Star Wars Celebration 2023: Everything You Need To Know about the new films and shows

Here's everything you need to know about the recent Star Wars announcements
Here's everything you need to know about the recent Star Wars announcements Copyright Lucasfilm
Copyright Lucasfilm
By David Mouriquand
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Lucasfilm's Studio Showcase at Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London’s ExCeL centre this weekend was chock-a-block with exciting reveals and frankly dizzying announcements. Here's the full lowdown...


Lucasfilm's Studio Showcase at Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London’s ExCeL centre this weekend was chock-a-block with exciting reveals and frankly dizzying announcements.

They will either delight fans from that galaxy far, far away… or make you despair at the sheer amount of universe building and make you want to Sith-kebab everyone who can’t just stop with the Star Wars shows and films already.

Whichever side of the Force you’re on, here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know.


Lucasfilm has announced three live-action Star Wars movies are in development, with directors James Mangold (Logan, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny), Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian) and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Ms. Marvel).

These will be the franchise’s first return to the big screen since 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

James Mangold will create a film that "will go back to the dawn of the Jedi" and will reportedly be set 25,000 years before anything else we've seen in the Star Wars universe to date. “It’s about the discovery of the Force,“ said Mangold, whose track record when it comes to event movies (Logan) and critically acclaimed awards favourites (Girl, Interrupted, Walk The Line, Ford v Ferrari) speaks for itself.

Dave Filoni's film will "focus on the New Republic" and will be about “escalating war between the Imperial remnant and the New Republic.” Reports suggest it will be set between Return Of The Jedi and The Force Awakens. The film will be the director’s first live-action feature film, having been at the heart of the franchise for many years, directed the 2008 animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars and been deeply involved with the recent spate of Disney+ shows, such as The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. The movie is set to tie the stories of those shows together.

Daisy Ridley is set to return to the Star Wars universeLucasfilm

As for Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning director will lead a film "set after the events of Rise of Skywalker" that will "feature Daisy Ridley back as Rey as she builds a new Jedi Order."

Indeed, Daisy Ridley will officially be returning to the Star Wars universe as Rey in a film that is set 15 years after the events of The Rise of Skywalker.

"I’ve always been attracted to the hero’s journey and the fact that the world needs many more heroes," said Sharmeen.

"I'm very thrilled to be continuing this journey," said Ridley.

Lucasfilm previously announced that Peaky Blinders’ Steven Knight had replaced Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson as writers on this film.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has said the three newly announced Star Wars films are "pretty far along" in development. No release dates have been revealed for any of these films, even if Disney's current slate includes holiday 2025 and 2027 dates for untitled Star Wars flicks.

The last three Star Wars films (The Last Jedi, Solo and The Rise of Skywalker) have been heavily criticized and did not receive wide acclaim, which led Disney and Lucasfilm to walk back on their plans to release a movie every year. Several attempts to get other Star Wars films off the ground, including Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron, a trilogy from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and another trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson have all apparently been canned. However, a planned Star Wars film from Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok) hasn't been scrapped by Disney despite its absence Star Wars Celebration 2023.

Kennedy said: "Taika is still working away" on the film. "He’s writing the script himself," Kennedy stated to Variety. "He doesn’t really want to bring others into that process and I don’t blame him. He has a very, very unique voice.


40th anniversary poster for Return of the JediLucasfilm

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is heading back to theatres in the US, UK and other parts of the world on 28 April.

The theatrical rerun will give Star Wars fans the chance to celebrate the movie ahead of its 40th anniversary on 25 May.

Return of the Jedi won’t be the first time Disney has brought an old Star Wars film to theatres. Last year saw the brief return of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to the silver screen in anticipation of the debut of the Andor series on Disney+.


In 2020, it was also possible to see The Empire Strikes Back in cinemas in between Covid-19 lockdowns.


