Let’s talk about why I’m exciting about the host of new Star Wars shows coming out.
Last week Disney/Lucasfilm announced that more than ten new Star Wars projects, mostly shows but a few movies, were in production and will be coming out in the next few years. This is huge news and is giving people a lot to talk about and look forward to. Personally, I’m super excited for this and already, with admittedly very little knowledge, am getting pretty hyped up. Let’s take a look at why I, and many others are so excited for these new shows.
A Larger Galaxy…
For a long time, Star Wars has mostly revolved around the Skywalker Saga, following a “central” storyline through numerous movies, comics and books. While the old EU told a massive and sprawling story, even it was constantly drawn back to the antics of the Skywalker Clan, though there were notable blocks and series, such as Rogue Squadron, that didn’t have much to do with them. Since the Disney buyout Star Wars has gone back to being heavily focused on the Skywalkers and on continuing their story. While some novels and comics have avoided focusing on the Skywalkers, the films and TV shows that aren’t Skywalker focuses are very rare. Rebels was largely divorced from the Saga, though both Vader and Leia made appearances. Rogue One was a similar story. The mostly ignored Resistance also mostly told its own story. Solo of course didn’t have any Skywalkers in it directly, but with Han marrying into the clan and being a central Star Wars character it’s hard to say it was really doing its own thing.
This of course is one of the reasons that the Mandalorian felt so refreshing. It told it’s own story with no connection to the Skywalkers and indeed little connection to the larger “plot”. Even in season 2 where the show is drawing more on the galaxy at large, leaning into both the ongoing conflict with the Imperial Remnant and drawing on popular characters from other films or shows, Bo Katan, Boba Fett and Ashoka, it’s still clearly doing its own thing. It manages to stay grounded in Star Wars and also explore new ground. This looks like what we will be getting more of with the new shows and projects. While some are more closely tied to the central story, like Obi-Wan Kenobi seems to be, many others aren’t related at all and that’s great.
On the other hand, these stories don’t exist in a vacuum, and it seems as if a number, the Mandalorian, Ashoka and Rangers of the New Republic take place at the same time and will tie into each other. Show crossovers of course have a long tradition with mixed results. Buffy and Angels, Hercules and Xena, various StarGate shows, and countless others have all done crossovers. In the past, these often tended to be a bit gimmicky, however. They rarely actually told an interconnected story or built to anything larger. However, in more recent years, this has started to change. Both DC and Marvel have tied together larger Cinematic Universes, both in movies (Avengers, Justice League) and on TV (The Defenders, the Arrowverse/Crisis On Multiple Earths). This modern approach, while not perfect, has allowed for some deeper storytelling Characters getting to shine and develop on their own, while still being part of a larger established world and building to something big and that’s exciting for Star Wars.
While Star Wars has a huge and long history it tends to focus on one period at a time mainly, with occasional jumping around. One of the great things about this new lineup is that we really clearly have a focus on a large number of Star Wars eras at once. We’ve got several shows set in the New Republic Era, a couple of shows set in the Dark Time, or Imperial Era, others set during the Galactic Civil War and even a show set during the High Republic. This not only gives a huge number of stories but a visually diverse group, that won’t all just reuse the same sets and props. I’m very stoked to see the High Republic brought to life.
The shows promise to not only be visually diverse, but actually diverse as well. We’ve got shows/movies starting and run by both POC and women coming up, with the Acolyte, Lando, Ashoka, Rogue Squadron, Andor, and Taika Waititi’s project just as a start. On top of that Visions is being worked on by an actual Japaneses studio, promising to bring a unique and non-western view to the franchise. I can’t say it will be perfect yet, and we still have a ton of unannounced details so far, but this is looking to be the most diverse group of people, both on-screen and behind the camera Star Wars, and possibly any major franchise, has had.
Four months ago I wrote a whole article about why they needed to make a Star Wars anime. I guess someone was listing. As a huge Star Wars and anime fan, I’m reallllllly excited to see what Visions has to offer and see how it can reimagine Star Wars.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg for me. While Star Wars hasn’t always been great, there are few things I like better than good Star Wars and with so much on offer some of it has to be great, and most will at least be enjoyable. If nothing else I’m excited for new ships, blasters, sabers and space battles to ooh and ah over.
Let us know what part of the new shows has you excited, down in the comments!