Release wise, Star Wars had it’s biggest ever year in 2022. 1190 minutes of television were release across three live action and one animated series as well as numerous book and comic releases. Although there was no film released, Star Wars maintained its position as one of the leading entertainment franchises.
But Lucasfilm aren’t resting on their laurels and 2023 looks set to be even bigger and set up Star Wars storytelling for years to come. The flagship show, ‘The Mandalorian’, returns to our screens for the first time in over two years and the is plenty more to follow it.
Here’s what we are most excited about in the year to come.
5. More Cal Kestis
‘Jedi: Fallen Order’ seemed to come out of nowhere and revitalise Star Wars gaming. The franchise had become bogged down with the (eventually) successful ‘Battlefront’ series and the desire to release single player games had evaporated.
While the game play wasn’t perfect, for a story driven game it hit all the sweet spots. It grew the Star Wars universe while playing in a time period that had enough to satisfy both Original Trilogy and Prequel fans. The story played with our ideas of The Force, used legacy characters without challenging cannon and left players wanting more.
This year, Cal Kestis moves forward five years and his adventures continue in ‘Jedi: Survivor’. The trailer looked stunning and, in true Star Wars style, only hints at what is ahead. Kestis looks like he is a character that is here to stay.
‘Jedi: Survivor’ is released on 17th March.
4. Star Wars Celebration Europe
Last year may have been massive for Star Wars but it was a common opinion the Celebration was a bit of a let down. The majority of announcements were just confirmations of leaks, expected announcements weren’t made, some projects like ‘The Acolyte’ were simply ignored, and, while trailers were screened, the majority of footage was kept behind closed doors and only seen by the lucky few in the room.
Less than a year later we now have Celebration Europe and the excitement is building. There are rumours flying about the Lucasfilm have the next five years of film and television planned out and this would be the perfect place to reveal what is to come. Both ‘Andor’ and ‘The Acolyte’ will be filming in the UK while the convention is on which gives easier access to talent and props to be available for the event and ‘The Mandalorian’ will be half way through it’s third season which means people can actually talk about it rather than dance around subject.
There’s also the possibility that we might get the official announcement of a film going into production as the Christmas 2025 release date will be fast approaching.
I’m a bit biased about this one as I will be attending, now I just have to worry about getting into the room to hear the announcements and see the trailers. Hopefully they will broadcast it all on big screens throughout the convention centre like they did during the previous Celebration Europe.
Celebration Europe is happening in London between 7th and 10th April.
3. The Ghost Crew In Live Action
‘Rebels’ is one of the most universally popular projects from the Disney era of Star Wars and everything is pointing to the surviving characters from the series making the leap to live action and the ‘Ahsoka’ series essentially being ‘Rebels’ season five. We know that Natasha Liu Bordizzo is playing Sabine Wren and that the last shot of ‘Rebels’ season four has been recreated in live action for the series. The leaked trailer also revealed that Hera Syndulla is in the series and she is heavily rumoured to be played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. There are also rumours that Ezra Bridger will be played by Eman Esfandi.
To see the Ghost crew in live action would be another link tying all Star Wars storytelling together following on from other characters from animation, books and comics crossing over to live action. This is not to say live action is better, it just makes the characters more accessible to a wider audience and opens up the characters for more story possibilities.
‘Ahsoka’ is expected to debut during the summer.
2. Visiting Mandalore
The mystery surrounding Mandalore has been something that has driven Star Wars storytelling and conversation long before ‘The Mandalorian’. The planet has been a part of Star Wars lore for almost as long as the franchise has existed and has been featured heavily in the old expanded universe and animation.
The big question has always been that if Mandalore was a planet of great warriors that rivalled the Jedi where were they during the Original and Sequel Trilogies. ‘The Mandalorian’ has been hinting about what happened and the trailer for the third season shows Din and Grogu arriving on the planet. We might finally be about to get an answer.
‘The Mandalorian’ season three begins on 1st March.
1. Skeleton Crew
‘Skeleton Crew’ gets top spot because it is the shiny new Star Wars thing we are getting this year. We know that Spider-Man director, Jon Watts, is one of the main creatives involved, Jude Law is starring, it’s set in the same time period as ‘The Mandalorian’, and it has been pitched as ‘Stranger Things’ in space. Outside of that we are in the dark. There are a lot of rumours about who the characters could be and how this all ties into the bigger picture but at the moment they are just that, rumours.
Watts’ track record is near spotless, coming of the back of a hugely successful ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy but also showing range by directing the first two episode of the Jeff Bridges spy thriller ‘The Old Man’. Add to that that there is a clear passion to make this as he walked away from Marvel Studios’ ‘Fantastic Four’ to do so. Following on from ‘Andor’ and ‘The Mandalorian’ before it, this could be the next show that proves Star Wars can be elevated into the conversation of great television.
The show is expected to stream on Disney+ towards the end of the year.
What are you most excited for? Comment below.