D23 Recap: Kenobi, The Mandalorian and Episode IX Reveals

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The last week was finally rich on Star Wars news. An official confirmation of Obi-Wan-centered series with Ewan McGregor, first trailer for The Mandalorian and yet another teaser for The Rise of Skywalker. Let’s take a quick look at each of them.

Obi-Wan Confirmed

Rumours about a stand-alone “Kenobi” film have been running around almost ever since the re-start of the Star Wars franchise under Disney. However, with the questionable performance of “Solo” in the cinemas, Disney decided to shift its focus. Starting with “The Mandalorian” and the series featuring young(er) Cassian Andor, they turned their attention to series streamed on Disney’s own channel.

The series featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi should focus on the time period between Episode III and IV. Nothing more is known at this moment besides the fact that Ewan McGregor himself is going to reprise the role of the Jedi Master. There is hardly a better choice, and having appropriately aged since the prequel trilogy, it seems as if this was destined to happen.

The Mandalorian Trailer

The first trailer for “The Mandalorian” does not show very much, just as first trailers seldom do. However, it makes it very clear what kind of setting we are in. These are the lawless outskirts of the Galaxy. And also lawless times. The opening shots, showing Stormtrooper helmets on poles, seem to confirm the timeline announced earlier: the start of the story should be concurrent with the fall of the Empire. With the collapse of the old structures, criminal elements are sure to be on the rise.

“The Mandalorian” clearly has the mood of a “Space Western”, drawing on one of the many facets of the original Star Wars universe. That is just as well. Given that this is only a TV show, the environments (especially outdoors) look really good, as do the ships.

There seem to be quite a few nods to the broader canon: such as the appearance of an IG-series droid (IG-11, reputedly) or the blurrg (bipedal creatures used often as mounts by twi’leks, originally appearing in the (terrible) “Ewoks: The Battle of Endor” film from 1985. The arrival of the ship in the trailer is also strikingly similar (especially given the model of the ship) to the intro of SWTOR Bounty Hunter storyline. Given that Dave Filoni was involved, I expect a decent amount of such homages. See and try to find others for yourselves.

The Rise of… Dark Rey?

And the third big thing we were graced with was the D23 special look at The Rise of Skywalker. The footage certainly looks epic. The massive fleets of both Resistance (and presumably various other free planets) ships and the intimidating First Order cruisers confirm that we are looking forward to a great, final battle. More importantly, however, we are going to see a confrontation between Rey and Kylo Ren – and something else on top of that.

Now everything seems to confirm that ghosts will be involved, as we have been predicting for a while. The creepy part, however, is the appearance of “dark” Rey. Is she real? Is she some “other” Rey (a “dark” clone, perhaps)? Is she merely an apparition (sort of warning)? And how about C-3PO’s red eyes: can droids be possessed? Is “Dark” Rey possessed by the Emperor? (Or by Darth Maul, fittingly with her affinity to the dual-saber, and the fact that all the important Jedi and Sith figures of the past seem to be remembered, Maul included?) Are we going to see the “thousand generations” of Jedi AND Sith condensed into two individuals – or one individual! – and the battle will finally take place on the very metaphysical level? And let me just point out the propriety of showing Rey with a double-bladed saber: ever since her expert use of staff in Episode VII, it seemed like it would be a waste not to make her wield such a weapon! She certainly ought to make good use of it.

I don’t know about you, but after this, I can see how even the most skeptical fans might start glancing expectantly towards the release date.

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Rostislav Kurka
Rostislav is a Protestant theologian and a self-trained Sith, counting Jan Hus, Dorothee Sölle, Darth Revan and Darth Traya among his main influences. He hails from the hundred-towered city of Prague, where he had spent a large part of his life creating worlds and inspiring young generations to roleplay. His involvement in organising children's camps led him to accidentally writing a Lord of the Rings musical, which made him temporarily famous, and a Three Musketeer-Jedi fanfilm, which didn't. He has recently moved to the frozen waste of Finland, because that's it, the Rebels are there.