odds: Not Baby, Just Young Yoda
Disney/Lucasfilm have had their “five-year-plan” (or perhaps longer) ready for a while, and we can definitely see the change of focus from big film trilogies towards “continuous storytelling”, as their representatives have repeatedly put it. While “The Mandalorian” is following an already established storyline and “Ahsoka” is continuing the story of fan-favourite animated show characters, “Andor” expands the past of an existing character, along the lines of what “Solo” and “The Book of Boba Fett” did (and what “Obi-Wan” will do).
“Andor” is possibly in the most dangerous territory here, given that Cassian is a much more minor character than any of the above (or at most the level of Boba Fett). Plus, arguably his dynamic with Jyn Erso (who cannot be in the series, for obvious reasons) was one of the important features of his character.
But “Acolyte” will also have to beat the odds given by the fact that it ventures completely into the unknown timeline with an unfamiliar main character. It is a feat “The Mandalorian” has managed before – and successfully, but then again it had a lot of help from a cute “baby Yoda” and later cameos of fan-favourite characters like Ahsoka. “Acolyte” will presumably have only actual, 100-years younger Yoda, and no fan-favourites to call upon: the best it can manage is something along the lines of Padmé’s great-grandmother.
But that is what real creativity means and the authors will have infinite amount of space to implement these ideas. The only question is: will they manage to use the potential to its fullest?