Bounty Hunting and Double Lightsabers
The amount of news that came out of this year’s Disney D23 convention was dizzying. From updates on Black Widow and Disney+ streaming shows, to news of new series starring everyone from She-Hulk to Moon Knight, Disney came out in a big way, and showed that they’re taking this streaming channel very seriously. But the biggest pieces of news came from a corner of the company that deals with stories from a long time ago, and in a galaxy far, far away…Star Wars.
Yes, we finally got our first official look at The Mandalorian, and another look into the upcoming saga capper for the series, The Rise of Skywalker. Easily the two most high-profile projects in the franchise, there’s a lot riding on both of them. For The Mandalorian, it’s the first major live-action Star Wars series ever, and it’s one of, if not THE, reason to subscribe to Disney+. Set after the events of Return of the Jedi, it’s going to shine some (official) light on what the galaxy was like following the events of the fall of the Empire, and judging from the very short teaser, it looks AWESOME. There’s a strong Western/Gunslinger vibe to the series, and the fact that it looks like a smaller story than what we’ve seen from the franchise since Disney took over means that we could have something really special.
The Rise of Skywalker, on the other hand, has a bit more work cut our for it. Following the divisive response to the Last Jedi, this latest installment not only has to work to bring fans that were turned off by that film back, but it also needs to conclude this now nine film story. That’s a lot for any director, and while JJ Abrams has experience restarting the franchise, endings have never been his strong suit, so there’s a chance that Rise of Skywalker could fall flat on it’s face.
Will it do that? Maybe. I will say that visually it looks fantastic, and the brief scenes we see look really cool, and my money is on that shot of Rey with a red double bladed lightsaber is actually a Force vision of a possible future for her, or it’s a clone. I dunno. The Emperor liked clones, and he’s apparently back, even though we don’t physically see him in the brief scenes shown in the special D23 footage. The jury’s still out on if he’s really back, and I’m thinking he’s going to be more of a weird Force ghost than legit returning threat.
Oh, Ewan McGregor is also back as Obi-Wan Kenobi for a special series that will start filming next year, an announcement that, while not surprising, got me so hyped up that I went out and bought the Kenobi novel by John Jackson Miller that doesn’t even count.