Lucasfilm - Disney
Poster for The AcolyteLucasfilm - Disney

The Acolyte, which takes place in the High Republic era of the Star Wars universe (100 years before the franchise’s prequel trilogy) during a period called the Golden Age of the Jedi, now has launch date window of sometime in 2024.

The cast includes Jodie Turner-Smith, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Rebecca Henderson and Carrie-Anne Moss.

The first look showed footage of a Jedi temple, gold lightsabers, and shots of Jedi lighting up their weapons in unison.

"This is about power and who is allowed to use it," a tagline read.


The show is reportedly a "mystery thriller" seen from the perspective of the Siths, with the term "acolyte" describing soldiers of Sith Lords.

The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland said: "What I pitched to Kathleen Kennedy was Frozen meets Kill Bill. Shockingly, she didn’t kick me out of the building. It's High Republic near the beginning of the prequels and an exciting part of the timeline. This is when the bad guys are outnumbered. They are the underdogs. I’m really excited for you guys to see things you haven’t seen in live action yet.”

As for that Kill Bill comparison, Headland added: "I think it's a really good reference for the modern day martial arts film. Obviously, Tarantino took inspiration from a lot of the movies that our action team and a lot of our design team pulled from - which is stuff from the Shaw brothers to Akira Kurosawa in his samurai films, but also films like Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

Sounds promising.

Lucasfilm also revealed that the Ahsoka series will debut in August 2023, and stars Rosario Dawson and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, while a Lando Calrissian series is apparently still in the works, with Donald Glover still on board to reprise the role he played in Solo.


As if that wasn’t enough, Jude Law and Jon Favreau showed off the first trailer for Skeleton Crew, a Spielberg-esque series focused on a younger cast of characters.

The directors for the series include on The Daniels (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Jon Watts (Spider-Man: No Way Home), David Lowery (The Green Knight), Bryce Dallas Howard (The Mandalorian), and Lee Isaac Chung (Minari).

Impressive slate of directors, but is any one getting dizzy yet?


Lucasfilm - Disney+
Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan KenobiLucasfilm - Disney+

Star Wars prequel trilogy star Ewan McGregor is apparently eager to make another season of the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy explained in an interview to Variety that while the Obi-Wan actor (and fans) might want another season, it's not something the studio is considering just yet.


"That is not an active development," Kennedy said of Season 2. "But I never say never, because there’s always the possibility. That show was so well-received and (director) Deborah Chow did such a spectacular job."



Dave Filoni confirmed that the Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi series will officially be returning for a second season.

Filoni shared the news at the end of a panel celebrating the 15th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and he revealed he just loved working on the first season so much that he wanted it to continue.

"Tales of the Jedi was so fun the first time, I decided to do some more," Filoni said.

As for Andor, a second season will arrive on Disney+, and series creator Tony Gilroy has confirmed the team is planning on having it ready for an August 2024 premiere date.


“We started shooting in November," Gilroy said. "We’re about halfway through. We’re going to shoot through August. We’re on the exact schedule. Finish in August, spend another year on post. I suppose we'll come out the following August."


And just because we need a little bit of respite from all the Jedi and the seemingly never-ending Star Wars shenanigans, there was a new glimpse at Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which premieres in Cannes next month.

The new trailer gives us a closer look at what we’ve got to look forward to, including the titular MacGuffin artefact that can change the course of history.

There’s also more footage of Mads Mikkelsen's villainous Jurgen Voller, who seems to be aiming for… Well, nothing good considering his Nazi past and his reference points. "Hitler made mistakes," he says. "And with this, I will correct them all."

Check it out for yourself:


So, excited? Filled with anger, aggression, a lust for power and snazzy black capes? Or despairing that the diminishing returns of late (seriously, who thought The Book of Boba Fett was a good idea?) don’t herald anything good?

What’s certain is that Disney and Lucasfilm are still convinced there’s plenty of mileage left in the Star Wars universe, even if many are Luke-warm. So to speak.

Additional sources • Variety

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